Chapter 40 Affron of Birmingham, England (Sag Harbor, NY)


This chapter is divided into three sections because the families here may be related.


Acknowledgements: Mike Affron, Amanda Ryder,


Other than the phonetic similarity to the name “Efron,” why are the Birmingham families listed in such detail? There may be a connection to the family of Alfred Peisha Ephron and Alexander Ephron of Newark, who were Jewish (see page --). The connections between Alexander Ephron of Newark and the Affrons of Birmingham are circumstantial. They appear to have been in the same profession, as jewelers, engravers and metal artisans. At least one of the Birmingham Affrons lived in Newark. The Jewish Alexander Ephron of Newark (see page --) appears to have been quite assimilated and the Affrons of Birmingham have no sign of Jewish origin.


It is not certain how all of the Affrons with origins in Birmingham, England and those found in Newark, Providence, RI; and Sag Harbor, NY are related to one another.


On a list of early residents of Sag Harbor, created by the local library, the Affrons are included on a list with Jewish residents; even though they were married in churches and showed no obvious signs of being Hebrews.


Mike Affron, who was born in Birmingham, emailed me: I was born in Birmingham UK on the 29th March 1944 the son of Henry Charles Affron and Selina May Affron nee Shakespeare. I would love to know what information that you have on the Affron family.”


Amanda Ryder is related to a William Affron, born 1844 Middlesex London. He came to Birmingham in the early 1860s, married, and had his family. Amanda notes that her family has spelt the name in a variety of ways, and in” the 1851 census they are down as efron.” From William Affron’s marriage certificate she learned that his father was William. His mother was named Martha according to census records . She did find a marriage of a William Effren to a Martha Bromley 12 FEB 1832   Cathedral, Manchester, Lancashire.


Roughly speaking, these are the families:


1. George, Thomas William (aka William Thomas) and Albert Edward were all the children of Thomas and Sarah Affron of Birmingham, England. Records indicate that they all came to America.


2. Benjamin John Affron of Providence, RI and Newark, NJ may be the son of Benjamin Affron of Birmingham, who in turn may be a brother of Thomas (b. 1841) and William (b. 1846).


3. The Williiam Affron family, with Birmingham connections, appears to be a distinct branch from the Thomas and Sarah Affron family, but with many given names in common. One possibility is that Thomas Affron (married to Sarah Merritt) whose descendants came to the United States, is the brother of William Affron of Birmingham, born about 1846, whose descendents are only known through documentary evidence.


Isidore Efron lived in Sag Harbor, NY (where his wife is buried), the same little town where most of the Birmingham Affrons in the US settled, but there is no evidence that he is related to them. Isidor Efron of Sag Harbor was most certainly Jewish, while the Affrons of Birmingham have only a slight possibility of being Jewish. For Isidore’s family, see chapter --.


Thomas Affron of Birmingham, England and Providence, RI


Most of the information on this branch came from Bill Broadgate, and marriage data from the Sag Harbor Library and town clerk’s office.


Thomas Affron, b. approx. 1841, d. 4/1/1893, Providence, RI [DEATH015], married 12/25/1861 in Birmingham, England to Sarah Hand Merritt, b. 1844 [MAR—(LDS )]. Sarah arrived 12/30/1869 with children William and Albert [ARR--]. Thomas and Sarah were married in All Saints Church. Also married in that church was Martha Affron on 8/3/1874 to William Hewitt. Sarah’s mother is Hannah Merritt:  Based on an 1881 census record a Thomas L. Affron, b. 1867, is living with his grandmother, Hannah Merritt, at Lamb’s Tavern on New Spring Street. [ENGCEN8102] Presumably, Sarah is Hannah’s mother. Sarah and her sons Thomas and Albert came to America at the end of 1869. [ARR162] It is presumed that this is the Thomas Affron who was a jeweler in Providence, RI in the 1880s and early 1890s and is related to Benjamin Affron and William (wife Martha) Affron, according to street directories for Providence, RI. At the time of his death his next of kin are William and Martha Affron. [DEATH015]


The family that came to America is linked to the family that was left in England by the recocrd that shows William Affron, b. 1867, as the grandson of Hannah Merritt.


>              Thomas William (aka William Thomas or Thomas L.) Affron, b. 1867, 1/1868 or abt. 10/1/1863, Birmingham, England, d. Greenport, Long Island, NY 2/21/1948, married 12/16/1888 in Sag Harbor to Bernice Elmore Preston, b. 9/1868 or abt. 1863, NY, d. 9/10/1932 [ARR--; CEN0036 CEN10---; ENGCEN8102; DIR  1910/11 Sag Harbor directory); MAR NOTE; OBIT--]. They lived in Sag Harbor on Long Island at the time of their marriage. He was naturalized by 1900. He was then an engraver. Her father was born in Conn., and her mother in New Jersey. Thomas was a long-time resident of Sag Harbor. He arrived in the US first in 1869, with his mother and brother Albert, then again entered the US in 1889 [verify] with his brother George. In 1889 [verify, when he re-immigrated] he described his profession as “engineer.” [ARR161; ARR162]. In 1880 he and Benjamin Affron are living in Providence as borders at the house of Mrs. William R. Jones, a physician at 245 So. Main St. In 1880 she has a daughter, Richmal M. who is 22 years old. [DIR066]. Thomas and Benjamin Affron board with Dr. Jones approximately from the years 1883 to about 1892. [DIR066]


>              >              William A., b. 11/1890, NY, married Ruth, b. 4/15/1897, d. 10/15/1984, MD. She lived in Camp Springs, near Washington, DC [SSDI012; OBIT004]. At the time of her death, she was the grandmother of 11 and great-grandmother of 7. (Other information indicates he was married to Madeline Affron, but this does not appear to be correct.)


>              >              Madeline Schenk, b. 11/1891, NY married 5/28/1919 to Frank G. Schenk [MAR NOTE]. She lived in Bridgehampton.


>              George W. Affron, b. abt. 1869, Birmingham, England, married 1/1/1892 in Sag Harbor, LI, NY [MAR –] to Cora Sterling Thomas, b. abt. 1872, Nyack, NY. He lived in Newark prior to moving to Sag Harbor and marrying Cora, according to the marriage notice for Thomas in 1888 and the Newark Directories of 1895 and 1902-1903 [DIR053]. In Newark, he was an engraver and worked at “celewks.” The marriage notice for George and wife appeared in the 1/8/1892 Express, Sag Harbor’s newspaper [MAR NOTE--].  They were married in the Sag Harbor ME (Methodist Episcopal) church parsonage.  This reference to Newark is some evidence of a connection to Alfred and Alexander Ephron of Newark. George arrived in 1889 [verify] with his brother William. George is described at that time as a silversmith. [ARR161]


>              Albert Edward, b. 1868 or abt. 10/1/1869, Birmingham, England. Albert arrived in 1869, with his mother and brother, Thomas. [ARR162]


According to Bill Broadgate, there was a rabbi in Georgetown, DC by the name of Afron who, sometime around 1989 was murdered. 


See Sag Harbor: The story of an American Beauty, by Zakolsky, for more information about this town.


Benjamin John Affron of Birmingham, England


Benjamin John Affron, b. 10/1875, Birmingham, England. [B003], married Eleanor A. (Nellie) Unknown, b. 1875, NJ. [CEN8007; CEN0037; CEN2141; CEN3172] Her parents were born in Ireland. His father may be the Benjamin Affron of Warwickshire, England who was married at the end of 1873 [MAR018] In 1891 there is a Benjamin Affron in Newark, a tinsmith, who may be his father, and in 1902 there is both a Benjamin and a Benjamin J. Affron, according to the Newark city directory. [DIR053]  Benjamin lived at 245 So. Main St., Providence, RI from 1883 through 1892, together with Thomas Affron [DIR066]. In 1900 and 1920 he was a carpenter and builder, and living in Newark. The 1920 and 1930 censuses both say, erroneously, that he was born in Rhode Island. Benjamin J. was a carpenter, and lived at a variety of Newark addresses according to the 1903-1925 Newark city directories [DIR053]. In 1925 he is listed in the city directory as a contractor, doing business as Affron & Ogden, with Harry Ogden. [DIR053]


>              Eleanor (Elsie) McEvoy, b. abt. 1898, NJ, married Joseph F. McEvoy, b. abt. 1897. He has a brother Edward J. McEvoy who is 15 in 1930 and lives with them. Her parents also live with them in 1930. [CEN3172] In 1920 she is a bookbinder [DIR053]


Willaim Affron of Birmingham


The following family tree is based on data from Affron records found in England. It is possible that the data is for more than one Affron family because some of the data is inconsistent. For example, William Affron born 1846 has different wives in different records, but this could be easily explined if he was married more than once.


William Affron, b. 1846, Birmingham or 1845, London, [ENGCEN9102] married 1. before  6/27/1864 to Ann Huchsley [MAR010; ENGCEN8101], b. Stourbridge, d. (or divorced?) prior to 1883. In 1871 he has at his house a visitor, one Albert Affron [ENGCEN7101]. William’s father is possibly the William Efron who was born about 1816 and who is enumerated in the 1841 England Census in Northamptonshire, Norton. [ENGCEN4101]


Based on census records alone, it can not be determined precisely which children were born to which mother. The arrangement below is not certain. [CEN--].


>              Jane, b. 1865


>              William L., b. 1868, Birmingham, married Emily Unknown, b. 1871. He was the grandchild of Hannah Merritt [ENGCEN8102; ENGCEN9102--; ENGCEN0103]


>              >              Rosina Shaw, b. 1895, married between 1/1914 and 3/1914 in England to Harold Shaw [MAR011]


>              >              Ethel, b. 1898


>              Martha (Matilda?), b. 1870


>              Harriet L., b. 1875, Birmingham


>              Mary A., b. 1878, Birmingham


>              Thomas, b. 1879 or 1880, Birmingham, married Florence, b. 1879 [ENCEN0104]


>              >              William, b. 1900


>              Nellie, b. 1883, Birmingham


married 2. after 1883 but before 1891 to Mary A. Unknown, b. Hales, 1847 [ENGCEN9102].


>              Annie, b. 1886, Birmingham


>              Amy, b. 1888, Birmingham


>              Florrie, b. 1890, Birmingham


There are records of three additional Affrons from Birmingham whose date of birth could make them additional siblings to the theoretical brothers Thomas and William. They are Harriet, John and Martha Affron. They were married in Birmingham:Harriet Affron to William Clifford, 11/7/1869 [MAR007]; John Affron to Jane Barbara Cook, 12/26/1864 [MAR008]; and Martha Affron to William Hewitt, 8/3/1874 [MAR009].