Lazarus Family of Exeter

[What follows is sundry extracts from many emails receivedfrom members of the Lazarus family and descendants. Please visit thehttp://lazarus.1afm.comwebsiteif you would like to contact these people.]

A photo of David Lazarus (1822-1895) which would have beenoriginally taken circa 1892. David is standing behind his daughterCaroline and her husband Jacob/John Hyman and their 2 eldestchildren, Catherine (later Mrs. Rosenthal) and Deborah (later Mrs.Symons); three more children were born later. Jacob Hyman wasprominent in the trade union movement having been Secretary of theVictorian Trades Hall, and President on several occasions, andSecretary of the Eight Hours Movement.

I really appreciate the web-site. I did correspond with RabbiSusser at one point and was eagerly awaiting publication of hisBiographies of the Jews of the S-W of England. I do hope his noteswill be recovered one day. I regret that I never had the chance toshare with him what I have learned about my gr gr grandfather FrankLazarus (s. of Mathilda Lyon and Lippa Lazarus of Plymouth), whomarried into a family who were among the founders of the Jewishcommunity of Hartford Conn., USA, and who later returned to England.He was in the optical business and apparently had a business calledLawrence and Mayo, with a branch in India, and which is now one ofthe biggest and the oldest optical firms in India.

A couple of summers ago, with the help of a friend in Plymouth, Ispent a day trying to find the cemetary on Hoe. No one seemed to knowof its existance, but somehow we did locate it. I also spent time inthe Plymouth library photcopying pages of Rabbi Susser's booklet onthe tombstone inscriptions - what a treat to have them all on the web!!


My paternal great-g'father (David Lazarus) who arrived inMelbourne in the gold rush period of the early 1850s stated on hismarriage certificate that he was from Exeter, England, and that hisparents were Eleazer Lazarus and Julia Solomon(s). A batchelor, aged35, when he married in Melbourne 20-12-1857 (therefore born 1822), hewas a Jeweller & Watchmaker; his father's occupation was alsoJeweller. David's wife was a 23 year old widow, Deborah Benjamin, neeMarks, from London. As far as I know, none of David's siblingsemigrated to this country. However, from your records it was clearthat various members of the Lazarus family - possibly not all related- were in Exeter in the period in which I am interested. David diedaged 73, 13 June 1895 in Melbourne; his wife Deborah died at theearly age of 41 of typhoid fever when her youngest child was only 2years old.

My grandfather, Eleazer Jacob Lazarus, was one of the 9 childrenborn to David & Deborah - 2 of whom died in infancy. He married"out", to the daughter of Scottish migrants, and my father was one oftheir large family. Unfortunately my grandfather died in 1923, 3years before I was born so I did not have the opportunity to knowhim, but my older siblings found him a kind and loving person.


I did already know there was still a Lazarus family in Exeter inthe 1850s because my brother, Reg Lazarus, on a visit to England in1979 went to Exeter library where he found details in the 1851 censusof Moses Lazarus (37 yrs.) Watchmaker, his wife, daughter Julia (10)and sons Barnett (12), Joseph (8), Samuel (6), Eleazer (3) and Nathan(2), and

Isaac Lazarus (34 yrs.) Jeweller, his wife, son Lewis (12) anddaughter Julia (4).

The ages of Moses and Isaac suggest one or both could have beenDavid's brothers (in 1851 he would have been 29). Reg also obtainedtheir addresses from the microfilm. Though their probable homes werestill standing, Reg said the shop where Isaac operated from wasbombed during WW2 and had been replaced by a modern store.

To me, the absence of David's name from the 1851 census indicateseither that he was temporarily absent, was living elsewhere or hadleft on his travels to this country.

In 1983 when my husband, Ken, and I were touring overseas wevisited various towns, villages and counties in England, Scotland(and Ireland for Ken) relating to different lines of both lots offorebears (as well as visiting historic places, Roman ruins, scenicareas etc.). On 17 April 1983, a very quiet Sunday morning when justabout everything was closed, we spent time in Exeter and Ken tookslides in both Southernhay and Northernhay Sts. Exeter was on the'must visit' list, but unfortunately I had a digestive upset fromsomething I'd eaten the previous day so couldn't appreciate it asmuch as it deserved. Nevertheless I had the satisfaction of knowingI'd walked where some of my ancestors had walked in this gracioustown.

During the 1980s I was a member of the Australian JewishHistorical Society, Victorian Branch, where Bev Davis, the Secretary,was very helpful. It was she who told me that Moses Lazarus was thePresident of the Exeter Congregation in 1851. She had MelbourneJewish cemetery records which contained useful info, and she gave methe name of Mr. D'Arcy Hart who in 1982 did some Marks research inLondon and more or less just confirmed what I already knew of theLazarus connection in Exeter. I had hoped to find out where and whenDavid's parents had married, and when they or their forebears hadarrived in England and from where.

An error has crept into the list of Exeter Synagogue tombstonesonline; the date listed for the tombstone of No. 29 (Row 5) 'JuliaLazarus wife of Eleazar Lazarus of this City' is 2nd Av 5596/1835.When I asked Frank in an email to translate '2nd Av 5596/1835' he didso, but pointed out it should be 1836 not 1835. I thought I'd made atyping error, but in rechecking the date online it does say5596/1835. I presume it's also possible it should be 5595/1835? Nodoubt it depends whether the tombstone shows 5595 or 5596 - it wouldbe good to have this clarified if Frank has time to do it.

y paternal great-grandfather was named David Lazarus; he hademigrated to Australia during the gold-rush period of the 1850s andmarried in Melbourne 20th December 1857. Information I have about himwas gleaned from his marriage and death certificates. He was born1822 in Exeter and was a 35 yr old bachelor when he married;occupation jeweller & watchmaker. He died in Melbourne 13th June1895. His parents were Eleazer Lazarus and Julia (nee Solomons).David married a 23 yr old widow, Deborah Benjamin (nee Marks) - whothen became Mrs. Deborah Lazarus - and they had 9 children, 7 of whomreached adulthood. I can give you their names if you areinterested.


Although there is similarity in the names above with some of thoseyou are researching, I don't believe that you are descended from myparticular line. I have noted that in the Exeter memorialinscriptions No. 57 is for a David Lazarus who died in 1862, and No.14 is for Betsey (wife of David Lazarus), 12th July 1848, aged 44. Soit is obvious there was more than one David Lazarus in Exeter in thatperiod who may, or may not, have been related.

It is not clear if my David was a brother of Moses or Isaac;without knowing the names of the parents of the latter 2 it is notpossible to tell. Hopefully some documentary evidence might come tolight to clarify this some day.

Anna Hassan, who by coincidence also enquired at Exeter about theLazarus family a day after I sent my original email there, believesshe is descended from Julia Lazarus, daughter of Moses Lazarus;possibly the name Myers Solomon might be known in her family.

The Exeter Synagogue Marriage Register online certainly shows amarriage on 8 August 1849 between Myers Solomon and Deborah Lazarusbut gives no indication of the parents' names. As this date is after1837, when English records were centralised, it might be possible toobtain a copy of the marriage certificate and perhaps this would givemore information.

From another descendant:

I have found that my great great great grandfather is either DavidLazarus, Isaac Lazarus or Moses Lazarus.(Moses was past president ofcongregation). I have found them in the Exeter Synagogue Minutes (andlist of congregants)dating from 1850 to 1890. These were available onthe internet. My great great grandfather is Myers Solomon who, at onetime, was the president of the congregation. He married DeborahLazarus. What I'm trying to find out is which Lazarus is herfather.

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