Frances Isaiah Block

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Frances Isaiah Block (Isaacs)

Birthdate: (75)
Birthplace: Charlottesville, Virginia
Death: November 29, 1871 (75)
New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Isaiah Isaacs and Hetty Isaacs
Wife of Abraham Block
Mother of Hester Jett; Simon Block; Rosina Brittin; Isaacs Block; Augustus Block and 8 others
Sister of David Isaiah Isaacs; Patsy Isaiah Isaacs and Hays Isaiah Isaacs
Half sister of Joseph Isaacs and Henry Isaacs

Managed by: Kevin Lawrence Hanit
Last Updated:

About Frances Isaiah Block

http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=8087#

Frances (Fanny) Block was the matriarch of the first documented Jewish family to immigrate to what became the state of Arkansas. After courtship and the start of a family in Virginia and New York, Block and her family moved to southwestern Arkansas in search of new economic opportunities. Her willingness to forgo the stability of a religious community on the East Coast and move her family west allowed the family to establish a regional mercantile empire that included businesses in places such as Washington (Hempstead County), Fulton (Hempstead County), and Paraclifta (Sevier County) in Arkansas, as well as in New Orleans, Louisiana, and at several stops along the railroad in Texas from Houston to Dallas. Fanny Block and her family set the precedent for other Jewish migrant families to populate Arkansas. The family home in Washington has been restored and is actively interpreted as a house museum at Historic Washington State Park.

Frances Isaiah Isaacs was born on February 27, 1796, in Charlottesville, Virginia, to Hetty Hayes Isaacs, the descendent of a pioneering Sephardic family, and Isaiah Isaacs, a noted Jewish merchant and early Jewish pioneer in Virginia. Her parents both died early in her childhood—her mother in 1803 and her father in 1806. Her father’s 1803 will stated that she and her younger brother were to be placed in the care of a Jewish family, very likely members of the Hayes family in New York. Her father also stipulated that his businesses in Richmond, Virginia, were to be willed to her and her brother when her brother reached the age of twenty-one.

On October 2, 1811, at less than fifteen years old, Fanny Isaacs married the thirty-one-year-old Abraham Block (or Bloch) in New York. Her lineage and upbringing in a colonial Sephardic Jewish home and Block’s Ashkenazim origins made their union somewhat of a mixed marriage, though Block’s business prospects likely contributed to the approval of the marriage by her Sephardic relatives. She gave birth to fourteen children, with twelve surviving past infancy.

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Frances Isaiah Block's Timeline

1796
February 27, 1796
Charlottesville, Virginia
1813
1813
Age 16
Richmond, VA, USA
1815
1815
Age 18
VA, USA
1816
1816
Age 19
VA, USA
1817
1817
Age 20
1818
1818
Age 21
VA, USA
1820
1820
Age 23
VA, USA
1823
February 12, 1823
Age 26
VA, USA
1828
1828
Age 31
AR, USA