Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Man With Two Last Names: Kaufman Kaufman

This week, my nieces have been hounding me for "family tree stories." One they really enjoyed was about Kaufman Kaufman, the brother of their 4th great grandmother (Amelia Kaufman Schwerin).
1860 United States Census; Baltimore, MD, Kaufman family (Kaufman Kaufman on line 24)

Monday, April 6, 2015

We Were Slaves--But Became Slaveowners

It is currently Passover, the holiday on which Jews commemorate our freedom from slavery in Egypt. As the Jewish population in the southern United States pre-1865 was minuscule, most American Jews do not have slave-owning ancestors. All of my ancestors came to the U.S. in the 20th century, so I never had to worry about finding out about their slave-owning past.  But then I started working on my nieces' and nephews' trees.

Three of my nieces have one branch of their family who have been in the United States for a very very long time, particular for Jews and particularly for a family who has kept its Jewish identity for so long. Their 6th great grandparents were Jacob and Judith Alberto Suares.

Jacob was born about 1754 in CuraƧao and arrived in the United States about 1790. Judith was born about 1769 in the West Indies.  The couple lived in Charleston, South Carolina, where Jacob was a Rabbi and had at least 10 children, with the youngest Caroline (later Schwerin) born after Jacob's 1818 death.