Judische Familienforschung: World’s first Jewish genealogy society?

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by Henry Wellisch

In the early 1920s Dr. Arthur Czellitzer, a Berlin ophthalmologist, founded the Gesellschaft fur Judische Familien Forschung, the “Society for Jewish Family Research.” It is now recognized as the world’s first society dedicated to Jewish genealogy in the modern era.

The society had regular meetings in Berlin and published a newsletter entitled, Mitteilunngen der Gesellschaft fur Judische Familien Forschung (Information of the Society for Jewish Family Research). The membership fee in 1924 was three marks per annum.

In 1926 the Society had about 330 members, 255 in Berlin, twenty-seven in Frankfurt am Main, thirteen in Vienna, four in New York, and one each in Zloczow and Warsaw. There were members also in many other places mostly in Germany.

The newsletter was published quarterly and usually had 24 pages. The first issue appeared in December 1924 and the last in the fall of 1938, when it seems the society was dissolved like all other Jewish organizations, following the Kristallnacht. There are a total of fifty issues in existence.

Dr. Czellitzer, who was the president of the society as well as the editor of the newsletter, contributed many articles. Usually there were six to ten articles in each issue. One of the features of the newsletter was the “Suchblatt” (Search Page), where members could send in questions of genealogical interest; the answers contributed by readers, if any, were published in the following issue.

* * *

Part 1, December 1924 to March 1929 (below)

Part 2, June 1929 to June 1933

Part 3, 1934 to 1938

* * *

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Contents of the Journal of the “Judische Familien Forschung”

Year 1, No. 1 — December 1924

An Introduction, by Arthur Czellitzer (4 pages)

The Ephraims in the Berliner List of Those Who Accepted Family Names in the Year 1812, by Moritz Stern (4 ½ pages)

Family Research from the Point of View of one’s Philosophical Conception of the World, by Gerhard Schmidt (1 ½ pages)

The First Raising to Nobility of a German Jew – My Ancestor Bassevi from Treuenberg, by L. S. Porta (3 Pages)

List of Frankfurt Jews from the Year 1802 by Erich Klibansky (7 pages)

Living History by Hans Bach (1 ½ pages)

Search Notices (1/2 page)

* * *

Year 1, No. 2 – May 1925

About the Acceptance of Permanent Family Names by the Jews of Wurttemberg,

by J. Jacobson (5 ½ pages)

The Berlin Family Ephraim Ebers and their Noble Descendants. (One page)

Practical Family Research, by Eugen Wolbe (3 pages)

List of Frankfurt Jews from the Year 1802, continued, by Erich Klibansky (3 pages)

Methods of Jewish Family Research, by Arthur Czellitzer (3 ½ pages)

Jewish Name Research, by Erwin Dreifuss (1 ½ pages)

Activities of the Society (1/2 page)

List of Members as of May 1, 1925 (3 pages)

Search Notices (One page)

* * *

Year 1, No. 3 – September 1925

The Sources of Jewish Family Research, by A. Loewenthal (2 ½ pages)

The Legal Status in Jewish and Oriental Law, by D. M. Kauschansky (2 pages)

Jewish Family Names, by L. Moses (4 pages)

Family Names from West Prussia, by L. Horwitz (3 pages)

From the History of the Family Dinkelspiel in Mannheim, by Carl Simon (3 ½ pages)

The Family Bloch in Neu-Raussnitz, by Heinrich Flesch (6 ½ pages)

Search Notices (One page)

* * *

Year 1, No. 4 – December 1925

How I Was Searching for My Ancestors, The Family Katzenellenbogen – Saul Wahl,

by Max Wollsteiner (3 ½ pages)

The Jewish King of Poland, Saul Wahl and His Descendants. Supplementary Notes on the Previous Article, by Arthur Czellitzer (1 ½ Pages)

List of Frankfurt Jews from the Year 1802, continued, by Erich Klibansky (3 pages)

The Ephraims in the Berliner List of Those Who Accepted Family Names in the Year 1812, continued, by Moritz Stern (4 ½ pages)

From the History of the Family Dinkelspiel in Mannheim, continued, by Carl Simon (3 ½ pages)

Jewish Family Names, continued, by L. Moses (1 ½ pages)

The “Semi-Gotha” and its Predecessors 300 Years Ago, by Arturo Bab-Rivera (1 page)

Search Notices (3 pages)

Activities of the Society (1/2 page)

* * *

Year 2, No. 1 – March 1926

The Mecklenburg Jews from around 1750, by Otto Neumann (3 ½ pages)

To the Theme: Practical Family Research, by Eugen Wolbe (1 ½ pages)

Jewish Family Names, continued, by L Moses (2 pages)

List of Frankfurt Jews from the Year 1802, continued by Erich Klibansky (5 pages)

Jewish First Names as Family Names, by Heinrich Flesch (3 pages)

The Family Name Ballin, by Jakob Moritz Ballin (2 pages)

The Family Theben-Mandel in Pressburg, by Max Schay (9 ½ pages)

Search Notices (1 page)

Book Reviews: The Family Wolf by Ernst Wolf. Reviewed by Prof. Aladar Furst

* * *

Year 2, No. 2 – June 1926

Jewish Legends of Kings, by Artur Kronthal (5 pages)

List of Frankfurt Jews from the Year 1802, continued by Erich Klibansky. (3 pages)

Family and Race, by Hans Friedenthal (2 ½ pages)

The Origin of Jewish Family Names, by Georg C. Mayer (2 pages)

The Jews of Liegnitz, by Max Krieg (3 ½ pages)

The Lineage of Heinrich Hertz (1 page)

Discussions: The Genealogical Table of the “Schemen Rokeach; The Monthly Magazine for the History and Learning of Judaism

Search Notices (2 pages)

* * *

Year 2, No. 3 – September 1926

Goldschmidt- Friedstatt – An Apostate from the Time of the Thirty Years War, by Carl Knetsch (4 pages)

Professions as Family Names with Jews, by Heinrich Flesch (3 pages)

Jewish Family Stories, by A. Posner (1 ½ pages)

The Jewish Families in Trieste and Istria until the Cinquecento by Israele Zoller (one page)

Jewish Family Names, continued, by L. Moses. (2 ½ pages)

The Descendants of Simson Wertheimer, by Max Grunwald (5 pages)

Discussions: History of the Israelite Nursing Institute in Breslau 1726-1926, by Dr. Louis Lewin; Jewish Heads by S. Meisels; The Samson School in Wolfsbuttel, by Dr. Wolfsdorf; History of Vienna jews until 1914, by Dr. Max Grunwald

Search Notices (2 pages)

* * *

Year 2, No. 4 – September 1926

The So-called Blood Groups of Humans and their Occurrence with Jews, by F. Schiff (2 ½ pages)

The Descendants of Simson Wertheimer, by Max Grunwald, continued (3 pages)

The Name of Falk with Jews from Mark. Friedland, by Josua Friedlander (4 pages)

Abbreviations as Family Names, by Heinrich Flesch (2 pages)

Members of the Society as of Dec. 1, 1926 (9 pages)

Search Notices (1 ½ pages)

* * *

Year 3, No. 1– March 1927

Jewish Family History and Folklore, by Samuel Blach (4 pages)

About the Genealogy of the Family Grotte, by Alfred Grotte (4 pages)

Family Names in the Jewish Community in Frankfurt a. d. Oder, by Friedrich Werwach (2 pages)

Family Names of Israelites in Koenigsberg, by L. Horwitz (2 ½ pages)

The Purpose of the Name Laws Which Were Imposed on the Jews around 1800,

by Manuel Dreifuss (2 pages)

The Descendants of Simson Wertheimer, continued, by Max Grunwald (4 pages)

Search Notices (2 pages)

* * *

Year 3, No. 2– June 1927

Family Chronic and Family Archive — The Method of Family Research, by Ernst Wolff (2 pages)

Dob Joel Sachs – A Chapter from the History of the Sachs Family, by Semmy Sachs (3 ½ pages)

Name and Descent of Georg Brandes, by David Simonsen (one page)

The Descendants of Simson Wertheimer, concluded, by Max Grunwald (2 pages)

Fantasy Names with Jews, by Heinrich Flesch (3 pages)

Old Subscription Lists as Sources for Jewish Family History, by Max Markreich (5 ½ pages)

Search Notices (4 pages)

* * *

Year 3, No. 3 – September 1927

The Nature of the Family Archive – The Method of Family Research, continued, by Ernst Wolff (4 ½ pages)

The Descendants of the High Rabbi Loew in Prague, by Bruno Hirsch (3 pages)

Family Documents and Genealogical Table for the Families Arnstein – Eskeles – Daniel Itzig, by Max Grunwald (2 pages)

Old Subscription Lists as Sources for Jewish Family History, by Arthur Czellitzer (2 pages)

The Families Charlap and Don-Jachia, by Benzion Don Jachia (3 pages)

Jewish Nobility in Italy, by Dr. Med. Samuele Scharf (2 pages)

A Register of Kiel Jews from the Year 1841, published by Rabbi Dr. A Posner (2 pages)

Discussions

Search Notices (3 pages)

* * *

Year 3, No. 4– December 1927

Stories about Jewish Names, by Heinrich Loewe (6 pages)

About Name Changes, by Elisabeth Kupka (4 ½ pages)

The Family Names of Kassel Israelites, from Archival Sources by L. Horwitz (2 pages)

Surnames of Rome Jews — Past and Present, by S. Schaerf (3 pages)

About the Family History of the High Rabbi Loew, by M. Ginsburger (one page)

Discussions

Search Notices (2 pages)

* * *

Year 4, No. 1– March 1928

The Importance of Racial Hygiene for the Jewish Family, by Rafael Becker (4 pages)

Contributions to the Genealogy of the Family Schick (Sik), by Lavoslav Sik (3 pages)

Northwest German Jews at the Time of Luther, by Max Markreich (5 pages)

The First Chief Rabbis of the March Brandenburg and their Relatives — A Chapter from the History of the Family Sachs, by Semmy Sachs (6 pages)

The Names of the Jews in Argentina, by Arthur Bab (3 ½ pages)

About Genealogical Table Research, by A. Lewin (3 ½ pages)

Jewish Family Portraits, A Proposed Collection (1/2 page)

Jewish Designations of Relationships, by Arthur Kronthal (1 page)

Discussions

Search Notices (3 pages)

* * *

Year 4, No. 2 — June 1928

About the Genealogical Table of the Family Badt, by Erich Klibansky (2 pages)

The First Chief Rabbis of the March Brandenburg and their Relatives — A Chapter from the History of the Family Sachs, by Semmy Sachs, continued (7 pages)

About the Family of the Court Jew and Country President Aaron Abraham Beer and its Significance for the History Easter Friesland and the City of Aurich, by Josef Heyman (4 pages)

Contributions to the Genealogy of the Family Schik (Sik), continued by Lavoslav Sik (4 pages)

The Names of the Jews in Argentina, continued, by Arthur Bab (4 pages)

Search Notices (1-1/2 pages)

* * *

Year 4, No. 3 — September 1928

The Origin of the Family Bassevi in Prague and Verona, by Cecil Roth (3 pages)

The Kiel Jews from the Year 1855, by A. Posner (3 pages)

About the Descent of Heinrich Hertz, by P. E. (One page)

Jewish Marriage Contracts from Italy, by Eduard Schoepflich (2 pages)

The First Chief Rabbis of the March Brandenburg and their Relatives — A Chapter from the History of the Family Sachs, conclusion, by Semmy Sachs (5 pages)

The Jewish Families of Zuelz, Upper Silesia, 1725, by Bernhard Brilling (3 pages)

Discussions

Search Notices (2 pages)

* * *

Year 4, No. 4 — December 1928

Mixed Marriages in Berlin, by Arthur Czellitzer (9 pages)

The Family Names of Jews on the Right Bank of the Rhine, by Peter Gansen (6 Pages)

Our Archive, by Arthur Czellitzer (6 pages)

Discussions

Search Notices (2 pages)

* * *

Year 5, No. 1 — March 1929

Family Life of the Spanish Jews before their Expulsion in 1492, by Max Golde (5 pages)

The Family of Dom Diego Senior Teixeira de Sampayo, by Alfonso Cassuto (2 pages)

Manuel Teixeira, by R. Silbergleit (2 pages)

Tychsens Original Report on the Mecklenburg Jews of 1769, by Otto Neumann (10 pages)

Jews as Strassburg Students in the 18th Century, by A. Glaser (1 page)

Discussions

Search Notices (2 pages) ♦

◊ This is part one; more to follow.Thanks to Henry Wellisch of Toronto for making the contents of this important journal available to English-language readers.  
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