Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

As an unfamiliar exercise in method and organisation, I’ve started to trawl through old files. The first unresolved issue I’ve encountered is the birth and subsequent prenuptial life of Blanche Rachel Gordon.  Who was she?

In the 1901 census she’s shown as Charles Kahn’s wife born in Brighton, yet no registration of her birth can be found. Nor a marriage record. Her known or assumed history is given under biographies so no need to repeat those details here (click to the right if interested) but I have the sense that her early life is shrouded in shadows and only in later life does she step into the sun. If my instinct is right, what catalyst prompted her to emerge with fluttering wings? We don’t know.

It’s useless to speculate. She and Charles had their reasons. Or the problem could simply be one of transcription of contemporary records and she’s there, somewhere, under an unexpected name. If anyone can shed light, we’d like to hear.

Aside: in the 1923 electoral role, Blanche and Charles are living at 2 Baronsmead Road, Barnes, W13 in the Covent Garden Ward (B) of the City of Westminster. On the same page, a couple of streets away at Burleigh Mansions, is listed Eliot, Thomas Stearns (Tom to his friends; T.S. to you and me) he of “The Wasteland” and “Murder in the Cathedral” fame. Perhaps it’s an omen. I’m reading his biography at the moment. Maybe I’ll turn the next leaf and find a reference to his old mates, Charlie and Blanche. Unlikely, though.


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With continuing researches, our extended family is extending all the time. New names are being added and then unfortunately forgotten, by me at any rate. So here’s a list of family surnames on our branch line, all of which are of interest in our quest for more information, albeit many are only distantly related. The list is not complete. It’s in a state of becoming and I’ll be happy to add more when nudged.

Kahn (origins German, Luxembourg and Liverpool); Cahen (origins France); Kahnn (origins Luxembourg); Levy (Schweich and Haute Yutz); Nathan (Schweich and Welschbillig); Lazard (Thalfang); Herschel (Welschbillig); Schloss (Welschbillig); Simon (Welschbillig); Kurz (Welschbillig); Juda (Welschbillig); Lazarus (Schweich); Alexander Luxembourg); Aron (Luxembourg); Wigdor (London); Gordon (Brighton); Kahn-Rein (London); Allert (Liverpool); Slack (UK); Macey (London); Bailey (London); Hanson (Poole); Dubber (Bentley, Hampshire); Fuller (Southampton); Fallek (Hungary and France); Aldridge (London); Seelig (Newcastle); Glatt (Austria); Davis (London); McKay (Manchester); Roscoe (London); Matthews (Wirral); Bamberger (Liverpool); Birley (Liverpool); Titterton (Stockport); Higgins (Stockport); Marsden (London); Samuels (Poland and Merseyside); Henly (London); Tickler (London); Tarling; Ascott. The following are all Schweich: Dublon; Fass; Fernich; Haas; Isay; Isai; Israel; Koblenzer; Lorig; Ruben; Salm.

These are mainly historical names; modern ones have largely been omitted to save the blushes of living relatives, distant and close. If you’d like to comment: contactus@kahngene.org.uk

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eric ww1

The 1939 register of UK and Wales has cleaned a few small windows which previously were smeared with uncertainty. For example, no trace could be found of Eric Salamon Kahn’s Austrian wife Jeanette Glatt, but access to the on-line 1939 census provided a clue.

On 25 September 1939, Eric was living at his home in Sutton-on-Cheam with Jeanette and his son Arthur J Kahn (a scholar, although by this day the term ‘scholar’ seems to be reserved for more senior education and instead the word ‘schoolboy’ is more prevalent). Also at the address was a Mathilda Davis, a widow born on 11 June 1879. With a little more digging, I found that Mathilda Davis was Jeanette’s mother and her maiden name was Glatt, born in Austria and remaining an Austrian national. Mathilda had married a Hyman Davis (born 1875 Whitechapel) in 1903. So we were one generation out. Another little mystery solved.

The 1939 register is proving valuable in one unintended way – it provides actual (and hopefully fairly accurate) dates of birth. Most of my records cite the BMD registration notation of quarter and year, but now precise birth-dates of later generations are being revealed.

As far as I can gather, the 1939 register was instigated with the main purpose of identifying experience and skills which could be useful for the war effort, and for eventual conscription of suitable personnel for military service. Eric’s record bears the annotation: “Colt/cpl 1st City of London Jewish Lads Brigade attached as private 3rd Sherwood Battalion – 103234 – Great War 1917-18”. Presumably that ear-marked him for service although he was 40 at the time. We know he served with the 15th Sherwood Foresters Brigade during WW1 as shown in the image above.

If anyone knows more, or would like to know more, as ever please contactus@kahngene.org,uk




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The UK war-time census (England and Wales Register) conducted on 29 September 1939 is currently available on line at http://www.ancestry.co.uk for a limited period only.

I’ve searched on relevant family members but will probably have missed quite a few. In due course (sometime within the next 5 years) I’ll email everyone interested with information I’ve gleaned so far, but if you’d like me to search for anyone in particular, please let me know soon by the contactus@kahngene.org.uk email address and I’ll see what I can do. (AGK)


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Sub-title: our family’s part in his rise and fall

My simple philosophy is this: a true patriot recognises and appreciates patriotism in others. For that reason, many of the British had a sneaking admiration for Napoleon Bonaparte, even those gifted with the unenviable task of guarding him when he was deported to St. Helena towards the end of his life. I have an ambivalent attitude towards him. On my mother’s side, my ancestors opposed him; on my father’s side, my ancestors stood beside him (metaphorically). Indeed our GGG grandfather Lazarus Kahn (born 1789 in Schweich) was a recipient of La Medaille de Ste Helene, or the Napoleon Medal, which was issued to all survivors of his many campaigns (a euphemism for wars, not necessarily just). I’ve recently read an account of Napoleon’s sojourn on St. Helena by Julia Blackburn which left me feeling quite warm towards the ailing super-hero.

He had an impact on the Jews too. Not I imagine for purely altruistic reasons he introduced a series of new decrees relating to the Jewish population in the states he conquered. Again the ambivalence – some of them seem especially harsh and upset the Jewish community (annulment of all debts they were owed, for example) but others sought to proclaim the emancipation of Jews in order to improve their welfare and standing in the communities in which they lived by assimilation.

One which I found especially interesting is the “Imperial Decree Concerning the Jews Who Don’t have a Surname and Fixed First Name, 20 July 1808, No. 3589 at Baionne.” The full wording can be found under the tab “Napoleonic Decree 1808” The object was individual identification following strict Napoleonic rules; Jews often lacked a surname which presumably made life difficult for administrative bureaucrats and petty officials.

The Kahns in Schweich obeyed the ordinance from 17 October 1808. This was only just in time because they were given 3 months in which to comply and (perhaps out of reluctance?) left it to the last minute to register. They obviously didn’t learn from the tragic MacDonald of Glencoe who left his pledge until the final few days and by a litany of frustrations ended up missing the deadline. The consequence was the Glencoe Massacre, but that’s another story.

Under the tab “Napoleonic Decree 1808” I’ve also appended a list of all Jews at the time in Schweich registering their names with the relevant authorities. Whether their acquiescence is patriotism or not I can’t speculate, but considering what happened over a hundred years later, I’m tempted to think that these Jews were most likely patriotic to both their faith and their country in equal measure. I suspect many people overlook that point.

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Although taking more space than I usually like, the following is a list of all interments in the surviving Jewish Cemetery in Schweich, Germany. The Kahn name appears frequently along with many other names of Jews choosing to make Schweich their home during the relevant period. The role call is a translation from German in what I term “The Schweich Book” but in fact bears the more explicit title of “Die Judische Bevolkerung im Einwohnerbuch Schweich 1669 bis 1880 (bzw 1938) mit Isel (ab 1803) & Haardthof” produced by Hans-Peter Bungert, Grossrossein and Georg Wagner +, Schweich-Haardthof, published in 1999.

The complete listing, translated as best we can with a German-English dictionary and Babelfish, is given here in the hope that the information will be of use to those researching other Schweich Jewish families.

The cemetery was well maintained when I visited a few years ago. Gates are locked but the key can be obtained from the synagogue in the middle of the village, although for the reasonably agile climbing over is no problem.


Schweich Israelitische Friedhof – Schweich Jewish Cemetery



U1        Jewish woman’s grave: George Wagner found evidence of the tomb of the great-grandmother of Selma KAHN. This grave is of Sara SIMON, died 13.3.1851 in Schweich, widow of Herz ISRAEL

U2        Maten LEVI died 25.9.1852 Schweich, wife of Leib KAHN

U3        Sprintz JACOB died 15.4.1853 Schweich, wife of Raphael KAHN (the gravestone belongs in the middle row M65 inscription Adelheid ISRAEL

Gap       Jachet LEVY died 23.12.1854 Schweich, widow of Abraham ISAY (this is probably the gravestone U5; Jachet-jocheved, wife of Abrele)

Gap       Elle KAHN died 9.3.1856, wife of Saloman KAHN

U4        Wolf ISAY (Benjamin LOEB) died 6.8.1860, husband of Vogel KAHN

U5        Vogel KAHN died 28.9.1860 , wife of Wolf ISAY (the gravestone is probably the remains of U3; Jachet wife of Abrele)

U5        Moses ISRAEL died 21.12.1862 Fohren or Schweich (Mosche ben Or), husband of Caroline KAUFMANN

Gap       Liefen LEVY died 8.1.1864 Schweich, widow of Derz ROBELL

More gaps, however no instances of death of adult Jews in the death registry

U7        Abraham RUBEN died 3.10.1864 Schweich, husband of Brendel ISRAEL

U8        Heba PELZER died 2.12.1864 Schweich, 2nd wife of Heiman ISAY

U9        Carolina KAHN died 13.12.1864, widow of Abraham Levy

U10       Israel KAHN died 5.3.1864 Schweich, son of Saloman & Elle KAHN

U11       Daniel GOMBRICH died 12.4.1867 Schweich, widower of Chaubgen ISAY and of Deborah ISRAEL

Gap, however no instances of death of adult Jews in the Schweich registry

U12       Abraham KAHN died 24.6.1867 Schweich, husband of Derz ISAY

U13       David Dublon died 16.9.1867 Schweich, husband of Jendel KAIN

U14       time here has buried stones of the cemetery:

Gamliel KAHN died 22.9.1870 Schweich, son of Saloman & Elle KAHN

Gap       time here has buried stones of the cemetery:

Guitana KAHN died 12.12.1870 Schweich, daughter of Salomon & Elle KAHN

Gap       time here has buried stones of the cemetery:

Leib KAHN died 25.3.1872 Schweich, widower of Maten LEVI

Gap       time here has buried stones of the cemetery:

Esther JACOB died 30.6.1872 Issel (nr. Schweich), daughter of Marx & Caroline ISRAEL

U15       Karoline KAUFMANN died 4.2.1873 not in Schweich, widow of Moses ISRAEL

U16       Raphael KAHN died 22.6.1873 Schweich. Widower of Sprintz JACOB

U17       Jettchen, wife of Jeschaja, probably here:

Henriette (Judgen) LIESER wife of Abraham ISAY – she died between 1867 and 1877, but no record exists in the registry office

U18       time here has buried stones of the cemetery:

Isaak KAHN died 8.6.1875 Schweich, son Salomon & Elle KAHN

Gap       time here has buried stones of the cemetery:

Simon ISRAEL died 16.4.1876 Schweich, son of Daniel & Johanna HIRSCH

Gap       Probably here in the cemetery is:

Heyman ABRAHAM from Bernkastel died 20.4.1876 Schweich

U19       Jewish, gravestone, similarly to U20 here lies:

Caronlina RUBEN died 21.7.1877 Schweich, 1st wife of Abraham ISAY

U20       Abraham ISAY died 11.1.1877 Schweich, widower of Judgen LIESER


O21      Bernhard KAHN died 19.2.1880 Schweich, husband of Carolina MENDEL. The symbol of the blessing hands on the gravestone is the same as the one on the grave of the family KAHN. Time here has buried stones of the cemetery:

Robert Ruben died 25.4.1882 Schweich, son of Abraham & Brendel ISRAEL (he may well be still in the lower row where buried; the plot is however no longer discernible, probably next to U20)

O22      Levi KAHN died 12.5.1882 Schweich, husband of Esther Mendel

O23      Moses Gombrich died 26.6.1882 Schweich, husband of Philippina HERZ

O24      Mathilde LORIG died 17.4.1883 Schweich, wife of Feist ISRAEL

O25      Theresia KAHN died 3.2.1884, Schweich, wife of Philipp ISRAEL

O26      Henrietta MEYER died 5.11.1884 Schweich, wife of Marx ISAY

O27      Brendel ISRAEL died 26.1.1885 Schweich, widow of Abraham Ruben

O28      Moses ISAY died 23.12.18885 Schweich, husband of Helena ARENS

O29      Johanatta (Jenny) KAHN died 24.9.1886 Schweich, daughter of Levi & Josepha ELE

O30      Helena (Lea) ARENZ died 27.6.1887 Schweich, widow of Moses ISAY

O31      Klara (Babette) KEWIG died 22.10.1888 Schweich, wife of Lion MEYER

O32      Raphael ISRAEL died 17.10.1889 Schweich, husband of Fratgen KAUFMANN

Gap       time here has buried stones of the cemetery:

Herz WOLFF died 22.2.1890 Schweich, son of Abraham & Eva KALMANN, from Trier

O33      Karolina ISRAEL died 16.7.1890 Issel, wife of Marx JAKOB

O34      Fratgen (Fanny) KAUFMANN died November 1893, widow of Raphael ISRAEL

O35      Johanna HIRSCH died 11.8.1893 Schweich, wife of Daniel ISRAEL

O36      Jettchen FERVER died 25.12.1893 Schweich, wife of Heimrich FERMICH

O37      Abraham KAHN died 1.12.1894 Schweich, husband of Sybilla KAUFMANN

O38      Marx JACOB died 10.3.1895 Issel, widower of Carolina (Kailthen) ISRAEL

O39      Daniel ISRAEL died 20.6.1896 Schweich, widower of Joanna HIRSCH (son of Naftali ISRAEL)

O40      Berta SCHOEMANN died 1.9.1896 Schweich, wife of Hermann ISRAEL

O41      Johanetta LORIG died 3.12.1896 Schweich, wife of Joseph KAHN

O42      Malkay KAHN died 21.2.1898 Schweich, daughter of Saloman & Elle KAHN

O43      Hermann ISRAEL died 24.3.1898 Schweich, husband of Adelheid SCHWEICH

O44      Leib KAHN died 27.2.1899 Schweich, son of Salomon & Elle Kahn

O45      Sophia ISAY died 25.1.1900 Schweich, daughter of Marx & Henriette MEYER

O46      Jakob HIRSCH died 1900 (not in Schweich or Issel)

O47      Esther MENDEL died 24.9.1900 Schweich, widow of Levi KAHN

O48      Lion ISRAEL died 13.4.1901 Schweich, son of Philipp & Theresia KAHN

O49      Max (Marx) ISAY died 4.12.1904 Schweich, widower of Henriette MAYER

O50      Victor JACOB died 5.3.1905 Issel, son of Marx & Apollonia ISRAEL

O51      Josef KAHN died 30.10.1905 Schweich, son of Raphael & Sprintz JAKOB

O52      Abraham Wolf KAHN died 30.3.1907 Schweich, son of Bernhard & Carolina MENDEL

O53      Feist ISRAEL died 31.7.1907 Schweich, widower of Mathilde LEVY

O54      Marianna KAHN died 4.10.1907 Schweich, daughter of Isaak & Juliana LEVE, from Trier

O55      Heinrich FERNICK died 19.1.1909 Schweich, widower of Jetchen FERVER

O56      Abraham ISAY died 5.12.1910 Schweich, widower of Sara KAHN

O57      Jettchen MAYER died 29.3.1912 Issel, wife of Simon JAKOB

O58      Sybilla KAUFMANN died 20.9.1912 Schweich, widow of Abraham Kahn

O59      Sara (Fanny) FORST died 4.5.1913 Schweich, wife of Abraham ISAY

O60      Somon KAJOB died 5.8.1913 Issel, widower of Jettchen MEYER

O61      Agathe ISAT died 13.5.1914 Schweich, daughter of Mrax & Henrietta MEYER

O62      Josef KAHN died 18.6.1916 Schweich, widower of Henrietta LORIG

O63      Wilhelm KAHN died 13.9.1916 Schweich, son of Joanette KAH


M64      Alexander LORIG died 28.1.1917 Schweich, husband of Johanna KAHN

M65      Adelheid MARX died 12.1.1918 Schweich, wife of Philipp ISRAEL

(the gravestone stands in the cemetery in lower row U3)

M66      Moses ISRAEL died 9.7.1918 Schweich husband of Sara KAHN

M67      Klara SCHEUER died 11.7.1918 Schweich, wife of Raphael KAHN

M68      Abraham ISAY died 1.1.1919 Schweich, widower of Caroline RUBEN & Sara FORST

M69      Olga SALM died 17.5.1920 Schweich, daughter of Carl & Johanna KATZ

M70      Carolina MENDEL died 17.8.1922 Schweich, widow of Bernhard KAHN

M71      ??? (sic) in this period no adult Jews died in Schweich according to George Wagner, here in Schweich-Haardthoft lies: Pauline ISAY

M72      Philipp ISRAEL died 25.3.1926 Schweich Widower of Theresia KAHN, husband of Adelheid MARX

(agk comment – this seems to  contradict M65 above)

M73      Leopold KAHN died 9.11.1926 Schweich Husband of Ella Schomann

M74      Eduard ISRAEL died 29.9.1928 Schweich, husband of Setti WEISSMAN (Elijahu son of Gedalja)

M75      Nathan Raphael KAHN died 4.10.1928 Schweich. Husband of Fanny Klein

M76a     Samuel KAHN died 24.8.1929 Schweich, husband of Selma ISRAEL

M76b    Plaque for his son Joseph and his wife Selma, murdered in a concentration camp

M77      Raphael KAHN died 1929 or 1930 (not in Schweich or Issel), probably widower of Klara SCHEUER

M78      Babette BAUM died 15.12.1930 Schweich, wife of Jakob SALM

M79      Fanny KAHN died 23.12.1931 Schweich, wife of Philipp SALM

M80      Mathilde KAHN died 9.2.1932, wife of Raphael ISRAEL

M81      Klara LOB died 16.3.1932 in Issel?, wife of Siegfried JACOB

(no death registered)

Gap       time here has buried stones of the cemetery:

Artur Josef KOBLENZER died 5.5.1933 Schweich, son of Siegmund & Nanette KAHN

M82      Emilie (Esther) ISRAEL died 6.7.1933 Schweich (age 77, unmarried)

Gap       time here has buried stones of the cemetery:

Hermann ISRAEL died 6.10.1933 Schweich (age 81, widower)

M83      Siegfried JACOB died 4.5.1934 Schweich, widower of Klara LOEB, son of Simon & Jettchen MAYER

M84      Setty WEISMANN died 24.11.1935 Schweich, widow of Eduard ISRAEL

(Sara daughter of Elieser)

M85      Johanna MAYER died 8.12.1935 Schweich, daughter of Lion & Klara KEWIG

M86      Abraham ISAY died 15.1.1936 Schweich, husband of Pauline BLUM

(Abraham son of Mordechai)

M87      Julie Klein died 6.4.1936  ???, wife of Nathan KAHN

(no record)

Gap       time here has buried stones of the cemetery:

Johanna KATZ died 27.12.1937 Schweich. Wife of Carl SALM

M88      Raphael ISRAEL died 31.12.1937 Schweich, widower of Mathilde KAHN



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liverpool museum

During the late 1800s, Liverpool Museum issued a catalogue of exhibits listed against names of donors. The penultimate entry is for a sword and a large Norwegian copper coin, both donated by our Victor Kahnn. This is interesting from several perspectives. Firstly, the spelling of Victor’s surname – he used the double n on several occasions but we have no idea why and as far as I can see, his children maintained the single n spelling. Secondly, presumably Victor himself found the items so at some stage must have visited Gibraltar. Thirdly, perhaps we can surmise that Victor was not transient when he decided to give the finds to Liverpool Museum and was settled in the city. Fourthly, all the other exhibits on this page (the listing appears to be in alphabetical order) are all natural history related; Victor’s contribution is the only cultural gift.

Unfortunately I have no reference for the above image so lack a date for the catalogue’s publication. Perhaps somebody out there could provide more information?

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