No 129 - Spring 2017


Pierre-André Meyer
About a baptism of Jew in Alsace in the 18th century : Garçon Coblentz and his son François Joseph, from Metz to Ribeauvillé
On February 7th 1752 the parish priest of Ribeauvillé, in Alsace, celebrated the wedding of a young baptized Jew, François Joseph Coblentz, with Catherine Müthwillig, daughter of a baker of the city. Descending from this couple and having discovered his Jewish origins through this marriage certificate Vincent Meyer, a young Alsatian fond of genealogy, addressed the author in order to learn more about his ancestor. This was the starting point of an inquiry which led us in the footsteps of Garçon Coblentz, father of François Joseph. He descended from an old line of rabbis and leaders of the Jewish community of Metz, originally known as Zays. Garçon Coblentz was not well accepted by the dominant family of the Jewish community of Ribeauvillé, that of Rabbi Samuel Sanvill Weill who did not make life easy for him. His long existence was punctuated by disappointments, the conversion of his son being not the least. Is the failure of the father one of the keys to the baptism of the son? While wondering about the motives that could induce a young Alsatian Jew to reject the religion of his ancestors one sought to know what his destiny in his community of adoption has been. It is almost a century of family history that this paper brings to life again through several successive generations of Coblentz confronted with the difficult condition of the Jews in the age of Enlightenment.

Anne-Marie Fribourg
From Wolfgang Fischer (1835-1920) to Chanel
The paper traces the astonishing story of relatives in the ascending line of a family presently closely linked to Chanel by making us discover how opticians oculists toured throughout France.We successively meet a famous surgeon, an architect belonging to the modern movement, an artist close to the Surrealists and finally a great-granddaughter who is an International lawyer for the Chanel House.

Eve Line Blum
Henri Waltz deceased at Drancy camp in 1944. A warning about the civil status of the Jews deported from France
The article draws attention to the fact that when doing genealogical research about people interned in France or deported during World War II one should not take the data recorded at their admission into French internment camps at face value.One should try to get as many documentary evidence of their birth and/or death details as possible.

Eliane Roos Schuhl
A matrix seal from southern Alsace
Why did an 18th century Alsatian merchant choose the image of a pail on his personal seal? His name and place of residence are written in Hebrew characters but homonyms are found. Who was he? Hence one inquires into the family history of Jews in Kembs near the river Rhine.

Colette Clément-Zimmermann
Methodology and sources for researching in Eastern Europe
The paper offers methodological tips and provides sources for organizing genealogical research in Eastern Europe.


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