Moshe Jacob Samuel is my 5th great-grandfather on my father's side. I know I should be pleased that I have managed to trace the family back to 1795 England but I want to know more! Where did Moshe come from? My search to prove (or disprove, which is more likely) that I have some Irish heritage is what propelled me into the world of genealogy. Was Moshe Irish? Probably not. He may have come to England from Germany.
After some years of searching, I finally stumbled on an entry for Lazarus Samuel, Moshe's son on cemeteryscribes.com.
This entry gave me Lazarus' Hebrew name (Eliezer Lezer) and his father's name with a strange notation after it. I had no idea what "Aph\Akl\Aachen" meant.
Finally, this past summer I got a small lead. I attended the 33rd IAJGS (International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies) Conference in Boston. I summoned up my courage and stood in line to ask a panel of experts my question: "What might the notation "Aph\Akl\Aachen" mean?" The experts didn't know.
However, as I walked back to my seat, disappointed and still unenlightened, a member of the audience leaned out into the aisle and whispered to me that it might mean the person had emigrated from the city of Aachen, Germany. Finally, a clue!!! An unexplored clue - as I have yet to determine how to go about searching for people in that area in the late 1700's.
So - my brick wall still stands strong. This summer I will be attending the 34th IAJGS Conference in Salt Lake City. One of my goals is try and find the answer to the question: Where did Moshe come from?