Looking into Montagu’s Jewish community
The Montagu Historical Society, which meets regularly to visit places of interest or discuss various historical topics, decided to find out.
Its members set about gathering information on Jewish families who settled in Montagu in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It turns out that the town had a very active Jewish community.
Family names, identified from various sources, include Abramowitz, Ansell, Buirski, Brown, Fernandes, Friedman, Goldblatt, Idelson, Koonin, Millin, Moss, Philips, Plax, Raisers, Sandler, Schachat, Schlesinger, Stein and Vanger. People with these family names resided in Montagu at one time or another.
The historical society’s members are researching where these families lived in Montagu and how they earned a living. They are appealing to anyone, particularly the descendents of the former residents, with more information to contact them with stories and/or photos.
Of course, there may well have been other Jewish families residing there, about whom the historical society is unaware.
Once the project is complete, members of the society plan to display and store the information gleaned in the Montagu Museum.
One of the society’s discoveries was that in the 1800s the Millin family settled in Montagu. They had four children: Nathan and Barnet and their sisters, Maria and Gertrude. A member of the historical society found a box of old photographs in the loft of a house he recently purchased. Further research led him to believe that the home was built by Nathan. The society is appealing for help in identifying people in the photos that have been found.
· Anyone with information or with family roots traceable to Montagu is requested to contact Rudi Allmayer on 023 614 3388 or 083 354 4311