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Fourth Generation

4. Jonah Kaplan1,2,4,5,6 was born on 6 Feb 1821 in Europe.6 He was also known as Yavnel-Abram. according to records from the Latvian Archives He died on 6 Feb 1907 in Burlington, Iowa.2,6 He was buried in Bet HaMidrash HaGadol Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.7 The records from the Latvian Archives indicate that his name was Yavnel-Abram Kaplan. According to Phillip Burke, his death certificate says "John."

From e-mail correspondence between Phil Barak and Peggy Freedman dated 6/7/2000:
Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2000 10:17:29 -0500
To: Peggy Freedman <peggyf@mindspring.com>
From: Phillip Barak <pwbarak@facstaff.wisc.edu>
Subject: Re: Kaplan Research

At 10:19 AM 6/7/2000 -0400, you wrote:
>Phil, you wrote me that Jonah Kaplan did not use the middle name Abravanel.
> But the information from the Latvian Archives shows Mary Katherine
>(Kreina-Mera) 's father as Yavnel-Abram Kaplan. Robert Lenobel also wrote
>me that his name was Jonah Abravanel Kaplan, although I do not know where
>Robert got this information, probably family stories. Since I use both my
>formal name, Margaret, and my nickname, Peggy, regularly, I have a lot of
>sympathy for people who use lots of names, but I am not sure what "Old
>Jonah" (which is how my grandmother used to refer to him) should be called.
I try to be fairly flexible with naming, especially since we have Hebrew, Yiddish, and English names for many of the individuals, as well as "pet" names used by family and intimates. As with Solomon Kaplan, known to his family as Shleime, but called to the Torah as Shlomo, and buried as both Shlomo and Solomon.
My designation for Jonah (w/o Abravanel) Kaplan is that remembered by Abe Lew Kaplan's descendents. More importantly, the tombstone uses Jonah ben Moshe ibn Daoudi (ibn Daoudi, certainly in the sense of son of David, not the ibn Daoudi family since the Abravanel family is distinctly different.) Also the three High Holiday books, written in Jonah's hand give him lots of room to call himself as he chooses and he ran through many names and places, but did not call himself anything other than Jonah ben Moshe, though the Abravanel family connection is mentioned a number of times, usually as Bar Bel El --three distinct words.
Yavnel, however, definitely rings a bell because I seem to recollect that is a name that my Russian friend picked off of the Russian document and puzzled over because he was unfamiliar with it.
Based on Jonah's inscriptions in the prayer books, I doubt that the Kaplan name will go back very far since there is strong evidence that it was an assumed surname: Jonah wrote that the family was known before as Kalana or Kolon, and his father name appears in one inscription to be Moshe Kaplan "known formerly as Kalana". The Kaplan cup, very ornate and said to be many generations old, when given by Solomon Kaplan to my grandfather, Abe Lew (Ari Lev) in 1924, was incribed to "Ari Lev ben Shlomo ibn Daoudi haMechuneh Kaplan"; the closest translation to the phrase "haMechuneh Kaplan" that I can get is "who is called Kaplan". In short, we may be unrelated to any other Kaplans in the world--especially since the Kalana/Kolon line had resided in Nice, Italy (so wrote Jonah; i.e., before annexation by France) and before that in Oran, North Africa (now Algeria.) My grandfather told me that the old family names were changed to conceal the family's true identity, although I don't think he knew the details.

Jonah Kaplan and Sarah Etta Brill were married in Europe. Sarah Etta Brill8 (daughter of Solomon Brill and Zelda ?) died on 18 Apr 1891 in St. Louis, Missouri. She was buried in St. Louis, Missouri. Jonah Kaplan and Sarah Etta Brill had the following children:



Leia Kaplan.



Jennie Zelda Kaplan.



Frieda (Bessie) Kaplan.



Solomon Haim (Shlomo) Kaplan.



Mary Katherine Kaplan.



Moses (Morris) J. Kaplan.