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Abraham Levy

Also Known As: "Abraham b. Levie Richter", "name adoption 6/1/1812"
Birthdate: (79)
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Death: December 27, 1852 (79)
Richmond, Henrico, Virginia, USA
Place of Burial: Richmond, Virginia, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Levie Daniel and Hester / Kela Simon Swaab
Husband of Rachel Cornelia Levy
Father of Lewis Abraham Levy; Julia Solomon; Jacob Abraham Levy; Rebecca Levy Hyman; Esther Isaacs and 3 others
Brother of Saartje Levie Daniels; Jacob Levie Kerkhoven; Joseph Levie Richter; Fijtje Levie Richter and Marianne / Merle Levie / Leib Richter

Occupation: Merchant
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Abraham Levy

In 1809 (Amsterdam) he was on the poorlist under nr. 50.28: Abm.Levie = Abraham ben Leib ben Dan, 34 yrs.old, married, tradesman, epileptic, with 2 sons of 10 & 4 yrs and 3 daughters of 8,4 & 1 yrs.old.


There were about a dozen Abraham Levy in Amsterdam in 1812,  and so to separate himself and his family he took the Richter name.  Richter was the kinnui of his grandfather,  Dan(iel).  It was derived from the biblical,  "God is my Judge".  Richter is the Germanic/Dutch equivalent of Judge. 

Abraham Levij who was living at ...eesperstraat 47 ( it's )section one appeared before a civil servant named AD Jungt-Mae(?)re from the town of Amsterdam, department Zuiderzee, first district. He (Abraham) declares that he adopts the name of Richter as his family name and for his first name Abraham Levij . That he has three sons and three daughters, no grandson and no granddaughter. Levij 13 years old Jacob 8 years old Mozes 9 months Jettje 11 years old Leentje 6 yeaars old Saartje 4 years old (To the right of the bracket surrounding the children's names it's written that they live in the same house as at the top). Down at the bottom it's written that Levij couldn't sign the document because he can't write.

translation by Ann Vermeulen of 1812 Dutch document attached in Media


Abraham Levie Richter was born in Amsterdam about 1773 (son of Levie Daniel and Hester Salomon aka Esther Simon Swaab) and Rachel Barend was born in Amsterdam about 1776 (daughter of Barend Hartog and Judith Abraham).

Abraham and Rachel married in Amsterdam 16 June 1814, legitimizing the following 7 children, who were all born in Amsterdam: Levie (August 1800), Judic (may 1803), Jacob (1805), Rebecca (1807), Ester (1808), Moses (1811) and Mariane (1813). From these children, nor from the parents, are birth- or circumcision-registrations available.

I did not find any marriages on either Levie Daniel/Esther Salomon or Barend Hartog/Judic Abraham. This was a very poor family and before 1811 many very poor Jewish couples did not marry legally. They only were married by a rabbi, which was not legal according to the law of the Republic, and these church-marriages are not kept.

Maybe the use of the surname Richter in Amsterdam will puzzle you. Most of the Jews who moved from Amsterdam to England or America changed their names to local customs. Barend became Bernard and family names like Richter, that had to be legitimized in 1811/1812 by order of Napoleon, where abandoned once arriving in GB or US. Abraham Levie Richter did obtain for the name Richter in even twice in 1812, the first time 21 Januari 1812, the second time 1 June 1812. See for this name-adaption the following links:

The same for Abraham’s brother Joserph:

Don’t be surprised when the first names are not always the same. Especially with girls Jews mixed up their names permanently.

Harmen Snel Amsterdam City Archives

Click on the link below for an overview of the Civil Registry Archives


Immigrated in 1818. He and his son, Jacob A., were the prime movers in the successful petition of 1846 to the Richmond city council requesting exemptions for Jews from Sunday closing laws. Like all Orthodox Jews, retail merchants such as the Levys made great financial sacrifices to observe both the Jewish Sabbath and Christian Sunday.

source: The forerunners: Dutch Jewry in the North American diaspora By Robert P. Swierenga


From the Richmond Whig & Public Advertiser (Richmond, Va. : 1833 : Semiweekly

Died - Yesterday, Abraham Levy in his 84th year. Funeral from the residence of his son, Jacob A. Levy. (p. 2, c. 6)

Publication Tuesday, December 28, 1852.

Gen. note From the marriage and obituary citations compiled by Bernard J. Henley from Virginia newspapers on microfilm at the Library of Virginia. Other FormatAvailable on microfilm (Library of Virginia Film 144). Subject - Topical Obituaries -- Virginia. Subject -Geographic Richmond (Va.) Added Entry Henley, Bernard J. (Bernard John) Added TitleBernard J. Henley papers.


Here lies entombed the mortal remains of Abraham Levy whose heart and thoughts were embued with the fear of his God. Charity and kindness to his fellow creatures in the time of need stood pre-eminent amongst the many characteristics of his life. He was a native of the city of Amsterdam Holland and departed to the abode on high in the 84th year of his age on the 18th day of the month Tibeth A.M. 5613 (Dec. 28, 1852)

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Abraham Levy's Timeline

March 18, 1773
Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
August 16, 1799
Age 26
Amsterdam, Netherlands
May 1803
Age 30
Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
May 9, 1804
Age 31
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Age 31
Amsterdam, Government of Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands
November 22, 1808
Age 35
Amsterdam, Holland
July 7, 1811
Age 38
Amsterdam, Netherlands
October 10, 1813
Age 40
Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
December 10, 1816
Age 43
London, England