My great great grandfather, Marks Raphael was the earliest of my ancestors to immigrate to America. He came in 1851 to San Francisco by ship, followed a few years later by his brother Aaron.
My grandfather Mervyn Raphael Marks took his middle name from Marks Raphael's family name. Please don't confuse Marks Raphael's first name with Mervyn Marks last name. Marks Raphael's daughter Mollie happened to marry a man whose last name was Marks.
A summary of Marks Raphael's life is below.
Marks Raphael was born in Kolmar (later Chodziesen) Germany (now Chodziez, Poland) on July 2, 1825. He immigrated to America in 1851. He arrived from Panama via Acapulco on March 6, 1851 on the steamer ship New Orleans. He most likely arrived from Europe in New York and then sailed from there to Panama, but no record as yet has been found to substantiate that conjecture. He appears in the San Francisco City Directory in 1856. He first census appearance is in the 1870 census in Marysville. No record as yet has been found in the 1860 census, although is brother Aaron was in Marysville in the 1860 census. He appears to have moved sometime between 1860 and 1862 to Marysville to participate in the many burgeoning businesses that were providing goods and supplies to gold rush pioneers. His vocation in Marysville was as a tailor. His wife Pauline Soloman immigrated to America with Marks’ brother Aaron’s wife and their two daughters in 1862. Marks and Pauline were married on January 4, 1863 in Marysville.
His wedding details are transcribed below:
State of California, County of Yuba. The People of the State of California. To any Judge, Justice of the Peace, Clergyman or Preacher of the Gospel, Greetings. You are hereby authorized to celebrate and certify a marriage between Mark Raphael and Pauline Solomon upon their request made to you therefore. Given under my hand and the seal of the County Court of said County, hereunto affixed, this the 30th day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty two. E.M. Reagan (Seal) County Clerk and Ex-Officio Clerk of the County Court Yuba County, Cal. By D.R. Sample Deputy - I hereby certify that on Sunday January 4th AD 1863 Mr. Mark Raphael and Miss Pauline Solomon the parties named in the within license were by me joined in the binds of matrimony. Simon R. Rosenthal Minister. Received for record January 6th 1863. Recorded January 10th 1863. s/L.T. Crane Recorder
The following are lodges which Marks Raphael belonged to and held office in Marysville:
ANCIENT JEWISH ORDER-KESHER SHEL BARSEL
This is a mutual benevolent society similar to the B’nai B’rith and Odd Fellows, and is of long standing among Jewish people.
FIDELITY LODGE, NO. 14
June 20, 1874, this lodge was established in Marysville with the following officers:--L. Falk, W. Av.; Simon Hochstadter, Nassi; S. Elkeles, Alitzer; E. Marks, Achi; H Chims, Sofer; N. Scheider, Assistant Sofer; B. Rosenberg, Gisber; C. Ansorg, Cohen; J. Schlessinger, Segan; Mark Raphael, Schomer Hapesach: Samuel Wagner, H. Wagner, and Chas. Ehrlich, Trustees. It soon became evident that there were not enough Jewish people here to sustain the order in addition to the B’nai B’rith, and in 1877 the lodge disbanded, surrendered its charter and turned over its effect, books, etc., to the Grand Lodge.
REBECCA LODGE, NO. 6
This is a degree the same order into which ladies are admitted. It was instituted here October 15, 1874 with the following officers:--C. Ansorg, W. Av.; Mrs. H. Wagner, Nassi; N. Schneider, Sofer; Mrs. B. Rosenberg, Gisber: Mrs Chas. Ehrlich, Conductress; Jacob Elkeles, Cohen; Mark Raphael, Shomer. This society disbanded and surrendered its charter at the same time the parent society did.
The position of shomer literally means “gatekeeper” or “watchman”. Thus he served as sort of a “sergeant of arms”.
He also was a member of the Independent Order of B’Nai B’rith of Marysville. In Oakland, Marks was also a member of the IOBB Lodge #252.
On August 18, 1876, Marks Raphael was granted a reduction by the City Council on the assessment on his property, which was destroyed by fire a week earlier.
It is believed that when the fire had destroyed his business, he shortly thereafter moved his family to Oakland, California. He appears in the Yuba County Great Register of Voters in 1876 but not in 1877 or later.
He owned a furniture store on Broadway in downtown Oakland until his death in 1893. The furniture store was located at 7th and Broadway from 1879 to 1882, and at 8th and Broadway from 1883 until 1893.
He and Pauline had many children. Oral family history recalls that there were seven daughters and five sons, however records of seven daughters and only one son have been found. The only children who survived and grew to adulthood were Jennie, Sarah, Mollie, Rose, and Ella.