Jacob (Ya'akov, Jankiel) Appelbaum

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Jacob (Ya'akov, Jankiel) Appelbaum's Geni Profile

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Jacob (Ya'akov, Jankiel) Appelbaum

Birthdate: (62)
Birthplace: Lithuania
Death: December 15, 1920 (62)
Boksurg, Gauteng, South Africa
Place of Burial: Boksburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Immediate Family:

Son of Mones Epelbaum and Nechama (Rochama) Epelbaum
Husband of Dvora (Dora) Rocha Appelbaum
Father of Nathan Appelbaum; Charles Appelbaum; Max Appelbaum; Bessie (Batya) Isaacs; Bertha Dushansky and 3 others
Brother of Rocha Brodowicz; Esther-Leia Bacharski; Gitla Epelbaum and Ejga Blacharski

Managed by: Shelley Levin
Last Updated:

About Jacob (Ya'akov, Jankiel) Appelbaum

Ya’akov Appelbaum seems to have been an educated and worldly man. We know that he could speak English, which was very unusual for a Jew from Lithuania. He was a very religious man and received rabbinic “S’micha” or ordination at the very young age of 22, (Finally a “Rov” in the family!! It’s about time we had a bit of real “Yichus”, instead of just a Cantor). He never practiced as a rabbi though. In her written memoir Alys Horwitz states that he married an “utterly illiterate farmer’s daughter”, D’vora Wartelsky (1860-1938), and they had 7 children (possibly 8). Ya’akov worked for his father-in-law Ya’akov Wartelsky, (D’vora’s father). The farm specialized in the breeding of Pit Ponies. These were a small breed of horse that were used in coal mines, to pull the trucks loaded with coal underground. The animals were exported among other places to Wales and the USA. Every two years, he was sent to America by his father-in-law, to do business. It is clear that we are dealing here not with the average poverty-stricken shtetl Jews of Sholem Aleichem’s stories, but with people with some property, at least, and in Ya’akov’s case with a formal education. As well as his rabbinic education, his parents had given Ya’akov a secular education as a book-keeper. His trips to America must have added to his sophistication as compared to his contemporaries, and also highlights the difference between him and his wife D’vora, who was as unworldly as he was worldly.

Much of the emigration from Lithuania was as a result of the introduction of conscription into the army, in 1874, although the discovery of gold in South Africa probably provided an added incentive. Ya’akov seems to have first considered the USA as a place to take his family, since he had been there several times, but the gold factor in South Africa, detoured him, and it was there that he traveled, in about 1898. Presumably he sailed from Hamburg, via England, which was the normal route taken by most Lithuanian immigrants who made South Africa their destination. His wife, D’vora and their 7 children stayed in Suwalk until about 1902, when some of them followed.

Ya’akov went directly to Klerksdorp in the Transvaal, where he had a “landsman”, a man called Bernstein, who had a farm nearby. Ya’akov’s experience with the raising of horses now paid off. Together he and Bernstein ran a trading store of some kind which needed horses, because it involved delivering goods to various farms in the Klerksdorp area. The Boer War broke out in 1899 and we must assume that it caused the delay in the rest of his family joining him. At some point during the Boer War, the British decided to commandeer all available horses, and Bernstein and Ya’akov Appelbaum found themselves out of horses and out of business.

They then moved into Klerksdorp and established a business in the town. Thus it was to Klerksdorp that his wife D’vora and 4 of his children came from Lithuania in 1902.

They also sailed from Hamburg, via England. The children were Eda (b.1887), who was about 15 , Bessie (b.1893), about 9, Max (b.1895), who was about 7, and Sadie (b.1898) who was about 4. There is the persistent idea, that another daughter called Sarah, who died in infancy, came between Max and Sadie. Some cousins seem to know of this child, whereas others have no idea about her. Sadie’s Hebrew name was Sarah, and this would be consistent with an older child called Sarah who died. It was quite common to name a baby after a recently deceased relative. The other 3 children of Ya’akov and D’vora, Bertha (b.1880) the oldest, Nathan (b.1882), the second child, and Charlie (b.1891), the fourth in the line after Eda, did not accompany the rest of the family. Jacob died in 1920 on 4 Tevet.

2/21/09 Jonathan Horwitz:

from Jewish Records Indexing - Poland:

Jacob is listed as "Jankiel", son of Mones and Nochana bat Jankielewna

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Jacob (Ya'akov, Jankiel) Appelbaum's Timeline

May 18, 1882
Age 24
Age 27
Age 31
Suwalki, Lithuania
July 7, 1891
Age 33
Suwalk, Lithuania
November 18, 1893
Age 35
Suwalk, Lithuania
February 27, 1895
Age 37
Suwalki, Poland
May 28, 1898
Age 40
Suwalki, Poland
December 15, 1920
Age 62
Boksurg, Gauteng, South Africa