We have made significant progress in finding the ‘founding families’ of the Jewish community of Themar in the late 1800s—Bär and Baer, Frankenberg, Gassenheimer, Grünbaum, Hofmann, Kahn, Katz, Müller, Schloss/Sachs, Schwab, Walther, and Wertheimer.
All these families share two defining characteristics: first, they were German Jewish families, with roots deep in German history; second, the roots were usually to be found in villages near to Themar, such as Berkach, Bibra, and Marisfeld.
So now we’re pushing back into the world of the grandparents’ generation — if not further to the great-grans. The first research results were the Nachkommenliste/Descendant Lists for members of two families of Berkach: the Hirsch & Rosa Friedmann family and the Simon (Seligmann) and Rees Sachs family. Since then we’ve added information about grandparents of one of the Grünbaum families, and we’re getting close to publishing what will probably be the largest tree of all, that of the Schloss/Sachs & Müller family.
A Nachkommenliste/Descendants List can look pretty straightforward in its representation of a family’s background, but for an historian it is a treasure trove of valuable data. The Nachkommenliste hints at decisions made and strategies implemented as family members engaged with the political, social, and economic change sweeping Germany in the late 1800s/early 1900s. As the Hirsch & Rosa Friedmann Nachkommenliste illustrates, the results were varied: some left Germany and Europe altogether; most, however remained in Germany: a few Friedmanns remained in Berkach but most moved to other, usually larger — but not too large — urban centres in Germany, including Themar. As well, the Nachkommenliste reveals connections between families that were probably well known then but have faded or disappeared in the years since — for example, the connection between the Schwab family of Berkach, and the Ernst Gassenheimer and Moritz Sachs families of Themar!
Compilation of Nachkommenliste such as these is anything but a straightforward activity. The generosity of the descendants of the families, such as the Hirsch and Rösle Friedmann and the Karl and Hulda Grünbaum families, in sharing information, insight, and images has been, and continues to be indispensable. The image at the right, for example, of Ken Green/earlier Kurt Grünbaum’s family tree, led to our discovery of the names of all her great-great grandparents.
We owe the families of Themar’s Jewish community an enormous “Thank You”. We welcome any further information about all families in this website. Please contact Sharon Meen at [email protected]
Please see the following Descendants Lists:
Hirsch & Rosa (née Laub) FRIEDMANN
Hirsch & Golde (née Kohn) GRÜNBAUM
Nathan & Bertha (née Schwed) MÜLLER
Hermann & Babette (née Sichel) SCHWED
Meier & Bertha NUSSBAUM
Nathan & Sara REIS
Simon (Seligmann) & Rosa SACHS
Abraham & Fanni (née Fuchs) SCHLESINGER
Abraham & Veilchen (née Lang) SCHLESINGER
Heinrich & Ida (née Schmalbach) SCHLOSS