Monday, January 2, 2012

The St. Paul Efrons to the Amdur Branch

How is the extensive Efron family of St. Paul, Minnesota related to the descendents of Leib and Tsinne Efron, who lived in the town of Amdur? We know they are related, through DNA testing, but how?

Chapter 8 of the online family tree of the Efrons of Amdur ( ) explains.

The earliest known ancestor is Chaim Efron. He was born around 1825. He lived in Volkovysk -- either the town or the district which is named after the town. Volkovysk district, and the town of Volkovysk, are located in today's Belarus, although in the 19th and early 20th century it would have been considered Russian Poland. Some of Chaim's children also came from a town called Izabelin, which is located in the Volkovysk district, and not too far fromt he town of Volkovysk.

We know about Chaim from the gravestones of his children and vital records. He had six known children. Four of them came to the US: Julia (Yehudit) Mintz; Sarah (Sara Rivka) Bulgatz; Morris (Moshe) Efron; and Anna Nachimoff.

Another child was Ephraim Simcha Efron, and he apparently died before his family came to this country. Although he did not come to this country, his wife and most of his children did, and they all settled in St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

Julia, Sarah and Morris also came ot the "Twin Cities" and Anna settled in New York City.

Chaim's son Yosef Shmuel Rosenshein did not come to America, but died in the town of Izabelin. Yosef Shmuel Efron was adopted into the Rosenshein family, likely as a way to avoid the Russian draft, and used their surname. We know about him from oral history.

Chaim was born around 1825-1830 because the youngest child of whom we know was born about 1847. He very likely had his first child at the age 20 or so, maybe even younger.
And this is where the research stood for several years, UNTIL, in 2010 when a record was found. The record was from the 1858 revision list (census) project for towns in Grodno and Volkovysk Uezds (counties) which I spearheaded and which is now available on as a component of the All Belarus database.
There, registered as residents of the city of Grodno, entry 606 were
Khaim Efron, son of Ephraim, head of household, age 32 (that is, born about 1826). PERFECT!
his wife, Sheina Khaia, age 30
his son, Efroim Simkhel, age 9
his daughter, Judes, age 2
Also in the house are his brother and family:
Josel Efron (brother of Khaim), age 30
Josel's wife, Khaia, age 26
Josel's daughter, Bashe, age 6
The revision list's family of Khaim Efron is an extraordinarily good match to what was already known about him from the research of the "St. Paul" Efrons. About Josel, and his brother -- that is for another post. Suffice it to say that this enabled conclusions related to the family of the Chicago Efrons, including the Bashe Schneider family.
How then is Ephraim Efron related to Leib and Tsine, the earliest known ancestors of the Efron family? He is already known from the 1816 revision list, in Amdur, where he is listed as 26 years old (born around 1790), and married to Ghenya. AND, he is known from the introductory remarks on page two of Sam Effron's genealogy of the family ( ), written as "Afroim."

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