Morris A. Vederoff1

M, #60, b. 18 August 1907, d. 30 January 1998
Last Edited=18 Jan 2014
Morris Vederoff had a good fishing day!
     Morris A. Vederoff, son of Aaron Vederoff and Esther M. Sakker, was born on 18 August 1907 at Nicolaevek City, Siberia, Russia. Morris A. Vederoff was the son of Aaron Vederoff and Esther M. Sakker.

Penny Vederoff, ex-daughter-in-law of Morris Vederoff shared these stories from her memory of conversations with Morris:

"The family was very wealthy, with a winter home and another 'summer' home in Siberia. They owned large fisheries...Morris' father was trained to run the business while his brother(s) - Morris' uncles - were sent to Europe to be educated. In part they went because they were rich...on the other hand Jews did not get educated in Russia during those days."

Another story related by Penny: "Morris told me that he did not want his sons to be raised Jewish because it was the only way he could protect them. He was very sure that "it" was going to happen again. So sure that he called me when a local dry cleaner was fire-bombed during the 60s to point out that the owners were Jewish and that 'it was starting again.'"

There were "issues" between Morris and Esther, his mother, which Penny suspected had to do with his refusal to stay connected to his Jewish roots or to allow his sons to study Judaism. Both of his sons, Aaron and Greg, report religion was a point of contention in their family.2,3


On 18 Oct 1916, Esther Sakker Vederoff and her sons, Morris, Leo and Abe, and most likely her mother-in-law as well, witnessed the murder of her husband and other male members of the family by bandits who came up the river. After the murders, they hid under a boardwalk (or in a root cellar) for quite some time until a Japanese ship captain was able to smuggle them out of the country and to China. Some versions of the story say that this ship captain had to wait for the river to thaw before leaving. It has also been said that the boys and their mother would look for the body of Aaron in the daytime because the bodies were just thrown onto the ice. He was never found.

The village in Siberia was burned eventually and the whole incident, in which Japanese were also murdered, became an international incident. In 1918 or 1919, (or possibly immediately after the village was burned) Esther, her mother-in-law, and son Abbe went back to the village to look for the jewels and money which had been buried in a can beneath their house. They found it and went back to China with it, though the mother-in-law (the grandmother of Morris, Leo and Abbe) stayed behind. Before the family could leave China for the United States, though, they were robbed of the jewels and money. Therefore only Esther's eldest son, Morris, was sent to the United States in 1923. By 1930, the rest of the family was able to immigrate to the United States.4,5,2

Morris A. Vederoff was a bread baker for many years. When he first immigrated to the United States he worked in the timber industry, but that was for a very short time.1

Morris's visa application lists Mr. William Kats in the Robert Dollar Buiding, in San Francisco as his reference.6

Morris A. Vederoff immigrated to the United States on 8 August 1923. His port of arrival was Sattle, Washington and he arrived on the ship Arizona Maru, having departed from Shanghai, China. On the ship manifest, his surname is spelled Wideroff. He was 15 years of age and his final destination was listed as San Francisco. It is unclear whether Morris ever actually went on to San Francisco.

Family members recall that Morris said he worked somewhere along the Washington coast in the timber industry when he first came to the United States. He also said that he came with a cousin or uncle and that that person eventually returned to Russia. Listed on the ship manifest is a Gershevich family: Leo, age 30, a butcher; Sarah, age 27; Nelly, age 7; and Morris, age 4. They, like Morris, were from Taingtao, China. Perhaps these are relatives of Morris, as his maternal grandmother's name was Gourovitch.

Also shown on this ship manifest is Morris's mother, E. M. Wideroff, with an address in Shanghai, China. Though Morris's visa listed a William Katz as his reference, on the ship's manifest states that he is joining a friend, M. Magidson, 478 23rd Avenue, San Francisco, California.7

In 1930, Morris A. Vederoff appeared on the United States Census, at Seattle, King County, Washington, Morris was listed as a boarder with Sarah Herman. He was a baker.8

Morris A. Vederoff married Nina L. Tunik, daughter of Louis E. (Lavik) Tunik and Maria Vasiltzova, on 4 March 1932 at Seattle, King County, Washington.9

Morris A. Vederoff lived between 1940 and 1998 at 1411 31st, Seattle, King County, Washington.10

On 4 April 1940, Morris A. Vederoff appeared on the United States Census, at Seattle, King County, Washington, Morris was a baker.11

Morris A. Vederoff was naturalized on 28 June 1943 at Seattle, King County, Washington; At his naturalization, Morris was described as of dark complexion, brown eyes, black hair, 5 feet 9 inches tall, and weighing 160 pounds. It is interesting to note, and of some curiosity to others of his family, that on that date he also officially dropped his middle name of Aaron.

Morris came to the United States from Shanghai, China, formerly Tsingtao, where he attended the American Academy for 8 months. His destination on the O.S.K. Steamship, was San Francisco via Japan. His visa was granted on July 13, 1923. His stated purpose for travel was for continuing education.12

Morris A. Vederoff died on 30 January 1998 at Seattle, King County, Washington, at age 90. His death was due to metastatic gastric carcinoma.13

Morris A. Vederoff lived on 30 January 1998 at Klein Galland Home, Seattle, King County, Washington. He was buried at Lakeview Cemetery, Seattle, King County, Washington.3,14

His Social Security number was 534-09-4180.15

Citations

  1. [S270] Interview with Gregory E. Vederoff (informant address private) , by this researcher, 1977 and following. Notes of this interview are in the personal records of this researcher (Florence, Pinal County, Arizona).
  2. [S310] Penny Vederoff, "E-Mail Correspondence with Penny Vederoff Regarding Morris Vederoff," (author E-Mail address private) at Mukilteo, Washington, to this researcher, February 2008. Hereinafter cited as "Correspondence - Penny Vederoff."
  3. [S124] Personal knowledge of this researcher, Lynell Arnott (Florence, Arizona), from family connections and information from family member's direct knowledge of events.
  4. [S273] Interview with Morris Vederoff (informant address private) , by this researcher, the 1980's and 1990's. Notes of this interview are in the personal records of this researcher (Florence, Pinal County, Arizona).
  5. [S58] Interview with Gertrude Vederoff (informant address private) , by Rob Veder and Greg Vederoff, July 14-15, 2001. Audio tape of interview is in the personal records of this researcher (Florence, Pinal County, Arizona).
  6. [S17] Naturalization Certificate photocopy or digital copy is in the personal records of this researcher, Florence, Pinal County, Arizona.
  7. [S282] Morris Wideroff entry; Arizona Maru Digital Image on-line, Ancestry.com, 8 Aug 1923; in Database on-line, Provo, Utah: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006; RG085 (Washington, D. C.: National Archives), M1398.
  8. [S120] 1930 United States Census, population schedule, Seattle, King County, Washington, P. 84, household 312.; digital image by subscription, The Generations Network (http://www.ancestry.com); from the National Archives microfilm. A printed copy is in the personal records of this researcher.
  9. [S16] Marriage Record photocopy or digital copy is in the personal records of this researcher, Florence, Pinal County, Arizona.
  10. [S173] Book of Deeds photocopy or digital copy is in the personal records of this researcher, Florence, Pinal County, Arizona.
  11. [S480] 1940 United States Census, population schedule, Seattle, King County, Washington, Supervisor's District 1, Enumeration District 40-275, sheet 5B, house number 1910, line 53.; digital image by subscription, The Generations Network (http://www.ancestry.com); from the National Archives microfilm. A printed copy is in the personal records of this researcher.
  12. [S17] Naturalization Certificate, Petition No. 35873, Number 5393526.
    photocopy or digital copy is in the personal records of this researcher, Florence, Pinal County, Arizona.
  13. [S7] Death Certificate photocopy or digital copy is in the personal records of this researcher, Florence, Pinal County, Arizona.
  14. [S26] Cemetery Headstone A Photograph is in the personal records of this researcher, Florence, Pinal County, Arizona.
  15. [S22] , Social Security Death Index. (Salt Lake City: Family History Library, FamilySearch, 1994). Hereinafter cited as Social Security Death Index.