David Brener:

My interest is in the WOLKENSTEIN family who  came from Czernowitz.

Two brothers emigrated to the US. Ernest  Wolkenstein (1889-1978) arrived in NYC in 1905. He married and moved with his  young family to Detroit and then returned to NYC after 1930. He was an executive  in the cigar industry. In 1919he legally changed his name to WOLTON.

About  1912, he married Mildred Adler daughter of Jacob and Rosa Botte Adler. There  were three children to the union whose surnames were Wolton: Howard, Richard and  Eleanor. I know little about the children.

Brother Jean Wolkenstein  (1889-1937) was quite a bit more colorful and mysterious. He came to the US in  1905 using his younger brother's  first name.  He married Lily Adler a sister of  Mildred about 1908. He made three trips back to Europe between 1910 and 1920. At  various times he claimed to be the President of a Railroad, manager of a steel  mill, stockbroker etc.

He was associated with several companies post WW  I. (Chayes Dental Instrument; Standard Radium Corporation and Julius Schmid Inc,  drug importers.)  He was apparently rather wealthy and continued to pretend  to be after he lost his fortune after the crash. He never became a citizen.  There are more stories and inconsistencies about him.

He changed his  name to John Van Wolkenten sometime in the 1920s. He had a son Raymond who  retained the Van Wolkenten name. A lawyer, he was a career officer in the Navy.  He also had twins Walter and Helene who used the WOLTON surname. Walter, with  Ernest help, became a executive with  Consolidated Cigar and lived his life in  NYC. He married Helen LEVY of Lancaster, PA, no children. Helene never married  and lived in NYC.

My relationship is non blood. Jean (John) and Lily  separated around 1930. She married my grandfather Joseph Jacobs (born NYC) who  was a widower. He had married Irene Levy of Lancaster, PA. She was the daughter  of Morris and Carrie HOFFMAN Levy. Lily was my step-grandmother. The Helen Levy  above was Irene's niece.

Jean (John) did remarry a much younger gal,  Alice Lee HOARY from a long time Irish family in NYC. When widowed in 1937, she  apparently did not re-marry and died a Van Wolkenten in 1986.

Of course,  for those interested, I have details of the above.

I hope to learn more  about the Wolkenstein roots. I do not know anything about Jean and Ernest's  parents or if they had siblings. Jean's son Walter would never talk about his  father. There were even rumors who was some kind of German agent. Both he and  Ernest were living in Berlin prior to emigrating.

Thanks for allowing me  to join the group.

David Brener, Fargo, ND