Chapter 29 Isaac Efron of Bobroisk


With some assumptions about the ages of Yosef Efron and his descendents, and Isaac Efron and his descendents, these two families with origins in Bobroisk could be linked. However there are a lot of assumptions. For now, these  two Efron families from Bobroisk are barely connected and much additional proof is needed.


Acknowledgements: Anne Rosoff Witzer, Ethel Wachsman, Edward Effron, David Wolfson, Beila Nayyer, Schelly Talalay Dardashti, Phyllis Caplan, Sara Nelson Efron, David Joseph Efron, Amy Cohen-Efron, Marty Wolfson; Irwin Howard Efron, Gary Efron


Eli Efron. He was the father of Yosef Efron of Bobroisk, according to the genealogy related by Beila (see below). He could be the son of Isaac Efron of Bobroisk (see below).


>              Yosef Efron, b. approximately 1877, married Gitte (Gita) Eisenshtadt. [YAD040] If he was born around 1877 he would have been old enough to have the children he has, who were born in the 1890s, and young enough to have been a grandchild of Isaac of Bobroisk, since Isaac was born around He lived in Bobruisk. He was a rabbi in Bobisk [cite?]. He is only known through the oral history received from Beila, his great-granddaughter. His connection to the other Bobroisk Efrons – Isaac Efron and his descendents – is only conjecture, based on the two branches’ common origin in Bobroisk.


Isaac Efron, whose branch is known from completely different sources, might be the same as the above Eli Efron of Bobroisk, or he could be a brother. Isaac’s family tree is below.


The family tree of Yosef Efron, a son of “Eli of Grodno” was received from Schelly Talalay Dardashti , a journalist  and creator of  Tracing the Tribe, the Jewish Genealogy Blog (  She received the information from Beilla. It appears that this family is related to the Bobroisk Efrons who are descendants of Isaac of Bobroisk.


The earliest known Efron ancestor, as reported by Beila, is Eli Efron, who would need to be a brother of, or the samef as Isaac for there to be a connection between the two families. Beila says that Yosef had sons who came to the US, which suggests that Eli and Isaac may be the same person. According to Beila, Eli came from Grodno, whereas there is no indication that Isaac or his children came from Grodno. On the other hand, the fact that there were sons of Yosef who lived in the US, according to Beila, and that Yosef came fromn Bobroisk, suggests that Yosef is related to these several US-resident brothers (below) who came from Bobroisk. Yosef is too young to be the same as Isaac. If anything, he might be another son.


If, as Beila believes, Yosef had some sons who lived in the US, they are probably Julius, Charles and Max Efron because they are the only known US immigrants that had lived in Bobroisk. However, those three would be brothers, based on their ages, not sons of Yosef. [cite to Beila’s family tree]. There is therefore more information needed for these two Bobroisk Efron families to be properly connected.


>              >              Ilya, b. approx. 1895.  His birth date is based on the fact that he was said to be the oldest.


>              >              Chaim., b. 1897 or 1899, Bobroisk, d. 1941 in Bialystok or Minsk, married to Leah Director. He was a Nachalnaik (officer?) in the Soviet army and had lived in Bialystok [YAD020; YAD040]


He was killed in Minsk, possibly in the Holocaust, according to Beilla.


>              >              >              Gita Bisnovaty or Bisnovataya [YAD020; YAD040]


>              >              Rachel


>              >              Rosa


>              >              Tsila


>              >              Keila


>              >              Abraham, b. 1898, married 1926 to Unknown.  He moved to Minsk. He was the grandfather of Beila, who reported the family history of this branch.


>              >              >              Unknown.


Isaac Efron of Bobroisk


The descendents of Isaac Efron from Bobroisk is evidenced through many sources in the US.


Isaac (Yitzchak) Efron, b. approx 1847, married Lena Itzkin. Records also indicate that his wife was Dvorah Gelfand.  Many of their descendants have the name David, possibly iin honor of Dvorah Gelfand. If Isaac was born in 1847, he would have been 25 years old when Gershon, believed to be his first child, was born (estimated birth date is 1872). In turn, if born in 1847, Isaac could be just barely old enough to be the grandfather of Joseph of Bobroisk (see above), whose brith date could have been as late as 1877


The family of Isaac Efron came from Bobruisk, according to Ethel Wachsman.  Sara Nelson Efron said that all of the Efrons from Bobruisk were short and that is why she believes that the Minnesota Efrons are related. Someone had met Arthur Efron, from Cleveland, and he was also of short stature. Although there are several similarities with the Minnesota branch of Efrons, no connection has been determined.


The only Reviski Staski entry for Ivenets that may apply to this branch is an entry for Iysik, b. abt 1845, son of Gershon, son of Abram [RS050]. The age of the Isaac from that revision list and the estimated age of Isaac, patriarch of this branch (based on birth dates of his children) match up, and the occurrence of Gershon in both families lends further support of a connection. Interestingly, but only a coincidence, Philip Efron, below, gave one of his children the names Gershon Avraham.


This branch may be related to the family of  Mordecai Efron of Bobruisk, a descendant of Israel of Ivenets (see page --).


Isaac and Lena had six known children, and another three who are not known. There was a daughter who never emigrated from Europe, and two others who died in Europe, likely in infancy or at a young age. The two chidlren who died young were possibly Bernie and Sophie (P. Caplan):



Aaron S.

Charles (Fayleh) (Falk)

Pauline (Peshi) Wolfson

Israel (Israel Joseph)

Julius “Zushia” (Sussman)

Unknown daughter


>              Gershon, b. approx. 1872. He is known based on the arrival record of his son, “Ezka”


>              >              Ezka (Itska?), b. abt. 1892. He came to the US in 1912 by way of Montreal, Canada. According to that arrival record he is from Bobroisk, is 19, and is a photographer. He is joining his uncle, Shmuel Wolfson in Bayonne, which is how I know that he is from this family. His arrival record says that his father, still living in the old country, is Gershon. [ARR168]


>              Aaron S. Efron, b. approx 1874, d. about 1898, married Fanny Lotow She was the daughter of Leah, sister of a wealthy Bostonian.


Fanny’s father might be Louis Lotow, a manufacturer of women’s  nightgown’s who came from Minsk, per census records. He changed his name in 1898 according to a Middlesex County, MA probate record. In the naturalization of this Louis Lotow, b. 5/18/1868, in 1906, in Roxbury, one witness is a nephew, Samuel D. Matthews, who is a law student, age 22, who says that Louis Lotow married his father’s sister. Thus, if Louis’ wife’s name is Leah, then Leah’s maiden name could be Matthews. Apprently, though, her mother’s name was Jenny (1900 census). In 1995 Jerome Rubin of Boston wrote me a letter describing the Lotow [should be Lotto? VERIFY] family of Boston, who were all related, but were not related at all to anyone named Lotow.


Aaron and Fanny lived in Minsk.  They had one known child, Nathan. Aaron died and Fanny remarried to Joel  (Joseph) Rosoff (Rosef), b. abt. 1869. Joel Rosoff  and Fanny had Ann, b. 12/26/1899 in Minsk. The entire family then came to the US in 1900 [CEN1039; CEN2030] or 1904. In 1910 Joel is a washer in a bottle factory.


In 1920, Anna is living at home with her husband, Nathan Sibley, age 24, at 26 Davis St. in Boston, MA. They have a son, Leonard, 6 weeks old.


>              >              Nathan, b. 5/15/1891 or 5/15/1890, Russia, d. 3/-/1974, Boston [CEN1039; CEN2030; SSDI068], married 1925, and divorced, Ida S. Leshefsky, b. 9/4/1898, d. 8/1970, Boston [SSDI041R].  He arrived with his mother and step-father, Joel (AKA Joseph) Rosoff. Her parents were Harris and Rebecca Finn.  [MARR-]. See also SSDI043; OLD DEATH036; FLAUTO005.


Later in life, Nathan married Ilene (sp?)


>              >              Libby (Lillian) Everlev, b. abt. 1893, Russia [~CEN20], married Michael Everlev. She went from Boston to Lebanon, Pennsylvania.


>              Charles (Fayleh) (Falk), b. 3/3/1877, Bobroisk, d. 7/2/1945 [NAT037; Verify old DEATH record 38], married at Dubin (Dullebno), Russia 7/-/1901 to Becky (Riva), b. 11/15/1877, Dubin (other names used for this shtetl are Dobbin or Dulebno), d. prior to 7/2/1945 [ARR009; CEN2028]. Riva first traveled to NY from Hamburg on the Graf Waldesee, on 12/16/1905, but may not have arrived because she appears to have first arrived in the US later, in 1910. In the record of her 1905 voyage she has with her son Jacob, who is 11 months old.  [ARR203] Riva arrived at NY on 7/5/1910 on the Birma with the three oldest children. Riva's arrival says that in Europe her closest relation is Susse Gelfand (appears to be rendered as Gelfan), who lived in Bobroisk (probably the Uncle Simon Gelfand described by Marshall)..  Riva and her children last resided in Bobroisk.  A Levine and an Axelrod family, arriving at the same time, have the same origins.  They lived in Baltimore, MD (at 911 E. Baltimore St. in 1920).  Fayleh arrived in 1906.  In 1920 he had his first papers. In 7/10/1910, when Riva arrived, Fayleh lived at 317 E. 4th St. In 12/1910 when brother Israel arrived, he lived at 112 St. Mark's (?) St. On 6/10/95 I met with Sara Efron of Seattle while she was visiting Boston for a graduation at Harvard Medical School. He lived at 56 Willett St., NYC in 1940, when he was naturalized, and at 92 Sheriff St., Manhattan in 1945.


>              >              Bernard  Gelfand (Berka) "Bernie", b. 11/-/1902 in Dubin, Russia, d. 2/16/1960, New Orleans, LA, married Ines Frederick [Times Picayune Obit] [ARR009].  He was a doctor in New Orleans, LA, practicing GI medicine.  He was a graduate of Tulane University, 1926. Philip Leonard, says that Bernie married in Tifflin, OH to Rose Sushan (Rose died in New Orleans and was the daughter of Anne Levin (Levitansky) and Ben Sushan). He may have married them both. Rose, according to Philip, was the daughter of Rose Shushan


>              >              Jacob G. "Jack or “Jake", b. 12/14/1903, Dubin, Russia or 1/1905, d. 5/9/1976 in L.A. [SSDI006; ARR009; ARR203]


>              >              Mendel "Max", b. 11/5/1905 or 12/31/1905, Izabelin, d. 10/5/1993 [SSDI192; ARR009], married to Sara (Sonia Katznelson) Nelson, b. 3/2/1909, New York, d. 12/25/2004 [SSDI664; OBIT061]. They lived in Bellevue, WA. He lived in CA in 1940. When Sara was in Boston in June, 1995 I visited her. She sent me home with a tin of delicious cookies. She was related to the well known Berl Katznelson [verify name and try to determine relationship], Katznelson is a variation of the rabbinic Katzenellenbogen family.  She had various information about the Efron family. Note that a Shaul Katznelson was machuntunim to Yosef Dov Soloveitchik (see page --). Her parents were Abraham and Emma Nelson.


>              >              Clara B., b. 3/30/1912, New York, d. 1/22/1987, L.A [SSDI039].  She never married. She lived in Baltimore in 1940.  She used to hangout with the poet Delmar Schwartz (ME)


>              Bessie (Peshe Elke) (Pauline?) Wolfson, b. abt. 1878, Russia, [~CEN20], settled in Bayonne, NJ, d. 12/4/1941, married abt. 1902 to Samuel (Shmuel), b. abt. 1876, Russia, 8/16/1932. In 1932 Samuel Wolfson sold a property to his sister-in-law, presumably, one Lena Efron [NYT024]. They had a music dealing business in Bayonne. He arrived in 1905 and she in 1907. [CEN3131]. In addition to the children listed here, there were two others who died in infancy, likely in Europe.


Description: Wolfson - 1st  row  Clara, Samuel with Irwin (Pauline & Joe's son), Pauline holding Shirley, Bessie, Ethel  Back row--Eddie, Joe, Dave, Morris Wolfson abt. 1927.jpg


Description: Wolfson - L-R Dave. Eddie, Morris, and Joe abt. 1943.jpg


Description: Wolfson - L-R Morris. Eddie, Dave, and Joe abt. 1916.jpg


>              >              Joel, b. 11/17/1902, d. 3/5/1972, Miami, married May 1924 to Pauline (Pearl) Saltin, b. 8/8/1905, Bayonne, NJ, d. 4/5/1995, New Rochelle, NY. [OBIT062] Pearl was her birth name. They lived in Miami for 45 years. Pauline was a bondswoman there until she retired in 1985 [OBIT023]. The information about Joel’s family is from his wife Pauline’s obituary, obtained by Sara Nelson Efron. At the time of Pauline’s passing she had six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Her parents were Jacob and Fannie (Miller) Saltin.


>              >              David, b. 2/12/1909, Bayonne, NJ, d. 4/21/2001, Bayonne, NJ, married in 1932 to Miriam Lazarowitz, b. 3/4/1910, Bayonne, NJ, d. 9/27/2000, Bayonne, NJ.


>              >              Edward, b. 9/1/1911, NJ, d. 6/2/1982, Bayonne, NJ, married 11/25/1948 to Dorothy Levine, b. 7/5/1913, Bayonne, NJ, d. 6/15/2007, Bayonne, NJ[CEN3131]


>              >              Morris (Maurice), b. abt. 1913, d. 9/22/1944, Eloyse, France. He was killed in action in World War II.


>              >              Ethel Wachsman, b. 5/18/1916, Bayonne, NJ, d. 3/16/2007, Bayonne, NJ, married Barney Wachsman, b. 12/18/1914, Jersey City, NJ, d. 5/28/1928, Bayonne. They lived in Bayonne, NJ. [CEN30?]


>              >              Clara Abrams, b. 4/16/1919, Bayonne, NJ, d. 1/11/2006, Jersey City, NJ, married Bernard Abrams. She lived for over 50 years in Jersey City, NJ. [Ancestry Obit] She should not be confused with first cousin Clara.  [CEN30?] She is buried in the Baron Hirsh cemetery on Staten Island.


>              Israel (Israel Joseph), b. 3/15/1880, Bobroisk, d. 1/21/1949 or 1/29/49 [~CEN20; CEM074; Verify old DEATH record 49; NAT010; EST 10; ARR010], married Sarah Simonofsky, b. abt. 3/12/1884, Paritch (Paritz), Bobroisk, d. 6/25/1958 [CEM075; Verify old DEATH record 71; ARR049; EST 22; LDS005].  He arrived as Israel at NY on 12/3/10 on the Compania, sailing from Liverpool. His wife was still in Bobroisk. He lived on Ludlow St. on the East Side of NY.  He stated he was a tailor when he first arrived. He operated a laundry and lived at 474 E. Houston Street from at least 1915 through 1922.  She arrived 1/25/1913 on the Kursk, sailing from Libau, with Kalman and “Ber.” She may be the Sarah Efron who was naturalized in 1949 while residing at 39-5546th St., Sunnyside [NAT066]


>              >              Kalman, b. 3/14/1906, Paritch, Bobroisk, d. 4/27/1985 in Cranbury, NJ [SSDI105; CEM107; ARR049; NAT040], married Amy Unkonwn. In 1922, he lives in Eglewood Cliffs, NJ. He lived at 137 Ludlow St. in 1928 when he filed his naturalization declaration. He was a law student in 1927. According to Sara Efron, Kalman was a non-practicing attorney and assisted Morris in booking theatres.


>              >              Benjamin (Ber), b. 3/10/1908, Paritch, Bobruisk, d. 3/3/1991, Silver Springs, MD [NAT036; ARR049; SSDI587], married 6/20/1935 to Lillian Westerman, b. 11/29/1909, d. 11/7/2005, Bethesda, MD [SSDI592]. In 1928 he lived at 137 Ludlow St. In 1958 he lives in Providence, RI. He arrived in 1913. In 1926 he is a teacher. They returned to the US from a trip abroad in 1935. At that time he lived at 137 Ludlow St. and she at 666 Dawson St. [ARR184]


>              >              Morry (or Morris), b. 12/9/1914, NYC, d. 3/18/1986, Cranbury, NJ [OBIT063; SSDI122], married to Miriam Meyerhoff. He was a theatrical booking agent, and contacted many Effron's around the country during his travels.  His wife says no records exist. In 1958, Morris lives at 20-07 169th St., Whitestone, NYC. Sarah Efron of Washington gave me a piece of paper with family notes, that either she or her husband Max apparently got from Morry. The letterhead is from Hugh Becket Attractions, Seattle.


>              Julius “Zushia” (Sussman) Efron, b. abt. 1884, Minsk, married in NYC on 11/16/1913 [MAR034] to Lena Karasick or Krasick, b. abt. 1890, Minsk [CEN2095], d. 1969 (IHE). He went from Hamburg to London on the Nerissa in March, 1905. Prior to then he lived in Bobroisk. [ARR215]. He appears to be the “Jessie Efron” who at age 22 arrives in Philadelphia aboard the Haverford and is going to Bayonne, NJ [LDS001]. In 1913, Julius is a merchant living at 212 Forsyth St., NYC.  In 1915, 1917 and 1920 a Samuel Efron works at 212 Forsythe St, and lives at 199 the same street. [DIR031].  Her mother was Tillie Tomashewsky; Tomashewsky is a name that appears frequently in Amdur records.  In 1920, Bluma Sachs lived with them. Lena had a sister Celia. In some records, his name is spelled “Efren.”


>              >              Nathan, b. 10/21/1914, d. 10/11/1980, Jamaica, Queens, NYC [SSDI120; Verify old DEATH record 122], married and divorced abt. 1952 Unknown.


>              >              David, b. 1/11/1920, d. 7/17/1981 [SSDI127; Verify old DEATH record 125; EST 15]. He never married. He was a bookkeeper. He lived in Forest Hills, Queens, NY in 1981. He had a cousin through his mother by the name of Edward Thomashow.


There was another daughter who was left in Russia. (Ethel Wachsman)