Thursday, October 18, 2007

Genealogue Challenge #74

Comic Joey Bishop died on Wednesday.

Where did his parents live in 1910?

Extra credit: Can you find his wife in the 1920-1930 censuses?


Finding the Gottlieb family in Philadelphia PA in 1920, I saw that 11 year old sister Clara had been born in Wisconsin. I found the family in the 1910 Milwaukee Ward 6 Wisconsin Census.

As to the residence of Sylvia Ruzga Bishop in 1920 and 1930. It looks like she was born 3 Nov 1918 in Chicago, Illinois, and her son Larry was born in Philadelphia in 1949. I can't find the family or get a correct spelling of her name, so I'll leave the 1920 and 1930 census location to someone else!!



In 1910, Jacob and Anna Gottlieb, badly indexed as Gottgottlick, were living with oldest child Clara in Ward 6, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Now off to try to find Sylvia--a first pass didn't turn up anything definite, but what was I thinking?!!


According to, Joey Bishop was born born Joseph Abraham Gottlieb on February 3, 1918 in the Bronx, but grew up in Philadelphia.

The 1920 Census shows a Joseph Gottlieb, born in NY and living in Philadelphia with his parents Jacob and Anna, and siblings Clara, Morris, Harry and Becca.

If this is the right family, the 1910 Census has them indexed as GOTTGOLICK. Jacob and Anna are living with daughter Clara in Ward 6, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Joey's wife's name was Sylvia Ruzga and they were married from January 1941 - 20 September 1999, when she died.
The SSDI shows a 1999death record for a Sylvia O. Bishop, which gives a date of birth of 3 Nov 1918. Still looking to find her in the census data

Drew Smith

According to Wikipedia, Bishop was born Joseph Abraham Gottlieb in the Bronx, to parents Anna and Jacob Gottlieb. Bishop was married to Sylvia Ruzga.

In the 1920 census, Jacob and Anna Gottlieb, together with children Clara, Morris, Harry, Becca, and Joseph, are living in Philadelphia. 11-year-old Clara is said to have been born in Wisconsin.

In the 1910 census, Jacob, Anna, and Clara Gottlieb are living in Milwaukee.

Unknown's obituary of Joey Bishop notes that his wife Sylvia was from Oak Park, Illinois, but I haven't been able to confirm this


In 1910, the Bishop family lived in Milwaukee, WI.

Sylvia Ruzga (b. 3 Nov 1918) was living with her parents, younger sister Rhoda, Grandmother Eva Tonkonogy and Aunt Jeannette Tonkonogy in Los Angeles, LA Co., CA in 1930. They were enumerated as Rusga.

In 1920, the family was living under the roof of her Grandparents, Israel & Eva Tonkonogy in Brooklyn, Kings Co., NY.


OK, I think I've found Sylvia's family. She is living in LA in 1930 with parents Louis and Pearl Rusga, along with her sister Rhoda, maternal grandmother Eva and aunt Jeannette. In 1920, Sylvia is 8 months old, apparently living in her grandfather Israel Tonkonogy's household in Brooklyn. Both her father and mother are listed, though not together.


Excellent use of Soundex, people.

Despite the many sources which give Sylvia's surname as "Ruzga," it appears that her family used the "Rusga" spelling (here are her parents' death records).


I read today that Joey Bishop was cremated. If that is so, then what happened to Sylvia Ruzga Gottlieb Bishop's remains?



Yes, his ashes were reportedly scattered at sea. The Bishops lived in Newport Beach, California, so it's possible that his wife's remains were scattered in the same location.


Thank you Chris. I would like to believe that they are burried together even if it is through cremation. How can I be sure that she was cremated and burried at sea.



Her death certificate should indicate whether she was cremated or buried, but would probably not say where her ashes were scattered. It might not have been mentioned in the local newspapers, either. Perhaps only her friends and family know.

They were married for so long, I find it hard to believe that they would not spend eternity together.


Both Joey and Sylvia were cremated and their ashes were scattered at sea. Joey was huge lover of the ocean.

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