Greater London, England
|Death: ||Jan. 8, 1771|
New Haven County
Mordecai was born in 1706 in London, England, near the Aldgate (Aldersgate) in Aldgate Ward. He grew up among the street markets of Shoemaker Row and Patticoat Lane now known as London's East End.
As an Ashkenazi Jew, his native language was Yiddish in the Juden-Deutsch (West Yiddish) dialect written with Hebrew letters. The Ashkenazi, known as German Jews, originated west of the Elbe river along the Rhine. It's believed his family were members of the Great Synagogue at Dukes Place (West end of Mitre Street), London. Early records at Dukes Place include Marks named Zachariah, David, Solomon and Alexander.
The Jewish people were expelled from England in 1290 by Edward I, though it's known some did remain. Uusry laws that prohibited charging interest did not apply to them as they were considered aliens (or infadels); therefore they were permitted to act as money lenders and bankers, and as such amassed tremendous wealth over the English. Oliver Cromwell readmitted Jews in 1657 when he saw their contribution to the economic success of Holland.
In 1726 young Mordecai came to America and settled in New England. It's believed he may have been part of the group transported to America by Benjamin Levy's calling. He converted to the Christian faith and was baptized 20 April 1729 by Rev. Samuel Johnson, rector of Christ Church (Episcopal) in Stratford, Fairfield Co. CT. He was married there by Rev. Johnson 15 Dec 1729 to Elizabeth Vosien as recorded in the church records.
They moved from Stratford to Derby, New Haven Co. CT, where Mordecai was a merchant with a large business. In the "History of Derby", it is recorded Mordecai and two other men, "in great reverance and regard to the Church of England as established by law for the honor of God", deeded two parcels of land on 13 April 1747 to the church society for the purpose of a parish church (Christ's Church, later St. James) in the township of said Derby, CT, on behalf of the community.
"The said Hull, Clark and Mordecai Marks and the rest of our neighbors consent therein, for the greater accomplishment of the endeavers aforesaid in great reverance and regard to the Church of England as established by law for the honor of God and surest peace and compact of ourselves, neighbors and posterity, have founded the parish church aforesaid, and for the endowment thereof do by these; presents freely give, grant, convey and conform unto the society and their siccessors forever".
--signed: Samuel Hull, William Clark, Mordecai Marks.
Mordecai died 8 Jan 1771 aged 65.
The inscription on his tombstone reads:
"In memory of Mordecai Marks who was born in the City of London where he spent 20 of his life. He lived 25 years in the town of Derby, a useful member of society, an affectionate husband, a tender parent and a constant communicant of the church, and on the 8th day of January 1771 in ye 65th year of his age he departed this mortal life in hopes of life immortal."
Elizabeth survived until 1798. Their children:
~~c. kscott, 2011
Elizabeth Vosien Marks (____ - 1798)
Zacariah Marks (1734 - 1802)*
Note: with thanks to Mable
Elm Street Cemetery
New Haven County
Maintained by: Kathy S.
Originally Created by: Michael Harrington
Record added: Feb 04, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 47560887