last update on 3/2/2010.
ALL ABOUT LORRAINE
EVERYTHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW ON LORRAINE
Meetings.There is a local branch of our Society in Lorraine. There is a specialized group on Lorraine in Paris.Their activities appear (in French) in the Section réunions of this Website.
Publications: CGJ offers several publications concerning Lorraine. All details about these works can be found by clicking on Publications
The present Lorraine region comprises the "départements" of Meurthe et Moselle (54), Meuse (55), Moselle (57), and Vosges (88). They had different destinies during History, notably between 1871 and 1918, a period when three-quarters of the département Moselle, one quarter of Meurthe (administrative divisions at the time) and a few villages in the Eastern part of Vosges were annexed by Germany.
Lorraine hosted Jewish communities during the Middle-Age but it seems that all of them vanished after the Battle of Nancy in 1477. They reappeared only a century later.
genealogical studies, several sources are available:
2°) Beginning in 1717 and until 1792, the Jews of Metz were compelled to declare all births, marriages and deaths: this was done more or less rigorously. The whole of these data have been analysed by Pierre-André Meyer in his « Tables du registre d’état civil de la communauté juive de Metz, 1717-1792 », CGJ, 2e éd. 1998, 460 p. (ref. L001). Thanks to the author's notes, it is possible to follow some members of the community until the first third of the 19th century.
3°) The Memorbuch of Metz, 1st Part, translated from Hebrew by Simon Schwarzfuchs. This work contains the complete obituaries of Jews deceased at Metz between 1600 and about 1724. This 127 page typewritten text has not yet been re-published. It can be found under ref. B230 in our Library and several members own personal copies. But only leading people of Metz were entitled to an obituary and very often only their given name and their father's given name are given. The specialists of CGJ have nevertheless succeeded in identifying almost all people quoted.
4°) The Memorbuch of Metz, 2nd Part (1720-1849). The obituaries in this part of the Memorbuch have been analysed by Jean-Claude Bouvat-Martin «Tables du Memorbuch de Metz (1720-1849) », CGJ, Paris 2001, 117 p. (ref. L194). Thanks to cross-checks with other sources, these tables are rather complete for the 18th century and easy to use.
5°) The book of Jean Fleury, « Contrats de mariage juifs en Moselle avant 1792 », CGJ, Paris, 3e éd. 1999, 256 pages, (ref. L026). Fleury explored the archives of the notaries of the whole of Moselle so that its scope is larger than Metz only.
6°) Finally, if you wish to understand where the Jews who settled at Metz and in its region came from and link them to their previous families, mostly in Germany, it is recommended to read Pascal Faustini's « La communauté juive de Metz et ses familles (1565-1665) », 2001, 284 p. (ref. L196). (can be ordered from the author, 14 bd Hildegarde, 57100, Thionville, France). 642 deeds (more precisely the minutes of "amandelleries") are presented, the oldest one dated 1592. 65 families or lineages are studied. About 150 signatures in Hebrew are shown and translated. German sources allowed the author to trace back the lineages in Germany before the settlement at Metz. This remarkable work is certainly the reference for the whole 17th century.
The countryside of MOSELLE before the Revolution.
the 17th century, Jewish communities begin to appear in the
countryside around Metz and in the remainder of Moselle. This process
is described in detail in the preface written by Pierre-André
Meyer for Henry Schumann's work
« Mémoire des communautés juives de Moselle
», Ed. Serpenoise, 1999, 88 p. (ref. B236) (a few copies can be
bought from our Office).
An interesting monograph concerning these communities has been published by CGJ : Jean-Pierre Bernard and Pascal Faustini « Vantoux, Vallières, Mey, Grimont, Une communauté juive aux portes de Metz du 17e au 20e siècle ; Histoire, Généalogie, Cimetière », CGJ 2005, 277 p. (ref. L239).
Pascal Faustini published two important genealogical works, one in 1999 « La Communauté juive de Sarrelouis et ses environs entre 1680 et 1850» (Ref. L147), the other one in 2004 « La communauté juive de Hellimer, documents 1700-1850 » (Ref. L232). These books are out of print, but the author is willing to answer any question and even to make partial photocopies.
Partial studies have been devoted to several of these communities. They can be found in the catalog (on line or printed) of our Library. A wealth of information can also be found in the above-mentioned book of Jean Fleury. The thick two volume book of Jean-Pierre Bernard « Les Cimetières Israélites de Moselle, relevé des tombes », CGJ 2002, 770 p., (ref. L195) also brings information for the oldest tombs corresponding to the time of the Revolution or to the beginning of the 19th century. In some cases, the birth dates can be before the Revolution.
Let us also mention the rolls drawn for the Brancas tax. In order to be protected by the authorities, the Jews were compelled to pay the Duke of Brancas, a favourite of Louis XV, and his heirs a special tax : the "Brancas tax". These rolls can be found in our Library, references F090f and F093f.
Considering the whole Lorraine, we suggest you consult the collective book edited by Gildas Bernard « Les familles juives en France, XVIe siècle-1815, Guide des recherches biographiques et généalogiques » (ref. L028). Chapter III, written by Gilbert Cahen, is teeming with bibliographical suggestions. Pages 148 to 183 of this same book are devoted to Moselle, which represents by itself one eighth of the work !
NANCY and its REGION before the Revolution
To understand the history of the Jews of Nancy and of the present Meurthe et Moselle (54), one should read the introduction of Henry Schumann's « Mémoire des Communautés juives, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Vosges », Ed. Serpenoise, Metz, 2003 (Ref. B295) (a few copies can be bought from our Office) as well as the book by Françoise Job « Les Juifs de Nancy du XIIe au XXe siècle », Presses Universitaires de Nancy, 1991, 172 p. (Ref. L047)
The dukedom of Lorraine, with Nancy as its capital, remained for a long time hostile to the presence of Jews. In the 17th century, there is no trace of Jews in the ducal Lorraine but for a handful of isolated persons. Starting from 1700, a few Jews from Metz were allowed to trade in Nancy but not to settle there. Nevertheless a few families succeeded in settling in Lunéville and Nancy between 1712 and 1721 as shown by a 1721 census which lists 73 authorized households in the whole dukedom but only 4 at Nancy. This number eventually grew from 73 to 180. At the end of the "Ancien Régime", it is estimated that there were 500 Jewish families, i.e. ca. 2,500 people, taking into account as well "authorized" as "illegal" people.
Besides her above-mentioned work on Nancy, one should also peruse Françoise Job's book « Les Juifs de Lunéville aux 18e et 19e siècles » Presses Universitaires de Nancy, 1989, 324 p. (Ref. L023).
« Le Cimetière Israélite Régional de Lunéville (1759-1998) », a work by Sylvain Job, Françoise Job and Claude Freund, CGJ 1999 (Ref. B217) includes information on gravestones earlier than the French Revolution or close to that period. Note that this cemetery conntains tombs of people born in the whole of Alsace and Lorraine and deceased not only at Lunéville but also in neighbouring villages.
The REVOLUTIONARY PERIOD and the XIXth CENTURY
Nevertheless in 1808, in Lorraine as in the whole French Empire, Jews had to adopt permanent family names and given names.The registries where these new names were recorded have often been found. Unfortunately the registry of Metz was destroyed in 1944: we have only a partial reconstitution of this registry (see Member's corner )
Pierre KATZ analyzed all registries he could retrieve, namely 19 out of 19 in Meurthe et Moselle (54) but only 57 out of 111 in Moselle (57). All these data have been published by CGJ in one volume. (Ref. T318) The index of this work can be found by clicking on lorraine1808.
Concerning the "département" des Vosges (88), Pierre Katz worked on the registries of 5 villages : Remiremont, Bruyères, Darney, Epinal, and Rambervillers, and his lists are deposited in our Library. Documents of the Departmental Archives can also be found in the library (1808 and 1813).
Concerning Meuse (55), Pierre Katz worked on the registries of Vaucouleurs and Bar-le-Duc but the registry of Verdun can also be found in the Departmental Archives.
From 1871 to 1918, in MOSELLE
Library: If you click on the catalog of our library and you put in "Place" a word such as Lorraine, Moselle, Meurthe et Moselle, or the name of the village you are interested in, you will find the references of dozens of documents that can be consulted in our Library, rue La Bruyère in Paris (for members only). You can also order a copy of these documents, if you are a member.
Journal. Our Journal has published a great number of papers about Lorraine. They are easy to retrieve in the Index by themes and places of the papers and also, for the most recent issues in Summary of the latest issues.
Names of villages: In Lorraine, villages have both a French and a German name. The list of these equivalent names can be found in the file correspondance.
Questions-Answers. Do not hesitate to ask questions, concerning Lorraine or any other genealogical subject in the section Questions-Answers.
Corner If you are a member of CGJ, you will find in the
Members' Corner not only a number of files concerning Lorraine but also
a list of competent "tutors" competent on these subjects who
are probably able to help you. Click on Members'
Members' Corner If you are a member of CGJ, you will find in the Members' Corner not only a number of files concerning Lorraine but also a list of competent "tutors" competent on these subjects who are probably able to help you. Click on Members' corner.