Abe Rothback

New York, Bronx, New York, United States

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Abe Rothback

Birthdate: (89)
Birthplace: Zaliscziky, Austria
Death: November 10, 1978 (89)
New York, Bronx, New York, United States
Place of Burial: Saddle Brook, Bergen, New Jersey, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Isaac Rothback and Sophie Rothback
Husband of Minnie Rothback
Father of Doris R Cayton and Morton Roberts
Brother of Mary Gomberg; Nettie Rothback and Jenny Rothback

Managed by: Larry Dantus
Last Updated:

About Abe Rothback

From Trish Cayton...

Abe Rothback

Born Oct 30, 1889 – Died November 10, l978

Is Brian Cayton’s Grandfather (his mother’s father)

Thus, he is Vanessa and Gabrielle’s GREAT Grandfather on their father’s side.

             Abe Rothback was Doris Cayton’s (who married Bill Cayton) father.
                                         He was from Bucharest, Romania.

Special qualities:

He was a man of dignity, charm, usefulness, humor, intelligence and responsibility.

Devoted husband of Minnie Rothback for 53 years. His daughter Doris says he was a man who could be depended upon. He didn’t have to be asked for help. When he saw it was needed his help was there.

Abe Rothback’s oldest memory

“Picking snails along the banks of the Danube”, not far from the Black Sea.

He sold the snails to people in the City who considered them a delicacy.

Abe remembers he often had no shoes or when he did he had to put cardboard in the shoes to keep the rain out.

Abe said they had no water in the house. No well. Every few days a man would pass by with his horse carrying water in buckets strapped across the saddle. He would yell “Water! Water!” And for a few pennies the townspeople would buy pitchers of water.

Abe said his mother was a great cook. He remember how delicious her soups were. But most of all he remembers eating the watermelons that grew in town. And Sauerkraut. And mamiliga (Jewish kind of noodle dish).

Abe Rothback said he used to deliver packages for his mother’s brother, Uncle Shampson, “often to the Palace”! He said Shampson was a fine tailor, but a stingy man.

When his mother Sophie had to borrow money for food, from her brother Shampson, he made her wrap her brass candlesticks in a napkin and leave them with Shampson until she repaid the money.

Shampson came to America and became “rich”. They felt he was rich because he owned a house on Ocean Ave in B’klyn. Doris Cayton and her brother Morton visited their Grandmother Sophie’s brother (Uncle Sampson) and his wife Hinda (referred to as a real “balebooster”) sometimes, but said he was “withdrawn”. They had 5 children. It is said Sampson became more and more withdrawn and stopped speaking to everyone, including his family. And finally jumped from a window. His wife was so upset, she had a stroke and became totally paralyzed and lived that way for years.

Abe Rothback left Romania in December l904 and went to Austria to a small town called

Zalitchicki because of the Pogroms. Abe says the Turks were wild.

He said his father would come rushing home and they would drape black cloths on the windows so the house would be dark, and they would tremble in the cellar as the Turks came galloping by on their horses.

Abe’s father decided to come to America because he couldn’t earn a living in Austria. Before he left, his father arranged to have him barmitzvared. The Rabbi gave him “lucky money.” (Paper money that looks like a dollar bill). He had it all his life. Trish now has it.

Abe said they could only take a couple of suitcases and had to leave what little they had behind. His parents, and the 4 children, took a train to Vienna…but had to stay overnight. In those days people going to America had to stay overnight in Vienna before continuing the journey to Rotterdam or Trieste. It cost 50 cents and they could either afford a bed or a meal. The beds were boards, the meals were soup. They were all so hungry, they took the meal and sat up all night to get the boat “The Zealand”. The boat arrived in America on Jan. 9, 1905.

Abe said the trip was miserable. Steerage meals were herring, stale bread, rotten water. The herring made them thirsty and they couldn’t drink the water. Abe said he would sneak up to First class and steal some decent food because his mother had a delicate stomach.

Abe Rothback said his father worked very hard in America. Night and Day. He opened a tailor shop in Harlem (beautiful then) and had a pretty good apartment. They all learned to read and write English. Abe got a job working for a millinery factory and then his father arranged for him to be an “apprentice cutter” which became his trade. He was soon making $3.00 a week at J. Bernstein, a dress contractor. Abe said his boss was very kind because he paid him when he was too sick with Meniere’s Disease and couldn’t work for awhile.

Abe Rothback was a tailor who became a great “Pattern Cutter.” He worked for twenty years, his last job, at the very, then, famous, Molie Parnis Dress Company (The Ralph Lauren of her day).

His mother:

His mother was Sophie Hackmeyer Rothback Died at 86. (1860 to Aug 4, l946)

Her mother’s name was Dora Hackmeyer. She had two children – Sophie and Shampson

His father:

Abe Rothback said his father, Isaac (Born l859 and died May 2, l927)

died 10 years after suffering a stroke, was a tailor also.

He was a very quiet, gentle man (like Abe).

Abe Rothback said his father’s father was a carpenter. He remembers he used to sell “mandlebrot” (almond bread cookies) in town.

Doris Cayton said that in old pictures, Abe looks exactly like his father Isaac and

Morton (her brother, born April l925.Died August 14, 2007), Abe’s son, looks exactly like Abe and Issaac.


Abe Rothback had older sister Jenny who died at 21 in the Flu Epidemic of l921.

Abe had another sister Mary and another one Nettie. Mary married a wonderful man, Iz (had daughter Doris) with a crippled leg, but no one noticed because he was so intelligent and so devoted to her, everyone loved him; and he let his wife Mary’s sister Nettie, who never married, live with them all their lives.

Doris married Maurice Noble and had 3 children.

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Abe Rothback's Timeline

October 30, 1889
Zaliscziky, Austria
September 16, 1921
Age 31
New York, New York, United States
April 14, 1925
Age 35