Albert Berenson (1845-1945)


(Father of Bernard)
Born Albert Valvrojenski, Bernard's father grew up in the town of Daugai, Lithuania. Little is known about his early life, but as a teen he relocated to the town of Butrimonys, where he came to know the prosperous father of his future wife Judith, Solomon Mickleshanski. Together he and Judith would have three children before emigrating from Lithuania to America to escape the climate of Anti-Semitism and economic depression that arose in the aftermath of the Crimean War. In 1874 Albert made the journey to Boston, and his family, including ten year old Bernard, joined him the following year. An educated, anti-religious man and an admirer of Voltaire, Albert found work as a peddler through his cousin Louis Berenson, who had settled in Boston and established himself as a small businessman. Louis had adopted the surname “Berenson,” which Bernard's father took on as well when he became naturalized. Despite clashes of temperament, Albert's intellectual curiosity served as an example to Bernard throughout his studies.