Rashida Jones, actress and writer is the daughter of Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton, need I say more. Ms Jones is our guest celebrity tonight on "Who Do You Think You Are". Rashida's father Quincy Jones, did the genealogy on his line and Rashida wants to know about her maternal line.
Tonight we learn about Ms Jones' Jewish ancestors and her connection to Easten Europe. We start at her father's home, where Ms Jones asked questions of her mother Peggy Lipton.
Ms Lipton did not know much about her mother Rita Rosenberg. Ms Lipton had some photos and she knew her mother came to America with her older sister Pearl and Rita left home to go to Manhattan.
California to New York
Rashida leaves California for New York to find out what she can about her grandmother Rita Rosenberg.
From the New York Passenger List she learns Pearl age 18 and Rita age 13 arrived in American in 1926.
The passenger list states Rita Hetty Rosenberg was born May 15, 1912 in Dublin Ireland.
Rashida is also given documents showing Rita became a naturalized citizen of United States and at the same time she was given the choice to change her name legally. Thus Rita Hetty Rosenberg became Rita Hetty Benson. Did Rita change her name to Benson because of her uncle Elliott Benson?
While Ms Jones is in New York she learns Rita became a taxi dancer and used the name Rita Ray. Go to wikipedia.org for the explanation of a taxi dancer.
New York to Dublin, Ireland
Ms Jones is in Dublin, Ireland where she learns the names of Rita's parents: Hyman Rosenberg and Jeannie Benson.
Jeanie Benson was born in Manchester, England and Elliot Benson is her brother. Here she learns much more and
she heads to Riga, Latvia.
Dublin, Ireland to Riga, Latvia
In Riga Ms Jones not only learns more information but she picks up another generation or two. She also learns
about the name Benson. Jeanie Benson Rosenberg's parents are: Benjamin Benson and Sophia Winestein. Born in
Russia. Benjamin had a sister named Penscha. Benjamin & Penscha's father was Schlaume Benson and he had 3
brothers: Jankel, Abraham and Isaak.
The last generation we learn about is Benjamin Marcus Benson, father to Schlaume and his brothers. Here we learn the how and why of the name Benson. We also learn somethings we would prefer not to know about.
Watch the video to learn much more about Rashida Jones journey to learn about her maternal line and how many generations were found.
If the video is not for Rashida Jones go to www.nbc.com/ and search the video sections.
The following people assisted on this journey:
1. Prof. Kirsten Fermaglich, History & Jewish Studies, Michigan State University.
2. David Freeland, historian and writer.
3. Yvonne O'Connor, Curator Irish-Jewish Museum, Dublin, Ireland.
4. Stuart Rosenblatt, genealogist Irish-Jewish Genealogical Society.
5. Rita Bogdonava, Chief Archivist, State Archives, Riga Latvia.
6. Ilya Lensky, Director, Riga Museum of Jewish History.