Family Friday: Yetta Spiegel Glicker

Yetta was born on August 12, 1895, in Russia. She was known by her Yiddish name Etel. Her parents were Benjamin Spiegel and Fannie “Feiga” Shechtman Spiegel (see Spiegel Family Outline). Records list Kiev as her birthplace. She most likely lived in the nearby shtetl Pavalitch since few Jews were allowed to reside in the city of Kiev at the time. In 1906, when Yetta was 11 years old, events in Russia resulted in pogroms throughout the area known as the Pale of Settlement. According to a family story, Cossacks attacked the shtetl. Yetta and her family fled for their lives.

Article captioned Fleeing from Russia, Immigrants Arrive

Philadelphia Inquirer, August 20, 1906, page 14, column 2

Yetta traveled with her parents Benjamin and Fannie  Spiegel to London and Liverpool, England where she boarded the SS Westernland.  With Yetta were her younger siblings Tillie (Yiddish name: Teme), Irving (Israel), Jack (Jacob), and Harry (Aaron). The ship manifest for their voyage shows that on Sunday, August 19, 1906 she arrived in the port of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This is the ship arrival discussed in the article shown above.


The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Immigration Records, Special Boards of Inquiry shows more detail about their trip. When their ship landed, Yetta’s family was detained by Immigration Inspectors at the Immigrant Station while Tillie was sent to Philadelphia Hospital with an infected finger. When Tillie was discharged from the hospital, Yetta and her family continued their journey by rail to New York City.

A 1910 census record shows that Yetta lived with her family in East New York, Brooklyn at 321 Georgia Avenue. The family included Yetta; her parents Benjamin and Fannie Spiegel; and her siblings Tillie, Irving, Jack, Harry, Murray, and Dora. Yetta, not yet 15 years old, was working in a tailor shop while her four oldest siblings attended school. While the census record states that Yetta could read and write, the reality was quite different. Yetta remained illiterate throughout her life. She was unable to read or write in English or in her native tongue, Yiddish. It is likely Yetta never attended school, like so many girls at that time who were the oldest in a large family.

1910 Census Record for Spiegel family

1910 U.S. Census record for Spiegel family

In 1911, Yetta’s sister Minnie was born and now she had a total of seven siblings. By 1913, Yetta was living with her family at 341 Georgia Avenue. Living in the same apartment building as Yetta was a young man from Yedinitz, Bessarabia by the name of Sam Glicker. Both Sam and one of his brothers vied for Yetta’s hand in marriage. Yetta chose Sam and she became his wife on February 7, 1914.

To be continued – Sam and Yetta Glicker



Spiegel family, Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1883-1945. National Archives, Washington, D.C., Roll:T840_53; List O, Line: 15 to 21.

“Reports of the Immigration Commission: Emigration conditions in Europe”, United States. Immigration Commission (1907-1910), William Paul Dillingham, Govt. Print. Off., 1911

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Immigration Records, Special Boards of Inquiry, 1893-1909, Volume 37 Jul 9, 1906 – Aug 25, 1906, Westernland (Accessed 12/23/2012 at

Jacob Black, Certiicate 82896, September 4, 1906. Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (Accessed March 2, 2015 at

Spiegel family, 1910 United States Federal Census, Brooklyn Ward 26, Kings, New York, Roll: T624_977, Sheet: 29A; Enumeration District: 0792, Image:1078, FHL microfilm:1374990.

Benj. Spigel, 1912 Brooklyn Directory (Accessed Sept. 12, 2012 at

Samuel Glicker, living at 341 Georgia Avenue, Declaration of Intent #30838, April 23, 1913.

Samuel Glicker and Esther Spiegel, State of New York Certificate and Record of Marriage, The City of New York Department of Health, Certificate #1991, February 7, 1914.


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