(All direct descendants are indicated in blue)
Many subscribe to the view that if something is not documented, than over time, it is as if it never happened at all. And when a person dies leaving behind no written history, it is as if an entire library has burned to the ground. The objective of this unending essay is to help gain a greater understanding beyond questions of heritage or genealogy, and hopefully will serve as a foundation to build on, and to pass on to future generations in a never ending saga. Of course, all family members are welcome to cut-and-paste the material below as needed for your own research projects, and if you find any mistakes or have suggestions, additions or questions, please let us know.
At about 2:30 AM on the morning of October 31st, 1998, your mother woke to tell me that she thinks that her water broke. We got dressed, grabbed the pre-prepared bag and rushed to the car in the garage. Everything was perfectly organized and well thought out in advance… we were pre-registered at the hospital, and had attended all of the Lamaze classes. But one minor flaw was exposed when the moment of truth had arrived; the car was very low on gas… almost empty. So, during the frantic rush to get your mother to the hospital for your arrival, we had to stop off and fill up at a local gas station. I will never live that one down. So here is a small piece of advice right off the bat: when your wife is in an advanced stage of pregnancy with your child, make sure the car always has enough energy source to actually get to the hospital, that is if you wish to avoid years of humiliation.
Your birth was not an easy one. We arrived at the Hospital around 3:15 AM, and you were born more that twelve hours later at 3:27 PM on the afternoon of October 31st, 1998. It was the tail end of the 20th Century. It was also Halloween and the nurses called you a “Halloweenee,” and for a few years you actually believed that Halloween was celebrated in your honor. On the day of your birth, Newsweek Magazine’s cover was “Tomorrow’s Child” with a large image of a new-born baby and a subtitle: A kid’s Life in the 21st Century. We saved a copy for you.
“Welcome, and congratulation. I am delighted that you could make it. Getting here wasn’t easy. I know. In fact, I suspect it was a little tougher than you realize. To begin with, for you to be here now trillions of drifting atoms had somehow to assemble in an intricate and intriguingly obliging manner to create you. It’s an arrangement so specialized and particular that it has never been tried before and will only exist this once. For the next many years (we hope) these tiny particles will uncomplainingly engage in all the billions of deft, cooperative efforts necessary to keep you intact and let you experience the supremely agreeable but generally under-appreciated state known as existence…. The bad news is that atoms are fickle and their time of devotion is fleeting – fleeting indeed. Even a long human life adds up to only about 650,000 hours. Survival on Earth is a surprisingly tricky business. Of the billions and billions of species of living things that have existed since the dawn of time, most - 99.99 percent - are no longer around. The average species on Earth lasts only about four million years… Consider the fact that for 3.8 billion years, a period of time older than the Earth’s mountains and rivers and oceans, every one of your forebears on both sides has been attractive enough to find a mate, healthy enough to reproduce, and sufficiently blessed by fate and circumstances to live long enough to do so. Not one of your pertinent ancestors was squashed, devoured, drowned, starved, stranded, stuck fast, untimely wounded, or otherwise deflected from its life’s quest for delivering a tiny charge of genetic material to the right partner at the right moment in order to perpetuate the only possible sequence of hereditary combinations that could result eventually, astoundingly, and all too briefly – in you.”
(All direct descendants are indicated in BLUE)
The Davis' and Alfriends
Generation 1 in America:
|Davis Coat of Arms|
According to an extensive genealogy study of the Davis family, by Henry William Clark, 1905, Harrisburg Publishing Company, p. 1.: "Jonathan Davis, who was the founder of the Davis family in the United States, was born in Hampstead, England about 1730. His father died when he was quite young and left him and a younger brother and perhaps one or two sisters, as well as his mother, who married again. The step-father treated the boys badly and Jonathan ran away when about twelve years old.'
His arrival in America was apparently involuntary: 'he was captured off the coast of Wales when but a lad and brought to New York on a pirate tramp trading vessel and disposed of for payment by a New York merchant as an indentured servant. As luck would have it, this Merchant turned out to be a respected and honorable businessman who later assisted Jonathan in making a start in life.'
The earliest documented accounts of Jonathan Davis was about the time of his marriage to Lucy Gibbs, a daughter of a prominent Va. family. They were married about 1756. Mr. Davis bought lands and settled in Orange Co., Va. Lucy and Jonathan had nine children, the oldest being William Davis.
When the American Revolution came, the Davis family sided with the rebellion and against the British Crown. Jonathan Davis, and his son William Davis served in the Virginia Militia, and towards the end of the war, under the direct command of General Marquis de Lafayette. On September 28, 1781, their unit participated in the pursuit of General Charles Cornwallis to Yorktown, where a siege ensued. General George Washington was informed of General Lafayette's position, and promptly marched his army south to assist, leading to an attack of 16,000 American and French troops on the trapped Cornwallis. General de Lafayett and his men were given the honor by Washington to lead the sustained attack on the traped Cornwallis, who then surrendered, effectively ending the Revolutionary war in America. Both Jonathan Davis and his son William Davis (who was injured) were present at the surrender of General Charles Cornwallis.
|The Surrender of General Charles Cornwallis at Yorktown,|
Effectively ending the Revolutionary war in America
Following the war, Jonathan Davis returned to his farm in Orange County, and eventually left his Virginia estate to his son William Davis and settled in Wilkes County, Georgia, in about 1803, where inexpensive land was available. Both Jonathan and Lucy Davis died in Wilkes County, Georgia, in 1818 as prominent and respected land owners.
Jonathan Davis was scrupulously exact in distributing his property, including of his slaves, equally among his living children upon death.
The Will of Jonathan Davis (as printed in A Genealogy of the Davis Family, Henry William Clark, 1905, Harrisburg Publishing Company:
In the name of God Amen.
I, Jonathan Davis, of Wilkes County and State of Georgia being of sound sense and memory but calling to mind the shortness of life and certainty of death do hereby make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following:Item 1st. My son James Davis has received sundries to the amount of 1,522 dollars to him and his heirs forever.Item 2nd. My daughter Mary Phillips has received to the amount $840.25 cents including one negro boy named Ben, also one young Man named Reuben at $600 which said young man Reuben with all my remaining estate which would have been hers at my death to be the property of my son William Davis because of a just purchase made by him from David Phillips my son-in-law and Mary my daughter in my life time the part that she received before the said purchase was made by William to be hers and her heirs forever has to be and is heirs forever.Item 3. My son John Davis has received sundries including one Negro man named Lige to the amount of $1,566.37 1/2 to him and his heirs forever.Item 4. My son William Davis has received sundries including 400 acres of land in Wilkes County with all the appurtenances thereto belonging to the amount of $1,523.37 1/2 cents to him and his heirs forever.Item 5. My daughter Lucy Goodall has received sundries including three Negroes named Gabriel, Buck and Nelson to the amount of $940.37 1/2/ cents to her and her heirs forever.Item 6. My daughter Mildred Phillips has received sundries including one Boy named Joseph to the amount $912.50 cents on a second division one Negro man named Perry at $600. Making $1,512.50 cents to her and heir heirs forever.Item 7. My daughter Susannah Goss has received sundries including two Negroes John and Nancy to the amount $796.91 1/4 cents in a second division and I have lent to Susannah Goss two Negroes Dudley and Lot to be her during her life. Then they and their increase to be equally divided among her children rated at 550 dollars.Item 8. My daughter Elizabeth Hitchcock has received sundries including three Negroes named Ben, Joseph, and Tilday to the amount of 1,339 dollars 43 3/4 cents to be hers and her heirs forever.Item 9. My will further is that my remaining estate shall be equally divided between my children and grandchildren hereinafter named (viz:) James, William for himself and Mary, Lucy, Mildred's children, Susannah, and Elizabeth. Being first made up to John's amount which is 1,566 dollars 37 1/2 cents. When that shall be done if there shall be a remaining money my son John shall receive with those above named above.And I do hereby constitute my son William Davis and my Nabour (sic) George Winn my Executors to this my last Will and Testament and hereby revoking all former wills heretofore made by me as witness my hand ..."
Jonathan Davis and the extended Davis family that he began, is one of the largest extended families throughout the South of the United States.___________________
WILLIAM M. DAVIS:
According to A Genealogy of the Davis and Goss Family, by Henry William Clark, 1905, Harrisburg Publishing Company, p. 5:
"Rev. William Davis was born in Va., Jan. 7, 1765, son of Jonathan Davis and Lucy Gibbs Davis, and married Nancy Easton, in Va., Miss Easton was born and reared in Philadelphia, Pa., and was a Quakeress, but later in life joined the Baptist Church.
|Marquis de La Fayette|
William Davis volunteered, along with his father, as a soldier of the Revolution in 1776, and was for some time later under the command of General Marquis de Lafayette. William Davis was wounded in the head and suffered greatly from fatigue and hunger. While the Army of Lafayette was on a grueling forced march that resulted in the cornering of General Cornwallis at Yorktown, young William Davis was without a morsel of food for two whole days. This having come to the ears of the General, he [Lafayette] went to Davis' tent and with his own hands furnished the youthful soldier with food and comforted him. This kindness on the part of General Lafayette was remembered with gratitude all of his life. He was heard to mention it during his last sickness before death came. William Davis, like his father, was present at the surrender of General Cornwallis, and after the war returned to his family in Virgina, where he enjoyed the friendship and confidence of the Madison's (James Madison became the 4th President of the United States and is hailed as the father of the United States Constitution), the Barbours and other distinguished men of the State.In 1788, William Davis was licensed to preach the gospel, while yet in his native State of Virginia, and was later ordained in the State of Georgia by Dozier, Thornton and Thomas Maxwell. His education was limited, yet he was a man of strong mind, excellent memory, and a fine imagination. His manner was easy yet forcible. He was an original thinker, and his style of oratory was peculiar to himself -- bold and energetic. His character was without spot or blemish, and his piety was of a high order.
His widow survived him eleven years. It is rather remarkable that she did not become a professor of religion until after her husband's death...."
From Men of Mark in Georgia, v. 5, by William J. Northen, p. 293:
"The Davis family has helped make American history. It furnished soldiers in the Mexican War, and in the War Between the States no less than six brothers in one branch of the family enlisted at one time. From this family, which is especially prominent in Georgia, though extending into adjacent and even far distant states, have come preachers, lawyers, physicians and bankers. Every generation has furnished ministers of the gospel of the Baptist faith and in the History of Georgia Baptists and Cathcart's Baptist Encyclopedia the name is prominent among Baptist ministers and the denomination.
Children of WILLIAM DAVIS and NANCY EASTON are:
i. REUBEN E.3 DAVIS, b. September 8, 1790; d. Abt. 1812, " ... was frozen to death ...".
ii. LUCY DAVIS, b. January 2, 1792; d. died in childhood.
iii. ELIZABETH DAVIS, b. February 16, 1793.
iv. LUCY GIBBS DAVIS, b. May 7, 1795.
v. WILLIAM DAVIS, JR., b. December 8, 1796, Elbert County, Georgia; d. July 17, 1873, Heard County, Georgia.
vi. JONATHAN DAVIS II, b. November 17, 1798, near Clark's Station, Wilkes County, Georgia; d. August 20, 1869, Albany, GA.
vii. NANCY EASTON DAVIS, b. June 10, 1800.
viii. JEPTHA VINING DAVIS, b. December 10, 1801, Wilkes County, Georgia; d. September 19, 1883, Coweta County, Georgia.
ix. ISAAC NEWTON DAVIS, b. June 1, 1803; d. Oktibbeha County, Mississippi.
x. JAMES DAVIS, b. January 22, 1805, Elbert County, Georgia; d. September 1859, Heard County, Georgia.
xi. JESSE MERCER DAVIS, b. January 25, 1807, Wilkes County, Georgia; d. August 14, 1868, Blakely, Georgia.
xii. TABITHA DAVIS, b. June 10, 1809.
JONATHAN DAVIS II:
The Rev. Jonathan Davis II
Founder of First Baptist Church
of Albany, Georgia
Born of a family perhaps rivaled only by the Callaway family in the number of its members who shepherded the early Georgia Baptist Church, The Rev. Jonathan Davis is perhaps best known as founder of the First Baptist Church of Albany, Georgia. The church he established, Palmyra Baptist was given to freed blacks following the Civil War when the white population dwindled.
"... Here he married Elizabeth Johnson and had 10 children, many of whom or their children reside in southwestern Ga., and all of whom occupy responsible positions in society and are faithful adherents of their faith so ably advocated by The Rev. Davis." Jonathan Davis is recorded as being buried on September 3, 1870. Where? It does not say."
The 10 children of Jonathan Davis II and Elizabeth Johnson Davis:
i. MARTHA DAVIS, b. December 1, 1818, Crawfordville, Jones/Bibb County, Georgia. (Adam Gelman's Great Great Great Great Grandmother, and first cousin to President of the Confederate States of America).
ii. MARY MERCER DAVIS, b. May 1820; d. October 31, 1834.
iii. NANCY EASTON DAVIS, b. October 26, 1821; d. May 17, 1869.
iv. WILLIAM DAVIS, b. 1823; d. "d. early in life.".
v. AMANDA DAVIS, b. 1830.
vi. JOHN ADRIAN DAVIS, b. June 15, 1833, Crawfordville, Taliaferro County, Georgia; d. April 7, 1905, Albany, Dougherty County, GA.
SPECIAL NOTE: John Adrian Davis is the Great-Grandfather of Eugenia Gunn Davis. An aspiring actress and model who had a part in The Biscuit Eater filmed in Albany, GA. She went on to Hollywood in the early 1950's, taking along her son John Davis Rorer. She became good friends with Frank Freeman, owner of Paramount Studios at the time. She was photographed socializing with celebrities such as Cary Grant, Lucile Ball and Rock Hudson. She is said to have been "the most beautiful Lady to grace Albany, Georgia."
William "Ash" Rorer
(dark hat in the center),
is FBI Special Agent in Charge,
escorting "Machine Gun" Kelly's
wife to trail, 1933.Her husband was legendary FBI agent William Asbury Rorer, who captured George "Machine Gun" Kelly and his wife Kathryn in Memphis, Tenn, on September 26, 1933. He was in charge of the Birmingham FBI office when it was discovered that Kelly was hiding out in Memphis. Under the orders of J. Edgar Hoover, Rorer headed to Memphis and orchestrated the capture. He placed men in front while he worked his way around to the rear. When he stormed the rear of Kelly's hideout and cornered him, he [Kelly] exclaimed "don't shoot G-man!": The once feared gangster was now trembling and cowardly. The term G-man stuck and went down in history as a description of an FBI agent. Over time "Machine Gun Kelly" became a legendary cultural figure symbolizing that era. Kelly's wife Kathryn, shown with Rorer in the photo, took the blame in James Taylor's famous musical ode to "Machine Gun" Kelly. Rorer went on to be an active participant and key player in the capture of 'Pretty Boy' Floyd, 'Baby Face' Nelson, 'Ma' Barker, among other, during the great crime spree that symbolized much of the Prohibition and Great Depression era. Rorer was in charge of the FBI Saint Paul field office at the time of John Dillinger's capture. His team, and Melvin Purvis's team out of Chicago, met up at the 'Little Bohemia Lodge', in the failed capture attempt on Dillinger and 'Baby Face' Nelson. That incident and the other of his many exploits have been portrayed in many films, including in the movie Public Enemy, starring Johnny Depp as John Dillinger. Agent Rorer's role is played by actor Kurt Naebig:
"I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING THAT I WANT TO DO IN INDIANA"
Rorer became FBI Bureau Chief of 13 different FBI offices, including New York, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Nashville and San Francisco. He was in charge of numerous high profile investigations, and participated in the Lindbergh child abduction investigation. William and Eugenia Davis-Rorer had two boys: Sir John Davis Rorer, and William Asbury Rorer Jr.
vii. ELIZABETH JOHNSON DAVIS, b. June 6, 1836; d. February 23, 1898.
viii. LEONIDAS DAVIS, b. July 21, 1837, Lee County, Georgia.
ix. ANNA HASSELTINE DAVIS, b. July 21, 1838.
x. CORDELIA JANE DAVIS, b. March 31, 1840.
MARTHA DAVIS (JONATHAN3, WILLIAM M.2, JONATHAN1) was born December 1, 1818 in Crawfordville, Jones/Bibb County, Georgia. She married JOHN B. GILBERT, a medical doctor, on December 1836 in Hancock County, Georgia/By Rev. Malcomb Johnston, Baptist Church. He [John B. Gilbert] was born January 7, 1815 in Crawfordville, Jones/Bibb County, Georgia, and died January 29, 1864 in Albany, Dougherty County, Georgia.
NOTE: The marriage of Martha Davis and John Butler Gilbert brought together the decedents of two extraordinary families of influence that can trace their roots to the very early colonies of the Americas, and to Great Britain before that. An extensive study of the ancestry of John Butler Gilbert (Adam's great, great, great, great Grandfather), and the Gilbert family's extraordinary contributions to America can be found here. This study goes back to the early 1600's.
Jefferson Davis, President
of the Confederate States
Special Note: In multiple locations MARTHA DAVIS is referred to as first cousin to Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America during the war between the states, 1861-1865. This is difficult to verify given Jefferson Davis' complicated family history, including illegitimacies.
Captain John Adrian Davis, an influential man in the region during the Civil War and after. It is where Martha Davis-Gilbert and Dr. John Butler Gilbert made their home in Albany, Georgia for a number of years. The home was acquired and refurbished by the Albany Theater in 1964, and it is today designated in the National Register of Historic Places.
Children of MARTHA DAVIS and JOHN GILBERT are:
i. MARY D.5 GILBERT, b. June 14, 1836, Palmyra, Lee County, Georgia; d. August 28, 1843, Palmyra, Lee County, Georgia.
ii. ELIZABETH EMMA GILBERT, b. August 30, 1838, Palmyra, Lee County, Georgia; d. September 3, 1841, Lee County, Georgia.
iii. JOHN MILTON GILBERT, b. August 24, 1840, Palmyra, Lee County, Georgia; d. October 2, 1843, Lee County, Georgia.
iv. WILLIAM HENRY GILBERT, b. November 24, 1842, Palmyra, Lee County, Georgia; d. November 14, 1912, Albany, Dougherty County, Georgia.
v. RUDOLPH GILBERT, born June 8, 1845 in Albany, Dougherty County, Georgia. Martha Davis' fifth child, Rudolph Gilbert, was a confederate soldier in the Army of Northern Virginia who survived many battles under the command of Robert E. Lee. Rudolph Gilbert died on March 25, 1865, a few months shy of his 20th birthday at the battle for Fort Steadman, one of the very last clashes of the American Civil War, which ended two weeks later with the surrender of Robert E. Lee at the Appomattox Court House in Virginia on April 9:
The Union lost around 1,000 men killed, wounded, and captured, while Lee lost probably three times that number, including some 1,500 captured during the retreat. Already outnumbered, these loses were more than Lee's army could bear. Lee wrote to Confederate President Jefferson Davis that it would be impossible to maintain the Petersburg line much longer. On March 29, Grant began his offensive, and Petersburg fell on April 3. Two weeks after the Battle of Fort Stedman, Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, bringing the Civil war to an end.
|Illustration of the Rebel attack on Fort Steadman, Virginia, March 25, 1865 where Rudolph Gilbert met his untimely end.|
vii. ANN ELIZA GILBERT, b. February 6, 1850, Palmyra, Lee County, Georgia; d. August 15, 1852, Lee County, Georgia. NOTE: It was claimed by renters in 2012 that the Gilbert house in Gorgia is "haunted" by the ghost of Ann Eliza Gilbert.
viii. FANNIE MIMS GILBERT, b. March 4, 1852, Albany, Dougherty County, Georgia.
ix. JULIUS BUTLER GILBERT, b. August 26, 1854, Albany, Dougherty County, Georgia.
x. NANCY COLLIER GILBERT, b. August 7, 1856, Albany, Dougherty County, Georgia.
xi. JULIA PACE GILBERT, b. January 21, 1862, Albany, Dougherty County, Georgia; d. 1930
NANCY COLLIER GILBERT
(MARTHA4 DAVIS, JONATHAN3, WILLIAM M.2, JONATHAN1) was born August 7, 1856 in Albany, Dougherty County, Georgia. She married LINTON STEPHENS ALFRIEND on November 2, 1876 in Albany, Dougherty County, Georgia.
Children of NANCY GILBERT and LINTON ALFRIEND are:
i. EVELYN GILBERT6 ALFRIEND, b. August 25, 1878; m. RAY MCCLURE FITE, December 24, 1902, Dougherty County, Georgia.
ii. LINTON STEPHENS ALFRIEND, JR., b. March 2, 1881; d. June 1960.
iii. EDWARD DUDLEY ALFRIEND, b. September 3, 1887.
iv. GILBERT HILSMAN ALFRIEND, b. October 13, 1888.
v. MARTHA GILBERT ALFRIEND, b. August 29, 1894.
LINTON STEPHENS ALFRIEND, JR ("Daddy Lint"). (NANCY COLLIER5 GILBERT, MARTHA4 DAVIS, JONATHAN3, WILLIAM M.2, JONATHAN1) was born March 2, 1881, and died June 1960. He married JOSEPHINE O'MEARA-ALFRIEND, Who died young, in June 1935, but not before having two children.
|Josephine O'Meara-Alfriend, |
died in June of 1935
Linton later remarried. It is remembered by his grandchildren that "Daddy Lint" never uttered the word "Yankee", without placing the word "damn" in front of it. Both of his parents (Linton Alfriend and Nancy Gilbert-Alfriend) were children in Georgia during the American Civil War, and actually remembered Union General William Tecumseh Sherman's march through Georgia and the burning of Atlanta, and certainly conveyed the bitterness to their son Linton... a bitterness that was not adopted by his and Josephine's daughters Nanette and Rosalie Alfriend-Bevan.
From right to left: Linton Stephens Alfriend, Jr., Rosalie
Alfriend-Bevan, Myra Bevan, Bob Hagret, Nanette Alfriend-Hagret
Children of LINTON ALFRIEND and JOSEPHINE O'MEARA-ALFRIEND are:
Nicknamed 'The Magnolia
Sisters' after a popular
flower grown throughout the South;
Rosalie (left) and
her sister Nanette were Southern
Bells of Georgia.
i. NANETTE ALFRIEND.Child of Nanette Alfriend: Robert (Bob) Hagret.
At a young age, Roby Bevan Jr. was employed at the Oak Ridge nuclear research facility near Knoxville, TN, as part of the Manhattan Project to develop the first nuclear bomb... although he was unaware of the true nature of the project he was working on until after the war. Towards the end of World War II, eager to see the world and not miss out, Roby Jr. insisted on joining the Navy even though his work on the Manhattan Project at Oak Ridge put him in the 'essential worker' category, absolving him from being drafted. He served on a supply ship in the Pacific theater as the war concluded with the dropping of the atomic bomb. With the end of the war, Roby Bevan Jr. was discharged and went to the University of Houston on the GI Bill, eventually obtained a Masters in Natural Sciences. He returned to the newly developing field of Nuclear Energy, both at the Los Alamos Lab in New Mexico, and at Oak Ridge in TN. Roby Bevan Jr. came to know many of the top scientist in America's nuclear program, such as Edward Teller, father of the Hydrogen bomb. He was later hired by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission until his retirement.
ii. ROSALIE ALFRIEND, b. October 19, 1906; d. August 1986.Children of Rosalie Alfriend: Roby Jr., Diane, Janet and Myra Bevan.
ROSALIE ALFRIEND of Tifton,Georgia, (LINTON STEPHENS6, NANCY COLLIER5 GILBERT, MARTHA4 DAVIS, JONATHAN3, WILLIAM M.2, JONATHAN1) was born October 19, 1906 in Tifton, Georgia, and died August 1986 in Sun City, Arizona. She married ROBY BEVAN, who was born on July 27, 1904 in Live Oak, Suwanee County, Florida. Rosalie first met Roby when she was only seven years old on a family visit to Live Oak from her home in Tifton. Legend has it that Roby, only nine years old at the time, spotted Rosalie from his perch high up in a Mulberry Tree. To get her attention he threw Mulberries at her, which started a conversation between them. Through the years he met her on additional Alfriend family visits to Live Oak, and the two eventually started corresponding by mail, over time, and as they grew up, they fell in love. Rosalie hailed from a more prominent and established Southern family, who were not entirely thrilled by Roby and his future prospects. But love prevailed in the end, and Roby, having worked his way through school at night, while working to help support the family by day, rose to become a prominent Civil Engineer in the South. They married and had four children. Rosalie, a religious woman, was not influenced by the forces of class or race, as indicated by her choice of Roby from an early age, and as reflected in her lifelong attitude of tolerance and belief in racial equality. an attitude not always shared by her fellow southerners. Although she was entitled, and was indeed asked to join the Daughters of The American Revolution, she never joined, believing that it was "too elitist" for her. Rosalie died in August of 1986 in Sun City, Arizona. Her funeral was attended by family from across the country and from overseas.
Children of ROSALIE ALFRIEND and ROBY BEVAN are:
Rosalie and Roby Bevan, Mobile AL, 1958
i. ROBY BEVAN Jr.
The Children of Roby Bevan Jr. (generation 9) are: Chip Bevan, Carson Bevan, Andrew Bevan, Myra Jenin Bevan Thomas.
In the photo, Elizabeth Wells
with her uncle, Roby Bevan Jr.
ii. DIANE BEVAN.
The Children of Diane Bevan (generation 9) are: Michael James Taylor, Joseph Paul Taylor, Grey Bedell Taylor, John Taylor, Rosalie Elisabeth Gafford, Dina Gafford, Sara Gafford, Andrew Gafford.
iii. JANET BEVAN.
the Children of Jan Bevan (generation 9) are: Ruth Gelman, Renee Gelman, Joseph Charles Gelman.
iv. MYRA BEVAN.
(Children of Myra Bevan-Duval (generation 9) are: Mark Duval, Ashley Duvall-Bradney)
Roby Bevan, surrounded by the love of his family, gathered
for the funeral of his beloved wife Rosalie in August of 1986.
JAN BEVAN married Leon Gelman in 1957 and had three children. Note: Jan Bevan-Gelman converted to Judaism in her early 20's in Houston, Tx. and married Leon Gelman of Indianapolis, Indiana, the son of Jewish immigrants who had arrived in America from Eastern Europe (the Ukraine and Bessarabia regions) on January 3rd, 1921. Leon Gelman was born in Indianapolis on December 20th, 1928. Following a stint in the 101st Airborne, and credits from Butler University in Journalism, he became a navigator in the US Air Force. He flew many combat missions in the Korean war in B-26 attack bombers. He later join Strategic Air Command, where he became a 100% disabled American war veteran in 1959. With his total disability, and inability to live in a family environment, In 1962, Jan Bevan Gelman and Leon Gelman separated. In a state of shock upon the realization that she was suddenly the single Mother of three little children, Jan drove the children from Indianapolis to Mobile, Alabama, to be close to her parents, Roby and Rosalie Bevan, her only remaining support system. The family moved in with Roby and Rosalie at 1055 Mountain Drive in Mobile, and were assisted during these difficult times. Roby bought a house for Jan and the kids on Desire Street, Roby put up the down payment and Jan was responsible for making the mortgage payments.
Jan and the kids joined Springhill Synagogue in Mobile, and enjoyed the facilities of Skyline Country Club (today known as Heron Lake Country Club), which grandparents Roby and Rosalie were members of. Ironically, Skyline was a "restricted" club and did not accept Jewish members at the time. On many occasion, the Gelman's went directly from synagogue services on Saturday morning, to the pool at the restricted country club for enjoyable afternoons of fun and relaxation, without anyone ever noticing our status as Jews. It was the pool where they learned to swim. Mobile was something of a dream-land for a growing boy.There were many fishing outings with grandfather Roby in the Gulf of Mexico from nearby Bayou La Batre, there was fishing for Crayfish in the ditch behind the house and little league baseball, there were many excursions to Dauphin Island, and occasional trips to Sand Dustin in Florida. In the Summer, there was Jewish sleep-over camp at Camp Barney Medinz in Georgia.
In 1969, Jan Bevan-Gelman decided to move with the three children to Israel, where Jan, Ruth and Renee and children still live to this day today (2012):
The Children of Jan Bevan-Gelman and Leon Gelman
Ruth, Renee, and
i. Ruth Gelman
ii. Renee Gelman
Children of Renee Gelman: Leah Gelman, Maya Gelman, Zohar Biran, Omer Biran.
iii. Joseph Gelman
Child of Joseph Gelman: Adam Gelman
Joseph Gelman with
President Ronald Reagan
JOSEPH GELMAN Joseph served in the Israel Defense Forces as a paratrooper. He married Ofra Tichauer of Rehovot Israel on January 4, 1985 at Santa Ana City Hall in Orange County, California. Joseph is the co-author of the book 'Confidential' which received much acclaim in publications world wide, including in the New York Times. Joseph and Ofra had one child:
i. Adam Winston Gelman
ADAM WINSTON GELMAN
The Brinson's and Bevan's
Bevan side of the family (Grandfather), we were able to trace the family roots back to over a generation earlier than the Alfriend side, but with a little less detail, and possibly with a bit less precision, especially as it relates to the marital status between Cyprian Brinson and Ann D. Hines (perhaps a hint at scandal). This is the most accurate narrative of the Bevan story going back 11 generations:
THOMAS BRINSON was born on the 12th of January, 1609, during the reign of King James I, in Wanstead, Essex, England, about seven years before the passing of William Shakespeare. He married a woman named Joyce, her Maiden name is unknown.
Thomas Brinson died in 1676 (exactly 100 years before the American Revolution, in Princess Anne Co., VA. This means that Thomas Brinson moved from England to America between 1609 and 1676. It would not be unreasonable to speculate that Thomas Brinson, like many immigrants of the time, moved to American in his younger years, which means that there is a good possibility that he shipped off to America sometime between 1620 to 1640. This would put Thomas Brinson as one of the earliest European settlers of the American continent. It is likely that he arrived in the early Virginia colonies, where they, Thomas and Joyce, are documented to have lived. Indeed, to this day, a small body of water called Brinson's Inlet is located near the original estate, not far from what is today Virginia Beach. Thomas Brinson and Joyce had four sons in Virginia, the oldest being:
JOHN BRINSON: (Born 1654 in Princess Anne Co., VA). Married to Elizabeth Capps, who was born in 1672 (quite younger), also in Princess Anne Co., VA. Together, they Produced 8 children one of whom was a son by the name of Adam Brinson I:
ADAM BRINSON I: (Born in 1709 in Princess Anne Co., Virginia), who Married SARAH STERLING; Produced 9 children, one of whom (the oldest) was a son, Adam Brinson II:
ADAM BRINSON II (Born 10 JUN 1751 in Onslow Co., North Carolina), Married Marry Sheppard (Born 6 SEP 1760). Produced an astonishing 21 children! The third of whom was a Cyprian Brinson:
CYPRIAN BRINSON (Born 1785 in North Carolina). Cyprian Brinson produced a daughter with Ann D. Hines. (I am unclear as to their actual marital status). The daughter's name was Nannie (Nancy) Brinson:
NANNIE (NANCY) BRINSON married George Washington Bevan, Who was born to William James Bevan (see below) and Mary James Ramsey on the 31 of JAN 1838 in Madison Co., Florida. They [George Washington Bevan and Nannie (Nancy) Brinson] produced three children: William (Buck) Cyprian Bevan, Van Every (Verner) Bevan, and Norman Milton Bevan:
WILLIAM (BUCK) CYPRIAN BEVAN married Clifford (cliff/”Nother-mama”) Arlene Kight (or Kite) and produced five children, one of whom was was Roby Bevan. William (Buck) Cyprian Bevan, was a railroad worker and made his home in the small town of Live Oak, in Suwanee County, in north Florida. By all reports, he was a stern man, and the family was poor. The history of Live Oak dates back to before the Civil War, in the 1840's and 1850's. Before it was an official town, it was a popular gathering place for railroad workers like William Cyprian Bevan. The beautiful landscape, which provided an abundant amount of shade and fresh spring water, was ideal for workers looking for somewhere to rest, and it slowly developed into a whistle-stop town. In many ways it resembled the small fictitious southern railroad town called "Whistle Stop", depicted in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes. After the Civil War, the population grew, and by the birth of Roby Bevan in 1904, the town was already starting to take its current shape. Today it has a population of 6,400 people.
Left to Right: Rosalie Alfriend-Bevan, Roby Bevan, and his
mother, Clifford (Cliff) "Nother-Mama" Kight-Bevan.
The children of William and Clifford "Nother-Mama" Bevan were:
Bevan Family moving from Knoxville TN, to Houston Tx. 1945.
(Right to left: Jan, Diane, Rosalie, Roby, and little Myra below)
Roby Bevan Jr. is not in the picture because he was serving in
the US Navy in the Pacific during World War II at the time.
1. Roby Bevan
2. Doris Bevan (Married Pat Freeman, lived in McAllen Texas, served as the personal assistant to Texas Governor Allan Shivers).
3. Roy Bevan
4. William Bevan
5. Phetis Bevan (died in a hotel fire)
6. Eunice Bevan
|Roby Bevan and Grandson |
Joseph Gelman, 1963 in Mobile,
Generation 8ROBY BEVAN was born on July 27, 1904. Unfortunately, Roby's father,William Cyprian Bevan, was killed in a railroad accident in 1917 when Roby was only 13 years old. One of the very few possessions he retained from his father William (Buck) was his pocket watch, which has been passed down through the generations.
William (Buck) Cyprian Bevan's
railroad pocket watch, retrieved
from his lifeless body and given
to his son Roby upon his [William's]
death in a train accident in 1917.
Roby was forced to drop out of school and work to help support the family following the death of his father, but within a few years he was attending school at night after long days at work. After many years of hardship, he finally completed his education, and in the years to follow became a well-known Civil Engineer in the South. Roby married ROSALIE ALFRIEND of Tifton Georgia, who hailed from a more prominent Southern family. Roby and Rosalie were a principled, caring and religious couple with a strong since of right and wrong. They opposed discrimination against African Americans in an era that was not always accommodating to such views in the South. Roby Bevan was the first to hire an African American Engineer in the State of Alabama, and was the recipient of threats and taunts in that regard. The couple had four children:
Roby Bevan Jr. - Was in the Navy during World War II. He became a Nuclear Engineer and worked for the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He is married to
The children of Roby Bevan Jr. are: Chip Bevan, Carson Bevan, Andrew Bevan, and Myra Jenin Bevan-Thomas.
Diane Bevan - Lived in Mobile Alabama and died in 2011. When Ofra Gelman of Israel first met Diane she said "it was like meeting Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With The Wind, a force of nature of the kind she had never met before." The Children of Diane Bevan are: Michael Taylor, John Taylor, Joseph Taylor, and Grey Taylor from her first marriage. And Rosalie Elisabeth Gafford, Dina Gafford, Sara Gafford and Andrew Gafford from her second marriage.
Jan Bevan - Lives in Jerusalem, Israel.
Children of Jan Bevan Gelman: Ruth, Renee and Joseph Gelman.
*** The children of Renee Gelman are Leah Gelman, Maya Gelman, Zohar Biran, and Omer Biran.
*** The child of Joseph Gelman is Adam Gelman.
Myra Bevan - Lives in Fullerton, Orange County, California.
Jan Bevan-Gelman early 1950's
Children of Myra Bevan Duvall: Mark Duval and Ashley Duvall
***The children of Mark Duvall are: Michael Dumont Duvall and Hallie Elizabeth Duvall.
***The children of Ashley Duvall-Bradney are: Paige Elizabeth Brandey and Hunter Michael Bradney.
JAN BEVAN GELMAN, married Leon Gelman of Indianapolis, Indiana, and produced three children: Ruth Gelman, Renee Gelman and Joseph Charles Gelman. Jan Gelman moved to Israel in 1969 with her three children, and resides today in Jerusalem.
1. Ruth Gelman
2. Renee Gelman
(The Children of Renee Gelman are Leah Gelman, Maya Gelman, Zohar Biran, and Omer Biran.
Ofra and Joseph Gelman,
married in 1984
3. JOSEPH CHARLES GELMAN,Married Ofra Gelman of Rehovot, Israel.They moved back to America in 1984, and married on January 4, 1985. They produced one child, Adam Winston Gelman.
ADAM WINSTON GELMAN, Born October 31, 1998.
That is the story of the Bevan/Brinson lineage from the old world to the new. PLEASE Note: The name Bevan is a Welsh Name, The farthest I was able to go back on the Bevan name was to the Father of George Washington Bevan, who was my ggg Grandfather: William James BEVAN , Sr., who was born on the 30th of APR 1796 in North Carolina. He raised 14 children, the 7th being my gg Grandfather, George Washington Bevan, who was undoubtedly named after the revered Revolutionary Commander in Chief and first President of the United States, General George Washington. Therefore, we might assume that the Bevan name arrived in America well before that, and likely before the American Revolution of 1776.
In short, the Bevan side of the family, similar in ways to the Alfrind side, have their roots in the British Isles and go to the very beginning of the European settlement in North America, with deep roots in the South, gradually migrating south from Virginia, to North Carolina to Georgia to Florida, and were clearly among the original American settlers of Florida, living in north Florida before it became State in 1845. The Brinson/Bevan families undoubtedly experienced and participated in the history of the American story, from colonial times to the Revolutionary War, to pioneering the South, to the Mexican American War, and of course, in the Civil War... and beyond.
The extended Davis/Alfriend/Brinson/Bevan/families, connected by blood, together represent a substantial and prominent presence in the American experience, particularly throughout the South... and now in Israel as well.
Since the writing of the above material, we have received a wonderful narrative of the Bevan family from Mr. Henry McLeod, a member of the family in Florida. His narrative takes us back to Wales in the late 1700's, all the way to (for our purposes) Buck Bevan; the father of Roby Bevan; the grandfather of Janet Bevan; the great grandfather of Joseph Gelman; and the great, great grandfather of Adam Winston Gelman. We are thankful to Mr. Henry McLeod, and to Ken Geiger who forwarded this to us. As usual, direct decedents are in blue.
1. WILLIAM JAMES BEVAN was born April 30, 1796 in Wales, and diedApril 12, 1879 in Hickory Grove, Florida. He married MARY JANE RAMSEY
December 12, 1825. She was born March 11, 1809 in Georgia, and died May
25, 1882 in Hickory Grove, Florida.
Notes for WILLIAM JAMES BEVAN:William James Bevan, his wife and children left Bladen county, North
Carolina in 1841 and came to Madison County, Florida. In June 1841 he
purchased 40 acres from Sherrod Edwards. This land lies just north of
the Russell Vann pond about 5 miles west of Madison on what now is
called the Tushbant place.
The early settlers of Madison County apparently fell into two classes.One class with money and slaves engaged in large scale farming
operations. The other class with little money engaged is small scale
farming, hunting, fishing and the propagation of the race. William
James Bevan falls into the latter category with 14 children of which
only two died childhood deaths. That is something of a record in
About 1844 he sold this 40 acres to Jackson Jewell and sometime betweenthen and 1850, he moved to what is now Suwannee County. At that time
however, it was a part of Columbia County. He acquired 240 acres at the
intersection of Interstate 10 and Jasper-Live Oak road. Legal
description follows: South 1/2 of NW 1/4 and North 1/2 of SW 1/4, E 1/4
of SW 1/4 and SW 1/4 of NE 1/4 all of Section 7 Township 2 Range 14
South and East containing 240 acres more or less. Suwannee did not
separate from Columbia until 1859. This land was certainly acquired
prior to 1859. However, the Columbia County Court House in Lake City
burned in 1900 with total destruction of old records. I would assume
that he made this move between 1844 and 1849 because he is not listed in
the Madison County census of 1850.
W.J. Bevan became interested in the hunting and fishing around theDeadman Bay area about 1855. He acquired land from the U.S. Government
on a land patent signed by President James Buchanan on April 2, 1860.
He alternated living between there and Suwannee County until December
30, 1869 when he disposed of his 240 acres in Suwannee County via a
mortgage deed to his eldest son, R.J. Bevan. After this he lived wholly
at Deadman Bay as it was called then. Description of that land from the
patent is as follows: South half of the SE1/4 of the NE 1/4 of Section
twenty-two and NW 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of Section twenty-three in Township
nine South of Range nine East in the district of lands subject to sale
at Tallahassee, Florida, containing one hundred fifty-nine and
seventy-two hundredths acres. Amazingly this patent was not recorded
until May 4, 1920 and by whom, my casual search did not reveal. That
same casual inspection indicates that he simply walked off and left
that when he returned to Madison County in March of 1878.
Some think that W.J. Bevan lived either on Bivins Creek (which was namedafter him) or at Bradley Springs. His children told of living near a
spring and seeing panther and bear tracks at that spring. However, I
think it extremely doubtful that he lived at either place. Neither was
on his land and I cannot see a man living away from his own land. There
is or was probably a spring on the property he owned. I have never
searched for it.
Legend has it that Richard J. Bevan gave his father one hundred acres atHickory Grove to live on when he returned from Deadman Bay. William J.
had three unmarried daughters and since there were no prospective
husbands at Deadman Bay the main object of the return was to find
husbands for them. However, the record shows that R.J. Bevan sold 240
acres to his unmarried sisters, (Eliza, Amanda, and Christiann) for a
nominal sum with a reverter clause in the deed stating that in the event
of their marriage, they would sell the land back to him at a resonable
price. This land is what is now know as the Fred Glass place and joined
Richard's home place.
They moved back in 1878 and old William J. died about one year later.Some of his children thought he died of a broken heart because he had to
leave the Deadman Bay area and come to Hickory Grove. However, he was
83 when he died which is a ripe old age in any era. Three years later
on May 25, 1882, his wife, Mary Jane joined him in death. They are
buried in Hickory Grove Cemetery.
Shortly thereafter, the three sisters sold the place back to R.J.Bevan. Sister Christiann had married S.A.J. Horne of Suwannee County
during this period. Since all of their sisters and brothers except
Richard were then living in Suwannee County, the two unmarried sisters,
Eliza and Amanda, went to live in Suwannee County.
As the years went by, the Madison County Bevans and the Suwannee CountyBevan's drifted farther apart. I never heard my father mention them
except to say that Uncle William Ramsey deserted in the "War between the
States" and that Norman and Verner Bevan were our cousins. The fact
that all four of the Suwannee County Bevan brothers served with combat
forces in the Confederate Army and two of them gave their lives,
probably made them resent the Madison County Brother who did not serve
with the fighting forces of the Confederate army during the war.
William James Bevan emigrated to this country as a small boy about fouryears old from Wales (about 1800). Nothing is known of his parents.
Mary Jane Ramsey, the wife of W.J. Bevan, was a native of Georgia and
that is all that is known about her.
William J. Bevan, Pvt. C.S.A., was 27 years old when he enlisted July 5,1861 in Captain Langford's Madison Grey Eagles. This unit later became
Co. G., 3rd. Regiment Florida Infantry. He was wounded and captured
January 2, 1863 at the battle of Murfreesboro, Tennessee (Stone River).
He died of these wounds (from Union records) April 6, 1863. His wife
was named Sarah.
|Illustration of the battle of Stone River where William J. Bevan met his untimely end.|
George Washington Bevan was the second brother to enlist in the
confederate Army. At age 23, he enlisted September 5, 1861 at Madison,
Florida in Captain Langford's Madison Grey Eagles. This unit later
became Co. G., 3rd. Florida Infantry. He said that he saw his brother,
William J. sitting on the ground, leaning back against a tree, cleaning
his rifle just before the battle of Murfreeesboro and that he never saw
him again. He came home after the war and began farming in Suwannee
County. He married Nannie Brinson (born November 24, 1848, died July
23, 1909.) They had several children, one of whom was Van Every Bevan,
the father of Norman and Verner. Another son of Van's was Buck Bevan
who moved to Columbia County. Buck prospered and became well off.
Unfortunately, he was robbed and murdered by a negro near Lake City.
G. W. Bevan, Nannie and their son Van are all buried in Antioch
Cemetery (Baptist) North of Live Oak on the Boys Ranch road.
Miles Newton Bevan, Private C.S.A. enlisted March 8, 1862 in CaptainVanzant's Co. B, 5th. Regt. Florida Infantry at Lake City, Florida. He
was age 22 at the time of his enlistment. He was killed in action at
the Battle of Bristoe Station, Virginia on October 14, 1863.
|Illustration of the Battle of Bristow Station, where Miles Newton Bevan met his untimely end.|
William Ramsey Bevan,Corporal C.S.A. enlisted at Columbus, Florida in
Captain James Tucker's Co.H. 8th. Regt. Florida Infantry on April 12,
1862. He was age 29 at enlistment. Columbus, Florida was a village in
Suwannee County just across the Suwannee River from Ellaville. He saw
heavy fighting including the Battle of Gettysburg and was wounded
several times. He was at home in Florida on wounded leave in July
1864. He reported back in August 1864 and was listed as a deserter
November 20, 1864. He took the oath not to take up arms again during
the war as required by the Union Army and was furloughed home in
December 1864. He said that his family had so little to eat when he
left them in July, that there was no way they could make it through the
winter without starving. Also he felt that the war was already lost.
He was right, it ended five months later.
William R. Bevan married Hannah Townsend in Madison County in 1853.They were married by Rev. John Gramling. She died shortly after the war
ended probably about 1867. Their son P.L. Bevan born February 19, 1857
died April 3, 1913 is buried with his mother and father in New Hope
(Methodist) cemetery north of Live Oak. In 1868, he married Sarah
Elizabeth Vann of Madison County. She,too, is buried at New Hope.
Richard James Bevan, age 34, when the war began did not serve in theConfederate army. He made a greater contribution in the service he
performed than anything he possibly could have done as a combatant in
Florida, early in the war became an important source of food for theConfederate Army. Then when the Mississippi River was taken by the
Union troops cutting off Texas food supplies to the Confederacy, Florida
became the "Bread Basket" of the Southern armies. Florida's great
number of cattle, hogs, and corn became the main food supply of the
"Grey Armies" Florida's miles of coast line, while vulnerable to Union
Naval raids, were important in making great amounts of salt necessary
for the preservation of food for the Confederate Army. Early in the
war, the South sent regular troops to Florida to protect the food
supplies from Union raiders near the coast, raids by deserters from both
sides further inland and transporting the food north to rail and water
heads for trans-shipment to the armed forces of the south.
One of the large concentrations of deserters was down on the Ecofinariver in Taylor County. Regular troops did not work out on these
assignments. In many cases they did not know how to handle cattle and
were not at all familiar with the terrain. So local goups with the help
of the State government set up organizations called the "Cow Calvary".
Immediately the flow of supplies to the "Grey" Armies began to pick
up. The regular troops were sent back to their combat outfits. The
"Cow Calvary" was not subject to call by the regular army and continued
to serve bravely in its role until the end of the war. Richard James
Bevan was a captain in the "Cow Calvary" and made many drives north to
Andersonville, Ga. and Columbus, Ga.
The state of Florida had a higher percentage of men serving in the armyof the Confederacy than any other Southern State. William J. Bevan,
with five sons available sent four to the Conferate Army. Two of these
gave their lives. The fifth son performed valiantly in the "Cow
Calvary". Certainly the Bevan men did not lower Florida's high average
of participation in the "War of Northern Aggression against the
Information given to Henry and June McLeod by Mary Lilla Bevan Johnson,grand-daughter of Richard James Bevan.
On March 28, 1878, Richard James Bevan gave his parents a 100 acre farmnear him at Hickory Grove because at that time his parents were living
at Bivins Creek near Steinhatchee with three unmarried daughters. Since
there were no eligible bachelors there he wanted them to come to Hickory
Grove where they might have a chance to get married. He put the title
to the land in the name of Eliza Bevan, Amanda Bevan, and Christiann
Bevan with a clause which would revert the title back to him when the
girls got married. Deed Book J--Page 678 . Eliza Ann Bevan never
Willliam Ramsey Bevan deserted the Confederate Army in the last year ofthe War between the States to come home and feed his starving wife and
kids. He settled in Suwannee County but some of the family never
forgave him. Mary Jane Bevan married Tom McDaniel of Suwannee County.
George Washington Bevan settled in Suwannee County and his descendantsare there.
Christian (Christy-Ann) Bevan married a Mr. Horne of Suwannee County.
Emaline Melvina Bevan married Jack Gibbs.
Ellen Taylor Bevan married George Washington Townsend.
Buck Bevan, brother of Verner and Grandson of George Washington Bevansettled in Columbia County.
George Washington Bevan, father of Van Every and grandfather of Vernerand Norman is buried in Antioch cemetery (Baptist) N. of Live Oak on the
Boy's Ranch road. His wife Nannie Brinson Bevan born November 24, 1848
died July 23, 1909 is also buried there. His son Van is buried there.
Some of their decendants settled in Columbia County.
William Ramsey Bevan is buried in New Hope (Methodist) cemetery north ofLive Oak. His wife, S.E. Bevan born April 29, 1832 and died August 1,
1918 is also buried there. P.L. Bevan the son of W.R. and H. Bevan born
February 19, 1857 died April 3, 1913 is buried in the same plot.
Christiann Bevan Horne is buried in the plot next to William RamseyBevan. One Horne girl is thought to have married Judge Hearn of Live
Oak. Another one of the Horne girls married a man from Madison, name
Information given to Henry and June McLeod by Mary Lilla Bevan Johnsonof Madison Florida and grand-daughter of Richard James Bevan.
Deed Book C Page 411--A deed dated August 31, 1844. William Bevan andhis wife , Susan Bevan sold forty acres of land to Jackson Jewel.
Deed Book D, page 417--A bill of sale dated September 1, 1849--WilliamBevan gives six head of nett cattle marked swallow fork in one ear and
two splits in other ear branded with figure 3 to his four minor children
named Rachael Ann Elizabeth, Mary Jane, Ariana and Susan Indiana.
Signed by mark.
Deed Book F, Page 243--A bill of sale dated October 13, 1850 executed inThomas County, Georgia by Nancy Bevan giving three slaves to her
daughter Elenor Carroll and also giving three slaves to her
grandchildren named Leroy Deekle, Ann Deekle and Eddy Deekle. Recorded
in Madison County under the name of Nancy Bevan.
Information given to Henry and June McLeod by Mary Lilla Bevan Johnsongrand-daughter of Richard James Bevan.
Old Bevan home at Hickory Grove now used by Madison Hunting Club as alodge was built in 1877. Most of the work was done by a freed black
slave who could not read or write. However, the quality of his
carpentry is very evident in the building.
List of lands, notes and mortgages given by Richard James Bevan to hisson George Walden Bevan (affectionately called Waldie) total
approximately 10,000 dollars. It is to be assumed that he gave his widow
and other three living children equally as much--which in those days was
a princely sum indeed. He owned in excess of 3,000 acres of land in
Madison, Suwannee, Taylor,and Hernando counties. While valuation ofnotes and mortgages was 100 cents on the dollar, the land values seemed
low, in some instances down to $5.00 per acre.
Information given to Henry and June McLeod by Mary Lilla Bevan Johnson.
Children of WILLIAM BEVAN and MARY RAMSEY are:2. i. ELLEN2 BEVAN, b. March 21, 1850, Madison County, Florida; d. May
29, 1929, Suwanee County Florida.
3. ii. RICHARD JAMES BEVAN, b. June 1, 1827, Bladen County, North
Carolina; d. June 1, 1901.
iii. ELIZA ANN BEVAN, b. October 26, 1828.
4. iv. WILLIAM RAMSEY BEVAN, b. June 16, 1832; d. April 18, 1919.v. WILLIAM JAMES BEVAN, b. 1833; d. April 6, 1863.
vi. MARY JANE BEVAN, b. February 10, 1834; d. January 30, 1910; m. TOM
vii. ELIZABETH BEVAN, b. May 14, 1837; d. August 6, 1867.
5. viii. GEORGE WASHINGTON BEVAN, b. January 31, 1838; d. April 21,1909.
ix. MILES NEWTON BEVAN, b. October 5, 1839; d. October 14, 1864.
x. AMANDA CAROLINE BEVAN, b. March 31, 1841; d. October 31, 1915.
xi. THERESA ELIVIA BEVAN, b. June 24, 1842; d. November 16, 1847.
xii. CHRISTIAN (CHRISTY-ANN) BEVAN, b. October 26, 1843; d. December
26, 1909; m. S.A J. HORNE.
xiii. EMALINE MELVINA BEVAN, b. February 26, 1846; d. January 6, 1873;
m. JACK GIBBS.
xiv. JULIA ELLENLER BEVAN, b. April 20, 1852; d. December 4, 1853.
Generation No. 2
2. ELLEN2 BEVAN (WILLIAM JAMES1) was born March 21, 1850 in MadisonCounty, Florida, and died May 29, 1929 in Suwanee County Florida. She
married GEORGE WASHINGTON TOWNSEND November 24, 1874 in Madison,
Florida, son of ISRAEL TOWNSEND and JULIA TOWNSEND. He was born
November 11, 1848 in Madison County, Florida, and died February 10, 1924
in Suwannee County Florida.
Notes for GEORGE WASHINGTON TOWNSEND:George Washington Townsend was born in Madison County Florida around
1848 and married Ellen Bivens (Bevans) November 24, 1874.
Children of ELLEN BEVAN and GEORGE TOWNSEND are:
6. i. JULIA3 TOWNSEND, b. October 7, 1875; d. December 24, 1928.
7. ii. ADA TOWNSEND.
8. iii. LILLA JANE TOWNSEND, b. September 18, 1877, Madison County
Florida; d. November 13, 1955, Taylor County, Florida.
9. iv. WILLIE TOWNSEND, b. May 29, 1879; d. October 21, 1945.
3. RICHARD JAMES2 BEVAN (WILLIAM JAMES1) was born June 1, 1827 inBladen County, North Carolina, and died June 1, 1901. He married (1)
REBECCA JANE OVERSTREET 1853, daughter of SILAS OVERSTREET and NANCY
SEAVER. She was born April 15, 1833, and died September 22, 1872. He
married (2) NENCIE CLEMENTINE GRAMLING March 17, 1875, daughter of
CHARLES GRAMLING and LOUISA WALDEN. She was born October 30, 1855, and
died November 19, 1944 in Madison County, Florida.
Children of RICHARD BEVAN and NENCIE GRAMLING are:10. i. MARY LOU3 BEVAN, b. May 15, 1876, Hickory Grove, Florida; d.
November 19, 1964, Madison County, Florida.
11. ii. RICHARD JAMES BEVAN II, b. May 2, 1879, Hickory Grove Florida;
d. November 25, 1934, Madison County, Florida.
ii. GEORGE WALDEN BEVAN, b. May 5, 1881, Hickory Grove Florida; d.
December 7, 1918, Madison County, Florida; m. CLYDA GLASS; b. January
26, 1885; d. February 12, 1923.
iv. LITTLE SISTER BEVAN, b. May 16, 1883; d. November 11, 1883.
v. LITTLE BROTHER BEVAN, b. November 22, 1885; d. November 30, 1885.
12. vi. AUDREY ELIZABETH "ELLIE" BEVAN, b. February 28, 1888, Hickory
Grove Florida; d. August 22, 1975, Madison County, Florida.
4. WILLIAM RAMSEY2 BEVAN (WILLIAM JAMES1) was born June 16, 1832, anddied April 18, 1919. He married (1) HANNAH TOWNSEND 1853. She died
1867. He married (2) SARAH ELIZABETH VANN 1868.
Child of WILLIAM BEVAN and HANNAH TOWNSEND is:i. P.L.3 BEVAN, b. February 19, 1857; d. 1913.
5. GEORGE WASHINGTON2 BEVAN (WILLIAM JAMES1) was born January 31, 1838,and died April 21, 1909. He married NANNIE BRINSON. She was born
November 24, 1848, and died July 23, 1909.
Child of GEORGE BEVAN and NANNIE BRINSON is:13. i. VAN EVERY BEVAN.
Generation No. 3
6. JULIA3 TOWNSEND (ELLEN2 BEVAN, WILLIAM JAMES1) was born October 7,1875, and died December 24, 1928. She married CHARLES B. MCLEOD. He
was born October 24, 1867, and died December 23, 1927.
Child of JULIA TOWNSEND and CHARLES MCLEOD is:14. i. MATTIE4 MCLEOD.
7. ADA3 TOWNSEND (ELLEN2 BEVAN, WILLIAM JAMES1) She married ALBERTBREARE.
Children of ADA TOWNSEND and ALBERT BREARE are:i. MARGARITE4 BREARE, m. ROBERT GRAHAM.
ii. MYRTIS BREARE.
8. LILLA JANE3 TOWNSEND (ELLEN2 BEVAN, WILLIAM JAMES1) was born
September 18, 1877 in Madison County Florida, and died November 13, 1955
in Taylor County, Florida. She married ALBERT MCLEOD November 6, 1892
in Madison, Florida, son of HENRY MCLEOD and GEORGIA LANGFORD. He was
born April 9, 1869 in Madison County, Florida, and died September 10,
1932 in Taylor County, Florida.
Notes for ALBERT MCLEOD:Albert McLeod, son of Henry Warren and Georgia A. Langford McLeod, was
born April 9, 1869 and was raised on a farm in Madison County. Albert
met and married Lilla Townsend, daughter of George Washington and Ellen
G. Bivins Townsend, from Live Oak, Florida. They were married on
November 16, 1892. A son was born in 1895 named George Forest McLeod.
Lillie May was born November 18, 1899. When Forest was six years old he
died with high fever and congestion of the lungs. Three months later
May died with diptheria leaving them childless. Albert Earl was born
November 14, 1903 in Live Oak. A daughter Grace Ellen was born
September 3, 1906 Clarence was born in Alton near Mayo, Florida on
September 16, 1910. The McLeods then moved to Hampton Springs where the
twins, Henry Luke and Maude Annice were born on July 28, 1915. Another
son Maurice Jerome was born on February 26, 1917.
After he married he was a lumber inspector for a sawmill in Live Oakowned by Tom Dowling. Later he moved to Dowling Park where he worked as
a lumber inspector. The lumber from big heavy timber was used for
building ships, and for heavy construction. Then he moved to Mayo and
worked as a lumber inspector at a big mill in Alton. Alton was a large
mill and the community even had a theater. In Alton were the four
O'Quinn boys, Dr. O'Quinn who was the Company Doctor, Barney who was the
Pharmacist, and another brother who was a Dentist. The O'Quinns moved
to Taylor County.
Albert and family moved to Green Cove Springs, Florida and while thereLilla had typhoid fever and almost died. They moved to Taylor County
where he worked at Ensign and then Rock Creek. Luke and Maude, the
twins, and Mutt were born at Rock Creek. Albert moved to Boyd five
miles north of Perry, Florida to work for Weaver Loughridge Lumber
Company. While at Boyd, he was taken sick. His brother Bob, came from
Madison County and took Albert and the family to stay with him. Albert
was taken to Yates Sanitorium where he was given shock treatments.
After getting better, Albert, Lilla, Luke, Maude, Mutt, and Clarence
went to Uncle Jim Williams for a while. Lilla, Albert's wife wanted to
stay with her brother, Willie Townsend. They stayed there awhile and
when he was well, the family moved back to Boyd in 1919.
While in Boyd, Albert was ordained at the New Life Methodist Church. Hetook an active part in Sunday School and church. When the church was
without a pastor, Albert was asked to serve as pastor of four churches
which made up a circuit. He preached at Pine Level, Boyd New Life, Lake
bird and at Shaw School for four years. He continued to work at the
Albert had a light stroke which left him partially paralized. Later hehad a heart condition. He got up from the table because he had a very
sharp pain and went out to the porch. The doctor was called and came
right away. Albert was given a shot of morphine and put to bed. He
lived for two or three days before he died.
Lilla had an ulcerated leg for many years and wore it all covered up.She also took expensive medication known as gold pill for this. Her
nose became very red and someone said it was probably gange green or
INFORMATION GIVEN BY HENRY LUKE MCLEOD AND MAUDE MCLEOD MCNEILL___________________________________________________________________________
Luke and Maude McLeod were born July 28th 1915. We were seven month
babies and my Mother wrapped us in outing material and put us in shoe
boxes by the fire in the fire place. At three weeks old Luke weighed
four pounds and Maude weighed three pounds. We were born near Hampton
springs, Florida, three miles from Perry. Daddy had to walk to Perry
after a day's work at the mill to purchase milk for the twins--dime
brand condensed milk. In seventeen months my Mother gave birth to
another son. He was larger than the both of us. Mother and an older
sister had their hands full--three on bottles and diapers. My oldest
brother Earl had to go to work at age fourteen to help support the
family. The older sister Grace and another son Clarence, six years
older than the twins were a big help with the babies. In 1919 we moved
to Boyd, Florida where we grew up--Dad was a lumber inspector and was
ordained a country preacher. My oldest brother was a lumber grader.
Clarence drove a mule on the yard hauling lumber to be stacked. At
sixteen, Grace, married Leon McCallum, her school teacher. He helped
her take the teachers exam and she taught school--both of them in
Lafayette County. Leon later became County Superintendent. Five years
after marriage in 1928, L.R. was born, then Catherine, and Stanley in
1931. Grace died when Stanley was born. Clarence married at 19 to
Isabelle O'Steen--a daughter Carolyn was born--she was an only child.
Luke married Develle Peters--have two sons-Henry Luke and Jimmy (James
Albert). Earl married Verley Tedder--have two daughters-Earlene and
Maude married Louis Edward McNeill in 1939--have four sons--Don, Ray,Gary, and Kenny--and one daughter, Vickie who married Greg Cates. Don
married Many Kemp-has two children-Mike and Connie--twelve years-broken
marriage-married Anne Combs-has twin girls-Mandy and Christie and
Jennifer age twelve.Ray married Shirley Hughes-has a son Gregory and a daughter Karen.Gary married Helen Bryne-has a son, Douglas.
Ken has three sons -Tyler-Todd-and Tom- Married Maureen Kash-a baby girl
Maude and Luke were 70 years old July 28, 1985. God has been good to
us--I do thank him for all his blessings.
INFORMATION BY MAUDE MCLEOD MCNEILL
Children of LILLA TOWNSEND and ALBERT MCLEOD are:i. GEORGE FOREST4 MCLEOD, b. January 12, 1895, Live Oak, Florida
Suwannee County; d. October 3, 1901, Live Oak, Florida.
ii. LILLY MAY MCLEOD, b. November 18, 1899, Live Oak, Florida Suwannee
County; d. December 21, 1901, Live Oak, Florida.
15. iii. ALBERT EARL MCLEOD, b. November 14, 1903, Live Oak, Florida; d.
May 29, 1980, Ocala, Florida.
16. iv. GRACE ELLEN MCLEOD, b. September 3, 1906, Live Oak, Florida; d.
November 2, 1931, Mayo, Florida.
17. v. CLARENCE MCLEOD, b. September 16, 1910, Alton, Florida (near
Mayo); d. August 4, 1987, Taylor County, Florida.
18. vi. HENRY LUKE MCLEOD, b. July 28, 1915, Rock Creek (Taylor County).
19. vii. MAUDE ANNICE MCLEOD, b. July 28, 1915, Rock Creek, Fla. ( Near
20. viii. MAURICE JEROME (MUTT) MCLEOD, b. February 26, 1917, Rock
Creek, Florida(HamptonSprings); d. August 24, 1983, Lake City, Florida.
9. WILLIE3 TOWNSEND (ELLEN2 BEVAN, WILLIAM JAMES1) was born May 29,
1879, and died October 21, 1945. He married BERDIE BLOUNT. She was
born January 18, 1880, and died June 7, 1956.
Child of WILLIE TOWNSEND and BERDIE BLOUNT is:21. i. GEORGE PHILLIP4 TOWNSEND, b. October 20, 1901; d. June 12, 1984.
10. MARY LOU3 BEVAN (RICHARD JAMES2, WILLIAM JAMES1) was born May 15,
County, Florida. She married MITCHELL NEBRASKA BRYAN August 6, 1893.
He was born September 13, 1876, and died April 5, 1941.
Children of MARY BEVAN and MITCHELL BRYAN are:i. EUGENIA "GENIE" PARRAMORE4 BRYAN, b. August 9, 1897; d. April 28,
1981; m. ALBERT PERLY EDGERLY, 1919; b. April 28, 1884; d. December 8,
ii. RICHARD BEVAN BRYAN, b. January 27, 1900; d. December 9, 1980; m.
PEARL ROGERS, 1919; b. October 4, 1897; d. December 4, 1985.
iii. BRUCE MITCHELL BRYAN, b. July 6, 1904; d. May 15, 1977; m. LEIL
11. RICHARD JAMES3 BEVAN II (RICHARD JAMES2, WILLIAM JAMES1) was bornMay 2, 1879 in Hickory Grove Florida, and died November 25, 1934 in
Madison County, Florida. He married (1) LILLA CORNELIA FLYNN 1905. She
was born August 6, 1886, and died January 3, 1924. He married (2)
ROBBIE WESSON 1921.
Children of RICHARD BEVAN and LILLA FLYNN are:22. i. RICHARD JAMES4 BEVAN III, b. October 25, 1906; d. January 20,
ii. GEORGE WALDEN BEVAN, b. December 4, 1908; d. May 18, 1909.
23. iii. JOSEPH WILLIAM BEVAN, b. July 10, 1910; d. October 15, 1970.
24. iv. STEVE WILSON BEVAN, b. July 9, 1912; d. April 11, 1954.
25. v. MARY LILLA BEVAN, b. September 9, 1913.vi. BABY GIRL BEVAN (TWIN), b. January 2, 1919; d. January 2, 1919.
vii. BABY TWIN GIRL BEVAN, b. January 2, 1919; d. January 2, 1919.
Children of RICHARD BEVAN and ROBBIE WESSON are:26. viii. JOHN WALDEN4 BEVAN, b. October 8, 1925.
ix. JEANNETTE ELILZABETH BEVAN, b. September 27, 1928; d. May 24, 1983.
12. AUDREY ELIZABETH "ELLIE"3 BEVAN (RICHARD JAMES2, WILLIAM JAMES1)
1975 in Madison County, Florida. She married JOHN JORDAN "JAY" NEWMAN.
He was born 1880, and died 1916.
Children of AUDREY BEVAN and JOHN NEWMAN are:27. i. SARAH CLEMENTINE4 NEWMAN, b. April 29, 1911; d. August 27, 1976.
ii. AUDREY ELIZABETH NEWMAN, b. February 10, 1913; d. June 6, 1971; m.
FRANCIS FLEMING "FRANK" CANTEY; b. February 22, 1909.
13. VAN EVERY BEVAN (GEORGE WASHINGTON2, WILLIAM JAMES1)Children of VAN EVERY BEVAN are:
i. NORMAN4 BEVAN.
ii. VERNER BEVAN.
iii. BUCK BEVAN (died in a train accident in 1917), Buck was married to Clifford (Cliff) "Nother-Mama" Kight-Bevan. Together they had six children:
1. Roby Bevan
2. Doris Bevan (Married Pat Freeman, lived in McAllen Texas, served as the personal assistant to Texas Governor Allan Shivers).
3. Roy Bevan
4. William Bevan
5. Phetis Bevan (died in a hotel fire)
6. Eunice Bevan
Buck Bevan was the father of Roby Bevan:
Who was the father of Janet Bevan-Gelman:
Who is the mother of Joseph Gelman:
Who is the father of Adam Winston Gelman.
1. Roby Bevan
2. Doris Bevan (Married Pat Freeman, lived in McAllen Texas, served as the personal assistant to Texas Governor Allan Shivers).
3. Roy Bevan
4. William Bevan
5. Phetis Bevan (died in a hotel fire)
6. Eunice Bevan
Buck Bevan was the father of Roby Bevan:
Who was the father of Janet Bevan-Gelman:
Who is the mother of Joseph Gelman:
Who is the father of Adam Winston Gelman.
The Gelmans and Nisenbaums
It is a curious coincidence of history that Adam Gelman is the direct descendant of a mixture of Jewish holocaust survivors and immigrants escaping persecution, and former slave owners and Christian preachers.
PESACH AND RACHEL SMITANSKI
On your Father's side, where the name 'Gelman' comes from, there is the narrative of the Niesenbaum-Gelman sage which was documented by cousin your 3rd cousin Max Nelson, the son of immigrants Abraham and Anna Nisenbaum of Indianapolis, Indiana. This saga vividly illustrates the Eastern European Jewish experience, and the great migration that occurred during the early years of the 20th century.
In the early to mid 1800's, Pesach Smityanski (Smitanski) and his wife Rachel Smityanski made their home in the Fastov region, about 35 miles southwest of Kiev, the capital city of the Ukraine, which was a part of Russia at the time. When Pesach and Rachel died, they were buried in Kiev. The Smityanski's had 3 children, the eldest son was Liepa, the youngest son was Tzailig, and the daughter was Libby-Gittle Smityanski.
The Eastern European pogroms of the 19th and early 20th centuryGeneration 2:
TZAILIG SMITYANSKI (Mordecai Tzailig Nisenbaum)
Tzailig Smityanski, changed his
name to Mordecai Nisenbaum
Tzailig Smityanski was born on July 20th 1861, was the youngest of the Smityanski sons and grew to manhood in Fastov, Ukraine. Tzailig Smityanski was approximately 20 years old at the time of Alexander II’s death in 1881. Alexander III then assumed the thrown of his father and immediately re-instituted oppressive laws aimed to suppress the growing revolutionary movements in Russia at the time. Anti-Jewish riots (Pogroms) were initiated in no fewer than 160 towns, including in Kiev. Thousands of Jews were killed or injured and their homes were destroyed. The pogroms continued unabated well into 1882. Concerned about their survival, and also in his attempt to avoid forced conscription into the Russian army, Tzailig was encouraged to take another name, so the name he acquired was Mordichai Tzailig Nisenbaum. Most probably the name of a deceased person. As a result of the riots in and around Kiev in the early 1880's, the commerce among the Jews was all but destroyed. Mordecai moved south to find work. He traveled to Beltsy, Bessarabia (what is today in Moldova), a city 65 miles north west of Kishenev, (then the regional capital, today the capital of Moldova). While attending services in the local synagogue, he met Mr. Yitzhak Staglisky, who invited the young man to his home for dinner. There, he introduced Mordecai to his daughter Rascha, the youngest of the three Staglisky daughters.
Mordecai was smitten with Rascha and after an appropriate courtship they were married. Mordecai went to work for her father to learn the construction business. Having gained Knowledge of the building business, Mordecai decided to venture out on his own, so in 1884 he and Rascha moved to the town of Kalarash, approximately 30 miles northwest of Kishinev in Bessarabia. Jews had begun to settle in Kalarash in the early 1800’s, and by 1897 they numbered 4593 people, representing about 89% of the town's population. Here they started a construction company and built a house where Rascha made a home. Rascha bore ten children, five of whom survived. In chronological order,
Samuel Nesenbaum (born in 1888),
Chaim Nisenbaum (born in 1893),
Laika Nisenbaum (born on March 18, 1895),
Ida Nisenbaum (born in 1904), and
Abraham Nisembaum (born in 1905).
According to all accounts, the Nisenbaums owned their own property and one cow.
Mordecai, in addition to working hard in the construction business, studied long hours and was considered a Torah scholar. Rascha, a proud woman, helped supplement the family income by packaging sugar, flour and salt, bought from the general store, and selling it to neighbors at a profit. The pogroms continued unabated, and in 1903 in the city of Kislunef, only 30 miles from Kalarash, 49 Jews were murdered and 500 were injured when rioters took to the streets. The never-ending pogroms seemed to be getting closer all the time, and hung like a dark cloud over everyday life. In October of 1905 they hit in the heart of Kalarash. 60 Jews were murdered in the streets, 300 were injured and 200 homes were burned to the ground. The entire Nisenbaum family struggled for survival in an atmosphere of terror, but non-the-less proud of the limited prosperity they enjoyed in this hostile environment. With the pogroms, many Jews had enough, and were packing up and immigrating to the United States and Palestine around the turn of the century. Most were leaving the pale of settlements to free themselves of the unending oppression that existed there. The Nisenbaums talked of leaving as well but there was not enough money.
Meanwhile, Mordecai (Tsailig) Nisenbaum's sister back in Fastov, Libby-Gittle, had married a young Rabbi from Prokurov by the name of Pinchas Tuchmacher. They had nine children. These children in chronological order were Dvora, Liepa, Rachel, Miriam, Elka, Pesach, Moshe, Shayke, and Chaia. Pesach Tuchmacher, an artist, moved to Israel (then Palestine) in 1914. However, the rest of Libby-Gittle Tuchmacher's family remained in Fastov. During the year 1919, another horrible pogrom swept through the Ukraine and southwest into Romania resulting in the murder of Pinchas Tuchmacher, Libby-Gittle and several of their children.
Pinchas was seized by the mob, who had accused the Jews of a centuries old primitive libel, that of killing a Christian child to use his blood for their religious services. Pinchas was tied to a wagon and dragged behind a team of horses through the town to the local synagogue where he, along with his wife, many of his family and many more of the Jews in the town were locked in the synagogue while it was burned to the ground. Only one daughter, Chaia, survived this terrible catastrophe. She left Russia in 1921 bound for Palestine to join her brother Pesach, where she lived until her death in 1982. She had married Yitzhack Mandleblit and had two sones and a daughter, Natan, Ehud, and Ruth. Dvora’s daughter, Judith Silverhartz, went to Palestine in 1928. However, no information was ever found on the fate Liepa Smityanski and he was never heard from again.The never-ending environment of terror had a lasting effect on the Jews of the Pale of settlement, and many looked for ways out, but were too poor to move. In 1904 a 16 year-old cousin by the name of Emma Jacobs made it to the United States and took a job as a milliner. She married Meyer Ladin and they made a home in Philadelphia, PA. Always conscious of the family remaining in Eastern Europe, she and Meyer sent money, and sponsored Mordacai and Rascha's eldest son, Samuel Nisenbaum's move to the United States in 1914.
Rascha was reluctant and could not understand why everyone was so eager to leave when they were doing "so well" in Kalarash. By 1918 Bessarabia became part of Romania, they were making a living, the town had a Talmud Torah, a hospital, a library, a Load and Savings Funk, all Jewish institutions. Why go to America, a non-kosher and wicked country?
Joseph Gelman in the old
Kalarash, Moldova, 2005
Thankfully, the family prevailed and they began making plans to secure passage to the “land of opportunity”, the land where the streets were “paved with gold”. Chaim, who was by this time married to Rose, had one son , Manuel, and was very excited about the trip, but very concerned about an eye infection that he had contracted. A great tragedy struck the family on the eve of their departure. A flu epidemic, which swept through Kalarash, took the life of Sonya Nisenbaum. The family, devastated by the loss of Sonya, secured their passports and booked passage. Chaim’s eye infection got worse, and as a result, the authorities in Paris, France, prevented him from leaving France for America until the condition cleared up. Mordecai and Rascha, Laika, Ida, Avraham and Aron boarded the SS Ryndam in Boulogne, France on December 22, 1920, and prepared their accommodations in Steerage Class for the long journey to America. The journey took 12 days. They welcomed in 1921 on the SS Ryndam in the Atlantic, and arrived at the Port of New York on January 3rd, 1921. Like many millions, they were processed through Elis Island.
The SS Rryndam, 1920
The new arrivals were described on the immigration manifest. Mordecai was 5 feet 6 inches tall, 54 years old and had $20.00 American dollars on his possession. Rascha, who was 5 feet 8 inches tall could neither read nor write. The others, Laika, Ida and Abraham, however, could read and write Yiddish, that is except Aron. Chaim, Razel and Manuel finally arrived in the US in 1922 and joined the family in Indianapolis. Upon arrival in Indianapolis he took a job as a carpenter for the Jungclaus Construction Co. and worked on the construction of the Marriott Hotel.
In general, the Niesenbaum's were astonished by what they found in America. The freedom from fear of the authorities, and roving bands of rioting Cossacks was of course the biggest relief. But the economic opportunities, the wealth, the clothes and foods that were available even to the common man was an astonishing eye-opener. It was clear to them from the earliest days of their arrival in the new world that they had made the right decision. Even the onset of the Great Depression and harder times, seemed like a cake-walk when compared to everyday life in the old country, and they were grateful for what they had. they had no expectations that anyone but themselves would take care of them, and they depended upon themselves and family to survive.
Samuel married again. He took as as wife Bessie Ecktman. They had two sons, Isadore and Nathan. In 1929 Sam built the Columbia Theater at 22nd and Martindale in Indianapolis. He lost the building in the crash of 1929, which marked the beginning of the great depression.
Mordecai and Rascha moved into their first home in America at 931 Maple Street near the 900 block of South Meridian. This house was bought for them by son Samuel. Mordecai began almost immediately, selling bread door to door on the near South side and was known and the “Baker Man”. Though his training had been that of a Carpenter, his age and language limitations kept him from getting a job in the field.
Ida married Harry Tuchman in August of 1925 at the Concord Center on Morris Street. They opened their 1st poultry store on Ray Street and operated a poultry stand in the City Market. In the 1930’s they founded the South side Poultry Co. at 1012 South Meridian St. In 1935 Mordecai became ill and they sold the house on Maple Street and moved into the home of Ida and Harry Tuchman at 1010 South Meridian.
The Nessinbaum family, 1927. Laika Nessinbaum-Gelman
is sitting second from the right holding her daughter Jenni, while
Moriss Gelman is standing second from the left.
The children of Generation 3 included:
From Abraham and Anna Nisenbaum-Nelson, five children:
1. Max Nelson -
(Father of Jennifer Nelson)
2. Harry Nelson -
(Father of Mike Nelson, Bruce Nelson, Lisa Nelson and Josh Nelson)
3. Elliot Nelson
4. Pauline Nelson
5. Libbi Nelson
NOTE: In the 1950's the Nelson family changed their name from Nisenbaum to Nelson as a result of an unfortunate robbery attempt at their grocery story (which they had bought from Morris and Laika Gelman). During the robbery, Abraham killed the robber in self defense. Out of fear of retribution from the robber's associates, Abraham and Anna Nisenbaum changed their identity and move away with their children from Indianapolis for a number of years before returning.
From Chaim Nisenbaum, five children:
1. Manuel Nisenbaum
2. Paul Nisenbaum (Killed in automobile accident)
3. Ike Nisenbaum
4. Molly Nisenbaum
5. Ann Nisenbaum
From Samuel and Bessy Nisenbaum: three children:
1. Nate Nisenbaum
2. Isador Nisenbaum (World War II hero, recipient of the Bronze Star).
3. Harold Nisenbaum (from Samuel's first marriage to Sonya who died of fever in Kalarash, Bessarabiya)
From Ida Nisenbaum, one daughter:
1. Miriam Nisenbaum-Atlas
From Laika (Lena, or Leah) Nisenbaum, three children:
1) Jennie Gelman
2) Leon Gelman
3) Paul Gelman
LAIKA (LENA - LEAH) NISENBAUM GELMAN
Laika (Lena) was born on the 18th of March, 1895 in Kalarash, in the region of Bessarrabia. Upon immigrating to the United States in 1921, she married Morris Gelman in 1922. Their union brought three children into the world. One girl and two boys. Jennie, Leon and Paul Gelman. Laika and Morris bought a grocery store at 2002 Columbia Avenue in Indianapolis in 1933 and made a comfortable living. They sold the store to her little brother Abraham (had changed his name to Dave Nelson) in October of 1945. Lena Gelman died heart failure on July 18, 1970.
As described by Paul Gelman, The family information about Morris Gelman, who is the namesake of the 'Gelman's', is limited because of the nature of the history and geography of his saga. Morris 'Gellerman' was born on December 15, 1891 in the little settlement of Lodezen, in a region that changed hands between Poland and Russia along the Bug River. This tiny village (shtetel) cannot be found on a map and was most likely wiped out during the Holocaust of WWII and does not exist any more. At the age of 18, in 1909, under the constant threat of the pogroms, he departed from his parents home, alone, and made his way to America where two brothers, Issac and Abe, had already immigrated to. He arrived in New York Harbor in late 1909. The motivation for his departure included the constant threat of violence against the Jews living in the region, as well as his determination to avoid conscription into the Russian Army.
Upon his arrival in New York, he presented his correct name as 'Morris Gellerman' to the US immigration officer. Misunderstanding the pronunciation, the US immigration officer promptly wrote down "Gelman", and that is how "Gellerman" became "Gelman" upon arrival in the new world. Morris would never see his parents or his extended family in the old country again.
After a while in New York, penniless, Morris hopped a train heading west, essentially as a hobo. When the train stopped in Indianapolis, Morris, jumped off and inquired as to whereabouts of the Jewish community in town. He was directed to a neighborhood on the south side of town. He quickly found work doing odd jobs. On August 30, 1918, during World War I, he was conscripted into the US Army and proudly began training. On November 11, 1918, World War I ended, and Morris was decommissioned on December 11, 1918, exactly one month later, never having been deployed.
Eventually, in 1922, Morris met Laika Nisenbaum, the daughter of Mordecai and Rascha, newly arrived Jewish immigrants to Indianapolis from the Bessarrabia region of Eastern Europe (today in the country of Moldova). Laika, "fresh off the boat", and new to America was undoubtedly intrigued by the more "Americanized" Morris. Morris and Laika married in 1922 and had three children,
1. Jennie Gelman (no children)
2. Leon Gelman (children: Ruth, Renee and Joseph Gelman
3. Paul Gelman (Father of Lisa Gelman-Kay)
Leon Gelman, the son of Jewish immigrants Morris Gelman and Laika (Lena) Nisenbaum-Gelman was born on December 20th, 1928 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Leon's life-experience could not have been more different from that of his parents. Leon grew up in a relatively typical American Midwest environment of his time, which included friends, school and playing in the streets of Indianapolis' lower-middle class neighborhoods during the great depression of the 1930's. By all accounts he was a good student and well liked by his peers. At the age of 18 in 1947, inspired by the events of World War II which he had just missed, he volunteered and served in the 101 Airborne. He later attended Butler University as a journalism major.
Captain Leon Gelman
Missing military life, he rejoined, this time in the US Air Force looking to become a bomber pilot. Instead, he became a navigator. During this period he obtained a civilian pilots licence and on one occasion, he took his astonished father, Morris Gelman, for a flight around central Indiana.
Leon Gelman receives the
United States Air Medal for
courageous actions over the
skys of Korea in 1951.
With the sudden outbreak of the Korean War in June of 1950, Leon Gelman's unit was quickly assigned to Japan for combat duty. In the following year-and-a-half, he flew dozens of highly hazardous, low-altitude combat missions in B-26 light attack bombers (mostly at night), with the 731st squadron, 3rd Bomber Wing out of Japan. They were known as the "Night Raiders", and were collectively recognized for the extreme damaged they inflicted on the enemy. Leon's plane suffered serious damage from enemy fire multiple times, and on one occasion he was forced to crash-land his aircraft while sitting in the nose-cone. The unit suffered multiple casualties. Leon received two United States Air Medals and rose to the rank of Captain.
Captain Leon Gelman's B-26 aircraft crash-landed due to
extreme damage from enemy fire. This photo appears in
the 731st unit journal, with Leon Gelman's hand written note.
Leon later served in Strategic Air Command (SAC) as an instructor. On September 2nd, 1956, he married Jan Bevan Gelman of Houston Texas (and later of Mobile, Alabama), Jan had converted to Judaism. Leon and Jan Gelman had three children: Ruth, Renee and Joseph Charles Gelman.
In the very late 1950's, Leon was flying a training mission for SAC when he suffered what has been described as a mental breakdown accompanied by extreme headaches while in flight, likely brought on by severe anxiety-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Numerous, and more severe episodes followed and long-term treatment was initiated. Leon Gelman never recovered and was declared a 100%, combat-related, Disabled American Veteran, and was hospitalized on and off for a number of years before it was determined by the Veterans Administration that he was capable of functioning in a limited capacity on his own. Under these difficult conditions, Jan and Leon Gelman separated in 1962 and Jan moved to Mobile, Alabama, where the bulk of the Bevan family and support system now lived. On September 1, 1969 she moved to Israel with the three children. Leon Gelman died on March 4th, 2009 as a Disabled American Veteran. He was buried with full military honors in Indianapolis, Indiana, by an Air Force Honor Guard that drove during the night from Saint Lewis for the occasion. His funeral was conducted by the mortuary owned by his cousin, Max Nelson, and was attended by members of the extended Nisenbaum family, including his children, Ruth, Renee and Joseph, and his brother Paul Gelman.
The Children of Leon Gelman
1. Ruth Gelman
2. Renee Gelman
(Children of Renee Gelman are Leah Gelman, Maya Gelman, Zohar Biran and Omer Biran).
3. Joseph Charles Gelman
(Child of Joseph Gelman is Adam Winston Gelman).
JOSEPH (Joe) CHARLES GELMAN
Adam Gelman, sailing off
of the coast of Cabo
San Lucas, Mexico, 2010Joseph Gelman was born on July 18, 1960. He married Ofra Gelman of Rehovot Israel on January 4, 1985. They have one son, Adam Winston Gelman.Generation 6:
ADAM WINSTON GELMAN
Adam Gelman was born on october 31, 1998.
As Max Nelson describes in his extensive essay on the Nisenbaum family: The entire family, as new immigrants to America, worked hard at whatever they could find to do in order to feed and clothe themselves, and slowly rise to their American dream, if not for themselves than for their children. His father Avraam Nisenbaum sold brooms even though he could not yet speak English. He carried a note written by a friend which he soon memorized. Walking up and down the streets, brooms in hand, in a heavy accent, he chanted aloud the inscription on the note “do you want to buy a broom?” Seemingly light-years away from the realities of the modern Niesenbaum family. Today, members the family are firmly in the American mainstream, some are prominent members of the community, business owners, lawyers and doctors, many still living in the Indianapolis area. Given what transpired less than 20 years after their departure from that small town in Eastern Europe, with the outbreak of World War II and the destruction of the Jewish community of Kalarash the entire Pale of Settlements, it is likely that their very survival can be traced to that fateful decision in 1920 to pack up and move to a new and unknown land.
The Marriage of Leon Gelman, the son of recent immigrants seeking refuge from persecution, who arrived at Elis Island, to Jan Gelman, a direct descendant of the founding generation of Americans, a family that traces its roots to the pre-revolution, colonial era, and the institution of slavery, is a quintessential American story.
_________________________The Behrend and Crohns
On your mother’s side, where her maiden name 'Tichauer’ comes from, there is the narrative of the Crohn-Tichauer sage which was originally documented by your mother in 1992, in an interview of 85 year of Grete Rehfeld, your great-grandfather Wilhelm Tichauer’s first cousin. The Crohn-Tichauer experience is a classic German-Jewish story. The Name ‘Crohn’, means ‘Crown’, and the name ‘Tichauer’ means ‘of Tichau’ (which is a town in Germany). Your lineage on the Crohn side can be traced to the mid 1700’s, but there is less information about the name ‘Tichauer’, which we follow only from the mid 1800’s.
Abraham Behrend was born in 1760 and married Fogel Wulff. The couple produced six children. Fogel died in 1813 and Abraham died in 1827.
The Children of Abraham Behrend and Fogel Wulff-Behrend are:
1. Behr Abraham Behrend – (1790- 1870)
2. Wulff Behrend – (1793-1838)
3. Hiller Fabian Behrend – (1803-1868)
4. Moses Behrend – (1798 - ?)
5. Esther Behrend – (1801-?)
6. Samuel Behrend – (1807-?)
Behr Abraham Behrend was born in 1790. He married Caroline Borchardt who was born in 1799, The couple produced seven children:
1. Isaak Behrend (1818-?)
2. Jacob Behrend (1820-1870)
3. Victor Behrend (1822-?)
4. Aron Behrend (1824-?)
5. Vogelchen Behrend (1824-?)
6. Abraham Behrend II (1828-1888)
7. David Behrend (1831-?)
ABRAHAM BEHREND II
Abraham Behrend II was born in 1825. He married Cacilie Rothenberg, and the couple produced nine children. Abraham died in 1888, and it is not known when Cacilie passed. Their children were:
1. Clara Behrend (1857-1868)
2. Hugo Behrend (1858-?)
3. Emma Behrend (1860-1940)
4. George Behrend (1861- ?)
5. Wilhelm Behrend (1865-1866)
6. Moritz Behrend (1866-1868
7. Benno Behrend (1871-?)
8. Elise Behrend (1874-1930
Elise Behrend was born in 1874 and married Isidor Crohn. The couple produced three children, two of which died at birth. The third child survived, and she was named Cecilie. Elise died in 1930.
1. Cecilie Crohn (1899-1974)
The Wedding of Cecile
Crohn and Wilhelm
Tichauer 1922Generation 5:
Cecilie Crohn was born in 1899. She married Dr. Wilhelm Tichauer who was born in 1885. Wilhelm Tichauer died of a botched gall bladder surgery in 1959. Cecilie died in 1974.
1. Ernst Tichauer
2. Karl Otto Tichauer
KARL OTTO TICHAUER
Karl Tichauer was born in Breslau, Germany on June 2 1929. In June of 1936, at the age of seven, the Tichauer family (Wilhelm, Cecilie, Ernst and Karl) escaped Germany to Uruguay, fleeing Nazi persecution. As a result, Karl Otto Tichauer was raised in Uruguay, South America. Karl married Celia Craichic (born in 1931 in Santa Fe, Argentina). Most family members who stayed behind in Germany were never heard from again, perishing in the Holocaust of World War II. In 1950, Karl and Celia sailed to the newly established State of Israel, and helped established the Kibbutz Mefalsim in the Northern Negev Desert. The couple had three children:
1. Amos Tichauer
2. Ada Tichauer
3. Ofra Tichauer
Ofra Tichauer was born on May 20, 1962 in Rehovot Israel. She married Joseph Gelman on January4, 1984 in Orange County, California. She studied at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and obtained a Masters of Architecture. Her Master Thesis was on the Dynamic Art and Architecture: an Analysis of Russian Constructivism. Today she is a practicing Architect. Ofra and Joseph have one child:
Adam Winston Gelman
ADAM WINSTON GELMAN
________________________________THE BAENDERS AND TICHAUERS
Moritz Baender was born in Schlesien, Germany, on October 20, 1784. He married Friderike Fable, The couple had a number of children, one of them was:
1. Pinkus Baender
Pinkus Baender was born in October of 1836. at Myslowitz O. Schlesien, Germany. He died in July of 1904. He produced 12 children from two wives:
1. Zelma Baender
2. Grete Baender
3. Louise Baender
4. Salo Baender
5. Eugene Baender
6. David Baender
7. Berta Baender
8. Emelie Baender
9. Matilde Baender (January 28, 1858)
10. Flora Baender
11. Frida Baender
12. Ferdenand Baender (died in the Warsaw Getto)
Matilde Beander was born on January 28, 1858. She married Moritz Tichauer, born on July 9, 1857. Mortiz died before the younger Tichauer family escaped Germany in 1936. Matilde Tichauer died in a German concentration camp during WWII. The couple produced four children:
Matilde Beander-Tichauer and Moritz Tichauer
1. Erich Tichauer
2. Hanz Tichauer
3. Amalie Tichauer
4. Wilhelm Tichauer (1885-1959)
DR. WILHELM TICHAUER
Wilhelm Tichauer, 1911
Dr. Wilhelm Tichauer was born on June 30, 1885. He was an assimilated, and highly educated German Jew. He earned his Phd in medicine and was a practicing medical doctor. His dissertation was a groundbreaking essay on a new drug at the time called Morphine. The young Dr. Tichauer was eager to see the world and joined the German Merchant Marines as a ship doctor, and sailed to many exotic countries, taking many photographs of his adventures in these foreign lands. These photographs survive to this day and are a testament to his extraordinary life. One of the places he visited in 1912 was Uruguay, where, while on shore-leave, was offered a large plot of land for purchase, at what was to him at the time very little money. He turned the offer down because as he put it, "I will probably never see this far-flung place again."
With the outbreak of World War I, like most patriotic German's, Dr. Tichauer (his camera in hand) joined the German army as an officer. He was assigned as a Doctor to the German Medical Corp assisting German forces in Serbia, and Ottoman forces in Palestine (Germany and Ottoman Turkey were allies during WWI). When the British captured Palestine in 1917, Dr. Tichauer was taken Prisoner of War. He was shipped across the Sinai desert and held in a British POW camp for the duration of the war in Alexandria, Egypt. Upon the end of the war in November of 1918, Wilhelm was released and he returned to Germany where he was awarded the Iron Cross, First Class, as well as certificates of appreciations from the Kaiser and the Ottoman Sultan. He then began a successful medical practice as a Pediatrician, in the city of Breslau. A few years later he married Cecile Crohn, settled down, and the couple had two children, Ernst Tichauer in 1925, and Karl Tichauer in 1929. Wilhelm joined the Free Masons, and the family enjoyed an upper-middle-class lifestyle in a comfortable house in Breslau, with servants and nannies for the children. He and his wife Cecile often traveled throughout Europe while the children remained at home with their caretakers. It was a charmed life of the cultural elite. The global economic depression that hit in 1929 was felt, but not harshly. However, with the rise of Adolph Hitler in 1933, things changed quickly. The hostility, even towards the most assimilated, aristocratic and patriotic Jews of Germany would be felt clearly, and shock the very foundations of their identity. The world as they knew it was coming to an end. And it was about to get worse.
Dr. Wilhelm Tichauer, 1934.
A proud WWI German Jewish
veteran whose world is
about to collapse
By 1935, German racial laws, known as the Nuremberg Laws were introduced. The Tichauer's were suddenly striped of their German citizenship and Wilhelm was prohibited from treating ‘non-Jewish’ patients, and his successful medical practice collapsed completely. Wilhelm was warned by former colleagues in the German military, as well as by associates in the Free Masons that he should leave Germany for his own safety while he still could. Unlike so many others, Wilhelm recognized the danger early and had the foresight to immediately seek visas for his family to anywhere possible, not only outside of Germany, but outside of Europe completely. Finally, he obtained visas to Uruguay on May 27, 1936.
To understand the sense of desperation, Wilhelm, a medical doctor at the age of 51, a highly educated, assimilated and civilized man, living in one of the most advanced and civilized nations on earth as a decorated veteran, was full of joy and relief upon learning that he and his immediate family will have the "opportunity" to escape their homeland to a small foreign country in one of the most remote regions on the planet, while leaving most of their worldly possessions behind. Only 10 days later, on June 6th, 1936, the family (Cecile, Wilhelm, Ernst and Karl) packed up and left Germany for South America on the S.S. Graux, departing from the port of Hamburg. They left property and financial resources behind because they were limited in what they were allowed to take out of the country. Upon arriving in the port of Montevideo, they were issued permits to stay in Uruguay. However, Dr. Tichauer was not allowed to practice medicine in Uruguay and the family survived by opening a small sowing shop. Wilhelm remembered the offer to buy a large plot of inexpensive land in Uruguay so many years earlier, and now regretted that he had failed to act, believing at the time that he would never see Uruguay again. It is ironic that Uruguay, a country far less advanced than Germany in the field of medicine, would deny a well trained German Doctor the ability to practice his profession for the benefit of others.
The Tichauer family rode out World War II in a small apartment in Montevideo, Uruguay. They followed the progress of the war by radio, and had a map with pins to illustrate the movement of forces. The closest they came to the war was when the giant German battleship Graf Spee was cornered by British naval forces in the bay off of Montevideo. The ship was scuttled by the captain, who then committed suicide.
by May of 1945 the war in Europe was over and they were grateful to have survived. Only later did they come to realize the true extent of the tragedy, including the death of many extended family members in concentration camps... including the death of Matilde Tichauer, Wilhelm's mother. Matilde had refused to leave Germany because at her age, she did not want to start a new life in a far-away foreign county where she did not even speak the language. Indeed, all of the extended Tichauer-Crohn family who stayed behind in Germany perished in the Holocaust of World War II. Following the war, Wilhelm and Cecile joined their son Karl and moved to the new state of Israel in the early 1950's, the same land where he had served the German army in World War I, and was taken prisoner. Initially they moved to a Kibbutz where Karl had moved to as a pioneer with his new wife Celia. Wilhelm and Cecile did not approve of the communal lifestyle of the Kibbutz. They soon purchased an apartment in Tel Aviv and adjusted to their new lives in Israel.
Wilhelm Tichauer had suffered from gall stones for years. In 1959, he decided that he could no longer tolerate the continued suffering and elected to undergo surgery to remove his gall bladder. Unlike today, with laparoscopy and other high-tech methods, in the 1950’s gall bladder surgery was a highly invasive and risky procedure at any age, let alone Wilhelm’s age of 74. Unfortunately, things did not go well. The adventurer, the medical doctor, the decorated soldier, the man who through his good judgment saved the Tichauer family from certain death in a German concentration camp… was no longer; done in by a simple gall bladder operation in 1959.
Dr. Wilhelm Tichauer, having been born in 1885, was part of a generation that had witnessed a world in the kind of technological and political transition that was unmatched by any other period in human history. A year after he was born, Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler, also of
, pioneered the internal combustion engine and invented the Automobile. His era witnessed, and indeed he personally witnessed the introduction of electrical power, airplanes, telephones, radio, paved roads, indoor plumbing, refrigeration, antibiotics and other basic technologies that we can’t imagine living without today. He remembered reading by candle light, getting around on horseback, and heating the stove with firewood. He was witness to the revolutionary transition from the old world of kings, Kaisers and colonialism, to the new world that we know today of nation-state democracies and dictatorships, and the redrawing of the world’s political map. He lived (just barley) through two seismic world wars and witnessed the rise of two of the worlds most destructive ideologies; Nazism and Communism. Germany
Karl Tichauer, 1935,
Karl Tichauer was born in Breslau, Germany on June 2 1929. In June of 1936, at the age of seven, the Tichauer family (Wilhelm, Cecilie, Ernst and Karl) escaped Germany to Uruguay, fleeing Nazi persecution. As a result, Karl Otto Tichauer was raised in Montevideo, Uruguay, South America. By the end of the war in 1945, Karl had joined the Zionist youth group 'HaBonim', preparing for immigration to Palestine. At the youth group's summer camp held in Argentina, he met Celia Craichic, born in 1931 in Santa Fe, Argentina, and the couple quickly stuck up a romance. Karl married Celia Craichic and the two immigrated to the newly established State of Israel in December of 1950.
The voyage to Israel amounted to their “honeymoon cruise.” As a young married couple they were given private accommodations, of course, not to be confused with the modern cruises of today. Think of a smaller ship with a tiny fraction of the amenities of today’s cruise ships. Think mess halls and shared bathrooms. The voyage took months, with stopovers in Rio De Jeneiro, Dakar, Cannes, Genoa and Venice. But for young idealists, all of this was nothing short of an exhilarating global adventure.
On December 28th 1950, your Grandparents first viewed the coast of
Israel, and shortly thereafter arrived at the where they kissed the ground, fulfilling the first stage of their dream. An old, open GMC truck had been sent to pick up their group of nine and deliver them to Kibbutz Mifalsim in the south. The ride south took many hours over torturous bumpy roads, roads that would take no more than about an hour and a half today. They stopped off near the small town of portof Haifa Zichron Yaakov(one of the original Jewish settlements in Palestine) for their fist meal in , a sandwich….everything was a first. Finally they arrived, and quickly discovered that all the talk about hardship and sacrifice for the cause was not a mere scare tactic, but true. They were assigned to tents and out-houses for bathrooms, and worked very hard to create a new settlement from nothing, that exists to this day. Israel
The fledgling state was undergoing a period of sever economic austerity and every basic commodity was carefully rationed through a complex system of coupons. Simultaneously, poor immigrants from all over the world were pouring into the poor state; Jewish European refugees, survivors of Nazi death camps and those who managed to hide for the duration of the war arrived by the hundreds of thousands. In what amounted to a population exchange similar to what happened between India and Pakistan but on a smaller scale, hundreds of thousands of Jews from Arab countries were forced or fled the vast Arab lands, while Palestinian Arabs were forced or fled the small areas now controlled by the Jews.
Karl and Celia helped establish the settlement of Kibbutz Mefalsim in the Northern Negev Desert, near the Gaza Strip. A Kibbutz (Hebrew: קיבוץ, plural: kibbutzim (Hebrew: קיבוצים), literally means gathering or together, and is a uniquely Israeli, collective community. The movement combines socialism and Zionism in a form of practical Labor Zionism, founded at a time when independent farming was not practical or perhaps more accurately - not practicable from an economic or security perspective in pre-Israel
. Forced by necessity into communal life, and inspired by their own Zionist-socialist ideology, kibbutz members developed a pure, Utopian communal mode of living in which manual labor was revered and considered liberating from the old merchant life-styles that most Jews of Europe had lived, and creating a new kind of Jew in the process. It was in this revolutionary environment that Celia and Karl worked hard and had two children together, Amos and Ada. Palestine
As a few years of Kibbutz life went by however, a degree of disillusionment began to settle in on Karl and Celia. They began to notice certain aspects of communal life that were not consistent with the youthful, utopian socialist vision that had motivated them to become Kibbutz pioneers to begin with. Everyone was equal, but some seemed more “equal” than others. All resources were scarce at the time, including food, housing, and any material item that provided even the most basic of creature comforts, like toilet paper or tooth paste. On a very small scale and without really realizing it, Karl and Celia were witness to Communism’s, and to a lesser extents, Socialism's fatal flaw; human nature. It was this same flaw, on a much grander scale, that would ultimately help bring down an entire empire years later.
They also discovered that their utopian socialist ideals would occasionally clash with their more conservative core values on matters that they had failed to appreciate while adopting the ideology with youthful enthusiasm back in South America. One evening for example, Celia was assigned “parent duty” at the children’s house along with another married male member. This was not uncommon to rotate tasks which involved staying with and looking after the Kibbutz children throughout the night. Apparently, the male member took the term “parent duty” a little too literally and proceeded to make aggressive advances on Celia. This led to harsh recriminations and hard feelings as it became known when Celia refused to pull “parent duty” with that man again. Indeed, the entire situation suddenly appeared to them strangely unnatural. Children, not sleeping under the same roofs as their parents, adults pulling rotation duty as surrogate parents to children not their own, married male and female adults spending the entire night on parent duty with partners other than their spouses; the attitudes on the Kibbutz regarding such issues in those days were exceedingly casual. This was a true revolutionary movement eager to cast off the “corrupt” values of the past in order to build a new Jew in his own land in a collectivist setting. On some Kibbutzim, children grew up not sure of who their parents actually were because EVERYTHING was shared. Karl Tichauer's attitude was that there are two things that he was not willing to share, his toothbrush and his wife.
On March 27th, 1953 a controversial agreement between Germany and Israel began to be implemented for the compensation of Jews who were persecuted by the Nazi regime before and during World War II. Shortly thereafter, the Tichauer family learned that they would be one of the many beneficiaries of this German compensation package. Naturally, Kibbutz members were expected to place all personal possessions and assets into the Kibbutz coffers, to be distributed equally to all. This created a very difficult dilemma for Karl and Celia, and it might be said for thousands of other German Jews now living on Kibbutzim throughout Israel. Do they forgo the German compensation package and hand it all over to the Kibbutz as any “good socialist” would do? Or do they drop out of the Kibbutz and use the compensation package to start a new life in the larger Israeli society outside?
They were at the crossroads and another life-altering decision needed to be made. If they shared their compensation with the Kibbutz, it would likely mean a giant financial barrier to ever leaving the Kibbutz if they decided to do so in the future. It is most likely that they would have chosen the path of staying on the Kibbutz had disillusionment in the “real world” practice of the socialist ideal not already begun to creep in to their consciousness. The dilemma of German compensation being dangled in front of them helped make the decision for them. It was time to leave the nest of the Kibbutz with their two little children, Amos and Ada, and go out into the larger Israeli society, where a tough economy, limited connections and limited prospects awaited them.
With the assistance of German reparations, Karl and Celia purchased a small apartment in the town of Rehovot about 40 kilometers southeast of Tel Aviv, one of the first Jewish settlements in Palestine and home to the famous Weitzman Institute of Science, named after Israel’s first President, Haim Weitzman, himself a world famous Chemist. The Institute is one of Israel’s premier institutions for scientific research and higher learning and it was there that the Israeli nuclear program was pioneered. The Weitzman Institute would come to play a role in both Ofra and Joseph Gelman's life, and is likely the place where their paths first crossed.
Karl searched far and wide for gainful employment to support the family, but times were tough. Eventually he went to the government employment office seeking help. The clerk enquired as to his political affiliation and Karl displayed his little red Mapai (Labor Party) membership card. With that, Karl finally secured a job at the Agricultural Institute, and later as a Lab Assistant at the Weitzman Institute, and he would stay in that position for the rest of his working life. Those were the days when the Socialist party controlled almost every aspect of life in Israel, and virtually every major institution was owned and operated by the government; banks, telephones, airlines, large stores, buses, shipping, tour guides, dairy and produce distribution, healthcare…you name it, the government ran or controlled it, all the way down to setting the price of bread and milk at the local food store through an elaborate system of price controls and subsidies.
For the Tichauer’s, the 1950’s were characterized by economic struggle, but also with the simple joys of raising a family in a simpler time in a small town, when doors were left un-locked and the children played unsupervised and safely in the neighborhood. They had little, but so did everybody else. In 1956, Karl Tichauer was drafted and participated in the Sinai Campaign where in a short time; Israel captured the entire Sinai Peninsula while British and French forces captured the Suez Canal.
In May of 1962, their youngest child, Ofra Tichauer was born in Rehovot.
Karl, Ernst and Celia Tichauer
1950, Buenos Aires, Argentina
1. Amos Tichauer
(Children of Amos Tichauer: Shiran, and Roy)
2. Ada Tichauer
(Children of Ada Tichauer-Doron: Ori, Maya)
3. Ofra Gelman
(Child of Ofra Tichauer-Gelman: Adam Gelman)
Karl and Celia Tichauer with
Grandson Adam Gelman in 2009,
in Jaffa, Israel, overlooking the Tel Aviv coastline.
Ofra Tichauer, 1983
Ofra Tichauer was born on May 20, 1962 in Rehovot, Israel. She Married Joseph Gelman (born July 18, 1960 in Indianapolis, Indiana), and moved to the United States in 1984. She received her undergraduate degree in Art History at the University of California, Irvine, and her Master of Architecture from UCLA. She is a practicing Architect. Ofra and Joseph have one child:
1. Adam Winston Gelman (October 31, 1998)
ADAM WINSTON GELMAN
The Criachics are the Jewish-Argentinian side of the family, and to understand their history, one must understand the history of Eastern European Jewelry... and the history of Argentina's Jewish community, of whom the Criachics are an integral part.
In the coming years, Jews settled in the new Spanish and Portuguese colonies, where they believed that they would be safe from the Inquisition. Some took part in the conquest of the "New World,".
In 1736 a Viceroy was appointed by the Spaniards in the Region of the La Plata River (today Argentina and Uruguay) and Buenos Aires became the political, economic, and cultural center of Argentina. Many European businesses established representations there and in many instances the representatives of those businesses were Jewish. Those merchants and businessmen, generally natives of France or England, constituted the first seed of the Jewish community of Argentina. In 1852, they established the Jewish Congregation of Buenos Aires in an attempt to preserve their religious identity.
On October 19, 1876 Argentinean President Nicolás Remigio Aurelio Avellaneda Silva (1837-1885) signed the Immigration and Colonization Act (Law N° 817) encouraging immigration and creating a special Department to facilitate and enforce it, as well as establishing a network of immigration agencies in European countries and appointing committees to provide guidance to the newly arrived.
The Immigration and Colonization legislation couldn't have came at a more convenient moment for European Jews, as 1881 was the year major pogroms started all over Eastern Europe and especially Imperial Russia. Most of the Jews dreamt to emigrate to the United States, were "gold could be found in the streets". An ideological minority hoped to settle in Zion-Palestine and rebuild the Jewish Homeland. Very few considered Argentina a prime candidate. South America was far away, with small Jewish Communities, nothing was known about its prevailing economic conditions, it was an economically underdeveloped region, and on top of it there was a natural aversion to countries linked to Spain by history, language, religion and tradition, which could - so they thought - maintain restrictive laws for Jews.
But the event that changed all this happened one day in 1887 when leaders of Jewish communities in Podolia and Bessarabia met in Katowice (Silesia, Poland) to seek a solution to their problems. They decided emigration to Palestine was the solution and choose a delegate, Eliezer Hauffmann, to travel to Paris, meet the Baron de Rothschild and ask for his support. But Kauffman wasn't able to obtain an audience with the aristocrat Rothchild. Afraid of going back empty-handed and learning that there was an official bureau of information of the Argentinean Republic, Kauffman decided to meet J. B. Frank, the officer in charge, and learned that a gentleman named Rafael Hernández was interested in selling lands to European immigrants. The land was in Nueva Plata, Province of Buenos Aires, near the city of La Plata. A contract was signed there and then and thus the 820 people represented by Kauffman, comprising 130 families (a number equivalent to half the Jewish population of Argentina at that time!) began their trip to Argentina on board of the SS WESER.
They arrived in Buenos Aires on August 14, 1889 and learned right away that the lands they had acquired were not available. Since their agreement the price of the land had more than doubled, making it "inconvenient" for unscrupulous Hernández to fulfill the contract. Rabbi Henry Joseph, the leader of Argentinean Jewry, tried to save the day and he arranged for the newcomers to meet Pedro Palacios, the Jewish Community attorney, who happened to be the owner of vast lands in the Province of Santa Fe, right where the new railway line to Tucumán was being built. Palacios agreed to sell the WESER passengers some land he owned. By late August contracts were signed and the immigrants were on their way. To their dismay the travel was bad and the place they arrived to even worse. The families were lodged in freight cars parked in a shed along the railway line. They expected to be transferred to their fields, get farm animals and agricultural appliances and materials (as established in the contract) but none of these happened. Railway workers distributed food among the hungry children but soon enough a typhus epidemic enhanced by poor hygiene, took the lives of 64 of them. The national authorities, learning of the immigrants’ deplorable conditions, ordered an investigation by the General Immigration Commissioner.
Luckily for the newcomers Dr Wilhelm Loewenthal, a Romanian doctor from the University of Berlin, specializing in bacteriology, who had been hired in Paris by the Argentine government for a scientific mission and in parallel was asked by the A.I.U. to keep an eye on the Weser immigrants, traveled to Palacios Train Station where he was astonished by the miserable living conditions of the immigrants. In spite of their ordeal and difficulties the settlers still hoped to become farmers. He reported to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Estanislao Zeballos and simultaneously met Palacios requesting him to comply with his duties. Back in Paris, Loewenthal submitted a written project to Rabbi Zadoc Kahn for the agricultural colonization of Jewish families in Argentina by means of establishing a Colonizing Association and allocating each family a farm 50-100 hectars in size, at the cost of US$ 2000 per family.
If it weren’t because of these travelers abandoned in Palacios Station it's very probable that Baron Hirsch would neither have thought of sending more Jews to Argentina, nor created the JCA. But as a result of the ordeal the 1891 the ‘Baron Hirsch Plan’ was born. In it's first 5 years some 10,000 immigrants arrived to Argentina, 68% of them (6,757 residents from 983 families) staying in the Colonies and the rest scattered throughout the country or immigrating to the USA, Uruguay and Chile. Baron Hirsch died in 1896 and the program passed on to the hands of administrators that didn't have the passion and the push but continued his work bringing colonists to Argentina up until the eve of the Second World War. The Jewish colonies became known in distant Europe and Asia and many Jews decided to immigrate to Argentina - 200,000 to 250,000 Jews in the 50 years between 1888 and 1938. It was this wave that brought the Craichic side of the family to Argentina in the early 1900’s. It is estimated that in 1909 there were approximately 70,000 Jews in Argentina, one third living in Buenos Aires, 25% in the central provinces (Santa Fe, Entre Rios, Cordoba, and La Pampa), 15% in the colonies of the JCA, and 30% in the rest of the country. Moises Ville had been the first but soon enough 15 other Jewish agricultural settlements were established by the JCA in the various provinces of Argentina.
|Great Great Grandparents|
Aba Eliezer and Pese Craichic
The Craichics Argentinian saga begins in a region of Southern Ukraine of what was then a part of Russia. At the turn of the 19th Century, the Craichics made their home in the town of Mykolaiv, and subsisted mostly as taylors. Like all Jews in the Pale of Settlements of their day, the fear of anti-Jewish pogroms always hung heavy. When they learned of Baron Hirsh's program for Jewish immigration to Argentina, where land was available, they packed up their belongings and moved to Odessa, a port city on the Black Sea, where they prepared for immigration to Argentina.
|Great Grandparents Clara and Enrique Craichic|