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Lavinnia Florance was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on May 26, 1825 to Jacob Levy and Hannah Florance. She was the eldest child of the family. She had two other sisters and three other brothers. Shortly after her birth, the family moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This is inferred because the Florance family is not listed in the 1830 Louisiana census, but are found in the 1850 Pennsylvania census index", living in the Southward section of the city. Her grandfather did not care for the last name of Levy, so he changed it. Zachariah Levy Florance was a dentist in Charleston, South Carolina, and probably was not the most popular man in town due to the primitive techniques of dentistry that prevailed during the nineteenth century.
Morrison, Bob, "A Brief Biography of Lavinnia Florance Minis" (1993). Savannah Biographies. 187.