SAGA OF THEEFFRON FAMILY
AS NARRATED BYSAMUEL EFFRON
Duringthe beginning of the reign of Alexander I, the Czar of Russia, there was asmall town in the government (Gubernia) of Grodno called Amdur.
Thepopulation of this town was mostly Jewish, and surrounding it were manyvillages. The peasants, who lived on the farms on the outskirts of the town,would come into the town to trade, to see what was for sale and to buy whatthey needed.
Therewas in that town of Amdur a man by the name of Motte -- his mother’s name wasTsine. Tsine, mother of Motte, had three more sons, namely, Cheikel, ChaimLozer and Afraim. (It is possible that the three sons at the census takingadopted different family names instead of Efron, as we do not know much aboutthem).
About-thattime, in the beginning of the 19th century, the Jewish people had no familynames, but they were called after the father's or the mother’s or the wife’sname; therefore Motte was known as Motte Tsine’s, after his mother. But duringthat period, the government decided that every family should have a second nameon record. So I imagine a census was taken and each family was given a name(this is the census taking referred to above). I suppose the person whoanswered the questionnaire of the census taker was called Efraim (his firstname), so they shortened it and called the family Efron, and that is the beginning of the large EFFRONfamily.
Mottehad five sons and three daughters. The sons were Mashe, Yankel, David, Gdalieand Shevach; the daughters were Shifre, Etche, and Cunne.
MASHE: First son of Motte Tsines had two sons,Motte and Efraim. Motte was known in Amdur as Motte Matsul, and Efraim was called Efraim Visranker, and thosewere their nicknames. Motte Matsul had five sons and two daughters, namely, Cheikil,Laibe, Mashe, Victor, and Yankel; the daughters were: Taibe and Etke, and theywere al1 known as Motte Matsul’s children, and very few in Amdur knew them bythe name of Effron.
CHEIKIL: The first son of Motte Matsul came tothe United States about 1890 and settled in Perth Amboy, N.J. He had two sons,Dr. S. Harmon Ephron who now resides in New York, and another son named Gdalie,and two daughters, Nadis and Sarah.
LAIBEMATSUL’S: He had four sons, Avrom Ezra, ShevachDavid, Isaac and Israel, and three daughters, Sarah, Taibe, and Cima.
MASHEMATSUL: He had two sons, Myron and Samueland two daughters, Lena and Tilly.
VICTORMATSUL: He had one son, Mashe (Buddy)who lives in Pawling and a daughter Jenny who is married to a man by the nameof Buchsbaum, and they live in Ellenville, N.Y. Buddy has one son, Charles, andJenny has a daughter, Dawn, who is married and living in New York.
YANKELMATSUL: He had three sons: Mashe, Gdalie,Laibe and three daughters, Sarah, Taibe and Fanny.
TAIBEMATSUL: (Toby Escol) She had threedaughters -- Sadie, Molly and Sarah and one son -- Mashe (Morris). Sadie ismarried to Mr. Ike Mannheimer and she resides in Florida. Sarah is Mrs. SarahHarris of Florida. Molly who lived in New York is deceased. Morris lives inPennsylvania.
ETKE: Second daughter of Motte Matsul marriedan Effron in Bialystok and emigrated to Tel Aviv in 1920. They had five sons:Avrom Ezra and Shevach in Tel Aviv, Schmuel in California and two more sons inthe United States (Alex and Max).
Allof Motte Matsul's children came to the United States or Tel Aviv, except hisson, Laibe, who remained in Amdur. He and most of his family perished during Hitler's onslaught,with the exception of his oldest daughter,Mrs. Sarah Weiner, who is living in Kingston, NY, and one grandchild, a son ofDavid, whose name is Joseph and who is in the real estate business in Cuba.
MotteMatsul lived to a ripe old age -- 85-90 years.
EPHRAIMVISRANKER: The second son of Mashe, had oneson, Mashe, and two daughters, Etke and Sprina. Etke married a man by the nameof Kaplan in Grodno. They came to the United States and they had two sons,Albert and Mashe. Albert married and three sons were born to him: Stanley, Billy, Rodney -- they are now livingin Kingston, NY. Mashe, the second son, also lives in Kingston and he has oneson and one daughter.
THISCOMPLETES THE GENERATION OF MOTTE MATSUL AND EFFRAIM VISRANKER EFFRON.
Whywas Motte Effron nicknamed Motte Matsul? He was doing business mostly withfarmers or peasants around Amdur, and as he was doing some trading with them,and farmers called him Matu1ka or Matsulka, and some of the Jews in Amdur heardthe way he was called by the farmers so they crowned him with the nickname ofMATSUL! Again, Efraim Visranker: this isa Russian farmer’s expression. Vistranke means droppings, human or animals. Thesurplus of the food which they consumed was dropped out by nature. Efraim was livingout of the city limit, but very close to it, so the Jews of Amdur called itVisranker, and anyone who was living in that house was called by the same term-- Visranker.
YANKEL: The second son of Motte had two wives.With the first wife he had three children: Israel, Mordecai and Channe. With the secondwife, he had three children also: Shmerrill,Anna and Chatskil.
MORDECAI: He had five sons and three daughters. Hewas a baker and was called Mordecai the Baker. Isaac, his first son, was also abaker and he moved with his family to a town called Luna and became a bakerthere. He had a large family and all I know of them is that he had one son whohad a bakery shop in New York at 163rd Street near Jerome Avenue. His name wasMorris Effron. Of the rest of his family I don't know very much. I suppose theyall perished during Hitler’s regime.
ISRAEL: his second son, was living with his father,as they had a good business. Israel had two sons and two daughters; one of hissons came to the United States about 1905. His name is Jack -- he has beendriving a taxi in New York City for a long time. He lost his wife about eightyears ago and recently married the widow of Harry Effron of Brooklyn, and he isstill driving the taxi. All the rest of lsrael's family went to the gaschambers of Treblinka, but Israel and his father Mordecai died before Hitler came.
VICTOR: The third son of Mordecai, came to the UnitedStates in 1890. He married and had one daughter, Eva. She went through law school,studied law and was admitted to the bar. She married Edwin Robin of Stamford,Connecticut, who was in the luggage business. They have one son Richard and adaughter, Jane.
YANKEL: The fourth son of Mordecai, came to theUnited States in 1904 and settled in South Norwalk, Connecticut. He has afamily, but I don't know much about him or his family,
LABEZISEL: The fifth son of Mordecai, cameto the United States about 1906 -- went to Cincinnati and married there. He hadtwo sons; one is a violinist with the symphony orchestra in Cincinnati. He alsohad one daughter. Labe Zisel passed away at the age of 55.
MORDECAI: He had three daughters. The first was calledShanee Stirkey, who married a Mr. Cohn. One of their sons lived in South Norwalk,Connecticut. He came to this country as a young boy and went to live with his UncleVictor, and he died at a young age. The second daughter was called Channa. Isuppose she was also married. The third daughter Rivka married a man named Gershunein Grodno. I suppose Hitler destroyed all of them.
THIS CONCLUDES MORDECAI’SGENERATION
ISRAEL: The second son of Yankel -- had foursons: Motte, David, Tanchun, andShevach, and two daughters: Chae and Itke.
MOTTE: The first son had four sons: Yankel,Leibe, Meyer and Eizel.
Yankel,the son of Motte, had the following children: Leibel, Aaron, Hadassa, Hanna.
Leibe,had the following children: Manuel,Berta, Adalla, Rosita.
Meyerhad one son, Isaac.
Isaac'schildren were: Avrom Ezra, Leizer and Benita.
DAVID: The second son of Israel -- came to theUnited States in 1890 and settled in Poughkeepsie, NY. He married his cousinAnna, the daughter of Shmerrill, who was a brother of Israel. They had fivedaughters: Eva, Jennie, Ruth, Dorothy,and Bertha, and one son, Alvin James (Billy). Billy is married and has twochildren, David and Lauri. He and his family live in Danbury, Connecticut.
TANCHUN: The third son, had six sons -- Shmerrill,Simon, Yankel, Isaac, Ennach and Avrom Ezra. He had four daughters: Bashe, Channe, Chae, Shanee. Shmerrill is marriedand has one son; Simon is not married, Yankel is not married, Isaac has oneson, Bashe has one son and two daughters; Channe has one son and one daughter;Chae has one son and one daughter, Shanee has no children. The all live inArgentina.
SHEVACH(Samuel): Has two sons -- William andRobert, and three daughters: Eva, Estelle and Sadie Jane. William has threesons – Jack, Ira and Michael. Not married yet. Robert has three children: Jean,Emily and Betsy (Emily and Jean are twins). Eva Acker has two daughters:Theresa and Miriam (Terry and Mimi). Estelle is married to Dr. Steven Dobo andthey have one son, Peter. Sadie Jane is married to Dr. Simon Cahn and they haveone son, Stewart.
CHAE: The oldest in the family, was marriedabout 1876 in a town called Slonim. The marriage was not successful, and she andher husband separated. She came to the United States about 1892 and settled inNew York City. Her husband went to Montreal, Canada, a couple of years later.He later went to New York, and they divorced there. Chae married again, hersecond husband was a man by the name of Schneider, and they went to live inChicago. She died many years ago. Her only known child was a daughter by thename of Elsie Schneider, who lived in Chicago.
ITKE: The second daughter of Israel wasmarried to Gdalia (Charles) Effron, the third son of Motte Taibe Effron whilein Argentina. Her family will be described under the name of Motte Taibes, sonof David in a later chapter.
Israeland the whole family -- Motte, Tanchun, Itke, Shevach, and mother Odess emigratedto Argentina in 1895 to become farmers on the land of the Jewish ColonizationAssociation. Itke, Gdalia and Shevach (myself) left for the United States in 1899,and settled in Poughkeepsie, where my brother David had preceded us. The lifeof the family of Israel is as follows: Israeldied at the age of 89; mother Odess 88; Chae about 75; Motte about 75; David 75and Tanchun 82. Itke died young in anepidemic in 1917. She was about 42 years old. Shevach (myself) going on 82.
THISCONCLUDES THE GENERATION OF ISRAEL, SECOND SON OF YANKEL BY HIS FIRST WIFE
Channe’sgeneration -- Channe, the daughter of Yankel by his first wife was married inBialystok to a man by the name of Rothstein. They had two sons: Lazar and Abram and one daughter Mandel(Minnie). She came to the United States and married a Mr. Siegel. He lived in St.Louis and was in the building trade. In Miami, Florida there is a grandson ofChanne -- Edward Rothstein, who is engaged in the jewelry business.
CHATSKIL: First son of the second wife of Yankelhad four sons: Shevach, Noske, Motteland Yankel and three daughters: Itke,Taibe, and Sima.
SHEVACH: He married twice. With his first wife,he had four children: Jack, Max, Leahand Nathan. His wife died, and he married again. His second wife was a widowwith one daughter -- Sonia. She was adopted by him and bore the name of Effronuntil she married. Shevach had four children with his second wife. They were: Leon, who passed away at the age of 48 inAustralia, Maurice, Lionel, Lola (Lifsha). Mottel or Max arrived in Australiain 1905, died 1941. His wife’s name was Odel (Olga) . His children were: Sadie,Leah, Maurice (born in Bialystok), Jenny, Solly, Norman, Philip (born in Australia) .
TAIBE: Her husband was Gershon Trivaks. Her childrenlive in Argentina. She had one son, Hershell, one son Jack and one son, Hyman,and two daughters: Genia Blumental. and EstherBards.
NOSKE:He was the second son of Chatskill; his children were: Osher (killed), Yetta (killed), Yente(killed), Mottel (killed) and two children survived.
YANKEL: Fourth son of Chatskill. His childrenare: Tevil (Theodore), living inChicago, who is married and has three daughters. Dora and Mottel were probablykilled during the Hitler regime.
ITKE: She was married in Pinsk to a man by thename of Kaganowitz.
SIMA: She was married to a man namedMariapolski and she had three sons. Only one survived Hitler and he is living inIsrael.
SHMERRILL: The second son of Yankel by his secondwife. He married near Sapotskin in Poland. He had two sons and two daughters.Anna Chae was the oldest, the second child was Yankel, the third Morris andRivke (Eva) the youngest. Shmerrill died very young, possibly in his 30th year.Anna, the oldest daughter, came to the United States about 1892, and shemarried David Effron in Poughkeepsie. Then came Yankel (Jake) and Mashe (Morris)and Eva, and their mother Esther Richel. They all established their home inPoughkeepsie, New York.
YANKEL: The oldest son was married to FannyWeiss and had two sons and a daughter. Sidney, the oldest, was married and hadone son Edward Raymond and a daughter, Louise. Sidney died at the age of 47.Harold married Sybil Klaff of Baltimore and is living there. He has three sons:Barry, Jimmy and Mark. Florence married Dr. Theodore Rimai and has threedaughters: Barbara, Judith and Lois.Yankel died at the age of 68.
MASHE: (Morris), Second son of Shmerrill, hasfour sons and two daughters: Merrill,Jesse, David, Marshall, Anna and Betty Jane. Merrill, the first son of Morris,married late and has no children. Jesse has one son Walter. David has twodaughters: Sarah and Helen. Marshall hastwo sons: Andrew and Seth and one daughter Lucy. Anna is married to WilliamDorfman and they have a daughter Susan. Betty is married to Dr. Benjamin Katzenand they have six children. Their children are: Barbara, William, Anna, Jimmy, Louise and Ellen.Esther Richel, the wife of Shmerrill (who was affectionately known by her grand-niecesas “Tante Bubby”) died at the ripe old age of 84 in Poughkeepsie.
RIVKE: (Eva) -- The second daughter of Shmerrill,married Joseph Golden of New Milford, Connecticut. They have four sons and onedaughter: Merrill, Lawrence, Walter, Archie and Ruth. Merrill has two children: Louis and Dorothy. Lawrence has four children: Miriam, Joseph, David and Anida. Walterhas two children: Joseph and Sara Beth.Archie has five children. Ruth is married to Joseph Katz. She has two children: Richard and Judy. They live in Baldwin,Long Island.
ANNA: The daughter of Yankel by his secondwife married a young man in Amdur by the name of Avrom Levine. They had twodaughters -- Chae Rivke and Itke. Avrom Levine died as a young man, the sameage as Shmerrill, his brother-in-law, about 1881. Anna married again, and hersecond husband lived quite a distance from Amdur. She took her younger childwith her. Chae Rivke (Ida) remained with her grandparents -- the Levines. Shewas a girl full of life, and at the age of 15 she left for America, and went toChicago where she had two uncles. After a couple of years, I suppose she marrieda young man and they had two daughters: Bessie and Ti1ly. Then trouble began, and shedivorced her husband. Then in 1903, she came East to look for a husband. Shehad another uncle living in New York, Motte Leibe Levine, and she went to visithim. At the same time, a young man came to New York from Canada, also namedLevine, but no relative. His wife was dead, so the two young people became acquaintedand were married. She journeyed to Mt. Forest, Canada with him, where they madetheir home, and three daughters were born to them: Etty, Sadie and Rebeccah. After a stretch of18 years, my son William married Sadie.
THISCONCLUDES THE GENERATION OF YANKEL, THE SECOND SON OF MOTTE TSINES
DAVID: He was the third son of Motte Tsines. Hemarried a girl called Taibe. They had only one son called Motte. David, thefather of Motte, died young. So Motte was known in Amdur as Motte Taibe's,after his mother. Motte married and had seven sons, namely: David, Chaim, Gdalia,Shevach, Yedide, Leibe, and Yudel. Motte was well educated in Hebrew, and allof his sons received a good education in Hebrew.
DAVID: The son of Motte Taibe's married and hadtwo sons and three daughters: Shlime, El1ia, Gitel, Rachel and Youdel.
CHAIM: The second son of Motte Taibe's was marriedto a girl by the name of Braverman, and they had one son Pesach (Paul)and a daughter Betty. Chaim's wife died, and he remarried. His second wife wasthe daughter of the chazen of Amdur, a girl named Chave Elitzer. Chaim andChave had five daughters and two sons; Dora married to Milton Apfel and theyhave one son Herbert; they live in Brooklyn. Morris had two sons, Howard andJames. Howard is married and has a sonand a daughter, his son is named after his father Morris who died at the age of48. They reside in Poughkeepsie. Edith -- second daughter of Chaim, is marriedto a man named Werner and she has one daughter, Matilda. The third daughter is marriedto Ted Pincus and has one daughter Paula and a son Robert. Joseph was thesecond son of Chaim and is unmarried and resides in Poughkeepsie. Ida, thefourth daughter, is married to Jack Kalburn, they live in Brooklyn and have nochildren. Rose, the fifth daughter, is married to a man by the name of Sternand she has two daughters, Phyllis and Marcia, and they also live in Brooklyn.
Chaimand his family came to the United States in 1915 and settled in Poughkeepsie.
GDALIA: The third son, was married to Itke, thedaughter of Israel Effron, while living in Argentina. They came to Poughkeepsiein 1899. They had two sons and three daughters. Matilda, the oldest child, ismarried to Donald Taylor, and they live in New York. They have one daughter calledEffron Ida (Ronnie). Mary, the second child is married to Harry Guthait. Theyhave no children and they live in New York City and California. Ethel, the third daughter, is married to MiltonBruml and they reside in Princeton, New Jersey. They have one daughter, Elise.The older son is Abraham Efron, who is unmarried and is carrying on the businessstarted by his father when he first came to Poughkeepsie. Dr. Benjamin Effron,the younger son, is married, and has one daughter Kathe, and resides with hisfamily in Poughkeepsie.
SHEVACH: The fourth son, was married in Argentinaand had two sons: Bernardo and Raphael, and also three daughters, namesunknown.
YEDIDA: The fifth son, was married in Argentina.They had three sons: David, Tobias, Raphael and two daughters, Taibe (marriedto Dr. Kaplan) and Teina. They all live in Buenos Aires, S.A. David, however, isat present living in Geneva, Switzerland, where he has a post with the U.N.
LEIBE: The sixth son, lived in Argentina, andhad two sons: Bernardo; second-name unknown and three daughters, Taibe, Gitteland Rivke.
YOUDEL: The seventh son, lived in Argentina, andhad three sons: Francisco, Bedisha, Simon and two daughters, Taibe and Cima.
THISCONCLUDES THE GENERATION OF MOTTE TAIBES -- He emigrated to Argentina in 1895with all of his family, except Chaim who came there in 1911, and from there,Chaim came to the United States in 1915 with his family.
GDALIA: The fourth son of Motte Tsinas, had twosons: Motte and Yankel. Motte had a sonAvrom Ezra and he had a son, Rubin. Rubin is a lawyer in Washington, D.C., andthat is all we know about the generation of Gdalia, the fourth son of MotteTsinas.
SHEVACH: The fifth son of Motte Tsinas, had twosons: Motte and Chaim. Motte’s children came to the U.S. about 1888; went toChattanooga, Tenn., and established the Effron Dept. Store there, but we do notknow how many descendants there are.
CHAIMThe second son of Shevach, emigrated to Argentina in 1895, together with hisfamily. He had three sons, Shevach, Gdalia, and Yankel.
THISCONCLUDES THE GENERATTON OF GDALIA, THE FOURTH SON OF MOTTE TSINAS, ALSOSHEVACH, THE FIFTH SON.
Ofthe three daughters of Motte Tsinas, we know of only one daughter, which oneshe was we don’t know. But she married a man by the name of Avram Ezra; he wasa great Hebraic scholar, or what is knownas a sage or a Talmudist, and he became the Ruve of Amdur, and remained in this position until he died. Theyhad one son and one daughter. His daughter married Baruch Margolis, who becamethe Ruve after his father-in-law’s death.
Manymembers of the Effron family, when a son was born named him Avrom Ezra, andmost of the people when his name was mentioned, would always say “his memoryshall be blessed."
Theother two daughters of Motte Tsinas also married in Amdur, but we don’t knowmuch about their families.
Inthe town of Amdur there was a man by the name of Leizar Effron. He was known inAmdur as Leizer Shaels, because his father’s name was Shael. Leizar married thedaughter of Shmuel Choze. Choze had a large estate, very close to the town. Asa dowry to his daughter, he gave them a small tract of land close by and a goodhouse, and some other buildings on the land. He had some peasants who workedthe land for him. My oldest brother, Motte, when he was about 18 was employedas a foreman on Leizer Shael's estate. When I was about six years old, I was sentto cheider there in Amdur. Leizer had a son, Berril, who was about my age and healso went to the same cheider. My brother used to take me to their house, as heboarded with them. My memory of events begins from about this time.
Asto Shael Effron, Leizar's father, there is a story attached to him, and myfather related this story. There was in the city of Grodno, a man by the nameof Bregman who, with Shael Effron, was in the fur business. They would go all overRussia buying furs, even as far north as Siberia. The Russian government hadgold mines in that section. They still have them in operation today. In Russia,vodka and the rub1e always worked wonders. Shael Effron got acquainted withsome officials in charge of the gold mine operations, and a smuggling of golddeveloped.
Thegovernment found out what was going on and the whole gang, including ShaelEffron, was put behind bars in prison, awaiting trial. But Bregman was workingto get Shael out; Bregman was a wealthy man, so he used vodka and money. Shaelescaped from prison. The government placed a reward on his head, if he shouldget caught, but he went over the border to Germany. Two men came into Germanyand started a fur business. They knew where Shael was and got in touch withhim, and he engaged in business with them. After a time they had him over theborder in a deal, and then revealed themselves as detectives. And he was inprison again! Then the sensational news appeared in the Russian newspapers that"Effron was caught again." But Bregman and all his friends started towork hard again with vodka and money, and he walked out of the prison disguisedas one of the officers of the guard. Again he was over the border into Frankfortan Main, where he remained until his death. His wife and one daughter were livingin the city of Vilna. Shael Effron's son, Leizer, was a well educated man inHebrew, and I suppose also in Russian. I was told that he became so poor afterthe First World War started that he died of starvation. Shmuel Choze, his father-in-law,had a large estate so he was land poor, as the saying goes. Berrill, the son ofLeizar, came to Buenos Aires in Argentina where he studied dentistry. When Iwas in Argentina in 1955, I was told that he had died a few years ago.
Thereare many families by the name of “Effron” in the United States, and many of themdo not know their origin. Some of them know that their ancestors came fromaround Amdur, or Grodno, or Bialystok, but they don’t know who they were. Forinstance, Gdalia, the fourth son of Motte Tsinas, had two sons Motte and Yankel.There is no question in my mind that they had large families like the rest ofMotte Tsinas sons. But all we can account for is Rubin Effron in Washington,D.C., the son of Motte Gdalia. I believe all the Effrons who cannot trace theirancestry, belong to that family.
Nowas to the spelling of the name. There are three different spellings of Effron.The Poughkeepsie Effrons spell the name with two F's. The family in Kingston,NY spell their name with an A instead of E -- Affron, The rest of the family, allover the world, Argentina, Australia, Israel, spell it with one F -- Efron. Butthey all belong to the same tribe! They all originated from the old Patriarch-- Motte Tsinas Effron.
Duringthe last few years, there has been a feeling among the present youngergeneration to have all the Effrons in the vicinity of New York and surroundingterritory to get together for a sort of reunion of the family.. Consequently, apicnic was organized to be held at Baird Park in Dutchess County during thesummer of 1954. Many Effrons were invited and about 60 members of the Effron Clanwere present. A president was elected, as well as other officers, and an organizationwas formed. But since then there has been no other getting together of theClan.
AsI am coming into the evening of my years, and as I know the origin of thetribe, I thought it would be a good idea to leave a written record of theorigin of the Effron Family so that the coming generations would know fromwhence this large family stemmed. Without such a record, the young folks whoare now growing up will know nothing about themselves, of the origin, or theirancestors. So I took it upon myself to make a genealogy of the family, and sendit out to all corners of the globe, and spread it among the Effron tribe inorder that they might know about the past generations. 100 or 150 years fromnow, possibly some one of the Effrons will write the story, beginning from thepresent generation.
NowI will introduce myself, as the author of this genealogy. My name is ShevachEffron, the youngest son of Israel, the second son of Yankel from his firstwife. I was born in the year 1875, served in the Russian Army under AlexanderIII and Nicholas II from 1893 to 1895. Deserted the army, and went with thewhole family to Argentina in 1895, and for four years, I was a farmer on the landof the Jewish Colonization Association, which the Baron de Hirsh of France hadestablished. In 1899, I came to the United States, and came to Poughkeepsie,where my brother David had been the first Effron to establish a residence. Imarried in 1903, acquired a nice family. I lost my wife in 1952.
Nowin the evening of my days, I am comfortable and so is my family.