I recently discovered a South African newspaper online. The Zionist Record is available as part of the University of Florida Digital Collection. Since there are not many South African newspapers online, I took the opportunity to browse the pages, looking for any of Ari’s ancestors.
In 1958 the paper was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the South African Zionist Federation, and Ari’s 3x great-grandfather, cycle merchant L.K. Hurwitz, took out an advertisement in a special supplement.
(According to Google Translate this says “Drive on a Raleigh pedal bike”.)
Another side of the family was also represented in 1948:
The Rand Steam Matzo Factory and Cohen’s Bakery were founded by Wolf (Wulf) Cohen, great-grandfather of Ari’s great-great-uncle Manley. The 1945 book The Jew in South Africa: A record of what individual Jews are doing in various spheres of the country’s life, edited by Rabbi Maurice Konvisser and Dora Sowden, lists him as:
“COHEN, Wolf. One of the early pioneers on the Rand and one of the leading figures in the ranks of traditional Judaism in the country. Founder of the Rand Steam Matzo Factory Ltd., and of Cohen’s Bakery. Born in 1848 in Pumpiani [Pumpenai], Lithuania, came to South Africa in 1895 when he immediately concentrated on the manufacture of Matzoth. Imported Matzoth were retailed in Johannesburg at that time at the almost prohibited figure of 2/6 per lb., and the Rand Steam Matzo Factory attained within a very short time an annual production, which at that time was sufficient for the needs of the whole of Transvaal Jewry.
During the Boer War, when the British were advancing in the Free State, and great difficulties were experienced in carrying on the industry, Mr. Cohen was granted a special permit by the Boer Government which enabled him to travel to Bloemfontein for the purpose of obtaining supplies of Kosher flour. While this flour was being ground in Bloemfontein the British Army was approaching the city and the noise of battle could be distinctly heard in the mill. When the occupation of Johannesburg was becoming imminent, the Boer troops attempted to commandeer Mr. Cohen’s supply of flour, but the plan was frustrated by Dr. (now Mr. Justice) F.E.T. Krause, who at that time was commandant of the town.
In 1903 the factory was transferred to Ophirton where it is still situated today.
Mr. Cohen died at the ripe old age of 90 years on the 1st May, 1938, and left in his willconsiderable sums of money for all Jewish institutions in Johannesburg, and for a numberof Talmud Torahs in Eastern Europe. His estate which is not to be wound up for 50 years makes ample provision for his grand, great-grand children, should any of them desire to study Rabbinics in any of the Yeshivas of Europe and Palestine.”
The South African Sunday Times is also available online, but only for some dates in 1945 (on Findmypast and newspaperarchive.com).
Ari’s great-great-grandfather Louis Feinstein co-owned a pickle factory before he became a stockbroker, and there were a couple of advertisements in the Sunday Times:
I will continue to search for South African newspapers online, but this is a nice reminder of what can be found in the papers!
Jane Day was a 6x great-grandmother of Ari’s. She was born on 29 January 1773 in Hurstbourne Tarrant, Hampshire (we know this because the baptism record gives the date of birth as well). Her parents were Stephen Day and Martha Iles, and she was their second child and first daughter.
There are no records of her life until the 13th of October 1794, when she married an agricultural labourer, Thomas Smith, at St Peter’s Church where she had been baptised.
The marriage was noted in Pallot’s Marriage Index, which gives us a clue that Thomas came from Leckford (now home to the Waitrose farm!).
Jane and Thomas had seven children, and they may have moved nearer to Leckford, as all of the children (William, Robert, Hannah, Charles, Joshua, Mary Henrietta and James) were baptised in Chilbolton. (Charles and Hannah both died in 1807.)
By 1841, Jane was in the village of Goodworth Clatford, on a very messy census page.
By the next census in 1851, Thomas had died and Jane was described as a pauper, living with the family of her daughter Mary Henrietta. She died two years later at the age of 79, and was buried at Goodworth Clatford on the 5th of May 1853.
Schlaum Levin Feinstein is Ari’s 6x great-grandfather, born in about 1760 in Palanga, Lithuania.
The only record we have for him is the 1845 All Lithuania Revision List on JewishGen, which tells us that he is no longer listed because he died in 1830.
The LitvakSIG page tells us that “Revision Lists (“Reviski Skaski”) are comprehensive lists of the taxpaying population to which almost all the Jews belonged. They were first recorded in 1772. The last Revision List was compiled in 1858. Revision Lists were revised or updated, sometimes several times, until the next census was recorded. Such information frequently covered a period of ten years or more. Revision Lists are by far the most useful of all of the 19th century records. These records are written in Russian (Cyrillic) except for those in the Memel (Klaipeda) Archive, which are written mainly in German. Some records contain additional notations written in Yiddish or Hebrew.”
With such a small amount of information, all we can do is to follow all the branches of the family and hope that more clues emerge or that new information is online. Schlaum and his wife (her name is not known) had three sons: Hirsch Schlaume, Abram Schlaume and Shmuel.
Hirsch Schlaume was born in 1787 in Palanga and died in 1842. Again, the military lists from 1845 give us the information that help us piece together this branch of the family:
His two sons, Jossel (born 1811) and Michel (1814) are not recorded anywhere else, and I do not know what happened to them.
Schlaum Levin had a brother called Behr Levin, who died in 1838 in Palanga. His three sons were Moses Behr Feinstein (1813–1893), Elias Behr Feinstein (born 1815), and Levin Behr Feinstein (born 1819).
Moses Behr married Hanna and died of a heart attack in 1893 in Liepaja, Latvia. Hanna died in 1896 of kidney disease. Their daughter Sheina was born on 30 Dec 1846 in Liepaja.
Nothing more is known about Elias Behr or Levin Behr. It’s very frustrating that we have so little information, but I continue to hope that more will turn up!
Ari, this is how you are related to Schlaum Levin: