David Kahn has sent a copy of an advertisement which appeared in The Echo on 30 July 1932. Philip Kahn was David’s father and a well-known musician and band-leader in those days. From time to time, Phil’s brother, Gaston Bernard, played saxophone in the band and I wonder whether he was playing on that night. According to on-line sources, the words ‘flannel dance’ indicated that formal dress was not required, probably the equivalent of today’s ‘smart casual.’ Southampton Heritage posted the advert recently on their website.



Josh Freeling has provided more information about the Levy family from Aach.

Jews are believed to have been in Aach since the 15th century, although many arrived there after being expelled from Trier in the 16th century. In 1900 there were 14 Jewish families but from then numbers steadily declined. By 1933, only 8 Jewish families remained in Aach, consisting of around 38 people. In 1937, 15 Jewish residents remained. Under Nazi rule between 1933 and 1945, Jewish residents were forced to emigrate or were deported, Saloman Joseph with his wife and daughter being thought to be the last to leave the village in 1943. Today Aach has no organised Jewish community, although a synagogue and a desecrated cemetery still exist. Subsequently, a memorial stone was erected for some of the people buried there.

The first documented Levy in Aaach was Salomon Levy (born about 1700; d. 23 Oct 1769 in Aaach), married to Elige Moses (born about 1710 Aaach). Saloman’s parents and any siblings are unknown. The couple had 5 children: Herz Levy (born about 1727, died 1 Apr 1727); Alexander Levy (born about 1730, died 31 May 1816); Karolina (Karoline) Gilgen Levy (born about 1733, died 20 March 1799); Lieser (Loeser) Levy (born about 1735, died 18 September 1818); Johanetta Judgen (Juedgen) Levy (born about 1740, died 9 January 1809).

Thanks to Josh for the information. If anyone can add something to this, please email.

Alan Kahn

As a postscript to our recent post, our distant cousin, Josh Freeling, is keen to trace information about the Levy family from Aach, Germany, a village not far from Schweich. Our Raphael (born 1720 in Schweich) married Brendel Joseph Levy (born about 1725) daughter of Joseph Levy. The question is: was Brendel related to the Levy family from Aach? The earliest Levy of Aach (so far uncovered) was Saloman, born about 1700. Was he Joseph’s brother? Once again, any information would be appreciated.

We’re delighted to see that researchers are having success in tracing like-minded people and thereby plugging gaps in their family trees, a number of people having found long-lost or obscure links through our comments’ boards. While we welcome your input, our web administrators will not respond to comments unless the topic has particular relevance to our branch of Kahn roots – but then we’ll not remove any inoffensive or non-commercial comment provided it has some bearing on genealogy. Having said that, the purpose of this website is to share information about our tribe, the Kahns and other patronyms by marriage, rather than to act as a conduit for general genealogical discussion. We’re accustomed to shooting off in multiple directions in all our researches, but we’d like to try to focus on those leads which could help us to plug a few of our own gaps, of which there are many. If, therefore, your discussion is obviously not relevant to this website, we’d like to ask you a favour: having made contact through us, could you kindly conduct any future correspondence direct rather than in long strings on our comments’ board. If you think you’re related to us, no matter how distant (without regressing to Adam & Eve or Richard III) please continue to leave your messages and somebody will get back to you eventually. Alternatively, send us an email: contactus@kahngene.org.uk and type in the subject line something which will convince us that you’re not a philanthropic spammer offering a 50% share in £30 trillion left to you by a grateful client. Thank you kindly for your understanding, and best wishes in your endeavours to discover your historical roots.

Alan Kahn

We’ve recently had contact with Josh Freeling from North Carolina. Like the Kahns’, his roots were planted in the small town of Schweich in Germany and Josh has discovered (not altogether unexpectedly) that the lines of Kahn and Freeling are interwoven, both having originated with Raphael Kahn (born c.1720 in Schweich). A schematic below illustrates the descent of both sides of the family, showing that Josh Freeling and Alan Kahn are 5th cousins twice removed.


Josh also told us a story which is repeated here with his permission. His great-grandfather was Alex Salm (born in Schweich 1894), a successful businessman to the extent that he owned a 5-acres plot in the town and was the first person in Schweich to have a car, employing a chauffeur to drive him to and from work. At that time Alex was president of the local synagogue, although the town was thought to have only a few Jews. Alex married Fanny Lowenthal (born Geisenheim 1896) and they had three children: Gertrude (b. 1925); Ralph (b. 1928) and Erwin (b. 1935). Ralph (or Rolf as he’s listed in Hans-Peter Bungert’s book) went to Schweich’s Hebrew school of just 12 students.


In 1937, two Gestapo knocked on the door of the family’s house, ripped out the phone line and stole family possessions. As the week went on, more and more Nazis came to the house and eventually the family was told to leave, in the process managing to retain only about 5% of their money when they fled to Cologne where they found an apartment. Ralph then joined the local school and synagogue and was there on 9 November 1938, Kristallnacht. A few months later, a gestapo agent, a former employee, warned Alex to escape and took him to a canal on the Luxembourg/Germany border where Alex swam across and went on to Genoa, Italy. A year later, when Ralph was 11, the authorities started to round-up boys over 10 years of age and the same gestapo agent came to his rescue, taking Ralph to the same canal so he too could swim across to be reunited with his father nearly two months later. Later all members of the family were reunited and they left Italy in February 1940 for New York City with the USD 18 remaining of the family fortune. A few weeks after arriving in America, Ralph had his Bar Mitzvah. The family remained in NY for many years before moving to N. Carolina. Ralph today lives in Florida.

This story is not untypical of the time. Josh is keen to explore further about the Schweich connections and we share his interest, especially knowing the link between our two families. If anyone has information they’d like to share, we’d be delighted to hear. Please email to be put in touch with Josh.

N.B. in the above photograph: Ralph; Walter Beverstein; Gertrude.

Alan Kahn

As we’ve said before, the name Kahn is a derivative of Kohen (plural Kohenim – the ancient caste of Jewish priests) and Cohen. Thanks to modern technology, specifically DNA sampling, research has started to reveal hints of physiological lineage of the many scions of our forebears. For those interested, and/or can understand the science, here is a link to a Wiki page which gives the background to, and interpreted results of, researches.


Thanks to David Kahn for providing the link.

Alan Kahn

In another section of H Dominic W Stiles’ blog about Frederick Rein, I learnt that according to Pevsner one of Rein’s listening devices, an acoustic hearing instrument, was installed in the church of St. John the Baptist at Enderby, near Leicester. Is it still there and working? I’ll try to find out. I can feel coming-on a trip to Lutterworth and then north on the M1.