The Genealogy of Lewis C. Levin

The genealogy of Congressman Lewis C. Levin has been a matter of some confusion, not least of which because of the presence of three men named Lewis Levin in Charleston, South Carolina, in the early 19th century.

The Immigrant: Lewis Levin Sr.

The Coming Street Cemetery of Charleston is the final resting place of a “Lewis Levin Senr,” described on his tombstone as “a native of London who departed this Life on the 11th day of October, 1817.” See also “Notice,” City Gazette (Charleston, SC), 3 November 1817.

Eliza Levin: Wife and Mother

Notice: All persons having legal demands against the Estate of LEWIS LEVIN, of Charleston, shop-keeper, deceased, are requested to render attested statements thereof to the subscriber; and persons indebted to said estate, are requested to make immediate payment to ELIZA LEVIN, Administratrix

Lewis C. Levin’s connection to Lewis Levin, the English immigrant, is hard to establish directly. However, Eliza Levin served as administrix to the elder Levin’s estate, and also was given power of attorney when the younger Levin was absent from South Carolina in the summer of 1827. See Charleston Courier (South Carolina), 25 July 1827. All of this suggests that she was the wife of one Lewis Levin, and the mother of the other.

The Subscriber, intending to be absent from the State for a few weeks, has appointed ELIZA LEVIN his Attorney, during his absences. LEWIS LEVIN

The Brothers: Nathaniel and Lipman (L. T.)

A 1971 genealogy by Malcolm Stern shows Lewis Levin Sr. as the father of five sons, including Nathaniel and L. T. but not Lewis C. Levin (1808–1860). Instead, Stern shows a Lewis Levin (1793–1829) as the reason for the Senior designation. However, Stern notes that “This chart is a questionable construction.” [Malcolm H. Stern, Americans of Jewish Descent: A Compendium of Genealogy ) New York: Ktav, 1971)]

Further research suggests that Stern’s guess was wrong. An 1861 New York Herald article establishes Lipman (L. T.) Levin as the brother of Lewis C. (“Interesting from Charleston,” New York Herald, 29 March 1861)

clipping includes reference to "Mr. L. T. Levin, of  Columbia, S.C.—brother of the late Hon. Lewis C. Levin—to the Richland Rifles, all together."

And an 1892 funeral notice establishes Nathaniel as L. T.’s brother. (“An Impressive Funeral,” State (Columbia, S. C.), 21 November 1892.)

Clipping describing "the funeral services of the late Mr. L. T. Levin." includes reference to "Mr. Nathaniel Levin, a brother." and a "Mr. Lewis C. Levin."

Conclusion: Lewis, L. T., and Nathaniel Were Brothers, and Sons of Lewis Sr.

If, as seems most likely, Lewis Levin Sr. was the father of L. T. and Nathaniel, he was also the father of Lewis C.

Many thanks to Ian Watson for his assistance.