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Click here to go to Eliezar and Mina Zavelsky's Family.
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Kusil Zavelsky | Mark Zavelsky | Elias Zavelsky
The Sons of Moishe Zavelsky

Moishe Zavelsky, the son of Ilya and the brother of Eliezar, was believed to be what the family legend calls "The first Zavelsky Soldier"

Click here for the legend of the first Zavelsky soldier

According to our documentation we believe that this first soldier was Moishe Zavelsky, brother of Eliezar and son of Ilya, and that Moishe entered the army from Glukhov.

Moishe was born circa 1826 in Glukhov and entered the army from there. Moishe moved south with his army unit to Azov, a town in the south of Russia, and he stayed there when his service was over. It is known that he also was a tailor in his free time and after his service. Moishe had three sons, Kusil, Mark and Elais. It is our belief that his first two sons, Kusil and Mark were born to Moishe and his first wife. It appears most probable that Moishe's first wife died circa 1865. Moishe returned to Glukhov where his third son Elais was born to Moishe's second wife.

We have tried to obtain documentation from Baku, but have not succeeded. The information on the children of Moishe below, has been provided by his descendants.

Kusil Zavelsky born about 1850

Kusil was born in Azov located in the southern part of Russia. At some time during his childhood, the family moved to Baku. He married Chava and they had eight children: Yakov, born 1876, Anna, born 1878, Esfir (Esther), born 1880, Zakhar, born 1883, Klara, born 1886, Ilya, born 1889, Alexander, born 1891 and Abram, born 1893.

All of the children were born in Temir Klechmore, Russia. According to one of his granddaughter's, Tamara Mozes, "the city of Temir Klechmore at one time had a large and wealthy Jewish community. Kusil bought a business there (a cinema), but it failed and he moved back to Baku."

Mark Zavelsky born about 1853

We know very little about Mark (whose name was probably Mendel, other than he had seven children: Bunya, Manya, Sonya, Raya, Milya, Mina, Lasar.

Elias Zavelsky born about 1865-1869

Elias was born in Glukhov, but over the years also lived in Riga, Latvia and Ryazan, Russia. According to his granddaughter, Lenore Marwil, "Eli sang. He was an entertainer in a small traveling circus or theater company. He also was a clothes cutter or a designer."

He married Taube Ritch and they had four children: Aaron, Clara, Anna and Abraham. Taube and the four children all immigrated to America. Again, according to Lenore, "My father Aaron brought over his father Elias, in the early 1900s. He did not like it here, so he returned to Russia. That was the last he saw of him. I don't know what happened to him after he returned to Russia."

Aaron Zavelle born April 15, 1889 in Ryazan, Russia

Aaron arrived in the USA on July 29, 1904 at the age of 15. From the records we have seen, it appears that Aaron immigrated with his mother and his sister Clara and that they went to relatives of his mother in Philadelphia. His other sister and brother followed at a later date.
Aaron lived in Chicago from 1909 to 1913 and married Celia Herman there in 1912. They moved back to Philadelphia where twins were born April 30, 1913. Only their daughter Angelina survived.

At the time of his marriage, Aaron was a law student. When he filed his petition for naturalization shortly thereafter, he listed his occupation as a teacher. He also officially changed his name from Zavelsky to Zavelle at the time of his petition. Aaron's wife Celia died in 1917.

Aaron married Esther Zaverucha in Philadelphia in 1922 and in 1924 their daughter Lenore was born.

Lenore Zavelle Marwil..."My father had a school in Philadelphia teach English to the foreign born. My mother was a student there and that is how they met. My mother was a widow when they met. Her husband had been killed in the war in Russia. She had a son in Russia named Alexander who she left with her mother when she came to America. After she married my father, she brought her son over and my father adopted him."

Aaron and Esther remained in Philadelphia where they raised their three children. Aaron opened three college bookstores. Well known to anyone in the Philadelphia area was the Zavelle Book Store at the University of Pennsylvania. There was also stores in Princeton and Cape May. Aaron died in 1955 in his home in Wyncote, Pa.

Clara, Anna and Abraham Zavelsky

We know very little of Clara, Anna and Abraham Zavelle, except that they all immigrated to Philadelphia, married and raised families. Abraham changed his name to Zangwell.

#1...Aaron Zavelle, a grandson of Moishe, ran an English school in Philadelphia. In this photo of the 1916 graduating class, he is seated next to the woman in the front row. Aaron was the son of Elias Zavelsky
Ilya was a 2nd great grandson of Moishe. He grew up in Baku. Today he lives in the USA with his wife and two sons. Ilya is a physician and his wife Rina a harpist.
#3...Elias Zavelsky
#4...Aaron Zavelle, son of Elias, with his family...Wife Esther, daughters Angelina and Lenore and son Alexander along with their spouses and children.
#5...Lenore Marwil, daughter of Aaron, and her husband Bud
#6...Four granddaughters of Elias Zavelsky

Anita Weiner Schriebman, daughter of Clara Zavelsky Weiner.

Selma Jaffee Fink, daughter of Anna Zavelsky Jaffee.
Lenore Zavelle Marwil, daughter of Aaron Zavelle.

Charlotte Zangwell Kane, daughter of Abraham Zangwell.
Aron Zavelle, son of Moishe and grandson of Elias, in his bookstore.
Lenore Zavelle Marwil and her husband Bud with four of their children: David, Sarah, Daniel and Joel