The Shlaes family is descended from Isaac Benjamin Shlaes, who migrated to Chicago from Pusalot, Lithuania in the late 19th century. If the legend is true, he is the earliest Shlaes. The Legend? It seems that at this point, in Lithuania, Jewish families were subject to compulsory military conscription for the eldest two sons in each family. Isaac Benjamin Margolis (yes, Margolis) a civil servant (a postman by some accounts) dug through records in the local government until he found what he needed. A family, all dead, two sons dead in the military. The Shlaes family. And that's who we became. So when the army came to his door, he said "These are my third and fourth sons, and you can't have them." So we're still here.
Are you a Shlaes? Check out the Family Tree. It also covers Sleshes, Schlesses, Weils, and various others.
Isaac Benjamin Shlaes 1832-1922
More links -
Shlaes Family History in Houghton, MI
History of a temple that started in Pusalot