Latest news:

January 10, 2011:
Individual pages for children of David and Raytzel Bellman are now being coordinated. Samuel Issac Bellman is the first to be highlighted with a in-depth history of his life. If you have material to contribute for other offspring, such as photos or stories, please let us know!

August 12, 2010:
New documents are now online. Click the Documents button above to view.

July 23, 2009:
We note with sorrow the passing of Samuel Irving Bellman, son of Max and Bessie (Levenson) Bellman, husband of Jeanne Lisker Bellman, in Claremont, California. An obituary from the Los Angeles Times is here.

Nov 11, 2007:
Mariampol, Lithuania birth record (in Russian) for Rachel (Rae) Bellman, daughter of David Jacob Beilman and Raytzel Markson, January 1890. View record here.

July 14, 2007:
Corran Bellman's bar mitzvah is today! Photos coming soon. Check out Corran's bar mitzvah page.


Leanore Mendelsohn, Deanna Bellman Kasten and Ethel Bellman Robbins Schwartz have provided the principal research for this family history. Other sources include census, immigration, and vital records. To add or correct any information please contact the webmaster.


Ellis Island online
Castle Garden immigration
Cyndi's List genealogy resources

Last update:

January 10, 2011

Samuel Isaac Bellman

Samuel Beilmann (as his name was spelled on his emigration manifest) was born on either February or April 25, 1888 in Sakiai, Mariampol, Lithuania -- both months appear in vital records. He emigrated via Galveston and it's notable that he was the only one of his family to use the original spelling of his surname at the time of his arrival in the United States.

Samuel was eighteen when he emigrated, leaving behind his widowed mother and seven siblings, almost all of whom were to follow in subsequent years. Sam arrived in the USA on September 13, 1906 on the S.S. Frankfort. From the port of Galveston he made his way to to La Mesa, New Mexico, where (as his granddaughter recalls) Sam ran a business "with a house behind the business and a cow behind that."

Sam's wife was Helen Krupp, also born in 1888, who emigrated to the USA in 1911. There were a number of Krupps in New York and El Paso already, working as merchants and dry-goods purveyors. One of Helen's more illustrious cousins was an oil magnate in El Paso, Haymon Krupp, whose accomplishments are highlighted in Hollace Ava Weiner's and Kenneth Roseman's 2007 book "Lone Star of David: the Jews of Texas."

Sam and Helen were married in 1912, owning and operating a general store in El Paso. As with many immigrant eldest siblings, he spent the next several years working to bring his brothers and sisters to America. With the exception of Benjamin (younger brother Max's twin), who died in Lithuania, everyone made it safely to the USA, including Sam's widowed mother Raytzel.

In addition to Sam's successful business, he was known for his philanthropic nature, making personal loans to local entrepreneurs who wanted to set up businesses of their own. At home, Helen was remembered fondly for her culinary skills. A true "Balabusta," her specialties included mushroom-barley soup and gefilte fish made from scratch. Holiday meals were definitely a special treat, her granddaughter remembers. Sam and Helen would invite servicemen stationed in El Paso who were at holiday services and had no place else to go.

Sam died in 1961, Helen in 1962, and both are remembered with great reverence by their children and grandchildren.

Pictured above: Helen and Sam Bellman in their later years.