At JRI-Poland, searching for the surname Levitas brings up many instances and variations of Lewites. Narrowing the search to produce one result:
"Model LEWITES" was born in 1857 to father Moses and mother Gitel. After clicking on "View Nearby Image" (you ALWAYS want to look at the original image), I had to scroll through a few images to find the page that included the following:
Model Lewites was born on the 6th of May 1857 to Moses L. and Gitel. (The index didn't show the "L" but I'm pretty sure I see the father as Moses L. I believe "70" before his name indicates his house number in Husiatyn.
Another narrowing of the search to bring up one result gives me:
"Sosie Lewites" was born in 1871 to father Moses Leiser and mother Gittel. Again, looking at the original image, I found a page with the following:
This one is more difficult to read, but it shows that Sosie Lewitas was born on 8 September 1871 to Moses Leiser and Gittel.
I believe that Model Lewites is Max Levitt. Model is a nickname for Mordecai, which is the Hebrew name on Max Levitt's Woodbine, New Jersey, gravestone.
I believe that Sosie Lewites is Sophie Litwin, wife of Samuel Litwin, and Max's sister. (I blogged about her son here.)
When searching on "Lewites," many more results appear between 1857 and 1871, several with Moses, Moses L., or M. Leiser as father and Gittel or Gitel as mother. I need to explore the records more to find a birth record for Emanuel Levitas.
Max Levitt's death certificate lists his father as Moses L. Levitt (mother unknown) and Max's brother's Emanual Levitas' death certificate lists his father as Moses and mother as Gittle Jorisha.
|Detail from the 1937 NYC death certificate for Emanuel Levitas|
The variety of information I have collected about the Levitt / Levitas family seems to support the theory that these Lewitas siblings were born in Husiatyń, a town now in Ukraine.