Additions, Corrections & Enquiries:  It may be that you know more than I do about this family, in which case I’d be glad if you’d share your information with me.  It may be that I know more than you do, in which case I’ll be happy to let you know more.   Either way, please feel free to contact me.

Links:  You can navigate within this document, and also find details of some of our other family members, by following the links in the text.

Privacy:   None of the information in these notes is less than a century old.  For more recent details of our family, feel free to ask me direct.

Tree:  A pedigree of the individuals in these notes is also viewable in tree form, here.

Revision:   The text on this page was last revised in may 2014


notes by P John Partington



Our early ‘Jonas’ forebears lived in Germany, and had a variety of surnames, changing down the generations even in the paternal line.  Work is still underway disentangling them, but the following seems clear so far.

Samuel Kempen married Lea (surname unknown);  he died in 1749 and she died ten years later.  They had a son Abraham, surnamed variously ‘Goldschmidt’ or ‘Schiesser’, who married Sara Golde;  Sara died in 1782 and Abraham in 1786 or 1798.  Abraham and Sara had at least four children – daughters Golde and Hannele (surnamed ‘Schiesser’) and sons (surnamed ‘Jonas’) Heymann Abraham born in 1749/50 and Joseph Elkan.



Abraham & Sarah’s son Heymann Abraham, surnamed Jonas or Chaim, was born in Hamburg in the winter of 1749/50.  He married Sara Golde Heilbut;  they apparently had nine children, of whom I currently know of seven – Abraham Heymann, born in 1786, Golde in 1790, Moses in 1793, Israel Heymann in 1795, Samuel Heymann in 1796, Aaron Heymann in 1800 and Roeschen in 1802 (details below).  In 1783 he and other members of the family founded a bank in Hamburg, formally registered in 1826 as “HA Jonas Sons & Co”;  they also operated their own gold and silver refinery, taken over in 1873 by Norddeutsche Affinerie. Sara died on 3 September 1821 and Heymann on 27 June 1825, both in Hamburg.

Abraham & Sarah’s son Joseph Elkan married Bella Wallach.  They had a daughter, Henriette, or ‘Jette’, in about 1811, who married her cousin Samuel Heymann Jonas and died on 2 August 1873.



Heymann Abraham’s first child, Abraham Heymann, was born in Hamburg on 30 March 1786.  He worked there as a gold and silver refiner, and married Adelheid Fränkel on 1 December 1812, during the French occupation of the city.  The couple apparently had seven children (of whom I currently know of five):  Samuel born in 1815/6, Benjamin Julius in 1824, Solomon, Caroline and Sara (details below).  Abraham died on 15 July 1839 and Adelheid on 18 October 1848, both in Hamburg.

Heymann Abraham’s second child was Golde, born in 1790.  She married Michel Abraham Heilbut and died in 1851.

Heymann Abraham’s third child, Moses, was born in 1793 and died two years later.

Heymann Abraham’s fourth child, Israel Heymann, was born on 14 September 1795.  He trained as a doctor in Copenhagen, as Jews were not allowed entry to many German universities;  he was also a keen amateur zoologist.  He married Friederike Salomon.  Friederike died in 1827 and Israel on 4 October 1851;  there were no children.

Heymann Abraham’s fifth child, Samuel Heymann, was born in 1796.  He married his cousin Henriette, or ‘Jette’, Jonas;  she died in 1873, but Samuel’s date of death is not yet known.

Heymann Abraham’s sixth child was Aaron Heymann, born in 1800.  Nothing further is yet known of him.

Heymann Abraham’s seventh child, Roeschen, was born in 1802 and died in 1846.



Abraham’s son Samuel Adolphus was born in on 31 January 1815 in Hamburg, Germany.  He married twice:  first Esther née Cashmore, widow of George Hollander, with whom he had at least three children – James H, born in 1844, Adolph Samuel in 1849 and Rosalie in 1850 (further details below).  In 1850 he was naturalized as a British citizen.  The following year the family were living at 25 Finsbury Pavement, London – Samuel was recorded as a “General [or gentleman?] Merchant.  By 1861 he was a widower, living with Rosalie at 26 Clifton Gardens, Paddington;  amongst others in the house was Rebecca Cashmore, whom he later married.  He died there on 20 May 1867.  In 1891 Rebecca was living at 161, Sutherland Ave, Paddington;  she died on 24 August 1900, aged seventy-five.

Abraham’s second son, Benjamin Julius, was born in Bei den Hütten in Hamburg on 3 November 1824.  He left for England, arriving in Manchester when “young”.  Trade directories in the following years reveal a long-standing connexion with the firm of Jonas Simonsen, commission merchants, who had branches in London and the north – but whether he was related to the proprietors of the firm is not clear.  On 5 June 1850, now a “merchant of 42 George Street, Manchester”, he married Isabella Salamon;  the ceremony, conducted “according to the Rites & Ceremonies of the German & Polish Jews”, took place at the home of the bride’s widowed mother in Chelsea and was conducted by the Chief Rabbi, Dr Nathan Adler.  The couple had a daughter, Adele Juliet, in 1851, at which time the family were living at 130 Upper Brook Street, Chorlton upon Medlock – a suburb of Manchester.  Isabella died, of puerperal fever shortly after the birth of a second child, on 14 June 1854 in Manchester, and on 28 February 1856 Benjamin married Julia Lawrence.  Benjamin and Julia had four children – Philip Julius in 1857, Samuel Laurie in 1858, Caroline in 1860 and Rayner Henriette in 1862 (further details below).  In 1861 the family were at Bowdon Road, Bowdon:  Benjamin was a “Commission Merchant”.  Ten years later they were living at 29 Springfield Place, Bradford;  Benjamin was working as “Manager of Bradford [..?] Goods Export [..?]”.  In 1873, when he was executor for his brother’s will, his address was given as 16 Carlton Place, Maida Hill, London.  In the early 1880s Benjamin “fell homesick” and returned to Hamburg.  His oldest brother Samuel died shortly afterwards, which “upset him physically”, so that he did not return to London as planned.  He died in Hamburg on 10 October 1882, “falling downstairs in a fit”.  The shock gave his wife a stroke, so that she too remained in Hamburg:  she “never walked again”, and died on 29 March 1888.

Abraham’s third son, Solomon, had a son Otto. Nothing further is known at present.

Abraham had two daughters, Caroline and Sara, and two other children. Nothing is known of them at present.



Samuel’s first child, James H, was born in 1843/4 in the City of London.  In 1851 he was with his parents at 25 Finsbury Pavement.  Nothing further is yet known of him.

Samuel’s second child, Adolph Samuel, was born in 1848/9 at 25 Finsbury Pavement, London.  In 1851 he was there with his parents, but he died just three years later.

Samuel’s third child, Rosalie, was born in 1850 at 25 Finsbury Pavement, London.  The following year she was recorded there with her family.  Ten years later she was with her widowed father at 26 Clifton Gardens, Paddington.  In 1871 she married David Oppenheimer, a “Commission Merchant”, born in 1836/7 in Germany but a naturalized British subject.  They had at least five children:  Harold Samuel born in 1874, Anthony S in 1876, Horace David in 1880, Elsie Rebecca in 1882 and Ronald Charles in 1886.  In 1881 they were living at 13 Clifton Gardens, Paddington and twenty years later at 144 Sutherland Avenue, Paddington.  Rosalie died there in 1905.



Benjamin Julius’ only surviving child by his first wife, Isabella Salamon, was Adele Juliet, born in Manchester in 1851.  In 1861 she was with her father and his second wife at Bowdon Road, Bowdon;  ten years later she was with them at 29 Springfield Place, Bradford.  On 16 August 1871, still in Bradford,  she married Ferdinand William Heilborn, by whom she had at least three children, Edward George, born in 1872, William Ernest in 1873 and Elsie Maud in 1876.  Ferdinand and Adele are remembered as having “travelled a great deal ... he was bankrupt at one point in his career, but repaid all his debts”.  Ferdinand, who had joined the Unitarian Church, died on 29 June 1907 (“on the cross-Channel ferry, near Folkestone”!).

Benjamin’s first child by his second marriage, Philip Julius, was born in Manchester in 1857.  In 1871 he was living with his family at 29 Springfield Place, Bradford.  On 3 March 1891 Philip, “who had lost a leg”, married Rosa Sophia Thorn.  They had three children:  Julia Phyllis born in 1892, Rosa Mabel in 1893 and Eva Mary in 1895 (details below).  In 1901 the family were living at The Laurels, Mill Road, Stock in Essex:  Philip was working as a farmer, and the family is remembered as being “always badly off”.  The three girls are remembered as being “very nice – particularly Phyllis”.  At some point the family moved to Eastbourne, where Philip died in 1915/6.

Benjamin’s second child by his second marriage, Samuel Laurie (known by his second name?), was born in Manchester in 1858.  Three years later he was with his family at Bowdon Road, Bowdon;  ten years later he was with them at 29 Springfield Place, Bradford.  He apparently married a French woman, but nothing further is yet known of him.

Benjamin’s third child by his second marriage, Caroline (‘Carrie’ or ‘Ca’), was born in Manchester on 7 February 1860.  Two years later she was with her family at Bowdon Road, Bowdon;  ten years later she was with them at 29 Springfield Place, Bradford.  “Pleasantly ugly”, she never married – and seems to have been short of money throughout her life.  She spent much of her early life with her niece Elsie Maud (Liebert)’s family in Manchester, before moving after the First World War to live in Merano, Italy (“cheap living”).

Benjamin’s fourth child by his second marriage, Rayner Henriette, was born in Manchester on 28 February 1862.  Nine years later she was living with her parents at 29 Springfield Place, Bradford.  She married Hermann Sington, and had three children – sons Ernst and Alfred J (who fought on opposing sides in the First World War) and a daughter Louisa J.  Herman apparently “became a dipsomaniac and used to sit in the house under an umbrella”. 



Philip’s first child, Julia Phyllis (known by her second name), was born on 29 March 1892 at 35 Jevington Rd, Eastbourne.  In 1901 she was living with her family at The Laurels, Mill Road, Stock in Essex.  She married George Brettell on 22 August 1918, and they had three children.

Philip’s second child, Rosa Mabel, was born in Eastbourne on 2 May 1893.   In 1901 she was living with her family at The Laurels, Mill Road, Stock in Essex.

Philip’s third child, Eva Mary, was born in Stock, Essex, on 26 February 1895.  In 1901 she was living with her family at The Laurels, Mill Road, in Stock.


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