Select Jacobs Miscellany

Here are some Jacobs stories and accounts over the years:

Early Jacobs in Cambridgeshire

The Jacobs appeared on the lands of Robert de Ho in Everdon, according to The Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire. 

The following were the Jacobs recorded in the land tenures:
- William Jacob and his wife Basila in 1138
- his children Henry, John, and Isabella
- his grandchildren Henry, John, Tona, and Jacobus.

Within the next hundred years or so, the Jacob name had spread to Suffolk and Norfolk.

Early Jacobs in South Africa

The following were early Jacobs recorded in South Africa:

Ariaantje Jacobs
aged 21, born in the Netherlands
Jan Jacobs
in Paarl, the Cape
Pierre Jacob
aged 51, born in France (Calais)
Adriana Jacobs
in Cape Town
Daniel Jacobs
in Drakenstein (Paarl), the Cape
Anna Jacobs
in Tulbagh, the Cape

Two Jacobs came to the Dutch South African colony in 1688, but from very different situations.

Pierre Jacob arrived on the De Schelde in June with his wife and three children.  They were French Huguenots escaping persecution in their home country.  His family settled in Drakenstein and soon added an "s" to their name.  A descendant David Jacobs made the trek with his wife to new farmland at Zeerust in the Transvaal in the 1850's. 

Ariaantje Jacobs was one of eight orphans that arrived on the Berg China later in the year. 
Her father had died when she was five months old and her mother when she was eight and she was eighteen years old when she left the orphanage in Rotterdam to go to the Cape.  It had been felt that the male settlers of the Cape needed wives.  Consequently orphan girls were sent there, giving them the opportunity for a better life and resolving the problem of the lack of female population.  Ariaantje was married almost immediately on arriving there.

Jacobs as a Surname in South Africa

Jacobs is the most common surname for whites in South Africa.  The following shows the top five surnames and their approximate numbers in the 1970 South Africa census.

Van der Merwe
Van Wyk

Tryntje Jacobs and Her Four Husbands

Tryntje was the Dutch diminutive for Catherine and was variously written in the early records.  Her surname is uncertain.  She may have, according to the Dutch custom of the time, retained her father's name of Jacob.  But it is also possible that she had so identified herself with her first husband that she was referred to as "Tryntje, Jacob's wife."

The date and place of Tryntje's birth is not known.  The date looks like being about 1620 and the place perhaps Winkel in north Holland where her first husband Jacob Walichs was born. 

They had come to New Amsterdam in 1650 and raised six children, the last of whom was born in 1656.  A year later, the records were reporting that she was marrying for a second time, to Jacob Stoffelsen.  He died in 1667 and Tryntje then married her third husband, Michael Tades.  When Michael died in 1670, there soon came the fourth, Casper Steymets. 

She herself died in 1677 and the Bergen records recorded it as follows: "Buried Tryntje Jacobs, wife of Casper Steymets, at New York."   

Henry Jacobs, A London Butcher

Henry Jacobs was born in Whitechapel around 1813.  He married Rebecca Isaacs in 1841 (Henry signed his name at the marriage register but Rebecca could not).   He was a member of the Great Synagogue at Dukes Place in Aldgate.  From the synagogue marriage records Henry's Hebrew name was Tevi ben Yaacov and Rebecca's Rivka bat Yehudah.

Henry's father, born in London in 1769, had been a butcher, and so was Henry.  He had a butcher's shop from 1841 to 1878 at 27 Duke Street, Houndsditch.  He and Rebecca lived upstairs and raised eight children there.

Jacobs Glassmakers in Bristol

Lazarus Jacobs, a Jewish artisan from Frankfurt in Germany, arrived in Bristol around the year 1760.  He was a glassmaker and his firm soon its place in the front rank of glassmakers, manufacturing much of the blue glass which was becoming fashionable and becoming glassmakers to George III. 

The business passed to his son Isaac on Lazarus’s death in 1796 at the age of 87.  Isaac prospered for a while, buying a retreat in Weston-Super-Mare for his family.  But the Bristol glass trade was soon in serious difficulties, due to heavy taxation and the resulting competition from untaxed Irish glass.  In 1820 Isaac was forced to declare bankruptcy. 

Despite this setback, Lazarus and his son Isaac were said to have “fathered an immense and often distinguished body of descendants.

Jacobs Name Distribution in England

The table below shows the distribution of the Jacobs name in England in the 1891 census.

Numbers (000's)
Elsewhere in the South and East
Elsewhere in England and Wales

The Jacob Brothers Piano Company

Charles and Albert Jacob founded the Jacob Brothers Piano Company in New York in 1877.  After 1905 they established their own factory in Leominster, Massachusetts and sold their pianos both retail and wholesale.  They also manufactured pianos for other American piano companies.

This was how they were described sometime around 1910:

"The Jacob Bros. Co. is one of the most progessive and successful concerns in the piano industry. They have several retail stores in the city of New York and in other important cities of the east.  Their wholesale trade is very large and substantial.  Their pianos and player-pianos are durable instruments, their finish being exceptionally fine and their tone quality satisfying.   They received an award at the World Columbian Exposition in 1893 and have been the recipients of many encomiums from the music trade and public."

The business continued to be family-run until the death of Charles Hall Jacob in 1953.

The Jacobs of Geelong

Morris Jacobs was from London and came to Victoria in Australia with his brother Solomon in 1852.  He returned to England a few years later and there secured the necessary merchandise with which he could start his own clothing business in Geelong.  He did this on Yarra Street.

Success necessitated an increase in space and in 1897 he enlarged his shop by including the property next door so that his premises occupied three adjoining shops devoted respectively to drapery, clothing and oilskins, and boots and shoes.

Morris's sole surviving son, Solomon, managed his father's business and Solomon's son Morris was the manager when Myers bought the store in 1950.  Both Solomon and his son Morris were in their time councillors and mayors of Geelong.

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