Rosina Nathan

Rosina Lewis Nathan

Birth: October 11, 1856 in Sacramento, California

Death: May 5, 1931 in Essondale, Vancouver, B.C.

Rosina Lewis was the eldest child and only daughter of Lewis Lewis and Rachel Abraham Lewis. She was one of the first non-Indigenous children born in Sacramento, California. Her father, Lewis Lewis is one of the early Jewish pioneers in Victoria. After establishing himself as a clothier in Victoria, he brought his wife, daughter and 2 sons to join him in Victoria. Rosina received part of her education from the Sisters of St. Ann. Because Lewis Lewis felt that Victoria was too wild a place for his wife and daughter to live, the women were shuttled back and forth from San Francisco.

Rosina met and married Liverpool born Edward Philip Nathan while in San Francisco. They married on May 13, 1885. Sometime after, Lewis Lewis persuaded the couple to move to Victoria by offering Edward a position as his bookkeeper. By this time, Lewis and his son Aaron were running the stove and tinware business; Lewis Lewis & Co.

By 1893, Edward and Rosina and their two daughters had settled in Victoria and Edward had joined the family business. When Lewis retired in 1900, Nathan began a ten year position as a bookkeeper for the pawnbroker Andrew Alfred (A.A.) Aaronson.

After A.A. Aaronson’s death in 1912, Edward went into partnership with Samuel Levy. They operated the Victoria Loans Office and sold second-hand goods out of premises on Government Street. By 1927, at the age of 70, Nathan had set up his own jewellery business on lower Johnson Street.

Their daughters Louisa and Rachel were raised in Victoria and were taught by the Sisters of St. Anne. The family wasn’t wealthy enough for the girls to get an education past grade school. The girls didn’t grow up in a kosher home, and the family weren’t particularly involved with the synagogue. It was through their maternal Aunt Eva (Eva Levy) that the girls were exposed to the Jewish community, and briefly studied with the rabbi.

Rosina became ill. For many years Rosina was looked after by their eldest daughter Louisa. Louisa married Louis Levy and the couple eventually settled in Seattle.

It was Louisa who paid for her parent’s gravestone.

Gravesite Details: Row D – Plot 4

Loving Memory of
Rosina Nathan
Born October 11, 1856
Died May 6, 1931

Rachel Abraham Lewis (1825-1852)
Lewis Lewis (1828–1904)

Edward Philip Nathan (1857–1930)

Rachael Nathan (1886-1963)
Louisa Florence Nathan (1891-1982)

Aaron Lewis (died in 1916)
Philip Lewis (1858–1884)

Interview with daughter Louisa F. Levy:

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