Jewish Family Bible

Leather binding
Leather binding

This is a bible that belonged to my great-great-great-grandfather, Aaron Fleishhacker. It is a Hebrew Bible written in English that was translated and published by Isaac Leeser. It contains handwritten information about Aaron’s two earliest sons who died as children. Aaron was born in Bavaria, Germany in 1820 and immigrated to the United States in 1844. He likely immigrated because, at the time, only the oldest son could inherit the family business, and he was the third son. He moved around a lot but eventually went to the West Coast for the Silver Rush in Virginia City and then settled in San Francisco around 1863. 
Considering Aaron is a far removed ancestor, my family’s knowledge of him is based on research rather than passed down stories. My grandfather has dedicated his retirement to family history research and has become very knowledgable. He assumes Aaron bought this bible in 1863 once he settled in San Francisco as a way to mark his family’s establishment and respectability. Given that it lists the death of his first sons, it is likely he wanted to use the bible to record family history but forgot to continue this goal. It is thus also likely that Aaron forgot about the bible being in his home. While this object is likely the original symbol of my family’s lack of religious observance, it is significant to me because it is a reminder of how our Jewish heritage has always been an important aspect of our identity as descendants of early San Franciscans.

Place(s): San Francisco, CA
Year: 1844

– Kara Fleishhacker

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more