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"Stammbaum der Familie Falk"

"Stammbaum der Familie Falk", Paul Dobrin (Breslau 1937)

A crucial element behind much of my genealogy research has been the "Stammbaum der Familie Falk", a small, black book of bound typed sheets (typed using carbon paper, it seems), one family group per page.  "Kapitel" after "Kapitel", starting with the family of R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK, the Dyhernfurther Rav, his third wife Sara NAUMBURG, and their 11 children (who lived to adulthood), the book outlines the whole FALK family as compiled by the Breslau genealogist Paul DOBRIN -- the whole family as of 1937.

The first knowledge of the Falk Stammbaum came to us before the "me part of us" was aware of family history beyond, perhaps, the fact that the family had lived in California before I came along.  Back then in the mid 1960s, my brother Don's interest in genealogy was budding and getting support from our aunt Eva WULKAN geb. FALK (1911-2005) in Chicago.  Eva knew that her second cousin Max LEVY (1893-1970) had a copy of the Falk Stammbaum, and in response to specific questions from Don, she would write to Max and convey the answers to Don.  The fate of Max LEVY's copy of the Falk Stammbaum is not known.

When our great uncle Siegfried FALK ("Onkel Siegfried") (1888-1969) died in Wellington, New Zealand, his widow Tante Lo sent oil portraits of Siegfried's parents Emanuel FALK (1832-1906) and Johanna KALISCHER (1845-1929) to my father, and I believe that Onkel Siegfriend's copy of the Falk Stammbaum arrived with the portraits.

I do not know what Don did with the Falk Stammbaum when it first came to our home, and to him as the family genealogist, but I remember paging through it, wondering what a "Kapitel" was, learning its organization system (which always seemed cumbersome), finding the page with my father, his sister and their parents, and noticing a few things:
* the Meyer - Wilhelm - Meyer- Wilhelm naming pattern that turned out to lead from R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK's son to Wilhelm (Ze'ev) FALK (1923-1998) of Jerusalem;
* that the last child in Kapitel 1, Aidel FALK, with no birth date, could not be among the last children (births in the 1830s) because she had a son in 1827; and
* that my father was 43 when I was born, and his father was 44 when he was born, and his grandfather was 43 when his father was born, and his great grandfather was 64 when his grandfather was born.

If there are any loyal readers, I would refer them to the blog entry of 8 May 2011 which contains my history with the Stammbaum der Familie Falk.  One thing not included there is the story which my beloved cousin Prof. Dr. Ze'ev W. FALK told me on his first visit to us in Wayne, Pennsylvania about the origins of the Falk Stammbaum.  According to Ze'ev the Stammbaum was commissioned by the wealthy KROCH banking family as a means of keeping track of the whole FALK family, in order to send family members, annually, writings of the late R. Jacob Loebel KROCH (1815-1897), wife of Bertha FALK (1816-1904), daughter of the Dyhrenfurther Rav.

But another part of the story of the Falk Stammbaum is what became of all the copies which were distributed to family members back in 1937.  There was Max LEVY's copy - where is it now?  There was Onkel Siegfried's copy (now in Wayne, PA).  My recollection is that Ze'ev had the copy of his father Dr. Meyer FALK (1891-1972).

The first new copy I saw (I think) was in Brooklyn when I met R. Dovid BIRNBAUM in 1999.  He received his copy from his father Daniel BIRNBAUM who received it from cousin Gerhard GLUSKINOS who received it from his father Willi GLUSKINOS (1881-1965).  This was not a formal book version, but whole-punched pages with a metal binder, in a fitted cardboard box.  I believe it was a typed version.

The next copy was in Jerusalem with the KADMON family.  I believe that this is a handwritten copy with information from as late as 1938.  I assume that this was the copy of Martin WOLFSOHN (1890-1970).

I suspect that I am currently not remembering some of the other copies that have come to light in the last 16 years of research.

But the most recently learned of copy was (along with Don) the prompt for this blog entry.  Don told me today that when he met our cousin Ariel in Buenos Aires a couple weeks ago, Ariel said that he has his mother's copy of the Falk Stammbaum -- a black-bound typed copy like ours.  I assume that this was the copy of Hans Meyer KROCH (1887-1870).

(It is probably not significant that so many original holders of the Falk Stammbaum died in the short period from 1969 to 1972...  But even the not-noteworthy can be noted.)

There must be more copies out there yet to be seen.

Twenty years ago, on my Mac SE, I entered the whole content of the "Stammbaum der Familie Falk" into the then-current version of the Reunion (v 2.0 ?) genealogy software.  The significantly updated family tree is still maintained in the significantly updated Reunion program (v 9.0), just waiting for a slightly fuller sense of completion to publish it in some form on the internet.

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