Rabbi The Shakh #poland #rabbinic #lithuania #austria-czech

Jill Whitehead

My cousin has an early 19th century parchment family tree in Hebrew showing the family's descent from the esteemed 17th century rabbi The Shack who was born in Ambistowo in Lithuania and died in Holeslov or Holescahu in Moravia where his tomb is a tourist attraction. I got this translated about 10 years.

His descendants returned to Lithuania, and they included a long line of Rabbis of what is now Vistytis in Lithuania, but which was Wiesteniec in Poland in 19th century, and was known as Vishtinetz in Yiddish.

The family ancestor was a daughter (Teyle or Talia) of a late 18th century Rabbi of Vishtinetz, and her grandchildren emigrated to Edinburgh, Scotland in 1870.  The family tree has a very detailed line of descent with the same occuring names of Jacob (there were a lot of Rabbi Jacob Ha Kohen's of Vishtinetz and elsewhere in the family tree), Gershon Joseph and Dinah which continued in Scotland, with Jacob becoming Julius and Gershon becoming George.

Teyle's sons (my great great grandparents) were Jacob Brin (after her father Rabbi Jacob) and Gershon Joseph Brin, and Brin later became Brown in Scotland with Jacob and Gershon's children. 

Jacob Brin's sons were Benjamin (my great grandfather), Lewis and Philip who all went to Scotland and his daughters were Fanny and Sheina (later Janet), and Janet also went to Scotland and also Fanny's daughter another Sheina, or Jeanie.

Benjamin's wife was Sheina (later Janet) his 1st cousin and daughter of Gershon Joseph Brin. This Sheina's siblings in Edinburgh were Arthur and Bessie Leah Brin or Brown. Bessie Leah married a Cohen and emigrated to Capetown in S. Africa in 1906. 

I tried looking at the Geni site for descendants of The Shakh but did not find this very helpful. There are people on this site who think they are related to him but have no written evidence for this, only oral stories.

Is there any documentation on the descent for Rabbi The Shack beyond the family's Hebrew family tree and which is more reliable than Geni? I would be interested in any sources especially rabbinical. I am interested in linking the family's early 19th family tree going back to the Shack in the 17th century to other sources, including the line of Rabbi Jacob's who were Rabbis of Vishintetz in the 18th century. 

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, UK

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