When CNN Money called Ancestry to see if there might be a family story behind newborn Maxima “Max” Chan Zuckerberg’s somewhat unusual (for a girl) first name, their researchers decided to take a look. As it turns out, Ancestry found at least two former Maxes in little Max’s past: Max Zuckerberg and Marcus “Max” Hollander. Both are great-grandfathers of Mark Zuckerberg on his father’s side.
Max Zuckerberg was born on Christmas Day in 1899 in New York City. His parents were Eastern European immigrants who came to the United States within a year of Ellis Island opening in 1892. On September 12, 1918, at age 18, Max filled out his WWI draft registration card. He was living in New York City, working as a clerk for the Treasury Department at the time.
Three months later, he married Minnie Wiesenthal. Their children included Mark Zuckerberg’s grandfather Jack. In 1930, he was working as a fruit peddler and living in an apartment on Rivington Street the Zuckerbergs rented for $18 a month. So while he was self-employed, it doesn’t look like Max Zuckerberg enjoyed his great-grandson’s financial success.
According to census records on Ancestry, Marcus Hollander was born about 1873 in Hungary and immigrated to America in 1880. His Oath of Allegiance papers show that he became a United States citizen on July 27 1906. By 1900, he was working in Manhattan in the clothing industry and was already going by the name Max. He and his wife, Rose Schoenfeld, had a large family. The youngest of their 10 children was a girl named Miriam. She was Mark Zuckerberg’s grandmother.
By 1940, Max and Rose were living in a 45-dollar-a-month apartment on East 3rd Street, and Max was self-employed as a tailor.
In a strange quirk of fate, Max Hollander registered for the draft on the same day as Max Zuckerberg: September 12, 1918. The draft cards also give short descriptions of the two men. Both had brown hair and brown eyes, but Zuckerberg was of medium height and stout, while Hollander described himself as short and slender.
Are these Maxima’s namesakes? According to CNN Money, a family spokeswomen confirmed that Max was named after family but gave no further details. We may just have to wait and ask Max herself one day.
You don’t have to wait to discover your own namesake’s past. Ancestry is offering a free 14-day trial that will give you access to more 16 billion records online—including U.S. census and immigration records to help you follow your own family’s journey to America.