Asher Bishka Kapłański from Narewka
Asher Caplan
Courtesy of Jacque Caplan
The gravestone of Asher Biskha, son of Mordechai Reuven HaCohen, is among those that have survived in the Narewka Jewish Cemetery. It is listed (#116) in The Database of the Jewish Cemeteries in Poland, along with its photograph. According to the translation there, Asher Bishka died on 19 March 1883. Also buried in the cemetery is Yosef Kapłański, son of Asher Biskha HaCohen. Yosef's gravestone (#7) is also listed in this database; he died 24 July 1936.
David CAPLAN (Kapłański ) (1972-1937), son of Asher Bishka (Bischoff) HaCohen, born in Narewka, immigrated to New York c1889 and settled in Alexandria in Central Louisiana. After working as a peddler, he established his own dry goods store in Alexandria in 1891. Caplan's, specializing in men's clothing, is still a family-operated business, managed by one of David CAPLAN's grandsons. David Caplan married Katie Fineman in New York City in 1899.  He was naturalized in Alexandria in 1911.

David Caplan's Certificate of Naturalization (1911)
                          Caplan's Naturalization Certificate
Courtesy of Jacque Caplan

Katie, Lee, David and Abe Caplan
Alexandria, Louisiana
David, Katy, Lee and Abe
Courtesy of Jacque Caplan

D. Caplan's
Men's Store in Alexandria, Louisiana
David and Katie Caplan
D. Caplan's
Courtesy of Jacque Caplan

D. Caplan's
Interior of Store in Alexandria, Louisiana
Lee, Abe, Katie and David Caplan
Caplan's Store Interior
Courtesy of Jacque Caplan

Recent research has determined that Yosef Kapłański, who died in Narewka in 1936, was David Caplan's brother.  I am able to make this connection because both have been identified as sons of Asher Bishka (HaCohen) Kapłański, Yosef by the inscription on his gravestone, noted above,  as well as by other documents from the 1930s. (JK)

Yosef Kapłański
Photograph of Yosef
Courtesy of Shay Fogelman,
Yosef's Great-grandson

From the Wexler Oral History Project, Yiddish Book Center, 2011 interview: Marc Caplan ponders the similarities between Narewka, the hometown of his great-grandfather, David Caplan, and Alexandria, Louisiana, where he settled.  See: Comparing Narewka to Louisiana
Letters from the Narewka branch of the Kapłański family sent to the family in Louisiana in the early 1930s have recently been submitted by Marc Caplan and provided by his aunt Jacque Caplan; they will be posted on this website and, hopefully, will soon be translated from the Yiddish.

In memory of Jacque Caplan (1935-2016), who shared information and records and photographs of David Caplan, her husband Ed's grandfather. Ed and Jacque worked together  managing the family business, Caplan's Men's Shop, for over 43 years.
For more information, see her obituary.

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Copyright 2011 Joy Kestenbaum
November 2011 - Updated April 2014; February 2015; August 2015; March 2017.