Chapter 4 Leib, son of Chaim Tsinne’s

Leib Efron, b. 1808, d. 1884 [RS079; DEATH001], married Taube, b. 1810 [RS079].  She was the daughter of Abraham.  He was listed in the Amdur 1858 Revisky Shtaski as “Efron-Katsmelbeuger,” that is, presumably, Efron-Katsenellenbogen, using the family name of his mother.  There is a death record for Lejb Efron of Bialystok, son of Hajkel, d. 1884, but it has not yet been examined; it is presumably for him. Leib came from Bialystok, according to Aharon Leizer. Possibly, Leib is the same as the Judil (Yudel) Effron of Bialystok who is described as the father of the Moshe Effron, who was married to Etke Effron (Motte Matsul’s daughter). [GEN013-SD] See page --. That Leib’s second wife was Gutke, and he had many children, including an Aaron and many daughters (but no Ure Lippa that is known).


Leib’s grandson Yakov Shmuel Lewis told his children that his grandfather was called Leib the Chossid.


There was a Yehuda Leib Ephron who lived in Kurenets/Kurenitz/Kureniec who might be the Leib the Chossid who was spoken about in the Lewis family. According to one website:




>          Aaron (Abraham Aaron?), b. 1839 Bialystok [unexamined birth record Film 747735, registration # M163 in Bialystok, 1839 (father is Leib b’ Chaikel and mother is Taube b’ Avraham)]. By circumstantial evidence he is the same person as the Abraham Aaron Efron who is head of the branch identified as the Abraham Aaron of Grodek branch. [SEE BELOW]


>          Ure Lippa, b. 1840 [RS079], d. 1900 [DEATH098]. His death is recorded in the records of Bialystok as Ure Lippa Efron-Katzenellenbogen, son of Leib [Poland Records Indexing]. An equivalent name for Uri is Shraga Feivel. No additional information for him has been identified.


>          Daughter. She lived in Krieve, near Vilna. According to Aharon Eliezer’s book [BIO011-SD] a daughter of his uncle lived in Krieve. Nothing else is known about her.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS for Chapter 4: Arnoldo Efron; Joshua Effron; Jonathan Lewis; Harry Lewis; Lisa Greenblatt;; Sy Efron; Morrisa Friedman; Stuart Rosenblatt of The Irish Jewish Genealogical Society & Family History Centre, Portobello, Dublin, Ireland; Rocky Magidson


Avraham (Avraham Aaron?), son of Leib, Chaim Tsinne’s


This family is related to Leib and Tsinne of Amdur based on DNA testing of a descendent of Moshe Shlomo Efron. Based on much circumstantial evidence, and based on no additional evidence to the contrary, it appears that Avraham Aaron, son of Leib the Chosid (primarily known from oral family history of the Lewis family and the Benjamin Efron of Grodek branches) (born approx. 1835), is the same as the Aaron who is shown to be the son of Leib, son of Chaim Tsinne’s. The latter Aharon is known from the birth index entry in JRI-Poland for Aaron Katzenellenbogen of Bialystok, b. 1839 (see above). Leib, son of Chaim, is known from Aharon Leiser’s book. Aaron, son of Leib, is the same generation as and is a cousin to Leizer Aaron Efron -- therefore born about 1843. The fact that these cousins have the same given name, and that “Aharon” is not a common Efron name, it suggest that Leah Katzinellenbogen’s father may have been named Aaron.


Against the theory that Abraham Aaron is the nephew of Shael through Shael’s brother, Leib, is the fact that “Leib the Chosid” was referred to as “Chana Eta’s” (her son) [Yedidia Efron book cite], and this Chana Eta, based on other information, was the wife of Nisan Efron, thereby making Leib the Chosid the son of Nisan. Therefore, in one theory, the Leib who is the father of Abraham Aaron is the son of Chaim Tsinne’s; in another theory, Leib would be the son of Nisan. Obviously, this needs to be worked out.


Avraham Aaron (Abraham Aaron) "Yom Kipporante" Efron, b. approx. 1835.  He was called “the landlord)”, a nickname given because he had a small piece of property on which  he collected rents, and of which he was proud. This is in line with what Aharon Leiser says about Shael inheriting lots of property through his mother, Leah (Katzenellenbogen) Efron, and/or their connection to the Khoze family, which owned property.


Avraham Aaron’s only known children are Benjamin Zvi and Moshe [VOT003; VOT004].  I believe that Moshe Shlomo, father of Yakov Shmuel Lewis (nee Efron) is the same Moshe that is shown as the son of Avraham Aaron in Grodno voter list. Since both Benjamin and Moshe come from Grodek and are about the same age they are likely brothers.  The grandfather of Yakov Shmuel Lewis was known as “Leib the Chosid.” Leib the Chosid had a fiery red beard and he owned or managed forests. This seems to be Leib, the brother of Shaul Efron  Note that Yankel “Der Shanker,” like Leib the Chosid, had a remarkable red beard.  Further proof is that Leib had a son named Aaron, and that son’s second name could very well have been Abraham.


Based on the above analysis, Avraham Aaron had two known children, whose families are detailed below:


Benjamin (Benyamin Zev)

Moshe Shlomo


In addition, also related and included in this chapter, is the family tree of Sol Efron of New York, son of Moshe. It is not known how he is related, but he is most certainly related. His family, what’s known of it, appears at the end of this chapter.


>          Benjamin (Benyamin Zev) Efron, b. 6/30/1865, Amdur, d. 4/30/1943, New York [CEM043; Verify old DEATH record 33; ARR005-SD1-SD2], married Shosha Rivka (Susan or Eva) Krasevitz or Krasnowitz, b. abt. 1866, Grodek, d. 5/15/1937 [CEM044; Verify old DEATH record 28; ARR005-SD1-SD2; CEN3091].  They settled in Argentina but eventually came to New York late in life. They arrived NYC 7/14/1925 on the Danzig, last residing in Bialystok where their cousin lived by the name of Meshe Rozyoka. They came from Bialystok. In 1937, they lived at 1428 Crotona Park East; in 1943 he lived at 2180 Wallace, Bronx.


Benjamin was known as the son of "Yom Kipporante." He came to  New York (from Argentina) after the his wife and children had immigrated.  The children who lived in Argentina were barred from immigrating to the U.S. because in about 1920 and later immigration was cut off to the U.S. The family lived in Gorodek and then in Bialystok.  There are several towns by the name of Gorodek: One is near Vitebsk; one near Lvov, one near Bobroisk and one near Bialystok. Spellings and context indicate that they came from the Grodek which is near Bialystok.


>          >          Meyer Yena "Meyer Jonas", b. 8/3/1890, 8/3/1895, 1891 or 8/10/1892, Gorodok (Grodek), d. 3/30/1981 [SSDI067; CEM032; Verify old DEATH record 126; ARR031-SD1-SD2; CEN2063; ~CEN30], married 8/8/1926 in NYC to Mildred Elkin, b. 8/15/1896, d. 10/19/1983 [SSDI097; CEM033; Verify old DEATH record 129]. [MAR158] He arrived on the President Lincoln at NY on 4/15/1912 and came to see his cousin Abraham Lebowsky (?) of 29 Mark ? St., Brooklyn [not found]. In 1915 he lived at 938 Longwood Ave. [DIR029] In June, 1917 he lived in East Norwich on Long Island [MIL004]. He lived in Bialystok prior to immigration. He was naturalized 9/30/1919. In 1920 he was living with Israel Berman and wife Sophie, in the Bronx. Also arriving on that ship he was on was Leon Nagdiman of Wolkowich, going to see his uncle Leon Zukowski. Maybe Zukowski and Lebowsky are the same, and one is a misspelling?


From approx. 1919-1924 Meyer Jona co-owned a general store in Big Indian, NY, west of Kingston  in Ulster County.  The co-owner was his cousin Abe Langer (Langer is a family from Amdur).  Later, Meyer Jona lived in Poughkeepsie, next door to Charles (Gdalia) and Leah Effron. They were the Effron family with which he had the closest personal relationship.


>          >          Morris Jacob (Moshe) Efron, b. 1/15/1899 Bialystok, d. 6/28/1982, Delray Beach, FL [SSDI096; DEATH037], married Marsha (Matilda) Unknown, b. 11/7/1909, d. 10/1989, Delray Beach, FL [SSDI233?]. He once lived in NYC. In 1924, he lived at 890 Fox St., Bronx, and he was a machinist. He arrived 8/1/1923 from Buenos Aires at NY [ARR301-SD1-SD2]. In 1930 he was not married. He was a house painter in 1930.  They went to West Palm Beach in the 1970s. They settled in Brooklyn.


>          >          Doris (Taibe; Taibel) Kotler, b. 1/15/1899, Bialystok [ARR075; ~CEN30], married Joseph Kotler.  He was a furrier.  They settled in NYC. She arrived in 1921 from Argentina. She may be the twin of Morris, who was a twin.


The 1930 census lists a daughter “Doria,” age 20, a single dress maker who arrived in 1923, but further information cannot be determined – likely, this is Doris.


>          >          Sophie (Shifra) Kaufman b. Grodek, abt. 1893 [ARR047-SD1-SD2; ~CEN30] (SSDI435?), married Kaufman. He was at one time director of an orchestra for a silent movie theatre.  They settled in NYC.


>          >          Motte "Sroika", married Odel Yudzik. They settled in Argentina.


>          >          Chaya Burnstein (or Burstein), married Pinchus Burnstein.  [ARR301-SD1-SD2] He was an engraver.  They settled in Argentina.


>          >          Feivel Israel, d. abt. 1990, married Rose.  He was the youngest.  He was very ill when young, so he got a different name in an effort to fool the angel of death (Arnoldo).  He settled in Argentina.


>          Moshe Shlomo Efron, b. approx. 1867, married Rachel.  He lived in Grodek. In the 1907 and 1912 voter lists there is listed a Moshe, son of Avraham Aaron. However, Harry Lewis told Jonathan that the grandfather of Yakov Shmuel was Leib the Chosid. It appears that Leib the Chosid was actually the great-grandfather.


>          >          Samuel (Yakov Shmuel) LEWIS, b. Bialystok abt. 1892 or 1897, d. Dublin, 9/8/1944, married in Dublin on 8/13/1924 to Annie (Channa) Bernstein, b. Dublin, 7/14/1899, d. 5/13/1977, Chicago, IL. Their marriage certificate identifies his father as “Solomon Lewis,” a shopkeeper. [MAR159-SD; MISC047] The midwife at her birth was Ada Shillman. Oral history states that she was born in Lithuania in 1897 and came to Dublin in 1899 as an infant, but this is negated by the birth information held in Stuart Rosenblatt’s Irish Jewish Genealogical Society & Family History Centre. Her father, Moshe, was a rabbi in Dublin. They were married at the Greenville Hall Shul by Rabbi Hertzog. [MISC047]


Yaakov Shmuel Lewis arrived in London when he was about 18, around 1910 (J.L.).


Samuel came from “Gorodek” (i.e., Grodek), near Bialystok, and settled in Dublin by way of England. He changed his name to Lewis, probably because he had some relatives in England with that name, and because he was afraid of the authorities because he had escaped Russian conscription. Anecdotal oral history is that the relatives in England had the name Lewis. In 1942 he is a machinist and at his time of his fatal heart attack he was a tailor living at 21 Raymond St. [MISC047]


When Samuel arrived in London his name was changed to Lewis either voluntarily because that was his relative’s name or involuntarily because the custom’s officer saw in his papers that he was going to someone named Lewis so he gave him that name. His relative in London’s first name was Louis. Yaakov Shmuel did not contact his family in Russia because they were no longer living – possibly killed in a pogrom. Yaakov Shmuel was able to obtain travel permits to leave Russia because he claimed he was married (he may have traveled with someone to substantiate this). He spoke English very well and this was the language he used to speak in the house. It is not known if Yakov Shmuel moved to Dublin prior to or for the purpose of marriage.


Annie came to the US in 1955 and settled in Chicago.


Fanny (Levy) Efron, wife of Jacob of Racow (see --), was also born in Dublin, but I can’t find any connection.


His headstone reads: R' Yaakov Shmuel ben R' Moshe Shlomo [INT002]


In the 1891 census the Alfred Peisha Ephron family of Birmingham shares their house with a Lewis family living there [CENENG9104], and 10 years later, in the 1901 census, there is an annotation on the census record next to Leopold Ephron’s (Alfred Peisha’s son) of “Lewis,” suggesting that Leopold used the alternative surname of Lewis. [CENENG0105] Alfred Peisha’s family history is located at --.


Samuel worked as a tailor and at one point - for a short time - he was quite successful. Apparently, his partner swindled him, which led to his illness and death.


For one descendent, Samuel was a mystery. His father-in-law Rabbi Moshe Bernstein was actually not in favor of the marriage and in fact, Rabbi Bernstein may not have attended the wedding. The two men may have not have ever reconciled, but Moshe remained close to his daughter and grandchildren. One son of Moshe (Annie’s brother), who lives in Dublin, could not say what the issue was between the two men. His only response was to say that Samuel was very independent and had his own ideas. The problem may have been that Moshe was against the wedding because Samuel was alone, without family, and didn't have very promising financial prospects.


Harry said that Samuel believed that his family was all killed in a pogrom.”


The Bernsteins are a well-known family in Dublin. Annie had 11 siblings. Her father’s brother who lived in Dublin for some time as well also had a large family and many of the children’s names of the two families were the same, causing some confusion. One of the Bernstein cousins was Rabbi Isaac Bernstein and although he died at a very young age he was the Rabbi at a large synagogue in London. He was a great orator and gained some fame as “The Irish Rabbi.” Some of his classes have been recorded and can be heard on the internet.


Solomon Efron of New York, son of Moshe, related somehow to Avraham (Avraham Aaron?), son of Leib, Chaim Tsinne’s


Sol Efron of New York is almost certainly related to the above Efrons, though based only on circumstantial evidence. First, his name and his father’s name are very common in this branch. Second, his ship arrival states that his closest friend in Argentina is Pinchus Bernstein. Thirdly, he immigrated almost at the exact same time as Morris Jacob (Moshe) Efron, a brother-in-law of Pinchus Bernstein. One hypothesis is that Sol acquired a false name, maybe for purposes of immigration or draft evasion.


Moshe Efron, b. approx. 1875, married Rebecca (“Robeka”) Efron (probably not her maiden name, but needs to be verified).


>             Sol (Shlomo) Efron, b. 2/28/1903 Grodno, d. 7/5/1979, Bronx [SSDI100R-SD; CEM097; Verify old DEATH record 121], married after 1920 to Sarah Unknown, b. abt. 1907, d. 5/29/1962 [CEM096; Verify old DEATH record 86]. At the time of his death, he had a survivor living in Yonkers. He arrived 9/19/1923 at NY on the Vauban sailing from Buenos Aires. He was not then married. He declared his intention for citizenship on 1/25/1926. In 1926 he was a carpenter living at 812 Suburban Place, Bronx. When he arrived he is going to his brother in law, Hyman Mirels, at 812 Suburban Place.  Hyman Minerals (Mirels) is at 812 Suburban in 1920 census, p. 37 of ED 256. Mirels (Minerals) is a friend of and living with the Klinman family: Louis, Celia and children. In the 1930 census they are listed as the “Kleinman” family and still live at 812 Suburban . In 1930, at this Suburban Place address, there is no Solomon Efron or Hyman Mirels/Minerals, but there is a large EPNER family of Morris, Rose, children Max, Edith, Sam, Diana and Jeannie. This could be Moshe, Rebecca and Sol EFRON, but no facts establish that in fact they are the same. Also at this address in 1930 is Elsie Nakdiman (Nakdenman), living with Celia (widow) and Lena (daughter) Feinberg.