Surname Saturday 2.0: The Kresches

The Kresch Family

While both sides of my family tree on my paternal grandfather's side are sparse, the Kresch/Reich side is even less well-known to me than the Seneft/Hillinger side. In fact, until my grandmother died in 2010, I had no information about them at all aside from names. Not even dates. And then, only my great-grandmother and her parents, not any of her other family. I blame myself. My grandfather was difficult to talk to, and while he knew more than I about her family, it was hard to ask the questions most of the time. I do still have three of his sisters on that side, and should try to write them before it's too late to ask them, too. If it isn't already.

What I do know is that my great-grandmother, Dora Kresch, was born in Czudek, Galicia (now a part of southern Poland) in 1892. Her parents were Benzion and Feige Golda (not sure if she went by one or the other or both) Kresch. I know she had at least a few siblings, but I only have a name for one, Minna, whom I know was still alive and in the US in the late 1940s. I know little else about her aside from the fact that she traveled with Dora to Frankfurt in the late 19-teens after the Great War ended.

I know that Benzion was a teacher according to the record-book of the Hillingers, and I believe he settled in Czudek with his wife and they raised their family there until his death. I have no date for it, but I assume it happened around the same time the girls left the town. Feige Golda eventually came to Frankfurt as well to live near her daughters, and died there in the late 1920s.

Dora met Alex Hillinger there, and the two settled in Frankfurt and raised six children there until they left in the early 1930s.

After arriving in America, Alex suffered a stroke, and Dora became the primary breadwinner of the family, working in schools and hospitals as a cook. She lost Alex in 1948, but lived until 1969, and died surrounded by her daughters' families. Alex and Dora's descendants live in the Chicago and Seattle areas today.

My Kresch line, for those interested:

        Benzion Kresch married Fiege Golda Reich sometime before 1892. The couple had at least three children, though I have names of only two, Dora and Minna. (update: And apparently a brother named Naftali Mendel, who likely went by Mendel) According to one of my father's cousins, there were at least four, possibly five siblings, and at least one was a brother, who left the area around World War II and settled in Lima, Peru, where he had at least one child, a daughter.
        Dora and Minna settled in Frankfurt after World War I, where Dora met and married Alex Hillinger. The couple had six children there: Ben (named for Dora's father), Mina (named for Dora's sister), Sammi (later Sam), Helena, Hilda (commonly known as Peppi), and Selma. In 1933, things became too difficult for the Hillingers in Frankfurt, so they left, seeking asylum in Paris for about a year before coming to the US. They moved first to Tennessee, then to Arkansas, and finally to Chicago, Illinois, where the family still lives today.
o       Ben served in the army during the war (I believe—correct me if I'm wrong here, folks), then moved from place to place before finally settling in California. To date, I have at least three marriages for him: one in Chicago, one in Nevada, and the final in California to the woman he was married to when he died.
o       Mina married and the couple had two daughters, who had five children between them, and there are even two in the next generation.
o       Sam served in the army as well before he met and married my grandmother in 1948, and the two had four children and six grandchildren, and the next generation is about to give them their fourth great-grandchild. We all live in the greater Seattle area today.
o       Helena married and had one son before her death in 1953. Her line ended with her son.
o       Peppi married and had three sons, and between those three, she has six grandchildren.
o       Selma married and had four girls, who have a total of ten children between them. After the death of her first husband, she remarried, and the couple now make their home in Israel.

What I don't know:

* Where Benzion was born or died. I have no records on him at all aside from his daughter's family book with her husband. I do know that he was dead by the time she married, as he was not listed on the invitation as presenting the couple.

* How many siblings Dora had, or what their names were (update: shortly before posting this, I found one more sibling for Dora—Naftali Mendel, who ended up in South America with at least part of his family as the war started in Europe, see the brother mentioned immediately after this), or where they ended up. Obviously Minna and one of their brothers survived, but I know little else beyond that. I'd love to know when she came to the US, and when he left, and even where he left from. I'd also love to hear any other stories, though I have a horrible sinking feeling that I know how the rest of them will go, given that they were Jewish.

* Also, I'd love to learn more about Czudek in general. I know it was located fairly near Rzeszow, which is just to the north and east of the town. I have a speculation that Benzion might have gone there for schooling, but that's only based on the fact that he was a teacher, so it's not based on anything solid, unfortunately.

Other information about this branch of the family:
Brick Wall Posts -
        Brick Wall Update
        Brick Wall Update 2012
Old Surname Posts
Where We're From Posts
        Where We're From – Germany
        Where We're From – Galicia
Other -


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About this blog

This blog is maintained by two sisters who have had a life long interest in geneology.
Mika writes here mostly about our family (Hansen, Hillinger, Bordewick, Park, etc), and her search for more information.
Shannon mostly uses this space as a place to make the many stories written about and by her husband's family (Holly, Walker, Walpole, etc) available to the rest of the family, present and future.

Our blog is named Oh Spusch! mostly because Shannon is bad at naming things. The first post I put up includes a story about the time Walker's great grandfather took his whole family out to see a play and the littlest kept saying "Oh! Spusch!" No one ever figured out what she meant by that.