INTRODUCTION TO THE EFRON FAMILY HISTORY

Revised July 7, 2012

 

Contents

WELCOME AND CONTACT INFORMATION.. 1

ORGANIZATION OF THE EFRON FAMILY HISTORY. 1

FINDING YOUR FAMILY. 3

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. 3

I’M AN EFRON / WHY I WROTE THIS BOOK. 3

WHERE THE EFRON FAMILIES LIVED.. 4

EARLIEST REFERENCES TO THE NAME EFRON.. 5

DNA RESEARCH.. 5

ARE ALL EFRONS (EFRONS, EPHRONS, ETC.) RELATED???. 9

ABOUT THE NAME EFRON.. 9

PROMINENT EFRONS. 11

TWINS IN EFRON FAMILIES. 12

 

WELCOME AND CONTACT INFORMATION

 

WELCOME to the Efron Family History, more than twenty years in the making! I have “collected” Efron family information and the results are the approximately fifty family trees presented in this work. This hobby involved locating information and relations among anyone bearing the name EFRON, EFFRON, EPHRON, AFFRON and some less common variations.

 

I have made quite a bit of progress since I started my www.EfronFamilyHistory.org website at the start of 2011.

 

Please contact me for any comments or questions. If you’re ever in the Boston area, please let me know!

 

Jim Yarin

JimYarin@verizon.net

www.EfronFamilyHistory.com

 

ORGANIZATION OF THE EFRON FAMILY HISTORY

 

The Efron Family History consists of five Volumes:

Efron Family from Amdur (Volume I)

Other Efron Families (Volume II)

Index and All-Descendants Charts (Volume III)

Appendixes (Volume IV)

Source Documents

 

Volumes I and II

Each of the fifty family trees are presented in two ways. First, they are found in Volume I or Volume II, where there is in-depth analysis about the earliest generations and information about the branches in general. Second, the same fifty families are presented in Volume III with all generations (family members) included. Volumes I and II exclude living descendents (with a few exceptions), but those individuals are located in Volume III.

 

In Volumes I and II there are acknowledgements to sources of information, including oral history, and references to sources information found in Volume IV, Appendixes. Reference information may also be found in Source Documents, which can be determined by looking up the reference in Volume IV. References to Volume IV, Appendixes, are in the form of square brackets, such as:

 

[ARR025; BIO002; CEN2134]

 

This example of reference citations indicates there are details of a ship arrival manifest (number 025), a biographical reference (number 002), and a 1920 census entry (number 134) for this family. Each type of reference has its own appendix. For the above example, ARR (arrivals) are in Appendix A, BIO (biographical references) are in Appendix B, and CEN2 (1920 Census) is in Appendix C. Starting with the Appendixes Table of Contents, you can quickly determine which appendix has the reference you are seeking. For the most part, the Appendixes correspondend to the reference, as you can see for the above examples.

 

See below to learn more about finding references in Volumes IV and finding source documents.

 

Volume I is pretty much the family history of one family, the descendants of Leibe and Tsinne, who lived in Amdur in the latter part of the 1700s. It is divided into chapters according to each of the sub-branches in that very large family. More information about the organization of this volume can be found in the Introduction to Volume I.

 

Volume II consists of all Efron families which are not known to be part of the Amdur family. Volume II has been further divided into sections. The first four sections collect families who have common geographical origins. Sections five and six have Efron families with origins outside of those four areas or from areas unknown. Section seven has miscellaneous references to Efrons, but not enough to put together a family tree for any of them or connect them to some other family tree. Section eight has family trees of families named “Efron,” but for whom it is known that was not their original family name.

 

Indexes and All-Descendants Chats (Volume III)

 

Volume III has two parts. First, it has the family trees in an outline format, with all known members of the families. Secondly, it has an index to all of those outline-formatted family trees. The index includes the names of all members of all families.

 

Appendixes (Volumes IV) and Source Documents

 

The Efron Family History is based on information gathered from many places. Volume IV, Appendixes, describes much of that information. The appendixes have the information referenced inside square brackets in Volumes I and II.

 

Volume IV is divided into appendixes based on the nature of the information or the source of information. For example, Appendix M contains marriage records, which are referenced in Volumes I and II as [MAR###].

 

Most of the records in Volume IV are abstracts (summaries) of documents, such as census returns, birth, marriage or death certificates, or newspaper articles. In some instances the documents summarized in the Appendixes have been copied and can be viewed. In those cases there are “Source Document” hyperlinks in the Appendixes.

 

Common Source Documents are: photographs of gravestones, photocopies of marriage certificates, photocopies of ship arrival and several other types of documents.

 

Viewing References and Source Documents

 

The appendixes were named in an effort to correspond to the references which cite to them.

Appendix         Description of materials (with form of reference in BOLD)

A                     ship ARRivals

B                      BIRths

C                      CENsuses

D                     DEATHs

E                      ENCyclopaedia/biographies

F                      (not used)

G                     GENealogies

H                     Headstones/ CEMeteries

I                       INTerviews

J                       Jobs/PROFessional listings

K                     Street DIRectories

L                      LDS records (other)

M                     MARriages

N                     NATuralizations

O                     OBITuaries

P                      PRObate

Q                     LIBrary Catalogs

R                      GARF (Czarist Secret Police records)

S                      SSDI/Social Security Death Index/SS-5 Applications

T                      NYTimes

U                     (U think I’m only descended from Efrons? – My family history)

V                     VOTing Lists

W                     War/MILitary

X                     (not used)

Y                     YAD Vashem Holocaust Pages of Testimony

Z                      MISCellaneous

 

To the extent that a source was searched for but not found, the reference in the appendixes volume will have a tilde preceding it. An example would be [~ARR], indicates that no ship arrival could be found for that person.

 

FINDING YOUR FAMILY

 

To find your family history you need to know in what volume they appear: in Efron Family from Amdur (Volume I) or Other Efron Families (Volume II), and the chapter number within that volume.

 

Finding the Volume and Chapter is done by searching the Index in the Indexes and All-Descendants Charts (Volume III). The last third of this document is an index to the first two thirds. Once you find a member of your family in the index, go to the indicated page in that volume (note that the page indicated in the index is the assigned page number, as listed in the bookmarks on the left).  There you will find a full listing of known members of that branch of the Efron family and you will learn the Volume and Chapter for the corresponding treatment of that family in Volumes I and II.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

 

Acknowledgments are mentioned throughout the chapters in Volumes I and II, but there are certain people who have made extensive genealogical investigations and contributions to learn and share the family history of Efron families who deserve special mention here.

 

Sam Effron, deceased, formerly of Poughkeepsie, NY. His children and grandchildren were also instrumental in making sure the genealogy of Sam Effron was disseminated world-wide. Ian Samuel notes that his grandparents purchased a copy of the genealogy for $1 back around 1957.

 

Yedidia Effron, deceased, formerly of Argentina. He wrote the history of the town of Amdur.

Ed Effron

Joanne Goldberg

Joy Adams

Colin Silver

Julio Mazo

Bill Lowenstein, deceased, of Pittsburgh

Joan Goldberg

Tina Effron

 

I’M AN EFRON / WHY I WROTE THIS BOOK

 

Over the years, the most common question I get about my research is “why are you doing this?” People ask me this probably because I’m calling them up out of the blue and asking them if they know when their grandmother came to the US, where she’s buried, etc. The short answer is, “it’s fun and interesting!” Genealogy/Family History is the most popular hobby in the US. Building a family tree is like a puzzle. The clues could be anywhere, and require lots of searching. Genealogy is also like a treasure hunt. The answers exist, but finding them can be very difficult.

 

A related question is, “Why Efrons, even those to whom I’m not related?” I didn’t start off collecting Efron family trees. I started off looking into my own family tree. I found a little here and a little there until pretty quickly I had the names of all of my great-grandparents (who all immigrated to the US around the turn of the century as young adults), but not much more. See Appendix U for my full family history, Efrons and all.

 

My mother had received from her mother the death certificates of her (my grandmother’s) parents – my great-grandparents. There, on the death certificate of my great-grandfather, I learned that my mother’s mother’s father’s mother was “Rebecca Effron.”

 

My Mom remembered that there may have been relatives in the south, and a cousin of my mother remembered that the Effrons lived in Chattanooga. “How interesting,” I thought to myself, “Jews in Chattanooga?” There were no telephone listings for Effrons in Chattanooga, but there was a listing elsewhere in Tennessee. When I called that number and asked if they were related to a family in Boston, they said no, so far as they knew. Then they told me that there was a man who was researching Effrons – Ed Effron of New Jersey. I contacted Ed and he helped me get in touch with Joy Effron Adams of Chattanooga. It turns out that there were many daughters born to the Effrons who settled in Chattanooga, which is why there was no one by that name living there. My contact with Ed Effron and Joy Adams made me realize there were many more Effron families, and that they all had origin in the town of Amdur (or so it seemed at the time).Ed had acquired a lot of information, and sent me a copy of the genealogy done by Sam Effron of Poughkeepsie. All of this occurred somewhere in the early 1990s.

 

At some point, I’m not sure when, I became hooked. Ed Effron graciously shared his research with me, and I started to collect other information, and continued where Ed had left off in order to collect information about the family. For every answer, there were two or more questions – literally! That is, when a new sibling was identified, who was his/her spouse? Did they have children? When a new parent was identified, who was his/her spouse and his/her parents?

 

Then of course, the most interesting, challenging, and rewarding part of this project – connecting Efron branches together. This requires all the skills of building a family tree, but also assessing evidence to determine if the connection is valid. So, here I was with this very interesting puzzle, and I started to put the pieces together. But of course there were many pieces “out there” which I did not already have, so finding the pieces became a major focus. And this was something like a treasure hunt. So, who doesn’t love a good puzzle, and who doesn’t love a good treasure hunt?

 

There are other hobbyists who collect family trees of anyone bearing a certain surname. In fact, there is a One-Name Society based in England [cite]. Like this genealogy, those researchers also collect family trees with name variations and try to connect up family branches. Collecting Efrons has been rewarding because of the nature of the name “Efron.” There are relatively few spelling variations. It is not common, but it is not rare either. When I started doing my own family history, I was faced with researching very unusual names, like YARIN and YESHIVABOCHER. I also had very common names, notably LEVINE, ABRAMOWITZ and FELDMAN. The name EFRON has just the right amount of uniqueness to make this project feasible.

 

Volumes I and II of the Efron Family History include explanations of the bases for my connecting branches together, show sources of information and explains how they support conclusions, and present questions about missing connections or family members. I hope that you will take up the search with me as we continue to construct the Efron Family History.

 

WHERE THE EFRON FAMILIES LIVED

 

The earliest known Efron families lived in Amdur, Lunna and Ivenets. Amdur (properly known as Indura) and Lunna are very close to one another [MISC141]. Still not too far away from Amdur and Lunna, to the east, is Ivenets. Ivenets is close by and directly west of Minsk. [MISC145]

 

The distance from Amdur to Ivenets, as measured today, is probably less than 200 miles. It is very possible that all Efrons then spread out from these two locations. Certainly when you look at a map of Belarus

 

Some detailed maps show Indura and its surrounding towns, villages, settlements and estates.  In one map, centered around the city of Volkovysk, the village of Lasza, near Amdur, can be seen.  This is the town where Israel Effron and his partner Shimon Abramovitz ran a krezmer (inn), where their families also lived.  It is easy to see how close Amdur is to the other towns with strong Efron roots, especially Lunna.

 

In one very detailed map, photos from the air were taken by German air force pilots in World War II.  Here can be seen all of the streets, farms, houses and geographical details of Indura.  In one kind of map, even the smallest villages are shown, including areas of settlement and types of terrain.  One small village is Lapenowice, shown on the attached map, where Shleme Braverman and his wife Rivka Rochel (Efron) lived with their family in the mid to late 19th century.  In one 1:300,000 map, Indura’s relationship to Bialystok is shown (though only the “k” in Bialystok can be seen).  Another map shows the proximity of Indura to the Polish border.  Finally, a map shows the relative positions of Amdur (Indura), Lunna (Lunno), Ivenets (Ivenec) and Vilna (Vilnius), all major locations of early Efron family history.

 

Maps can be found in Appendix Z at MISC141 – MISC147-.

 

EARLIEST REFERENCES TO THE NAME EFRON

 

The earliest Efron is one Samuel Efron of Moravia. He was first identified on Ancestry.com from a listing of the alumni of Cambridge University in England [MISC150]:

 

Samuel Benedictus, alias Ephron

sizar (age 24) at SIDNEY, Nov. 5, 1632. S. of Tobias Ephron. B. at Meseritsch, Moravia. School, Prerovia (Prerau?)  and Lipsicusis (Leipzig?) Academy. Matric. 1632 as Bennett; B.A. 1634-5; M.A. 1638. [Sidney Sussex College]

 

Additional research indicates that he was a member of the Bohemian Bretheren (Moravian Church). Nothing indicates that he has Jewish roots, but if he did, he would have had to convert. Although there are some miscellaneous literary references to him [MISC151-SD1-SD2], but it is not known if he left descendants, and under what name he lived most of his life.

 

Another early Moravian Church member was Jan Efrona. He is discussed at page 181 in a Polish book about the founding of the Moravian church [MISC152SD-1 2 3 p. 178 p. 178 Bibliog.p. 178 end p. 179 p. 180 p. 181  10 11]

 

DNA RESEARCH

 

A project in FamilySearchDNA use DNA analysis to determine if various Efron branches are connected.

 

Tests have shown some unexpected connections, has verified other connections, and shown no connection where it was thought one existed.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Branch

 

 

Marker

Amdur

Heffron Boston

Slutsk, Volozhin, Ivenets

Vilna, Cleveland Effrons

Botski Bielsk

Dukora, Swisloch, Jablonka, Pukhovichi

Koidonova, Ivenets, Belarus

Ireland

Effront

Kynyshin, Bialystok, Poland

Ephraim in Holland

Haplotype

E1b1b1

E1b1b1

E1b1b1

G2a

G2a

R1a

R1a

R1b1b2

R1b1b2

J2

Q1b

393*

13

14

14

13

13

13

13

13

13

12

14

390*

24

25

26

22

22

25

25

23

24

22

22

19*1

13

13

13

15

17

15

16

14

15

15

13

391*

10

9

9

10

10

10

10

10

11

10

10

385a*-385b*

17-17

17-18

17-18

16-11

14-14

14-11

14-11

14-11

14-11

14-15

14-16

426*

11

11

11

11

11

12

12

12

12

11

12

388*

12

12

12

12

12

12

12

12

12

15

12

439*

12

12

12

11

11

10

10

12

0

12

12

389-1*

13

13

13

12

12

13

13

13

13

14

13

392*

11

11

11

11

11

11

11

13

13

11

15

389-2*

30

31

31

29

28

29

30

29

29

31

29

458

15

15

16

 

 

 

 

17

 

 

19

459a-459b

8-9

9-9

9-9

 

 

 

 

10-9

 

 

9-9

455*

11

11

11

 

 

 

 

11

 

 

11

454*

11

11

11

 

 

 

 

11

 

 

11

447*

26

22

22

 

 

 

 

25

 

 

24

437

14

14

14

 

 

 

 

15

 

 

14

448*

20

20

20

 

 

 

 

19

 

 

19

449*

32

28

28

 

 

 

 

31

 

 

29

464a*-b*-c*-d*

16-16-17-172

14-14-15-17

14-15-15-17

 

 

 

 

15-16-16-16

 

 

14-15-15-16

460*

9

 

 

 

 

 

11

 

 

10

GATAH4*

113

 

 

 

 

 

11

 

 

9

YCAII*

19-21

 

 

 

 

 

19-23

 

 

19-19

456

15

 

 

 

 

 

15

 

 

15

607

12

 

 

 

 

 

15

 

 

14

576

18

 

 

 

 

 

18

 

 

17

570

21

 

 

 

 

 

17

 

 

16

CDY

32-34

 

 

 

 

 

37-38

 

 

33-37

442

11

 

 

 

 

 

12

 

 

12

438*

10

 

 

 

 

 

12

 

 

11

531

10

 

 

 

 

 

11

 

 

 

578

8

 

 

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

395S1a

15-15

 

 

 

 

 

15-16

 

 

 

590

8

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

537

11

 

 

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

641

10

 

 

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

472

8

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

406S1

12

 

 

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

511

10

 

 

 

 

 

9

 

 

 

425

0

 

 

 

 

 

12

 

 

 

413

23-24

 

 

 

 

 

22-23

 

 

 

557

18

 

 

 

 

 

15

 

 

 

594

11

 

 

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

436

12

 

 

 

 

 

12

 

 

 

490

12

 

 

 

 

 

12

 

 

 

534

15

 

 

 

 

 

15

 

 

 

450

7

 

 

 

 

 

9

 

 

 

444

12

 

 

 

 

 

12

 

 

 

481

22

 

 

 

 

 

23

 

 

 

520

18

 

 

 

 

 

20

 

 

 

446

12

 

 

 

 

 

14

 

 

 

617

13

 

 

 

 

 

12

 

 

 

568

12

 

 

 

 

 

11

 

 

 

487

14

 

 

 

 

 

13

 

 

 

572

11

 

 

 

 

 

12

 

 

 

640

11

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

 

 

 

492

11

 

 

 

 

 

 

12

 

 

 

565

11

 

 

 

 

 

 

12

 

 

 

Ancestry 461*

12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ancestry 463*

18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ancestry 441*

15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DNA profiles are in different columns, and those having the same haplotype are grouped together. For the Amdur profile there are several individuals who have this profile, but otherwise, most profiles only refer to one individual project participant. Differences between profiles within each haplotype are highlighted to show differences.

 

* These are markers measured by Ancestry.com for its 37 marker test. If not otherwise indicated, all markers are measurements by FamilyTreeDNA.com

1. In Ancestry, marker is named DYS 19a

2. For Amdur descendants tested by Ancestry, the results were 15.3, 15.3, 17 and 17

3. For Amdur descendants tested by Ancestry, the result was 12, not 11


 

Many genealogy hobbyists have submitted genealogy DNA test results to find out if they match with others. Certain people have the same DNA profile as were found in the EFRON DNA project.

 

Brown family

An exact match on 67 out of 67 markers between a member of the Brown family of Cincinnati and the Amdur Effrons means there is a result in some e-mail exchanges, but no connection could be determined. There is a high likelihood that there is a common ancestor who was born within the last few hundred years. Marian Brown maintains a wonderful website with the family’s history, at http://dirlonline.com. No connection has yet been determined.

 

Someone from a Gordon family matches 64 of the 67 Amdur Efron markers. The original name was Gordenchik (sp?) and they came from Slonim, fairly long ago. That family is related to the the Kunzt (Kunitz) family which married into the Efron family of Volume II, Chapter 13.

 

ARE ALL EFRONS (EFRONS, EPHRONS, ETC.) RELATED???

 

To connect all Efron families his has always been a goal, but a daunting one at that. The geographic origins of nearly all Efron families are within a very small geographic area, so it seems possible that there is some connection among these families. Indications are that nearly all Efron families came from Amdur, Lunna and Ivenets, or very close by.

 

One way to find out if all Efrons are connected is to use genetic testing. The result of the Efron DNA Project is that all Efrons do not descend from one, common male. (See above re: DNA Project).

 

Even if there is no common male ancestor, still there may be a family connection between all the Efron families. This is because the surname Efron may have been acquired by a man from his father-in-law, his mother’s family, from an adoptive parent, etc.

 

In the area of Russian Poland, where nearly all Efrons originated, surnames were not commonly used until laws requiring hereditary names were passed, around 200 years ago. At that time, it was common for men to adopt for their family the surname of his wife’s family. For that matter, they could adopt virtually any name they wanted!

 

ABOUT THE NAME EFRON

 

What is the meaning, the origin of the name “Efron?” Might it have some significance that would cause wholly unrelated families to adopt the name?

 

Rabbi Epstein, in Mekor Boruch [cite] explains the source of the name Efron. He does this in a footnote to a story that he was relating about Rabbi Heshel Efron (Volume II, Chapter --) who was also known as Rabbi Heshel Ivnitzer, and who was a Dayan [define] in the city of Volozhin.

 

In the footnote, Rabbi Epstein relates “in our days the Efron family has branched out and is considered one of the most respected families in our country. I heard from Rabbi Heshel Efron the reason for this strange name being used by a Jewish family. [The name is strange because it is the name of an unsavory character from Genesis, who sold to Abraham the burial plot for Sarah].

 

Rabbi Efron told me that in the time of Czar Alexander I in the year 1804 every family and head of family was required to adopt a surname to be used for posterity. Most people chose or created a pleasant and nice name. The head of this family said; “since I am a descendant of Joseph and from the tribe of Ephraim, I will choose the name Ephraim as my surname” And so he filled out all of the forms which he submitted to the appropriate office to have the name registered and certified.

 

However, the clerk who was first responsible for registering the name was unable to pronounce “EPHRAIM” and instead registered the name as EFRON. Since this was the way the name was first registered all of the subsequent references and documents listed EFRON as the name of this family. And so it came to pass that this name EFRON is the name of this family until this very day.

 

[From Mekor Boruch, by R’ Boruch Halevi Epstein, published 1938 though written prior to WWI, courtesy of (and translation by) Jonathan Lewis]:

 

Sam Effron’s Genealogy has attached prior to its first page a reference to an article in the Jerusalem Post about the origins of the Efrom (Efron) family name, which appears to be taken from the Mekor Boruch reference just above. However, in the first paragraphs fo Sam Effron’s “Saga of the Effron Family” proper he conjectures that at the time when surnames were to be acquired, a census taker encountered someone in the Amdur family named Ephraim, and therefore gave that family the name “Effron.”

 

Either of the above theories of the origin of the name Efron may be correct, although an assigned surname (in the Russian part of the world, mandatory surnames were required at the beginning of the 19th century) would have been based on a person’s patronymic (a father’s given name) and not on the name of the head of the family itself, thus casting some doubt on Sam Effron’s theory.  There is also not a single individual in the family history I’ve found whose given name was Efron.  There were plenty of individuals named Ephraim, though. There is some suggestion that the earliest Jewish settlers of Amdur were Sephardic (from the Iberian Peninsula) and not Ashkenazi (from Germany and France).  In the countries where Sephardic Jews were found, including Spain, Portugal and Italy, Efron is a common given name.  This is true certainly today, where in Latin America the name Efrain is not uncommon.

 

The origin of the Efron name in the Ivenets branch differs from the oral history passed down by Sam Effron.  It is written in Ir Vilna that the name Efron was acquired as a tribute to the roots of the family being from the tribe of Ephraim, which is consistent with the story in Mekor Borouch.  I find this less plausible than the named-after-a-relative theory.  All early records show the family name rendered as “Efron,” and not a single record shows the name written as “Ephraim” Since the Biblical character Efron was less than likeable, I don’t think that the family name could so easily be stuck on Efron, and so I would reject the theory that the name is a corrupted form of Ephraim.

 

In fact, the name Efron appears to be much more popular than Ephraim in the Pale, with the latter hardly ever appearing. In fact, I don’t know that there were ANY surnames adopted which were identical to a given name. Thus, in the Pale, there were no families named ABRAHAM, ISAAC, JACOB – or EPHRAIM. There was always some variant, and this makes sense; the problem in tracking Jews prior to the requirement for surnames was that they were known by (at least) two given names: the individual’s name and his father’s given name. If people were allowed to adopt a given name as their surname, this would do little to reduce the confusion. I am unaware of any restriction, but would guess there was a restriction against using a given name as a surname. Thus, any effort to use Efraim as a surname would result in some variation – EFRON, EFROS, etc. being used instead.

 

The family name Ephraim was found in Germany, though.  In Germany in the 18th century and later there was a famous banking family of the name Ephraim.  Could this family have migrated to the East, into Poland Russia? Certainly. A recently published book is about this family: “350 Jaar Geschiedenis van het Geslacht Ephraim 1646-1996” by Harro de Beus (notes from the catalog of the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, UT: Descendants of Moses Ephraim (1625?-1688?) of Germany and Buren, Gelderland, the Netherlands and his wife Beliken (1625?-1714?). Family members settled throughout the Netherlands and Indonesia.  Die families Ephraim, van Gelderen, Moses, van Nierop, Ritter, Tilanus, Werner, Zelders en anderen zijn opgenomen.”

 

Articles about the EPHRAIM family were written by Dolf Michaelis, and published in the Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook. The Ephraim Family appeared in Volume XXI (1976), pages 201-228, and The Ephraim Family and their Descendants (II) appeared in Volume XXIV (1979), pages 225-246. These articles have been examined, but no Polist or Russian component of the family is evident.

 

In a book about the GOMPERTZ family history, the EPHRAIM family is identified in one passage as EFRAN. Why is this? Perhaps the genesis of the EFRON family in Russian Poland is in fact from the EPHRAIM family of Berlin, and in Russia Poland a re-spelling of the name was necessary.

 

I corresponded with David Gompertz of Potters Bar, UK. He had posted to the JewishGen discussion group in 2001 about the Gompertz family history, asking him about the “Klara Khajjim Efran” entry in [his?] entry in OneGreatFamilyTree.

 

He replied that:   “In the Chapter "Gomperzes in Berlin"  (page 64 of the translation, page 154 of the original):

 

“Herz Moses Gomperz  born 1716 "his parents first tried to smooth his life's path by looking for a suitable spouse for him. They found the ideal person in a house which even then was noted for its prosperity and which later achieved a wide reputation for its wealth - the house of Efraim"

 

" it was ... Klara who became the wife of Herz Moses Gumpertz. It was her third marriage..."    (her father was Chajjim b. Efraim)”

 

It therefore is still unknown why the reference in OneGreatFamilyTree is to “EFRAN” and not “EPHRAIM.” In any case, he informed me that “there are over two pages describing the complicated affairs of Herz and Klara  and important genealogical data is given in the annotations. If there is the probability that this Klara is "yours", I really think that it would be worthwhile you getting a copy of the book. It might open other possibilities for you. As you know I have had a role in getting the book translated but I have no financial interest in its publishing.  The web site of the publisher is www.tymsder.co.uk .”

 

I have some theories about the origin of the name.  One is the theory above that there was an individual in the family named Efron.  In support of this, I have found a reference in a chronicle of Italian Jewry (I did not take the reference down, but it was a thick book and had an index).  Perhaps this is an individual whose formal name was Ephraim but his nickname was Efron, and he was very well thought of at the time that the family was obligated to adopt a surname.

 

One of my favorite theories is that one early member of the family was instrumental in acquiring one or more burial grounds for one or more Jewish communities, and he was called by his coreligionists “Efron” after the character in the Bible who sold Abraham the burial ground at the caves of Macphelah.  This theory is pure conjecture.  The only thing going for it is that the Efrons were more typically wealthy than not, and the unanswered question – actually, I’m not sure that anyone has really asked the question – as to how the Jews in Russia acquired land to bury their dead  Certainly the nicknames given to Jews in the shtetl were quite creative, and I can easily see someone being called Efron as a less than honorable tribute to their ability to acquire cemetery land for the Jews of Russian Poland.

 

A Yakov Efron of Israel has created a wine called “Efron’s Cave” [MISC148-SD] in recognition of the meaning of his surname.

 

PROMINENT EFRONSNOTE, this section requires much further development

 

Writers

 

Zalman Yefroiken, Yiddishist.  He used the name “Salman Efron” as his pseudonym. He lived from 1893-1966. His papers are at Syracuse University.

 

Acting

 

Ernest Efron Borgnine has the middle name of Efron.  He is the son of Camillo A. Borgnine. The family immigrated to New Haven, CT.  Camillo A. Borgnine (nee Borgnino), married to Anna M. Also in New Haven was Mary M. Borgnine, widow of Joseph E Borgnine. In about 1963, Camillo went to L.A. Ernest Borgnine is not an Efron, so far as we know, but why he has the middle name Efron has never been learned. [BIO020-SD; BIO021-SD]

 

Some Effron family members have suggested some connection to the Effron family, but whatever that rumored connection, it has not been shared. He was born 1/17/1924 in Centerville, CT according to a ship manifest show him and his mother, Anna, travelling from Genoa to New York, final destination New Haven, in June 1923. They were in Italy for a few years, it seems. In fact, in 1920, the father, Camillo was living with his parents in New Haven, without his wife and child.I recall seeing something about them being separated, then reconciling.

 

Marshall Efron, Sloppy Smurf (voice); The Great American Dream Machine; Marshall Efron's Illustrated, Simplified, and Painless Sunday School

 

Zac Efron, Star of High School Musical movie series, among other movies.

 

Argentinian actress

 

Music

 

Michael Ephron, Keyboardist

 

Sigmund Effron, Pedagogue

 

David Effron (son of Sigmund), Concertmaster, Cincinnati Youth Symphony

 

 

Publisher

 

Ilya Efron, Encyclopaedist in St. Petersburg

 

Vera Effront

 

Rabbis

 

Abraham Efron of Vilna

 

Chaim Soloveitchik (Reb Chaim Brisker)

 

Yosef Dov Ber Soloveitchik (The Beis HaLevi)

 

Joseph Ber Soloveitchik (The Rav)

 

Bialoblotsky

 

Shor

 

Sports

 

Gabe Kapler. Professional baseball player. Played on the 2004 World Series Red Sox team.

 

Writers

 

Henry and Phoebe (Weinstein) Ephron

 

Nora, Delia, and Amy Ephron

 

Scientists

 

Bradley Efron, mathematician

 

Merchants

 

Stein, founders of Stein Mart stores

 

 

TWINS IN EFRON FAMILIES

 

Gedalia and Lipa "Lionel" Efron, b. abt. 1907.  Sons of Shevach David of Australia

 

Two granddaughters of Shevach "Sam" of the Poughkeepsie Effrons are twins.

 

Yankel and Etke Affron, b. 1874, of Kingston, NY and Palm Beach Florida

 

Gerald and Sylvia Goldberg, grandchildren of Shifra Tsinnes Goldberg, b. Penn abt 1911

 

Herman "Hymie" and Robert Effron, b. Prescott, AZ, 8/29/98, of the Cincinnati Effrons.

 

Two children in the St. Louis/Aiken branch born in 1987 may be twins.

 

Two children in the Cleveland branch born in 1970 may be twins.

 

Leah and Charlotte Affron of Topeka

 

Beatrice and Jerome Effron, children of Abraham Wolf of Middlesboro

 

Joseph and Hymie Heffron of Boston (later, in CA)