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Our Kahn line is about movement. Our earliest known origins are in Schweich, where at least three generations were born. For some reason, a grandson of Raphael, Lazarus (or Lazar) Kahn, married in Luxembourg and had a child, Victor.

Victor eventually moved on to Paris, where he married Mathilde Cahen and had two children, Pauline and Arthur. In 1856, the family uprooted and arrived in Liverpool where more children were born.

The family was not alone in their journey. Around that time, thousands of Jews from Germany, Poland and Russia were heading for the Mersey, often via Hull, usually en-route for the USA. Victor settled in Liverpool.

Victor’s motives are unknown.  We can but speculate that perhaps he arrived in Liverpool with the intention of staying, or maybe he was diverted by a job offer. We know he worked as an interpreter. There are strong suggestions that he was an agent for Jewish migrants, helping to smooth their transit through England and on to trans-Atlantic ships.

The one image we have of Victor was taken by a Liverpool-based photographer’s studio. He is posing proudly, but we can’t be certain what uniform he is wearing. One suggestion is that it is maritime, probably the Cunard Steamship Company. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to access Cunard’s records of the day to seek clarification. But as we’ve said elsewhere, Victor seems to have been quite well-known locally, so we hope to be able to uncover references to his life up to his death in 1899.

More information about Victor can be read under ‘biographies.’ If you’ve anything to add, please leave comments, or e-mail us at contactus@kahngene.org.uk if you can fill in gaps or would like more information.

AGK

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