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The Massachusetts Seligmans

Frieda Seligman Nelson was a true free spirit. Educated in Russia by a private tutor engaged by her grandfather, she graduated from nursing school in the U.S. and was known for her left-wing politics.


hatzkel Seligman’s sons headed for Massachusetts, and his daughters for New York. And his wife Michla Reisel took her two children by Zusia Sorin (1852-1928), her second spouse, to join the sons.

The sons went to work  in the shoe industry in Worcester and later opened grocery stores. Sam (1882-1965) had three children with wife Esther Sinovitz (1884-1935). Isadore (1891-1977) also had two with wife Sadie Cohen (1891-1972) .

Daughter Esther (1884-1909) lived a tragically short life. The first to emigrate, she married Nathan Hallen (1880-1969) and bore a son and a daughter who died of smallpox at age two. Esther died soon after.

Daughter Frieda (1890-1981) emigrated in 1907. With husband Rubin Nelson (1889-1966), a scion of the Bobruisk Katzenelson family, she lived in the Bronx's Sholem Aleichem co-op for 21 years. At age 77, Frieda returned to Russia for a visit.