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       Date Last Updated: 18-May-2012

Vitebsk Families Stories and Pictures

The Revson family

Nisan Zalmanovitch Revson (Levinson)
1838 March 26, 1926
By, great grandson, Gary M. Levinson

Nisan Revson (aka) Revenson, Robinzon, Levinson, was born in Northwestern Russia and lived in Vitebsk. He was married in 1868 to Freda Benkov, also from Vitebsk. He was a very pious gentleman. Due to deteriorating living conditions in the Jewish Pale of Settlement, he decided to leave the old country and join his eldest daughter Sarah in the United States who had immigrated and was living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Sara immigrated in early 1891. Nisan who was about 52 packed up his belongings and along with his wife Freda and children, sons, Mendelein Lieb, age 20, Zalman, my grandfather, age 14, and daughter Zelda, age 20.

The family traveled to Glasgow, Scotland on December 4, 1891, where they boarded the ship named Assyrian, shipping line, Allan Line with ship master Wm. S. Main. Their first destination port was Demerara, Guyana. Leaving Guyana, they sailed to New York, arriving on December 21, 1891.

After arriving in the United States the family took a train from New York to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where they joined Sarah Revson who had changed her last name to Levinson. Thus Nisan Revson became Nathan Levinson, Freda became Fanny, Mendelein became Morris (I believe) and Zalman became Samuel. Daughter Zelda became Jenny. Nathan was skilled and employed in the textile trade in Philadelphia. His specialty was making velvet collars for suits which were very popular in the 1890's and early 1900's. At one point he moved to Bristol, Bucks County Pennsylvania where his youngest son, Samuel, my grandfather, operated a men's clothing store, making custom made men's suits and accessories. Legend has it that Nathan was taunted by people in the town due to his religious appearance and thus moved back to Philadelphia, living with his daughter. Nathan's wife Freda (Fanny) passed away on March 16, 1909 and was buried on March 17, 1909 in Har Nebo Cemetery in Philadelphia. Nathan lived another seventeen years passing away in Philadelphia, PA on March 26, 1926 and also buried in Har Nebo Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.