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03 November 2015

The Far Reaching Jews of Fordon- part 8, The Possible Original Name of the Auerbach Family

In the previous post on this blog, I discussed the Auerbach family from Fordon in Poland and their influence as merchants in the western United States. The stores that they established in Utah were a part of the fabric of the state for well over 100 years.  In this article I will attempt to show some records that hopefully will start the discussion on the names of the family before the adoption of surnames.
The first Auerbach to arrive in Salt Lake City was Frederick who arrived sometime before to 1857. The records show that Frederick was the son of Hillel Auerbach and his wife Bertha Friedman. In the records of Fordon we find the marriage of Hillel Auerbach to Bertha Friedman on the 3rd of February 1829 (See Below).

We also find that the groom was 29 years old and his bride 28 at the time of the wedding. Further, we find that the father of the groom is listed as Tobias Auerbach and Simon Friedman is the father of the bride. A further search of the records finds a marriage in 1840 of Raphael Auerbach and Pauline Friedman (see below).

In addition to the bride and groom having the same fathers listed as in the previous marriage we also now add their mothers. Maria Hirsch is the wife of Tobias Auerbach and Maria Levin is the wife of Simon Friedman. From this we now know that Hillel and his brother Raphael married sisters, Bertha and Paulina Friedman. Its at this point where things start to get interesting.
1. In the will of Frederick Auerbach, which was probated on 20 July 1896 in Salt Lake City, he lists various items including;
  1. To my cousin, Marion S. Adler, of Newburg, New York, the sum of $250.00
  2. To my cousin, Fannie Tobias, of Newburg, New York, the sum of $100.00
A search of the various census records of the United States finds only one possibility for these two cousins. In Newburg, New York, beginning with the 1855 State Census we find Marion and Fanny as the daughters of Jacob Tobias and his wife Charlotte. It also states that Charlotte was born in England, as was their first child, Theodore Abraham Tobias. Since mom and Theodore were born in England, I conducted a search of the Civil Registration marriage records hoping to find a marriage of Jacob and Charlotte.
In those records I found that Jacob Tobias, a dealer in gold and silver, age 28 and Charlotte Francks  of full age were married on 19 December 1849 at Newcastle under Lyne, Stafford, England.
Also, it states that Jacob is the son of Abraham Tobias and Charlotte the daughter of Abraham Francks. 
2.  Also in his will, Frederick states,
 "To my sister, Rosa G. Meyer, of salt Lake City, Utah, two shares of the company."
 Searching the records for Rosa, I was able to find her death certificate (see below).
 In addition to verifying the parents names, a key piece of information we receive here is the date of birth, 15 Jan 1831. Returning to the records from Fordon, we find on that same date, one year earlier the birth record of Rosa, however the name of the parent is of interest here (see below).

On this record, the original name is crossed out and the name Hillel Abraham is written in. This appears to be the same woman.
So what does all this mean? Since the records of Fordon show that the time between 1820-1830 is when most Jews adopted surnames I believe this records at least can lead us in the direction that the name Auerbach was adopted by Hillel some time around the birth of his first child Rosa. Prior to the adopting of the name Auerbach, he would have been Hillel son of Abraham, or as in the case of Rosa's birth, Hillel Abraham. We know from his marriage his father was Tobias, but it appears the Abraham replaced the name Tobias.
This is also shown in the case of son Jacob Tobias. He was born around 1821 then marries in England in 1849. He would not have appeared in any other records between the two dates, he would have been Jacob son of Abraham as well. 
Hopefully further research into the Auerbach's of Fordon will help us verify the family and link the generations together.


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