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Bogner Family History

Last update 4/17/2020


The Hungarians


-------- William Bogner and Julia Teisch / Max Bogner and Adele Seif --------

Somewhere in Austria-Hungary around 1870, my great-great-grandfather William Bogner married Julia Teisch. On November 9, 1875, they had a son named Max Bogner (my great-grandfather). Sometime around 1898, Max married Adele Seif, daughter of Jacob Seif and Mollie Adler. Adele was born in Hungary on December 16, 1877. The Seif surname is sometimes spelled Zeif on certain documents.

In 1900, Max came to America. He had a job waiting in Sag Harbor, New York, as a silver polisher for the Alvin Silver Company. Sag Harbor is a town on the northeastern tip of Long Island. Adele came to America as soon as she realized she was pregnant. She was 19 when she arrived at Ellis Island, sometime later in 1900. She had to borrow a cape from an old woman to hide her pregnant body so she wouldn't be detained by the authorities. She then made her way to Sag Harbor to be reunited with Max.

On September 4, 1900, their son, William F. Bogner, was born. Actually, his name was originally Phillip, but he later changed it to William, which I'll explain in further detail below.

On August 21, 1902, my grandfather, Jacob Bogner was born. The family called him Jack. The third child, Madeline Bogner, was born on October 9, 1904. Julia Bogner, the fourth child, was born November 8, 1907.

By 1910, the family moved 10 miles to a town on the southern shore of Long Island called Southampton, at 187 Madison Street. It was here that the last child, Henry Bogner was born, on June 2, 1911.

Max was of medium height and build, with brown hair and eyes. In 1918, he lost his job at Alvin when the factory was sold to Bulova. He had a cousin in Newark, NJ who found a job for him, so he moved the family there, to 373 Fairmount Avenue, paying $60 per month for rent. He continued working a long time as a polisher, for Moore and Hoffman Jewelers on Mulberry Street in Newark. Later, he had odd jobs and eventually became a night watchman at a Newark police precinct.

Adele, besides raising 5 children, kept herself very busy. Sometime between 1920 and 1930, the family moved from Fairmount Avenue to 289 Wainwright Street, in Newark, where Adele became a founding member of the Wainright Street Synagogue. She was also a member of the Home for the Chronic Sick in Plainfield, a member of the Hadassah and the Newark Deborah, and a Republican district leader in Newark's South Ward for 25 years.

By 1935, Max, Adele, their daughter Julia and her husband Harry Kesselhaut were living with Abe Goldberg and his niece Ruth at 269 Schley Street in Newark. This was one block over from their previous residence on Wainwright Street. Abe was born in Romania and worked in Newark for a dress company. Ruth was a beautician. We have no idea if the Goldbergs were related to the Bogners or Kesselhauts.

Sometime between 1940 and 1954, Max and Adele moved the short trip back to Wainwright Street, this time at number 219, a short distance from where they lived in the 1920's. They were still living there when Max died on March 1st of 1960. He was 84 years old. In 1967, 90-year-old Adele moved from Newark to again live with Julia and Harry at 816 Inwood Road. She died there on November 12, 1972, one month before her 95th birthday. At the time of her death, Adele had 8 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

Max and Adele are buried alongside one another in Louis Brandeis Lodge, a Jewish cemetery near the intersection of Mt. Olivet Avenue and McClellan Street, west of Newark Airport, just off Routes 1 and 9.

-------- William F. Bogner and Frances Berger --------

William F. Bogner married Frances F. Berger in a ceremony at High Manor in Newark on February 22, 1925. Frances, or Fran, was born in New York City on January 17, 1904, the daughter of Nathan and Anna Berger. William, or Bill, worked for Fran's father who was in the clothing business in Elizabeth, NJ. Bill and Fran lived in Newark and had one child. Her name was Ellen.

Bill's parents originally named him Phillip. His mother Adele's accent called him Filly which became Villy which became Willy which, in adulthood, became Bill. Fran, his wife, went to court and had his name changed legally because of their social status.

Bill was a successful regional sales manager for Seagrams Distillers and Carstairs/Calvert Liquors for 30 years and held a high position with the company before retiring in 1965. He also worked as a clerk for the Splitdorf Electric Company in Newark. He was a member of the Hillside Masonic Lodge and the B'nai B'rith of Essex County. He was six feet tall with a medium build, and had brown eyes and brown hair.

Fran was a member of Deborah for 45 years. She and Bill lived in Plainfield, Newark and Millburn before moving to Springfield around 1954.

Fran was living in Springfield when she died on January 11, 1981, a week before her 77th birthday. Like his mother, Bill lived to a ripe old age. He died at his home on April 24, 1994, 93 years old. He and Fran are buried together at Mt. Lebanon Jewish Cemetery in Iselin, N.J.

Their daughter Ellen Bogner was born in Plainfield, N.J. on March 3, 1929 and lived in nearby Millburn until 2001. She was a graduate of Ohio University and was the founder and owner of The Book Store in South Orange. She was also an elementary school teacher in Washington, D.C., and a substitute teacher in Millburn.

On June 19, 1948, Ellen married Raymond David Fellers at the Essex House in Newark. Raymond was born in New York City on November 6, 1923. His parents were Jacob Feinstein (1896-2000) and Sylvia Sperber (1902-1995). Raymond was six feet tall, weighed about 180 pounds, with brown hair, blue eyes and a dark brown complexion. He was the founder and president of Rowman & Littlefield, a publishing and book distribution company based in Lanham, Maryland. He founded the company and served as its' president until his retirement. He also helped Ellen manage the bookstore. They had two daughters.

Raymond received his undergraduate degree from Ohio University, an M.A. in political science from Seton Hall University and a Ph. D. in political science from The New School. He was a professor of political science and government at Seton Hall University, Touro College and the College of Staten Island.

Raymond was a 37-month Army Air Corps veteran of World War II, serving as a radar operator in the India Burma Theater of Operations.

Ellen was a member of the Millburn Democratic Committee and one of the founders of the Millburn Peace Committee during the 1970's.

In 2001, Raymond and Ellen moved to South Orange. On April 24, 2008, at the age of 79, Ellen died. Raymond followed on December 12, 2009. He was 81. They are buried together at Mount Lebanon Cemetery in Iselin, N.J.

-------- Jack Bogner and Margaret Bittlingmeier --------

When he was 16 years old (around 1918), Jack ran away from home. The family had no word as to his whereabouts until the day Adele and her daughter Julia went to the movies. As was usual in those days, the movie theater also ran "news reels" to show what was happening around the world. There was a World War raging overseas. Much to their shock, there was film of Jack driving a general around in a jeep. Now they knew where he had gone.

By moving to Newark, the Bogners found themselves in the same city as the Murphys, Dyszkiewiczes and Bittlingmeiers. Margaret Bittlingmeier married my grandfather Jacob (Jack) Bogner around 1929. Jack was 5' 6" tall and weighed 160 pounds. He had green-grey eyes, brown hair and a ruddy complexion. He also wore eyeglasses. I remember a story about Jack pulling an injured man from a burning car and singeing his eyes in the process. That's why he had to wear eyeglasses.

Jack and Margaret set up home at 61 Brookdale Avenue in Newark and had two children: my mother Jacqueline Bogner, born October 15, 1933; and Ronald Bogner, born in 1937. Margaret, who was called Margie by the family, was called Nana by me and my siblings, then Gigi when she became a great-grandmother (GG).

Jack worked as a trucker. He owned a trucking business called "Ronnie's Light Delivery", named after his son. My father helped him with the business for a while. In 1940, Jack and Margie were living at 78 Boylan Street in Newark. Neither Jack nor Margie went beyond the 8th grade in school. Two years later, in 1942, they were living at 88 Smith Street in Newark.

Jack and Margie retired to Cliffwood Beach, NJ, not far from my childhood home in Middletown. I remember visiting them as a small child. We, of course, referred to Margie as "Nana".

Jack loved to give us kids change to go to The Sweetshop, a candy and ice cream store near the "pirate ship". He had tattoos on his arms; an Indian head on his left arm, and a picture of Mutt from the "Mutt and Jeff" comic strip on his right arm. Jack loved jewelry, a trait he inherited from his father (and they must have passed it down to me!). When Nana became a great-grandmother, we began calling her "Gigi" (from GG for Great-Grandmother). She had half of her index finger missing, the result, as she told us, from an accident while working in a factory.

Eventually, Jack and Gigi moved to a retirement home at 7-B North Dakota Avenue in Manchester Township, in Ocean County, NJ. They were living there when Jack died at Community Hospital in Toms River on February 16, 1975. He was 72 years old.

I was 20 years old when I found out Gigi had been married twice. You see, I had fallen in love with a divorced man, and my mother, Jackie, was upset when she learned of this. My mother had very controlling ways and very opinionated on how things should be done.

My grandma, Gigi, was a very loving, nurturing person who was more open to acceptance of life’s flaws. So I spoke to her about my situation with my mother and she confided that my grandfather, Jack Bogner, was actually her second husband. Her first husband was a man named Joe Miele, an electrician by trade, who she married at the Mayor's office in Newark on March 8, 1924. Joe was born in Newark on July 12, 1903, the son of Italian immigrants Michael Miele and Felicia Andelino. Besides being an electrician, Joe worked for a drug store in Elizabeth. He was 5' 7" tall, weighed 160 pounds, with brown eyes and hair and a dark complexion. After a few years, the marriage ended in divorce.

Before I had a chance to recover from this amazing revelation, my mother walked in on the conversation and cut it short. She told my grandmother (her mother) that she’d never speak to her if the subject was ever mentioned again.

It was never spoken of again until my grandfather’s wake. My mother and I were at the wake when Joe Miele showed up to pay his respects. It turns out that he knew Jack also. My mom reacted with great anger over this. I was 20 years old but still a child in my mother’s eyes. I was told to leave the room and forbidden to ever mention it again.

I spent years saying to my husband, Larry, that I wish I had more information about my grandmother’s first husband. It wasn’t until our paths crossed with Kathryn and Tom Peters that I was given a great gift; they actually had a copy of the first marriage certificate. Now I have a better understanding of my grandmother, thanks to Kathryn and Tom. It's unfortunate, however, that I have not been able to locate a copy of Margie and Jack's marriage certificate.

On August 28, 1989, 83-year-old Gigi died in Brick, NJ. She was buried with Jack at Graceland Memorial Park in Kenilworth, NJ. Although her birth certificate says she was born January 2, 1906, we always celebrated Gigi's birthday on December 2. On the 1915 New Jersey State Census, her birth date is written as Dec. 1905.

In 1946, Joe Miele became the founder and owner of the Lloyd Drug Company in Elizabeth. He bought a vacation home in Stanhope, New Jersey in 1951 where he spent most summers. In April of 1991, he retired from his drug company. Exactly one week after his 88th birthday, he died at Dover General Hospital on July 19, 1991. At the time, he was survived by his brother Victor Miele. Joe never remarried.

My grandmother continues to amaze me. She was divorced in an era when it was looked down upon. Then she went on to re-marry, this time to a husband of a different religion. Of course, her parents, William A. Bittlingmeier and Anna Bauer, were of different religions, one Protestant, the other Catholic. When Bill and Anna married, they agreed that religion wouldn’t be discussed in the home. Their beliefs were different, yet fundamentally the same.

-------- Madeline M. Bogner and Paul F. McMenamin --------

Madeline M. Bogner married Paul F. McMenamin, a Newark Policeman, on July 21, 1926, in Manhattan, New York. Paul was born in Newark on April 20, 1898, the son of James J. McMenamin and Mary Boettinger. He and his brother Raymond served in the Army in World War I, Paul with the Quartermaster Corps. After the war, Paul followed after his father and became a police officer. He was 5' 11.5" tall, weighed about 185 pounds, with brown eyes and hair, and a light complexion.

Paul and Madeline had three daughters, two of whom were twins. The first daughter, June McMenamin, was born in Newark on June 24, 1927. In 1930, the family was living at 107 Willoughby Street in Newark. On December 18, 1932, the twins, Joanne McMenamin and Jocelyn McMenamin arrived. By 1942, the family was living at 115 Scheerer Avenue in Newark.

June married Albert Finkel in April of 1949. Albert (Al) was born in Newark on October 18, 1917, the son of Jacob Finkel and Dora Katzenelson. He served with the Army Air Corps during World War II. He was 5' 11" tall and weighed 195 pounds. He had blue eyes and blonde hair with a light complexion. He was a manager for a movie theater. June and Al had two daughters and two sons.

June and Al were living in New Haven, Connecticut when he died on April 21, 1987. June was still living in New Haven when she died on April 11, 2010 at the age of 82. They are buried together at Bnai Jacob Memorial Park in New Haven.

Joanne and Jocelyn got married on the same day, in April of 1953. Joanne married Herb Stone. They had a son and two daughters. Jocelyn married Howard Fechtner. Howard was six feet tall, weighing about 170 pounds. He had brown eyes, black hair and a dark complexion. He was born in Newark on May 14, 1928. His parents were John Fechtner and Pauline Winters. Jocelyn and Howard had two sons. One of the sons, Mark Philip Fechtner, was born in New York on January 26, 1961, and was only 33 years old when he died in Los Angeles, California on December 9, 1994. Later, Jocelyn and Howard retired to Florida. Howard was 70 years old when he died in Miami on January 24, 1999.

In 1957, Paul retired from the Police Department and went to work as a mail clerk for the Newark Post Office. We referred to Madeline as "Aunt Mat", although other family members called her "Aunt Mad." I can remember growing up and saying "I want to be just like her." She always smiled, made life a fun game and was a ball of energy.

Paul and Madeline were living at 493 Westminster Road in Union when he died on September 3, 1961 at the age of 62. He is buried with his sister Helen R. (McMenamin) Schaaf at Graceland Memorial Park, next to Jack and Gigi.

Madeline married two more times after Paul died, first to Joseph Edward Hendricks, and later to Richard Arthur McDonald. Joe was an office merchandiser for Phelps Dodge in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where he was also a member of the town's Musician's Association. He was born in Paterson, NJ on November 18, 1903, the son of Joseph P. Hendricks (1881-1938) and Maude Randall (1884- ). He was 5' 7" tall and weighed 160 pounds. He had blue eyes, brown hair and a ruddy complexion. He also had a distinctive scar near the corner of his right eye. Prior to his marriage to Madeline, he was married to Ruth Geddes. After she died in 1967, he married Madeline in October of 1968. Madeline was 64 at the time. Joe retired and they moved to Brick Township, New Jersey. They were living there at 143 John Street when he died at Point Pleasant Hospital on December 26, 1972. He was buried with his first wife Ruth at Rosedale Cemetery in Linden, NJ.

Madeline's third husband Richard McDonald was born February 26, 1902 in Newark. He was a roofer who worked for Essex County, retiring in 1972. He was 5' 3" tall and weighed 150 pounds. He had blue eyes and brown hair, with a ruddy complexion. Madeline was 70 years old when she married Richard in August of 1975. He and Madeline lived in Lavallette, New Jersey before moving to Florida in 1981. He was 84 when he died in Boynton Beach, Florida on October 8, 1986, one day before Madeline's 82nd birthday. He was buried at Saint Catherine's Cemetery in Sea Girt, New Jersey.

Madeline died June 26, 1998 in Miami, Florida, at the age of 93. She is buried somewhere in Florida.

-------- Julia Bogner and Harry Kesselhaut / Henry Bogner and Rita Kesselhaut --------

Julia and Henry Bogner married the Kesselhaut siblings, Harry and Rita.

Harry and Rita's parents were Abraham (Abe) and Augusta (Gussie) Kesselhaut, who lived at 90 Howard Street in Newark, and later at 22 East Alpine Street. Gussie was born in Austria and arrived in America in 1892. Abe, also born in Austria, arrived here in 1900. Other documents say they were born in Poland. They were married in Newark around 1902.

Julia Bogner married Harry Kesselhaut in 1933. Harry was born in Newark on July 30, 1907. He had brown eyes and black hair, with a dark complexion. The couple lived in Newark and raised two children, a daughter Gail Kesselhaut and a son Alan Kesselhaut. In 1935, they were renting an apartment at 269 Schley Street in Newark. Max and Adele were living with them. At the time, Harry was working quite successfully as a salesman for Davega Shops, in downtown Newark. The company sold radios, electronic items and eventually sporting goods.

Sometime later, they became the owners of Gem Appliance and Gift Company for 35 years in Newark. Harry was a member of two lodges of the Free & Accepted Masons, the Composite Lodge in Newark and the Diogenes Lodge in South Orange. Like her mother, Julia was a member of Deborah of Newark. She was also a member of the Seymour Feldman Leukemia Foundation of Essex County.

In 1968, Julia and Harry moved to the nearby town of Union, NJ, at 816 Inwood Road. On March 16, 1981, Harry died at the New York University Medical Center. He was 73. Julia was 91 when she died at Union Hospital on February 6, 1999. At the time of her death, she had 9 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.

Julia and Harry were buried together at Mt. Lebanon Jewish Cemetery in Iselin, NJ, where William and Frances were buried.

Henry Bogner and Rita Kesselhaut were married on June 2, 1936 in Suffern, New York. They had one son and lived in Newark before moving to Union. Henry served in the Army during World War II. He was 5' 10" tall, weighed 195 pounds and had brown eyes, black hair and a dark complexion. He also had a mole on his upper right cheek. After the war, Henry worked for the Apollo Distributing Company. Later, he was a manufacturer's representative, handling several appliance lines. After that, he was a salesman for Martin Rothman Electric in Hackensack. He was also master of both the Diogenes and Composite Lodges of the Free & Accepted Masons in Irvington, commander of the Charles Cushing Post in Newark, and a member of B'nai B'rith and the Jewish War Veterans of Freehold, NJ. Henry died on January 25, 1981 at their home at 255 Tucker Avenue in Union. He was 69 years old. On December 21, 1999, Rita died at the age of 89. They are buried together at Mt. Lebanon Jewish Cemetery in Iselin, NJ.

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