« Families to Follow | Main

A Brief History of Genealogy (Time included)

     This is the first posting on the new "History of Genealogy" blog.   One of the goals is to keep a running account of new discoveries -- discoveries which are as likely to be new interconnections between the Jewish families (or families of Jewish ancestry) of Breslau, towns in Silesia (e.g. Brieg, Namslau, Staedtel, Zuelz, Kreuzburg, Cosel, Kieferstaedtel, Myslowitz, Tarnowitz, Beuthen, Oppeln, Krappitz), and towns in Posen (e.g., Posen, Lissa, Rawitsch, Kempen, Inowroclaw), as discoveries of new ancestors or distant cousins.  Eventually as these families migrated to Berlin, other cities in Germany, other countries in Europe and finally other countries around the world, the scope of the project becomes global, and the history becomes a history of now, as well as a history of then.
     This research has been going on for 35 years; well, my part has been going for 35 years, but my research is built on the work of earlier generations.   But for now, the stories will start from the newest discoveries.

22 April 2011
     I do not recall how today's path got started...  LEUBUSCHERs were the main focus.  Looking at Passenger Lists, I started to follow the trail of Walter LEUBUSCHER who managed to emigrate from Germany to the US in 1937 with his wife Trude (geb. STEIN).  Trude's sister and her husband, Ilse and Fritz SCHILD, made their way out of Nazi Germany in 1938.  In 1940, Walter's niece Jolante SONNTAG (b.1914, Berlin) was able to get to the US -- and initially joined her uncle in Minnesota.
     This particular trail eventually led to Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (because the 2009 TBE bulletin included a Jahrzeit listing for Walter LEUBUSCHER), and to the Eisenhower Dance Ensemble (because one of the Board Members is a niece of Walter's wife).  E-mails have been sent.  The wheels are in motion...
     Looking at the Berliner Adressbücher (http://adressbuch.zlb.de/) for the years around the birth of Walter LEUBUSCHER, it seems that his father must be either "F." or "H." LEUBUSCHER, who may be the Fritz and Hermann LEUBUSCHER, respectively, who are listed in other years' directories.   That additional clue would still not lead to a clear link to the extended LEUBUSCHER family tree.

     On the subject of as yet unconnected LEUBUSCHERs, there is the US family of Louis Mortimer LEUBUSCHER and his descendants.  Louis Mortimer LEUBUSCHER was supposedly born in Breslau in 1828 (29 Mar).   However, his alleged parents (William L. and Catherine) do not appear in the available Breslau Jewish community materials.  Interestingly, there was a Breslau birth of a boy whose name appeared to be Louis Merheimer (?) LEUBUSCHER in 1832 (29 Jan).  His parents were August LEUBUSCHER and Amalie (geb. SCHÜCK).   Are they the same person?  Did he change his middle name when he got to the US?
     Looking for clues, I ran across an entry for Louis Mortimer's son Frederick Cyrus LEUBUSCHER (ca.1860-1940) in a new resource: Das deutsche Element der Stadt New York (1913 New York) (available for viewing or download from Google Books (books.google.com)).   There was no new information about Frederick Cyrus, but a search for entries with reference to Breslau led to a new possibility for further (unrelated) connections among Breslau Jewish families.
     The entry for T. Leon LASCOFF, a New York pharmacist (Apotheker), mentioned that his wife was Clara (geb. JOACHIMSON) of Breslau.  Death notices and an obituary of family members in the New York Times led to information that Clara's parents were Fritz Joachimsohn and Bertha (geb. RIEGNER).   There are quite a few JOACHIMSSOHNs / JOACHIMSOHNs in the tree, but only one RIEGNER (Hulda, not Bertha).   A search in the catalogue of the Leo Baeck Institute (www.lbi.org) uncovered a RIEGNER family history provided by Kurt Julio RIEGNER (downloadable from the LBI catalogue) which had just enough detail to learn where Bertha RIEGNER fit into that family, but not enough to get more clues about the JOACHIMSSOHN family line (and also nothing about Hulda).
     A check of a transcription of births from the Breslau Jewish community from 1847 to 1872 led to one interesting entry -- the 1864 birth of Artur Steffan Friedrich JOACHIMSSOHN to Jacob Fritz and Bertha.   The new information that Clara's father was named Jacob Fritz (not just Fritz) may be helpful, but there are a few Jacob's in the tree who could be this person...
     But going back to the RIEGNER family history, it contained a story that is worth retelling here.   Kurt Julio RIEGNER had a first cousin named Gerhart RIEGNER, who was Secretary General of the World Jewish Congress from its creation in 1936 to 1983.  In 1983, shortly after Gerhart left that position, Kurt met his cousin Gerhart in Vevey.  On a walk along Lac Leman (Lake Geneva), Kurt asked his cousin how he came to get that job, and Gerhart told him.
    Gerhart was apparently the right-hand man of Nahum GOLDMANN and, as a result, was a prime candidate for the position.  However, some on the committee were concerned about his youth, his being a German Jew, and his unfamiliarity with Yiddish.  One of the participants vouched for the young Gerhart saying he came from a very honorable family.  That support seemed to turn the tide and he got the job.
     Nahum GOLDMANN shared that background with Gerhart.  Years later, Gerhart had a chance to ask the man who had spoken up for him how he came to have his strong feelings about the RIEGNER family's honor and integrity.   The man first asked to confirm that Gerhart's grandfather was the Moritz RIEGNER who had a flour company in Berlin.  He then told the story that a loyal cashier at the company one day stole a significant amount of money and disappeared.  Moritz went to the wife of the man and told her he did not hold her responsible and said he would continue to give her her husband's salary even though he had absconded with money and was no longer working at the company.  He did that.  And when her gifted young son started his studies, Moritz paid for that as well.    When Gerhart asked how the man knew all this, the man said, "It is simple.  The gifted young man was me."

     Let's see what tomorrow may bring.   Shabbat shalom.

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: minecraft gratuit
    The Bag Variant of indie mega-esthesis Minecraft was purchased a astonishing 913 multiplication across the iOS and Humanoid software facebook in USA.

Reader Comments (1)

alright, we have begun!! we can do historical entries as well. gronem heironmous for today as one bit, maybe topics, categories... love don

April 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdonald h falk md

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>