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The last member of our family to carry the Mazasitisz name sadly passed away in 2015


Dorothy May Mazasitisz became Dorothy May Powell then Dorothy May Wallace during the first World War
See the WW1 Vegetarian section click to view

After the 1920's she was known as Dorothy Bird

She was born in 19 Chatham Street just off the Tower Bridge Road behind the London Docks in one of the multi occupancy terrace houses.

Name: Dorothy May Powell
Record Type: Baptism
Estimated Birth Date: abt 1895
Baptism Date: 22 May 1895
Father's Name: Alexander Powell
Mother's Name: Lilian Powell
Parish or Poor Law Union: Walworth Lady Margaret Church
Borough: Southwark

ON THE 1901 CENSUS HER MOTHER WAS LISTED AS EMILY E ( a sick monthly nurse )

Name: Dorothy M Powell
Age: 6
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1895
Relation: Daughter
Father's Name: Alexander Powell
Mother's Name: Emily E Powell
Gender: Female
Where born: Walworth, London, England
Civil parish: Battersea
Ecclesiastical parish: All Saints
County/Island: London
Country: England

Dorothy's Baptism record

Dorothy's Baptism record
Parents Alexander and Lilian
On her birth certificate Alexander and Florence Lillian...

A Florence Dunn was living at 63 Chatham Street ( just along the road from no 19 ) in 1891 aged 10 her father was a Portmanteau Manufacturer
In 1901 she was still listed as single and living with her parents working with her father in the leather business

No marriage recorded


From a conversation with one of her sons in 2003:

The name is Lithuanian, mother's forbears were a circus family, Powell's Circus, they emigrated with hundreds of others on ships to America, the families became split up and some landed in England. For years we had no idea we carried the name, we were never shown our birth certificates, it was only when we were called up in WW2 that we realised it was on our certificates, we were grown up by then so consequently never used it. We had no idea that Norman also carried the name I must admit he was always mother's favourite !
There was confusion when we were in service as my brother and I were both R Mazastitsz Wallace BIRD, I therefore changed my surname to BYRD and wanted to revert back when we were de-mobbed, but was unable as our demob papers had already been registered and printed, so it stuck


The only link we can find with anything that resembles the Mazasitisz name to view

Janice was always told the name was Jewish by her father
Hence the family embarassment....

We are now receiving help to research the name from Victor in Russia who has provided us with information on the Slomes/Fortas family and their Jewish connections after contacting this site.

"The first problem is in what mode is pronounced that surname? In Polish sz is read as sh in English, and in Hungarian sz is read as s, but s is read as sh.
The great majority of Jews when translated your surnames to English used Polish-German mode, not Hungarian.
A lot of Jewish surnames are constructed in German (and Yiddish) mode from two separate words such as Bernstein, Goldwasser and so on. I think that your surname is constructed analogously, the first word (Maza) means matzoth.
I'll will try some possibilities to solve this problem." Victor.

Two similar surnames found on the New York census sheets of Russian immigrants are
Masajtis and Mazeztz - both possible matches.

Plus Majejowitz - a family who emigrated from Eastern Europe - the 'j' pronounced as 'z'

Matzah (Hebrew: ), also spelled Matza, Matzoh, Matzo, Matsah, Matsa, and Matze, is a cracker-like unleavened bread made of white plain flour and water. The dough is pricked in several places and not allowed to rise before or during baking, thereby producing a hard flatbread. It is the substitute for bread during the Jewish holiday of Passover

When Eastern European immigrants arrived in New York often their last name was unpronounceable and a priest at immigration services would tell them to change their surname to one that was easy for the new arrivals to use. Hence Powell....

Chatham Street Today

Chatham Street Today

Oskar Teichmann 30 Surgeon MRCS
Edith Teichmann 34
Dorothy Powell 16 Domestic Servant

Living in 5 rooms The Village Aldermaston Reading Berks, next door to the Co-op stores

No trace of Alexender Powell on the 1911 Census or a recorded death from 1901

See Dorothy Harry and Gertrude Section for more information NETQUOTEVAR:LINK

On the 1911 Census Dorothy aged 16 was working as a Domestic Servant for Surgeon
Oskar Teichmann and his wife in The Village, Aldermaston Reading. Oskar came from a very wealthy family, he was born in Eltham Kent at Sitka Lodge, a wonderful architect designed mansion, his father was a Fur Trader and was born in Wurttemburg Germany ( just like the Rothermels!)

Father Emil Teichman was no ordinary importer, even by Victorian standards. A true pioneer, he regularly braved high seas and inhospitable conditions on the dangerous journey to Alaska to secure the commodities that brought him his fortune. Erik and Oskar, his highly educated and extensively travelled sons clearly inherited their father's lust for life. Both were born at Sitka, the name given to the family home, in honour of the Alaskan city that had helped generate the Teichman wealth.

Max Teichmann Oskar's brother lived at 33 Grosvener Road Westminster very near to Harry's shop, he was a Partner in C M Lampson Co - Commission Agents, he had four servants living in on the 1911 Census, Lampsons were a very profitable Fur Auction House which traded with Canada, perhaps Dorothy later went to work for him or visited him and did the shopping in Harry's shop? We can only speculate......

Another peculiarity - Oskar married in July 1909 just like Harry Bird and Gertrude Goldsmith in St Georges Westminster......

This is ABSOLUTE PURE SPECULATION but an Alexander Powell, born in New York an American citizen of the right age is listed on the New York 1905 Census as a Boarder, Single, occupation Kalsominer ( distemperer , whitewasher of walls ) - did he abandon Dorothy in London and return to the US - or did he send her to a farm in Wales to be brought up, as she told some of her grandchildren? If so how did she manage to be in Westminster at the age of 16 having a liason with Harry Bird ? We shall never know ....
1905 New York Census

German Empire 1871

German Empire 1871
Our maternal great great grandparents the Mazasitiszs came from Prussia, Janice and Alastair Watson's paternal great great grandparents the Rothermels came from Baden Wurttemberg in the German Empire, both sets of ancestors left Germany around 1870 to seek a new life abroad. Isidore (Irving ) Slome's family originated from Lithuania. Janice's quest to discover their origins and the secrets of her grandparents were the foundations of creating this website, much to most of the family's disapproval. Dorothy told one of her sons that she had had a 'charmed' upbringing having been born on a farm in Wales! A far cry from Chatham Street and then the shadow of the gas works in Battersea!
What stories we were told!
When Florence Gertrude Ellen Mazasitisz died Janice went to register her death, this was the first time she had seen the name. She asked her father where it originated from , he became very 'hot under the collar' and replied - " No-one ever talked about it in the family as it's Jewish!

Children from Mazovia

Children from Mazovia
MAZOVIA [Mazovia] or Masovia Pol. Mazowsze, historic region, central Poland. At the death (1138) of Boleslaus III, Mazovia became an independent duchy under the Piast dynasty. It became a suzerainty of Great Poland in 1351 and was finally united with it in 1526. Mazovia passed to Prussia during the 18th-century partitions of Poland and was later a part of the Russian Empire. It reverted to Poland in 1918.

The following images kindly donated to the site by Alessia a dear family friend who visited Ellis Island in Dec 2005

Ellis Island Immigration Building New York

Ellis Island Immigration Building New York



European immigrants

European immigrants

Italian Immigrants to the US

Italian Immigrants to the US

Prussian Vase

Prussian Vase

Immigration grew sharply between the turn of the century and 1880. During this time, the U.S. experienced an influx of 10 million immigrants, not including the several million Africans who were brought to the U.S. as slaves.

In the mid-1800s, the potato famine in Ireland and political unrest in Germany prompted thousands to make the treacherous trek across the Atlantic. The overcrowded sailing ships and unsanitary conditions lead to spread of diseases. Hundreds of would-be immigrants died without reaching the American shore.


Alexander and Dorothy 1901

Alexander and Dorothy 1901
Alexander, our great grandfather, was born in New York USA we are at present unable to find exactly when he came to the UK and whether he came alone or with his parents and brother Max. He appeared on the New York 1870 Census, his parents Morris and Johanna were born in Prussia. The 1880 and 1890 New York Census's were destroyed by fire. Dorothy was born in 1895, they both appeared together on the 1901 UK Census with 'wife' Emily E Buck (crossed out). Occupation 'sick nurse monthly' born Reading Berks. Definition of a 'Nurse Monthly' is one who is employed for one month only often immediately after childbirth. Perhaps she was looking after Dorothy who was sick? There were quite a few Bucks living in Reading around that time. Florence Lillian Dunn was stated as mother on Dorothy's birth certificate but there is no trace of her on the 1901 Census.
It will be virtually impossible to unravel this mystery unless older members of the family know the true story.......
According to the German passenger lists database Morris Powell sailed from Liverpool to New York on the ship 'Caroline Nesmith'


Powell A. Georgia Cuba unknown New Orleans, LA 21-May-1851

Powell Henry Ohio Havana, Cuba unknown New Orleans, LA 10-Mar-1851

Powell J P Dolaratis Belize, Honduras unknown New Orleans, LA 29-Mar-1851

Powell Jno R. Pampera Chagres, unknown New Orleans, LA 09-Apr-1851

Powell Mary 22 Margaret Evans London, uk unknown New York, NY 01-Mar-1851

Powell Milo Rozelinn Chagres, unknown New Orleans, LA 21-Jan-1851

* Powell Morris Caroline Nesmith Liverpool, uk unknown New York, NY 25-Jan-1851 *

Powell Mrs Wm Nelson Liverpool, uk unknown New Orleans, LA 18-Mar-1851

Powell W L Pampero Chagres, unknown New Orleans, LA 04-Mar-1851

Powell Walter Wm Nelson Liverpool, uk unknown New Orleans, LA 18-Mar-1851

Powell Wm Cherokee New York & Havana, Cuba/ USA unknown New Orleans, LA 07-Jul-1851


Dorothy May Mazasitisz Powell Wallace Bird

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Alexander Mazasitisz Powell

Alexander Powell Mazasitisz