Notes for RACHMIEL "AVRUM" KAMPOL:
Son of ? and ?.
Born: Unknown in Ostrowiec Swietokrzyski, Swietokryski, Poland, Russia.
Died: Unknown in Unknown.
Married: (1) Zelda ? about 1865 in Unknown.
(2) Mindel "Minnie" Goldsznayder after 1865 in Unknown.
Biography of the Campol Family related by Max Bloom, and Rose Schwartz (Compiled by Howard Bloom in 1980)
Poland had been a flourishing medieval kingdom in eastern Europe, but it he ventually became the target of political rivalries between the Prussian Hohenzollern Frederick the Great, the austrian Hapsburg Maria Theresa and the Russian Romanov Peter the Great. In a series of partitions that started in 1772, Poland was gradually dismembered, and was eventually completely eradicated by the partition of 1795. As a result of this final treaty, the western part of the country was awarded to Prussia, the eastern part was awarded to Russia, and the southern part was awarded to Austria. This latter section included the cities of Tarnopol, Lemberg and Halicz, and it was from a corruption orf the name of the latter city, that this new province of Austria became known as Galicia. A few years later during the Napoleonic campaigns against these countries, a miniture Polish state known as the Duchy of Warsaw was reestablished from some of these conquered lands, and it remained under French control. But after Napoleon as defeated, the Congress of Vienna awarded this remnant of Poland to Tsar Alexander I in 1815, and he subsequently assumed the title of King of Poland. The Poles however, were constantly engaged in a struggle for independence. After an uprising against the Russians failed in 1863, Alexander II completely annexed the Kingdom of Poland, incorporated it as a province of Russia, and instituted a Russification program into the civil service, and into the educational and judicial systems, so that all further records from this point onwards were maintained in Russian rather than in Polish. There was constant hostility between the Polish nationals and Russian occupiers, and both factions made life uncomfortable for the Jews who lived in their ghettos in these lands.
It was into this atmosphere that Itzhak Campol (Kampol or Kempel) was born about 1865 in Ostrowiec Swietokrzyski (Holy cross) in the Gobirne or Russian province of Radom. He was the only child of Rachmiel Kampel and Zelda (last name unknown), and the exact details of Itzhak's birthdate are not known. when Zelda died shortly thereafter, Rachmiel married Mindel (last name unknown), and had three further children, Yakel (Jacob) who married Tzirel Rotblym and migrated to Toronto Ontario, Fraidel who married Shlomo (last name unknown), and migrated to Memphis Tennessee, and Rivkah who married Isaac Sherman and migrated to Omaha Nebraska.
Ostrowiec was a city in south central Poland, located on the Kamienna River about 30 kilometers southeast and downstream from Wierzbnik-Starachowice. It contained a steel factory which produced railway cars and locomotiv es and employed about 10,000 people, including only a small number of Jews. Most of the Jews of Ostrowiec were either shoemakers, tailors, water carriers or merchants, and Itzhak and his father-in-law Velvel Mutzmacher were both tailors, while Yakel Campol was a water carrier. In 1910, the city contained about 18,000 Jews, but with the subsequent emigrations, the Jewish population fell to a level of 10,000 out of a total population of 26,000 in 1931.
Chava Mutzmacher was also born in Ostrowiec in about 1868. she was the second oldest child of Velvel Mutzmacher and Devorah (last name unknown), and had an older sister Rivkah who married Herschel Berkofsky who was also a tailor that migrated to Toronto Ontario. She also had a younger sister Mashel who married David Eisenberg, a shoemaker from Bozecym and they h ad 2 children, a daughter Blima who died in Europe, and a son Yosel who mi grated to either New York or Brasil. Chava also had a younger brother Menachem Mendel who married Sarah Rivkah Fleishman. Although this couple remained in Europe to die during World War II, their children emigrated to Toronto Ontario.
Few details are known about Chava's grandparents, except that Rose Schwartz recalls that Chava's paternal grandfather was Cheil Lazr Mutzmacher and that Velvel had a brother named Leibish Mutzmacher who may have been the grandfather of the Mendel Muchmaker who married Menachem Mendel's daughter Brandel or Bessie. Itzhak Campol married Chava Mutzmacher in Ostrowiec, and raised a family of 5 children. The oldest, a son Jacob was born about 1886, possibly on May 25, Ysrul Chiel (Sam) was born in either 1890 or 1893, possibly on November 15, Zelda (Sadie) was born in 1895, Roisa (Rose) was born on July 1, 1902, and Sura Bleema (Sara) was born on December 15, 1905.
We do not know whether Itzhak was conscripted into the Russian army, but Yakel Campol was drafted, and after serving a 2 1/2 year term of duty, he was demobilized and married Tzirel Rotblum who gave birth to 4 sons Itche ( Irving), Leib (Lou), Chaim (Howard), Yosel (Joe). She managed to earn so me income as a wet nurse and thereby helped sustain the Campol family from becoming paupers.
In the early 1900's, a massive Jewish emigration occurred from Poland in an attempt to achieve a better standard of living, and to avoid individual conscription into the Tsarist armies. This was intensified after the 1905 revolution against Tsar Nicholas II failed. Itzhak's brother-in-law Herschel Berkofsky was the first of the family to leave Poland and emigrate to Toronto Canada, where he became a fashion designer in the women's clothing idustry. Itzhak emigrated shortly thereafter in 1905, and became a tailor in Toronto, and Yakel followed later and became a presser. During their early years in Canada, Itzhak and Herschel became founding mem bers of the Ostrovtzer Congregation which was assembled for the first time in 1908 at the home of Leibish Zuckerman on Elizabeth St. After several moves to various locations on Center Ave. and Bay St., this group of recent immigrants was finally able to purchase a church at 58 Cecil St. for $20,000.00, and to convert it into the Ostrovtzer Synagogue. Both these men remained active in the synagogue for a short while, but in 1911 word reached Itzhak that his son Ysrul Chiel had left Poland to avoid being conscripted into the Russian army, and that he had fled to London England to live with a friend of the Campol family by the name of Yukel Smolner. In 1911 Itzhak returned to Poland to attend his son Jacob's wedding to Rivkah Tureck in Ostrowiec, and enroute he stopped in London to bring his son Ysrul Chiel back to Ostrowiec.
After remaining in Poland for about one year, Itzah decided to return to Canada and to bring his family along with him. Chava however would not leave her sick mother Devorah behind in Poland, and refused to accompany her husband. After 46 years, Itzhak therefore returned to Canada without his wife on May 3, 1912 as a landed immigrant aboard the S.S. Lake Michigan, a few weeks after the Titanic had sunk in the North Atlantic Ocean. He brought along his daughter Zelda, and his sister-in-law Rivkah Berkofsky whom he passed off as his wife for immigration purposes. Rivkah's husband Herschel Barkofsky had been a bit of a playboy, and hadn't wanted to bring his wife over to Canada from Poland. She had however become aware of her husband's activities, and had insisted on coming to Canada with Itzhak and she also brought along 3 of her own children, Ysrul Meyer (Max), Gertie, and Ruchel (Ray). (Copies of the original immigration records would not be released by Canada Immigration Center, but they did forward a letter stating the details of Itzhak's arrival. Unforunately the writing was probably not too legible and Rivkah was read as Rionke, Zelda was read as Felde, Gertie was read as Fonte with only Ysrul (Israel) and Ruchel being accurate.) Itzhak continued his occupation as tailor, while his daugher Zelda was introduced to the tailor trade by working as a hand sewing and finishing operator for Randall Johnston on Wellington Street and later for Cohen Tailors. In 1914 she married Max Bloom whom she had previously met as a child in Ostrowiec, and further details of her subsequent life may be obtained from Max Bloom's biography.