I am new to this site and genealogy. I know very little about my family and it was not big. To my knowledge, all four of my grandparents escaped pogroms in Lithuania about 1907, coming to the United States in steerage. I presume that they went through Ellis Island, but I have never heard anyone talk about that. I don't think that any of them knew each other before they got to the United States, but I'm under the impression that they grew up not far from each other. How or why they settled in Pittsburgh, I have no idea. My parents and my father's parents, Casper and Celia Winer Mervis(Murvitz, Mirvitz)headed to New Orleans during or soon after the depression selling aluminum siding as far as I know. Probably any spelling of Mervis is related. As I have traveled, I have always looked in the phone books of larger cities. There have been very few Mervises of any of the above spellings. My father was an only child. He always said that we were related to David Selznik somehow and to a famous rabbi in Russia.
My mother also has a small family, but does have siblings. She spells her last name Akerman, but other members of her extended family use Ackerman. I don't know her mother's maiden name. She died very young and my grandfather remarried then he died in the 50's. I will find out more at the Mervis/Murison family reunion in New Orleans at Thanksgiving '99.