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Katz Family from Smorgon and Greater Vilnius Area

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Katz and Blanc
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  • Bernie Joseph Katz (c.1904 - 1990)
  • Louis B. Katz (c.1901 - 1988)
  • Maurice Moses Katz (1889 - 1919)
  • Bernie Katz (1909 - 1992)
  • Mel Blanc (1908 - 1989)
    Mel Blanc (May 30, 1908 – July 10, 1989) is best remembered for his work with Warner Bros. during the "Golden Age of American animation" (and later for Hanna-Barbera television productions) as...

Nachum "Nolan" Katz and his wife, Leah "Laura" Golemba, and younger brother, Joseph Katz, came to the US in 1882 along with a group of Jewish immigrants to establish a farming cooperative in Bismarck, North Dakota, under the sponsorship of the Baron de Hirsch and the leadership of Rabbi Judah Weschler.

Nolan and Laura's descendants included Mel Blanc, "The Man of 1000 Voices"; Joseph Bernard "Bernie" Katz, a professional piano player and musical director during the Golden Age of Radio; and Louis Katz, an inventor.

  • The family was Cohanim, based on oral tradition and verified by DNA testing.

Nachum and Leah were found in the 1874 Revision list living in Smorgon, Belarus, a shtetl that was part of both the Vilna and Grodno Gubernia at different points in history.