JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Henry CERF - Israel #general

Bousse Jan <boussejan@...>

Dear fellow researchers,

I have been searching for a long time for details about Henry CERF : his
birth date, place, name. He died in Brussels on 18 November 1840. His death
certificate states that he was 86 years old, born in Liebenwalde, Prussia.
That would make him, if correct, born in 1754. Up to now I have not found
any record of a Henry CERF born at that time in or near Liebenwalde (or
Berlin, or Spandau). It seems he was related to a WOLFF family. There is
speculation that his name at birth was Hirsch, or Wolff, or any other, Cerf
indeed seems not to have been a common Jewish name in that region.

The other person, EBIE, later named DEBY, seems to have had, at some time,
a close relationship with Henry CERF. Israel EBIE is said to be born in
1771 in Strelitz/Mecklembourg. He changed his name to Julien Guillaume
Isidore DEBY in 1808 in Brussels. He was married in 1798 to Joanna
Emmanuel MEYER, who was born in The Hague in 1770.

EBIE came to Brussels in 1782, seems as a young boy. In 1784-5, Henry CERF
was registered in London as a Jewish freemason. CERF went to Jamaica,
probably in 1797. He became a plantation owner and trader, also owning a
ship. He seems to have come back to live in England before or in 1826, as
on 10.9.1826 he married in St. Mary le Bow, England, Elizabeth WINT, the
mother of his children.

However an association must have existed between the CERF and DEBY
families. Henry CERF's oldest daughter Emilia married Marc Julien DEBY,
son of the said EBIE/DEBY, in Bathwick, England, on 9.2.1825. That is
before the date if Henry's marriage, therefore the families must have
known each other before that time. Henry CERF's son, also a Henri, married
Rosalie DEBY, daughter of the same EBIE/DEBY, in 1827 in Brussels.
Finally, Henry CERF and the rest of his family moved to Brussels from
England in 1829.

My questions : could the connection between these families be situated in
Germany, between Jewish families in Strelitz and Liebenwalde/Berlin? Or in
England in the late 1700s, or in the 1820s? Or at any time in Brussels? It
could very well be based on business links, EBIE/DEBY is said to have been
a wealthy cotton merchant and a money lender. Did he perhaps trade with
Henry in Jamaica, or finance his ship, or even his plantations? We know
that Henry CERF in Jamaica grew coffee.

Any clue, also regarding Henry's birth, and of course in respect to the
above questions, will be greatly appreciated. In case anyone wants to
contact me privately :

Jan Bousse, Oostende, Belgium. boussejan@....

Sincere greetings.