Ancestry of Geraldo Rivera

compiled by William Addams Reitwiesner

The following material on the immediate ancestry of Geraldo Rivera should not be considered either exhaustive or authoritative, but rather as a first draft.

John Blythe Dobson contributed to this report.

William Addams Reitwiesner

Ancestry of Geraldo Rivera
1 Gerald ("Gerry") Riviera, later "Gerald Rivera", later "Geraldo Rivera", b. New York, N. Y., 4 July 1943
2 Cruz Rivera Rivera, later "Allen Cruz Rivera", b. ... , P. R., 1 Oct. 1915, d. ... 25 Nov. 1987 [SSDI 115-07-2787]
m. ... 1940
3 Lilly ("Lillian") Friedman, b. ... [1918-9], alive at the age of 84 on 15 July 2003, when she submitted a posting to the Dolhinov website (see below)
4 Juan Rivera Ayala, b. ... , P. R., ... [ca. 1882-85-88], d. ... [living 1930]
m. ... [ca. 1907]
5 Tomasa Rivera Alfonseca, b. ... , P. R., ... [ca. 1885-88-91], d. ... [living 1930]
6 Isaac Michael Friedman, b. ... , d. ...
m. ... [by 1918, presumably in Saskatchewan]
7 Tillie (= Cillie?) Krivel, b. ... , d. ... , possibly the 18-year-old daughter Cecilia who appears with her mother in the 1911 census, and if so b. in 1892-93 in Russia.
8 ... Rivera, b. ... , P. R., ... , d. ... [by 1910]
9 Rafaela Ayala Rodriguez, b. ... , P. R., ... [ca. 1861-5], d. ... [living 1930]
14 ... Krivel, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, b. ... , d. ...
m. (as her second husband) after 1875 (when her son Max by her first husband was born) but before 1893 (the latest possible birthdate for their daughter Cecilia), in Russia
15 Rosalind ("Rose") Moldevan [or perhaps Moldovan?], b. 1856-57 (aged 54 in 1911) in Russia, alive in 1911 when as Rosalind Krivel she was enumerated at Estevan, Assiniboia East (now in Saskatchewan). [She m. (1) by 1874, Ykuziel Kornetz, the exact form of whose name would seem to be subject to doubt. She apparently m. (3) ____ Gerson.]




1930 - Puerto Rico, Arecibo, Garrochales, DE 15, hoja 2A, linea 12

Rivera Ayala, Juan           Jefe        V B   42 C   PR PR PR    Mayordomo   Finca de toronjas
Rivera de Rivera, Tomasa     Esposa      H Col 39 C   PR PR PR
Rivera Rivera, Ramon         Hijo        V Col 21 S   PR PR PR    Chauffer    Truck
               Gregoria      Hija        H Col 20 S   PR PR PR
               Juan          Hijo        V Col 16 S   PR PR PR    Labrador    Finca Toronjas
               Cruz          Hijo        V Col 15 S   PR PR PR
               Pedro         Hijo        V Col 13 S   PR PR PR
               Julia Maria   Hija        H Col 11 S   PR PR PR
               Maria Cleofe  Hija        H Col 10 S   PR PR PR
               Carlos        Hijo        V Col  7 S   PR PR PR
               Agustin       Hijo        V Col  6 S   PR PR PR
               Ana Maria     Hija        H Col  4 S   PR PR PR
               Luz           Hija        H Col  3 S   PR PR PR
               Ofelia        Hija        H Col  2 S   PR PR PR
               Mercedes      Hija        H Col  0 S   PR PR PR
Sanchez Rivera, Manuel       Hijo adopt  V B   21 S   PR PR PR    Chauffer    Parro Familia
Ramos Gomez, Angelina        Hija adopt  H B    2 S   PR PR PR
Ayala Rivera, Rafaela        Madre       H B   65 V   PR PR PR
     (2 Alojado)


1920 - Puerto Rico, Arecibo, Garrochalez, DE 194, Hoja 7B, linea 32

Rivera y Ayala, Juan          Jefe     V B  35      C   PR PR PR    Mayordomo    Finca de Frutas
.....           Tomasa        Esposa   H Mu 32      C   PR PR PR
Rivera y Rivera, Ramon        Hijo     V Mu 11      S   PR PR PR
                 Gregoria     Hija     H Mu 10      S   PR PR PR
                 Juan         Hijo     V Mu  6      S   PR PR PR
                 Cruz         Hijo     V M   4      S   PR PR PR
                 Pedro        Hijo     V Mu  1 6/12 S   PR PR PR
                 Julia M      Hija     H Mu    8/12 S   PR PR PR
Ayala y Rodriguez, Rafaela    Madre    H B  59      V   PR PR PR
Rivera y Ayala, Hermengilda   Hermana  H B  25      S   PR PR PR
Fonseca y Rivera, Rolanda     Schina   H Mu  4      S   PR PR PR
      (1 Alojado)


1910 - Puerto Rico, Bayamon, Pajaros, DE 55, Hoja 2A, linea 24

Rivera y Ayala, Juan           Jefe    V Mu 28      CC  3       PR PR PR    Laborador            Finca de Cana
Rivera y Alfonseca, Tomasa     Esposa  H Mu 25      CC  3 2 2   PR PR PR    Quehaceres de Casa   En Casa
Ayala y Rodriguez, Rafaela     Madre   H Mu ..      V     3 3   PR PR PR    Quehaceres de Casa   En Casa
Rivera y Rivera, Tomas         Hijo    V Mu  1      S           PR PR PR    En Casa
                 Gregoria      Hija    V Mu    3/12 S           PR PR PR    En Casa
Rivera y Alfonseca, Margarete  Cunada  H Mu 14      S           PR PR PR    Quehaceres de Casa   En Casa



1911 Census of Canada
Province: Saskatchewan
District no. 207 (Assiniboia)
Subdistrict no. 7 (Estevan Town) =20
p. 22 

name age         gender relat. cond. age b.p.    immig. occ.
Krivel, Rosalind     F  head   M    54   Russia  1891* domestic
Krivel, Cecilia      F  dau.   S    18   Russia  1881  ----
Krivel, Israel       M  son    S    16   Russia  1881  ----
Entire family of Russian origin, Canadian nationality, and Jewish 
religion; dates of birth left blank
+ one boarder and one domestic servant
* this is written over, so seems to be intentional not 1881 as for her =
children, but of course this could be a mistake.

(the next entry in the record is:)

name age        gender relat. cond. d. of b.  age   b.p.    immig. occ.
Krivel, Louise [sic] M  head  M  June  1882    29   Russia
Krivel, Annie        F  dau.  M  April 1884    27   Russia
Krivel, Beatrice     F  dau.  S  June  1907     4   Manitoba
Krivel, Samuel       M  son   S  April 1908     3   Sask.
Krivel, Bertha       F  dau.  S  April 1911  1/12*  Sask.
Entire family of Russian origin, Canadian nationality, and Jewish 
religion; dates of immigration left blank
* or possibly 0/12


1 -- For details on the various name changes which led to "Geraldo Rivera", see

6 -- An attempt was made to identify no. 6, Isaac Michael Friedman. Although no conclusive results were obtained, the following extract could conceivably be relevant:
1911 Census of Canada
Province: Manitoba 
District no. 24 (Winnipeg City)
Subdistrict no. 75
Page: 4 
Residence: no. 45 Schultz Street

name age     gender relat. cond.  birthdate. age immig. citiz.
Isidor Friedman  M  head  M  40  Dec.  1870  40  1909  Russian   pedlar
Rachel Friedman  F  wife  M  38  Nov.  1872  38  1911  Canadian  ----
Isaac Friedman   M  son   S  16  July  1894  16  1911  Canadian  tinsmith [in] factory
Ishae Friedman   M  son   S  12  April 1898  12  1911  Canadian  ----
Israel Friedman  M  son   S   7  June  1903   7  1911  Canadian  ----
Joseph Friedman  M  son   S   3  Aug.  1907   3  1911  Canadian  ----
+ one lodger
All family members born in Russia; religion is Hebrew; native tongue is =

14 -- He was possibly dead by 1911 when he does not appear with his wife in the census. It is not even clear whether he was alive at the time of his wife's immigration to Canada. No family of this name appears in the 1901 census of the town of Estevan [], but possibly they were then living in some outlying area which has not yet been transcribed.

15 -- Her son by her first marriage, Max Cornez (as he always spelled the name), of Haverhill, Essex Co., Massachusetts, was aged 35 in 1910 and hence born in 1874-75 [Haverhill, Ward 5, enumeration district 314, sheet 17B; roll T624_582]. In his World War I Draft Registration Cards he is named as Max Cecial Cornez, of Brookline, Norfolk Co., Massachusetts, b. 15 March 1875.
In the 1911 census Rosalind is recorded as "married" but there is no husband present in the household; the same source states that she immigrated in 1891, but gives the date of immigration for her two Krivel children as 1881. The Louis Krivel, b. in June 1882 in Russia, who appears in the next household to hers, may well have been another son. Presumably then she should appear in the 1901 census, but's index shows no woman of this name and approximate birthdate anywhere in the country.


by John Blythe Dobson

There are some enlightening entries concerning these persons in the Dolhinov website guestbook at I have drastically abridged most of the extracts, and added my own comments in square brackets. Note that one of the postings is by Geraldo Rivera's mother!

.... Rose [nee ____] Krivel is mother to Max Cornez. On Lillian's side of the family she was the mother of Tillie Krivel Friedman - Tillie Friedman was Lillian Friedman Rivera's mother.... Max Cornez (married to Rebecca Sandler) being ... father ... to Ellie, Viola and Toodie Cornez .... [Viola Cornez m. Edward Rogal and was mother of] Keith and Bruce Rogal and Nancy Rogal Cohen .... I am ... Keith Rogal's daughter.
-- Anne, Friday, July 18, 2003 [This family is treated in "Descendants of Zusha Friedman," available online at; but note that the Friedman descent is through the wife of Max Cornez and has no obvious connection to the Friedman ancestry of no. 3 in the ancestor table.]

.... Ykuziel Kornetz ... was the first husband of Rose Moldevan. The family story is that she ran away from Max [no, Ykuziel] and married a man by the name of Krivil [actually Krivel] who lived around Edmonton [no; see below], Canada so she then became Rose Krivil. Willy remembers visiting the Krivil family when he was young. There was an Uncle Jake Krivil who had just died but had been mayor of the same town of Estervan [should be Estevan, in Saskatchewan] in Canada.
Eleanor Cornez Nordwind had notes indicating that her grandmother, Rose Moldevan Kornitz Krivel Gerson left her first husband, Ykuziel, in Russia, only to find that she was pregnant. She returned, had Max, left him with the father (her first husband, Ykuziel) and went to Canada where she married Mr. Krivel and had another family.
-- Thekla, Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Being the eighth child of Isaac Michael and Tillie Friedman, it never occured to me to ask questions. Now all my siblings are gone and I'm almost 84, there is no one left to ask. I do know my Mother came here as a child; her mother was Rose Krivel.... I married a Puerto Rican; he converted to Judiasm when we married in 1940.... My oldest daughter Irene is an associate professor at Hofstra College in Long Island.... My birth certificate reads Lillie....
-- Lillian Rivera, Tuesday, July 15, 2003

The above message is a reply to one from an R. Deutch, which states in part: .... one of Geraldo's producers did a family tree for him once. I'm trying to get a copy of it....

Jake Krivel is mentioned as a restaurant owner in Estevan, Saskatchewan at


See above. Also:

William Addams Reitwiesner