GAFFIN FAMILY TREEs
Stephen L.I. Gaffin (USA) and Gerald S. Gaffin (UK)
On the basis of information contained in a Gaffin family tree published in North Carolina, here in the U.S.A. there appears to two different and separate Gaffin families in the US.
The first Gaffin family seems to have emigrated from Scotland in the 18th century before the Revolutionary War.Originally, the name was MacGaffin or McGaffin.One Gaffin fought against the British as a member of the Green Mountain Boys of Vermont.Another fought in Canada for the British in the War of 1812 and died of wounds.This family traveled and split up with branches in Canada, North Carolina, and the largest group in Indiana.A Gaffin fought in the Civil War, several fought in WWI (on the American side).Oddly, at least three Gaffins in this family died in “traffic accidents” (a milk wagon, fell off a horse, run over by a truck).Most characteristic of the family, though, seems to be a strong, genuine, personal commitment and belief in Christian values, with many officers in Protestant churches including some missionaries to China before the outbreak of WWII.While all the professions are represented, most were farmers.
One member of this family then migrated to Ogle County, Ill in 1830.According to an undated letter by Ben H. Gaffin written before 1953 (the year he died) he believed that Gaff means "trough digger" in Scottish!He also stated that there was a Gaffin family in Chicago whose origin was Germany and there was a Chicago Daily News reporter by the name of MacGaffin.(By the way, there is a great writer and journalist in the Boston area named Adam Gaffin, formerly Gaffinovitch, of the second Gaffin family).He also claimed in that letter that there are a "growing number of Gaffins and Gaffens who were formerly named Garfinkel and various other Yiddish names."
My Gaffin family could hardly be more different, but with one exception.Like the other Gaffins my family seems to have strong religious ties, but it is Jewish and some have emigrated to Israel.The name previously was Gaffinovitch, and the people came from Lithuania and Latvia, and before that, according to one source, a group of brothers who owned a large vinyard, Portugal, in the late 1400’s during The Expulsion.The name probably derives from the Hebrew word Geffen which means “vine” and may have been an occupation name of someone in the wine business.Other members of the family might have taken etymologically similar names like Weinstein, etc.This Gaffin family came to the U.S. at around 1900-1920 from mainly Manchester, UK, where the first Gaffin to immigrate there, Lewis Gaffinovitch, changed his name about 1840.Most are businessmen and professionals.At least one Gaffin died in WWI and two died in WWII.My first cousin Arthur, whom I never met was the youngest pilot in the RAF with 90 sorties during Battle of Britain and was shot down 3 times over Kent, and died overseas at age 19.
According to Bruce Gaffin (NY) his father Morton Gaffin, told him that his father Benjamin ("Benjamin the First") Gaffin (who emigrated to the U.S. from Latvia) told him that he had a brother who had emigrated to Manchester, England.
The oldest known English Gaffin was this brother Lewis or Louis Gaffinovitch ("Lewis the First") who married in Manchester, U.K., and had seven children from two wives.The names of the wives are not known.From the first wife he had four kids, Joe (who emigrated to Australia), Samuel (b1867, d1923, who remained in UK), Ike (Isaac, emigrated to the U.S.) and Eli(remained in UK?).From his second wife were Charles, Anne and Margaret, all of whom are believed unmarried and without children.
Benjamin the First had daughters Miriam, Mildred and Stella and son Morton.
For clarity in writing of the Tree, the children of Louis the First and of Benjamin the First, will be referred to as "tribes".Samuel has the largest tribe, followed by Eli, and Ike.No one has studied the tribe of Joe.
One branch of the Gaffin family (Tribe of Samuel) is related to the Gaon of Vilna and has a Sephardic root from Portugal to Allepo Syria to Lithuania and finally to Manchester UK, according to Maureen Gaffin Sarling.
Since Gaffinovitch/Gaffinowitz is an unusual name, I am providing information on those who emigrated to the US directly from Lithuania, since they are probably relatives, even though they are not descendents of the British ancestor Lewis nor of Benjamin the First.However, their places in the family tree will remain unclear until further information becomes available.Proof of relation could be obtained by DNA testing should be considered.Consistent with that might be the high proportion of the names Alec/Alexander, Gerald, Harry/Harold, Stephen and Irwin/Irving Gaffin which we have.
Another Boston Gaffin is Barbara Gaffin, who is a leader in the Jewish community and works for the Jewish Welfare Federation.She informed me that her family came to the U.S. from Kiev, Ukraine.(It's possible, of course, that her Ukranian family originated in Lithuania.)
South Australia seems to have a separate Gaffin Family.Philip Gaffin (originally from Jarrow (North of England)) or Wales m. Iris Elizabeth.The eldest of their 3 sons is Guy (same name as my kid) who is in the Australian Navy in Perth where he is a Clearance Diver, which is equivalent to the US Navy's SEALS.He is married with a new daughter Eshaya Louise Gaffin.
LEWIS GAFFINOVITCH (Latvia)--->LEWIS GAFFIN. Emigrated to Manchester in mid 1800s.
I. Tribe of Samuel.m. Annie Chazan (b1823, d1920)According to Maureen Gaffin Sarling, Annie Chazan's family lived in Portugal many generations in the Middle Ages until the Expulsion, then settled in Aleppo Syria.One of her ancestors emigrated to Kovno Lithuania and became head of a Yeshiva.The family name changed from Hassan to Hazan to Chazan to Chazanovitch to Cassan.After her grandfather Meir Chazanovitch (b1843, d1920) became a widower, he emigrated to the UK, registered as Chazan and married Rivka Epstein , a descendent of the Gaon of Vilna.Their daughter Annie Chazan married Samuel Gaffin.Annie Chazan's sister Sarah Chazan(1841-1880) married Sam Gennis and had many children, Ike, Mick, Henry and Ada Gennis.Leah, Sarah, Ray, Julia, Esther and Leah.one of whom Myer Gennis married Leah Vingan.Ada Gennis married Hyman Goldfarb [Boca Raton FL 33432].She may have been a sister to the Fannie Vingan who married Eli Gaffin (son of Louis the First), and therefore the Gaffins and Gennises are double relatives.
A.Myer Hyman (Dick) b 1892,d1962 m. Annie Kanter d1978
1.Maureen b1929 m(1955). John Sarling [Beckenham, Kent, BR3 2DT, UK]
a.Roy m(1992). Lorraine Newman
b.Paul m(1990). Lauren Pendy
B.Millie b1893, d1981
C.Solomon Isaac (Harold) b1895 d1968 m Lily Mendel
1.Paula Tilly m. Philip Gabbie
2.Naomi m. Bernard Miller
D.Abraham (Abie) m. Jessie Alexander
1.Neville m. Shirley
E. Jack b?, d1973m. Sadie Goldberg
1.Samuel (Stephen?) d.1940 (drowned in R Clyde, after escaping German bombing of home)
2.Ivar m. ?
F.Nathan d1955m. Bessie Gurko (Settled in Chicago, Munster IN)
1.Beatrice (b. 1931, bank auditor, retired) m. Henry Farber (d 1982, jeweler)[Munster IN 46321]
2.Annette m. Eugene Fingert (d1987?, Aluminum business)
b. Jeffrey (Ann Arbor, cost accountant for Ford)
c.Jay m. Stephanie Reynolds (West Palm Beach FL)
G.Julius b1903,d1980 m.Sybil Burman d1980
1.Gerald Samuel b1936(dentist, volunteer dentist in Israel) m(1962). Shirley Muskett Whitchurch Lane, Edgware, Middlesex,HA8 6QX, UK]
a. Steven Richard (psychology/neuropharmacology, studying to be Orthodox rabbi) b1965 m(1990). Alexis Newman
b.Susan Jane (psychology) b1968(Israel)
2.Jenifer Lea b1949 m. Stephen McCarthy
H.Joe m. Stella Mendes da Costa
1.Charles Ivor m. Raiselle Cohen
I.Rose d1974 m. Maurice Hyams
1.Suzanne m. Robert Bellissio
2.David m. Anne Marilyn
II.Tribe of Eli m. Fannie Vingan
A.Leah m. Bernard Marder
1.Arthur (RAF fighter pilot during Battle of Britain.90 sorties.Was shot down 3 times over Kent.Was the youngest pilot in the RAF.Died overseas at age 19.Flight Sargeant )
2. Marilyn m. Freddie Barash (chemist)
a.Russell (ex-London Univ) m. ?
B.Sol (Saul) m.? (Oslo, Norway)
C.Norman d1942 m. Gertrude (NewYorkCity)
D.Harry m. Anne Grace (Worcester MA)
1.Gerald b1932 (famous lawyer) m. Joan Rockoff (teacher) a.Lisa (computer business) m. George Brown (Atlanta)
b.David (M.A. with honors, in International Finance, Framingham)m. Cynthia Bracken 1) Richard David
2.Stephen b 1941(Me.Physiologistfor U.S. Army, formerly head of dept. physiology in a Black medical school in South Africa, formerly staff of Weizmann Institute, Israel) m. Rina Ginai (Israeli journalist, lecturer)
a.Guy (college student)
F.Alexander died (in North Africa WWI?)
G.Jack (d1965) m. Ann Levine(d1979)
1.Eric (ExRAF) [Salford,UK]
b.Michael (Chartered surveyor)
1)Twin Daughters (Manchester Univ.)
a.Bernard (Lubavitcher, teaches religion) m. ?
1)2 sons & 3 daughters.
H.Nathan (Eddie) d1978 m. Rose
1.Eli m. ?
IIITribe of Ike (Isaac)Lived in Leeds, Yorkshire, UK, before emigrating to Buffalo NY.Business of Morrisons Stores Ike m Sophie, Lockport, NY
A.Daniel m. Miriam Silverman
1.Esther Irism. Daniel Leskow (Teachers)
2.Norman Harold m. Joanne Panzavella [Buffalo NY 14223]
a.David Alan (architect in N.J.)
b.Neil Stephen (EE student)
IVTribe of Joe (Australia) m.?
V.Tribe of Charles.No children
VI.Tribe of Anne. No children
VII.Tribe of Margaret. No children.
BENJAMIN GAFFINOVITCHemigrated to the U.S. from Latvia m.?
I.Tribe of Miriam m. Joe Trager
II.Tribe of Mildred m. Monroe
III.Tribe of Stella m. Brinen
Louis m. ?
Robert m. ?
IV.Tribe of Morton Gaffin m. Estelle Rosenbloom
B. Stuart (Oceanographer) [NYC 10023] m. Ruth
This Gaffin family still lives in Manchester, but I don't know how they fit into the Tree.
Samuel Gaffin (Emigrated to Manchester from Eastern Europe; according to generations, this should have been aroundthe turn of the century) m. Isabelle Seligman
Edward m. Peggy
Merton (pianist) was a Japanese Prisoner of War.According to the Imperial War Graves Commission (UK),Merton Gaffin was killed at 18 y.o in active service in the Royal Corps of Signals in Burma, 1943.
Harold m. Beryl Blumberg
Susan (teacher) m. Alan Krell [Gatley, Chechire, SK8 4AL]
According to Susan Krell there is another David Gaffin in Manchester and a 2nd Harold Gaffin (pharmacist)with daughters Naomi and Paula m. Gaffy.
This Gaffin emigrated to US directly from Lithuania
Yossel Gaffinovitch (Dusat, Lithuania)
Yechezkel (Zarasai, Lithuania)
Sulamet (died in Holocaust)
George (Gedalya) Gaffin retired, automobile company (Emigrated to Bronx NY, 1949)Survived the Holocaust in Buchenwald and Stutthoff concentration camps where he worked 20 hours a day.At the end of the war the Germans started to murder all the witnessesand marched him into the forest where the whole group was machine-gunned.While there were dead bodies all around him, he had a finger shot off and pretended to be dead.The Germans covered up the bodies with a meter of dirt.After several hours he dug his way out, and the next day found a hospital where he was rescued by American troops.
Chienna (South Africa)
This Gaffin family also emigrated directly to US from Lithuania
Samuel (USMC, 1905)
Kalman David Gaffinowitz m. Zelda Leah Wisznetsky
Nathan Gaffin m. Kate Winocur
Irwin Gaffin, Philadelphia
Neil m. Susan Newman
Amy (chemist, Med. student)
Other Gaffins:Please send me your corrections and additions to this family tree.To.Batgalim@ma.ultranet.com