Emma Lazarus

Emma Lazarus c. 1872, T. Johnson and W. Kurtz, from Stream

Date of Birth: July 22, 1849

Place of Birth: New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Death: November 19, 1887

Place of Death: New York City, New York, U.S.

Ethnicity: Sephardi Jewish, Ashkenazi Jewish, as well as possibly 1/16th English

Emma Lazarus was an American poet. She wrote The New Colossus, in 1883 (“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”). The poem was inscribed on a plaque in a pedestal in the Statue of Liberty in 1903.

She was the daughter of Esther Lydia Mary (Nathan) and Moses Lazarus. Her parents were both born in New York. Her family was Jewish, both Ashkenazi (from Germany) and Sephardi (from England, Portugal, Spain, and Morocco). One of her paternal great-great-grandmothers, Caroline Webb, may have been of English descent, and a convert to Judaism.

Emma was a first cousin of United Stated Supreme Court Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo. Their mothers were sisters. She was also a second cousin, five times removed, of actor Daniel Flaherty, through her maternal great-grandparents Benjamin Mendes Seixas and Zipporah Levy; a third cousin of abolitionist Robert Purvis, a third cousin, three times removed, of professional tennis player Vic Seixas, and a third cousin, four times removed, of politician Jay Nixon, through their shared ancestors, Isaac Mendes Seixas and Rachel Franks Levy; and a distant cousin of actress and model Riley Keough, through Riley’s great-great-grandmother Bernita Greenwold.

Emma’s paternal grandfather was Eleazar Samuel Lazarus (the son of Samuel Eleazar Lazarus and Fanny Cushell). Emma’s great-grandfather Samuel was the son of Eleazer Lazarus.

Emma’s paternal grandmother was Zipporah Hart (the daughter of Jacob Naphtali Hart and Leah Thérèse Nathan). Zipporah was born in New York. Jacob was born in Fürth, Bavaria, Germany, the son of Jacobus S. Hart. Leah was born in Pennsylvania, the daughter of Lyon Nathan and Caroline Webb.

Emma’s maternal grandfather was Isaac Mendes Seixas Nathan (the son of Simon Nathan and Grace Mendes Seixas). Isaac was born in New York. Simon was born in Frome, Somerset, England, the son of Judah Nathan. Grace was born in Stamford, Connecticut, the daughter of Isaac Mendes Seixas, who was born in Lisbon, Portugal, and of Rachel Franks Levy, who was born in London, England.

Emma’s maternal grandmother was Sarah Mendes Seixas (the daughter of Benjamin Mendes Seixas and Zipporah Levy). Sarah was born in New York, and was a first cousin of Emma’s maternal grandfather. Benjamin was born in Rhode Island, the son of Isaac Mendes Seixas and Rachel Franks Levy. Zipporah was born in New York, the daughter of Hayman Levy, who was born in Hanover, Lower Saxony, Germany, and of Sloe Myers.

Source: Genealogy of Emma Lazarus – https://www.geni.com

2 Responses

  1. bablah says:

    Isaac Mendes Seixas and Rachel Franks Levy were also 5th great-grandparents of Jay Nixon


    • bablah says:

      Sorry, I miscounted. They’re his 6th great-grandparents.

      His 5th great-grandparents were Hillel Judah and Abigail Seixas.
      That makes him second cousin 3 times removed of Robert Purvis, and third cousin three times removed of Emma Lazarus and Benjamin Cardozo.

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