Mordecai Sheftall, Sr.

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Mordecai Sheftall, Sr.'s Geni Profile

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About Mordecai Sheftall, Sr.

1769 - 1881 approximately, Mordecai Sheftall Cemetery: According to lore, on the occasion of the death of a Jewish visitor to Savannah, Levi Sheftall declined to allow this visitor to be buried within the Sheftall family plot. Levi’s half-brother, Mordecai, immediately appropriated 1.5 acres of the 5 acres granted to him by King George III in 1762 (adjacent to the Levi Sheftall Cemetery) to be put in trust, deeding the land to ten trustees for the use and purpose of a place of burial “for all persons whatever professing the Jewish religion” and for erecting a synagogue or building for the worship or Judaism.

Between 1769 and 1881, there were at least eighty-four burials in this cemetery including Mordecai Sheftall himself, his wife Frances Hart Sheftall, Sheftall “Cocked Hat” Sheftall, and various other members of the de Lyon and De La Motta families. Also buried in this cemetery are Abigail Minis, one of the original 1733 settlers, and her son Philip, the first Caucasian male child to be conceived and born in Georgia.

By the late 1800s, the trustees had acquired the property adjacent to the cemetery. In 1902, they received authorization to sell that surplus land and use the proceeds to build a one story building on Monterey Square, adjacent to Mickve Israel’s sanctuary. This building was called the Mordecai Sheftall Memorial Hall, the first of three such halls named for Mordecai on this site over the years.

The cemetery, through its present trustees, is still maintained by Mordecai Sheftall’s 1762 trust.

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Mordecai Sheftall, Sr.'s Timeline

December 30, 1783
Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA
February 27, 1833
Age 49
Savannah, Chatham, GA, USA
October 16, 1835
Age 51
Savannah, Chatham, GA, USA
June 29, 1837
Age 53
Savannah, Chatham, GA, USA
October 20, 1839
Age 55
Savannah, Chatham, GA, USA
February 19, 1842
Age 58
Savannah, Chatham, GA, USA
October 11, 1844
Age 60
Savannah, Chatham, GA, USA
October 6, 1848
Age 64
Savannah, Chatham, GA, USA
May 2, 1854
Age 70
Savannah, Chatham, GA, USA