HomeBlogIn memory of the help Angela Shire provided


In memory of the help Angela Shire provided — 2 Comments

  1. Small world! My impoverished ancestor, Benjamin Levy, and his brother Solomon Levy, apprenticed in cabinetmaking at the Jews Hospital. In 1839 they left England for New Zealand employed by the younger Abraham Hort. They arrived in 1840, the elder Abraham Hort arrived in 1843 and Benjamin and his more recently arrived wife, Esther Solomon, provided a son in 1843 (first Bris in Wellington!), a child who died (first Jewish burial) and other events the elder Hort wrote back to the Jewish Chronicle about as he tried to show that the Wellington congregation was just like “an old, established congregation. Hard sell, he admitted, nobody would close shop for holidays, etc. So I’ve also researched the Hort-Waley connection, with an eye to Jewish philanthropy in supporting poor young Jews via the Jews Hospital, assistance to emigrate, etc. When Benjamin died 14 years after leaving England the Waley family were among those who contributed funds to get his wife and 7 children back to LOndon (per the Jewish Chronicle). My own Angela coincidence is that we met once, when I came to LOndon to obtain circumcision records of Esther Solomon’s family (her father was a mohel from 1789-1838), the records are now searchable here, thanks to Synagogue Scribes). Over lunch with her husband, we discovered Benjamin’s father John Levy, was the brother of her ancestor, Joseph Levy. So we shared a common ancestor in their father, Yechiel Michael Levy! Back to the Horts: I researched every reference to the Hort family’s early years in NZ and incoprorated it into the History of the Jews in New Zealand wiki, if anyone is interested.

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