No 77 - January 2004



Revue du Cercle de Généalogie Juive # 77

February 2004





Origine and extension of the Gugenheim surname (Part 3, Section 2).

John Berkowitch

This article, the fourth and last of a series, completes the highlights of an investigation on the title subject. The resulting Gugenheim family tree extends from the mid-1400's to the early 1800's, covering about ten generations. The first four generations precede the adoption of the surname by a Joseph (1555-1615), native of Frankfort on the Main, who made one stay, or more, in a locality formerly named Gugenheim (today Jugenheim), situated 20 km southwest of Mainz. Not a single reference supports the hypotheses, previously put forward, which tied the origin of the surname to either of two localities similarly named at the time, one northwest of Strasbourg, the other south of Darmstadt. The children and grandchildren of this Joseph evolved primarily in the realm of the middle Rhine valley, especially in and around Bingen, Francfort, Stühlingen, and Worms. Their descendants then started to scatter so that, by the end of the period, the surname was found from Hamburg and Copenhagen, to the North, to the Aargau, to the South, and from Vienna and Berlin, to the East, to Alsace and Lorraine, to the West.


The Rothenburg and Rothenburger families.  

Pascal Faustini

Pierre Kahn was talking with the author about his Rothenburger ancestors from the Haut-Rhin Département, and asked him : « Could they possibly descend from the Rothenburg MaHaRam who died in 1293 in the Ensisheim prison ? » The research started with this quip. The Haut-Rhin and Bas-Rhin Rothenburg[er] families were searched, also in Phalsbourg and Worms. The # 673 manuscript in the Oxford Bodleiana Library, as well as ancient tombstones in Ettendorf have lead to a possible family tree reaching back to Meir Rothenburg, but which is still hypothetical for the first generations. A subtle and learned inquest, to be continued.

The Jews in Wattwiller during the 17th and 18th centuries.  

Denis Ingold

The author tries to reconstruct the history of an Alsatian Jewish community. He cross-checks three types of sources : the local archival documents, without which identifying the individuals is not always possible ; the Mohelbücher (circumcision registration booklets) of the Rabbis Shimon and Naftali Hirtz Blum which are family oriented ; the 18th century marriage contracts in Alsace, compiled by A.A. Fraenckel. The result is the vivid reconstruction of a social group, whose members are shown in their business and religious daily life. Conversions appear in appreciable numbers.

Reconstruction of the 1808 surname adoption list for Plobsheim (Haut-Rhin).  

Pierre Katz

The official register cannot be found, neither in the mairie (Town Hall) nor in the Département Archives. The May 1808 census of the Alsatian Jews shows five individuals. The vital records of the village have allowed the author to reconstruct the Jewish population of Plobsheim, with a family tree of the families residing there in the early 19th century.





We have received numerous documents on Alsace and Lorraine but also original pieces concerning the communities of Saint-Esprit, Bayonne, and Bordeaux provided by Nicole Rodrigues Ely, found among others in the office of the solicitor Laborde.



Guilherme Faiguenboim, Paulo Valadares, and Anna Rosa Campagnano, Dictionary of Sephardic Surnames, Sao Paolo, SP, Frahia, 2003

Paul Arnsberg, Die Jüdische Gemeinden in Hessen, Societäts-Verlag