German Branches - Levy (maternal)

While technically I have two different branches of Levy's I am researching, only one of them appears to be true Levy's. My paternal grandmother's maiden name was Levy, however that was not the family name in the old country (Shereshov, Belarus). When that branch came to the US the original surname was Machleder but that would change with one branch taking the surname Marks and one taking the surname Levy. There is more to this story and that will be in a future post.

 

This post is about my maternal grandmother's maternal grandmother's Levy ancestors from Duisburg, Germany. One of the biggest issues that every genealogist will come across is that of common surnames. Levy is one of the top three (with Cohen and Meyer). For a lot of of people Germany research can prove to be quite difficult as records may have been destroyed. However it seems I am pretty lucky; my great-aunt already had a tree prepared for me to start with and, as I would find and acquire a few years into my research, a small group of holocaust survivors along with an archivist wrote an almost 1500 page book about the history of the Jews of Duisburg. Apparently my family was one of the first Jewish families allowed to settle in Duisburg in the 1600's. Additionally it appears that the some authors of the above mentioned book had some connections to my family:


My mother's second cousin married a descendant of Rabbi Manasse Neumark. The father (Israel Neumark) and uncles (Yehoshua Amir and Emil Frank) of the husband of my mother's second cousin made their own contributions to the book.


I would eventually find that another of the contributors, Harry Epstein, was my great grandfather Alfred Polak's third cousin. The Epstein's were partners in the Cohen Epstein Department store with Salomon Mozes Cohen, the husband of their cousin Sophie Levy.


One issue I am working to overcome in regards to this book is that is written in a very difficult German dialect, plus since it contains a lot of information about my family it is very time consuming to translate.


In the summer 2015 at the IAJGS conference in Israel I decided I would dedicate almost all of my research energies on doing a deep dive of my ancestors in Duisburg.


When I first began my journey down this particular rabbit hole I had a relatively barebones tree that did not include any siblings beyond those of my great grandparents. At the top the oldest known ancestor was Michael Joseph Levy, followed by his son Moses Levy and his wife Sprintz Gompertz, and then their son Gompel Levy and his wife Esther Markus, followed by their son Moshe Levy and his wife Regina Mendel. This tree also had another ancestor Moses but the source didn't know where he fit. My great aunt would eventually add information regarding her grandmother Albertina's known siblings - Salomon, Sophie, Julie, and Emma. Overtime however I was able to expand on a lot of this.

 

My oldest known ancestor was Moses Michaels Levy (and/or possibly Segal I need to double check on that.) I can only assume Michael is his father's name and is a patronymic. When I began I only had the name of one of his children - Michael Joseph Levy. However when I received the above mentioned book I was able to add his brother Samuel. The book did also appear to mention two unnamed siblings of Moses. One unknown sibling appears to have had a son named Raphael. The other unknown sibling had descendants who ended up in nearby Gerresheim but beyond that I have not found much more verifiable information at this point. Lastly the book gave me a new direct ancestor to work on, Moses' wife Beeltgen or Sibille Benjamin (Benjamin may also be a patronymic). Normally I'd do a separate post for such an individual however unfortunately I have learned vey little about her other than that her brother Raphael was also considered one of the first Jews of Duisburg and is mentioned as being a maternal uncle of Samuel.

Grasping For Gordon's

Samuel, it is estimated, was born around 1680. When he first registered in Duisburg he did not know what town he was from but I have some assumptions. From what I have found Samuel was married to Helena Levi from the town of Meiderich which at the time was a suburb of Duisburg. Together they had 8 children - Moses, Eva, Sibilla, Clara, Keile, Schatel (Charlotte), Reinjen, and Magdalena. Of those 8 I have thus far only been successful in tracing Moses. Moses was born around 1717 and died around 1752 in Bergheim. Thanks initially to this website and this website I was able to trace his descendants into modernity. At some point, probably at the time of Napoleon, the family took the name Gordon rather than Levy like their cousins in Duisburg or Epstein like their cousins in Krefeld. Gordon as a Jewish surname seems to have Lithuanian roots which leads me to believe that the unknown town my ancestors were from might have been in Lithuania.


Anyway, Moses was married to Fradchen van Gerldern and they had two children - David and Hertz. David was known as David van Deutz and I have not found much else about him. Hertz on the other hand I had no trouble tracing his descendants. Hertz was married to Helene Mendel from Uedem. With Helene he had seven children - Emanuel, Helene, Sara, Leonard, Jette, Vogel, and Philipp. I have thus far been unsuccessful in tracing Helene, Sara, Leonard, Jette, Vogel or Philip beyond one more generation. One thing of note is that Helene married a man named Joseph Phillip(s). Joseph was also married to her third cousin also named Helene Levy, daughter of the Michael and Teiche mentioned below.


Emanuel's family, whi ended up in Gurnezich quite prolific. With his first wife Rebecca Isabella Wallach he had nine childre - Bartel, Sara, Lion, Frederica, Theodor, Bernhard, Elisa, Henriette I, and Henriette II. Henriette I died as an infant. With his second wife he had two more children - Johanna and Herz/Hermann. Of those eleven children seven lived to adulthood, with six having traceable descendants into the 1900's.


I will go more into his descendants at a later date with hopefully more info than just who begat who, otherwise this section will get too stale, so stay tuned...

 

Looking for Levy's

Moving along the primary trunk of my Levy tree Michael Joseph was married to a woman named Sara. Unfortunately I know nothing more about Sara and probably never will. Together they had only one child that I know of - Moses born about 1735 and died about 1801. Moses was married to Sprinz Gompertz (possibly Cohen) and they had six children - Michael, Gompel, Juda, Abraham, Simon, and David. Before finding the above mentioned branch in Bergheim this is where my tree really began to take shape. In 2016 I was able to take out Family History Library films for Duisburg with birth records that dated back to the 1820's as well as marriages and deaths from 1847-1874. Additionally the book had more information as I moved into modernity.

 

Michael was born about 1766 and died in May of 1820. He was married to Teiche Michel and they had six children - Helene, Jacob, Sara, Moses, Sibilla and Regina. I am not going to go into great detail on every sub branch but there are some interesting anecdotes. One of my first successes with this branch was with their son Jacob's descendants. Jacob was married to Caroline Bellmond from Alzey and they had just one child - Sophia, born in 1838. She married Simon Schoenthal from Marienhafe and had two children - Nathan and Lena. Nathan was married to Goldine van der Wall and they had five children - Else, Sophie, Siegbert, Sara and Kathe. As I was moving my way down this branch I discovered that three of the five siblings were murdered in the Holocaust, however Siegbert made it to the US. With such an uncommon name he was easy to find on Ancestry and subsequently find his grandson via LinkedIn. With the help of Siegbert's daughter I was also able to expand what I knew about his father's sister Lena. Lena had a daughter named Jenny Weinberg and she married Otto Neumark. Jenny and Otto had two children - Margot and Hans. Margot married her cousin Werner and beyond his passing in Jerusalem in 1945 I have not found anything else about Hans. Interestingly Otto Neumark's first cousin Emma Blatt married Jenny's 2nd cousin twice removed Max Levy, who will talked about a little later. As I moved along it this branch I managed to find a descendant of Sara also researching their roots. With their help I was able to expand the tree even more. Another interesting find was that Helene's husband Joseph Phillips married her similar named cousin Helene Levi from Bergheim, from the above mentioned Gordon branch. A more recent find was while I was working translating excerpts from the book I discovered Sibilla was married to man named Levi Jonas Leffmann. Beyond finding descendants into the present day I have no interesting anecdotes.

 

Skipping Gompel for now (he is my direct ancestor) and moving on to Abraham. Additionally I have been unable to find anything about Juda.

 

Abraham was married to Sibille Franken (or Beile Borgh depending on the source) from Issum. When I began working on this branch I was only aware of two of their five children however a researcher on the Franken side found three others - Sara, Baruch, Regina, Agathe, and Sophie. I was only aware of Sara and Sophie. Sophie's family was actually the first of the two mentioned I was aware of due to my Dutch research. Sophie was married to Isaak Spier from Bocholt and they had three children - Berthold, Bella/Bertha, and Abraham Adolf. Berthold was married to Theresia Sanders with whom she had no children. Interestingly Theresia was also married to a man named Bernard Lob who was the brother of Elisabeth Lob, my 2nd great grandmother and mother-in-law of Alfred Polak (my great grandfather) whose mother Albertina was Berthold's second cousin. Confused yet? It will only get worse. I have not found out what happened to Abraham Adolf. Bella was married to Abraham Albert Davids from Huls and they had two children - Otto and Erna. I was able to trace some of Erna's descendants to Great Britain. Another fun story of how everyone is related. Abraham Albert was the second cousin of the wife of Erna's first cousin twice removed Markus Levy. Additionally Albert's grandfather's sister Veronica was married to Bernard Mendel who was the uncle of the wives of Markus' siblings Moses and Abraham Levy. There are other fun connections but that is for another post. Their daughter Sara was also an interesting find. Sara was married to Isaak "Johann" Heymann from Kamen and together they had nine children - Emma, Gustav, Moritz, Julchen, Henriette, Max, Hermann, Albert, and Bernhard. Thankfully there was another Duisburg researcher working on this family however it turns out they were looking for an incorrect surname. This other researcher had been told by a processional that Isaak's surname was Trauthan, which isn't even a surname. However as I was looking at the FHL films I was able to prove it was Franken and as they exclaimed (jokingly) "I messed up their tree."

 

Like with Juda, David is another branch I know very little about. I know he was married twice. His first wife was Rosa Salomon Herz with whom he had a daughter Sophie. Sophie was married to a Salomon Mozes Cohen, who was one half of the department store Cohen and Epstein. Salomon owned this store with cousins of Sophie. His second wife was Helene Cahn with whom he had a son Michael.


More on the Cohen and Epstein store here in the below scan of a letter written by spouse a Epstein descendant. This picture of David Levy might make this my oldest pictured ancestor.


 

Simon Levy's branch has definitely been one of my confusing and interesting to research. When I started this journey I didn't even know my ancestor Gompel had a brother named Simon. However when I was working on translating passages in the aforementioned book it mentioned a Salomon Epstein living with his father Simon's uncle David Levy. This was confusing to me as Salomon's surname was Epstein and as I was researching I found that Salomon's mother's maiden name/patronymic was Herzog. Salomon and his siblings went to live with David in Duisburg after the deaths of their parents. Cut to a few years into this and I find a book called Krefelder Studien, which contained information about the Jews of Krefeld. In this book I found that Simon Epstein was actually Simon Levy. In 1811 when it was decreed everyone must take a surname he chose Epstein rather than Levy (or Gordon). The Krefeld book listed Simon's parents in a footnote as Moses Levi and Sophie Cohen (aka Sprintz Gompertz Cohen) of Ruhrort/Duisburg. Krefeld also happens to be where the above mentioned Davids and Kaufmann families are from. Moving on, eventually I found other researchers working on the Epstein's and along with I had from the Duisburg book this branch was becoming fairly fleshed out. Simon was married to Regina Herzog and they had two children - Ludwig and Johanna. Ludwig was married to Helena Lehmann and they had six children - Mozes, Leopold, Regina, Heinrich, Salomon, and Simon. Johanna married Jacob Frank and they had two children - Samuel and Max.


I have been successful in tracing their branches into modernity and even contacting some of them. However there are still questions...and more to say (To Be Continued)

 

Gompel, as mentioned before, is my direct ancestor being my 4th great grandfather and appears to have been named for his mother's father. Gompel was married to Esther Markus (Markus appears to have been her patronymic) from Weisweiler. Unfortunately I know nothing more about Esther's ancestry other than that, if memory serves, her father was a protected Jew, or schutzjuden. Together they had five children - Sara, Markus, Moses, Abraham, and David. Thus far I have been unsuccessful in finding anything about Sara and David as they do not appear in any records that I was able to find.


Markus was married to Rosette Kaufmann from Grevenbroich and they had five children - Moritz, Jakob, Jeanette, Julie, and Flora. At this time there story ends here as I have been unsuccessful in tracing Moritz, Jeanette and Flora. Jakob married Sophia Lowenbach and they had two children - Max and Emmy, who were unmarried and murdered in the Holocaust. Julie was married to Louis Ries from Schwanewede and they appear to have had no children.


Skipping Moses as he is my direct ancestor and moving on to Abraham, another one of my earliest successes. Abraham was married to Henriette Mendel from Randerath (this is important) and they had seven children - Gustav, Albert, Emma, Hermann, Moritz, Siegmund, and Max. When I first started on this branch I did not know about Albert and Emma, I discovered their existence thanks to the earlier mentioned FHL films. However they died as children, which may explain that. Hermann was married to Aurelie Klestadt, Moritz to Johanna Frankfurt, and Siegmund to Johanna Josephs. From what I have been able to find they did not have any children. Max was married to Emma Blatt and they had a daughter Else. Else was married to Siegfried Wurzel and Henry Lehmann. Max's family group ended up in New Jersey where Else lived out her life to the age of 99. Unfortunately I did not find her in time to ask any questions or acquire any old pictures. Lastly we have Gustav who married Anna Steinberg. Together they had two children - Erna and Lore. Within the past few years I discovered that Erna was a nurse who was killed in World War I. Lore was married to Otto Orzegow and they had one son. During or after World War II (will need to double check) they made their way to Chile where the son is still living with his descendants. One of those descendants took a trip to Washington D.C. a number of years back and I met with him down there.

 
Moses Levy and Regina Mendel

Moses was my 3rd great grandfather and he was married to Regina Mendel from Randerath. For years I knew that Regina and Henriette shared a maiden name, however I had no proof they were related. Subsequently I would find that not only were they related, but in fact sisters. Additionally Markus' wife Rosette was a cousin of Regina and Henriette's cousins through their father Andrea's brother Bernard's wife Veronica. Moses and Regina had eight children - Sophie, Albertina, Gustav, August, Julie, Emma, Salomon, and Max. Gustav and August died as children. Salomon was married to a woman named Marie Else Bing or Birq and died in Tilburg. Emma was married to Benjamin Sanders from Sneek. Interestingly two of Benjamin's first cousins are the ancestors of two of Emma's nibling's spouses. Julie was married to Maurits van Leeuwen from Eindhoven and they had 6 children - Max, Anna, Ida Amalia, Helene Emmij, and Philip. Aside from Max none of them had children.


Sophie was married to Seligman Lazarus Cohn from Mulheim an der Ruhr and they had nine children - Adele, Gustav, Sally, Alfred, Hedwig Anna, Paul, Max, and Lazarus. The Cohn family, before living in Mulheim was from Bergheim, the same town as the above mentioned Gordon family. Gustav married Hanna Apelt/Apert and had four children - Karlo, Margarethe, Max, and Fritz. Gustav along with his brother Paul and children Karlo, Max and Margarethe ended up in Buenos Aires, Argentina where, along with some in Ecuador, their still descendants still live. Fritz was murdered in the Holocaust. Sally married Frederike Luise Meyer from Offenbach and they had two children - Alfred and Gertrud. After World War II they and their families ended up in Israel. I will have to double check some things about Gertrud. However Alfred was in Auschwitz and escaped twice. (More about Alfred below.) Anna married Felix Marx from Frankfurt and had one daughter - Lili. Lili married a man named Arthur Levy from Bad Ems and ended up in New York City. They had no children. Hedwig married Karl Lehmann from Darmstadt and they had three children - Friedel, Ernst, and Hans. While their family group ended up in Israel it took me a while to find them. Some interesting anecdotes about this branch - one of their descendants married into a family from Amsterdam that are distant cousins of Hedwig's brother-in-law's daughter-in-law. So they are double cousins to me. I also found that Karl's father Isaac was the first cousin of Jeanette Lehmann. Jeanette was married to Nathan Kaufmann who was a member of the Kaufmann family originally from Viernheim that ended up in Pittsburgh and was the 3rd great grandmother of the best friend growing up and grandmother of Edgar Kaufmann.


 

Lastly we have my 2nd great grandmother Albertina Levy. Albertina was married to my 2nd great grandfather Barend Polak from Dordrecht, Netherlands (later Tilburg). Barend was a leather tanner and merchant and the Levy's were cattle merchants and butchers. This leads me to believe that this was the impetus for them getting together. Moving on, together they had four children - Alfred, Emma, Max Henri "Hans" and Roza Johanna.

Barend Polak, Albertina Levy, Roza, Alfred, Emma and Max

Emma was married to Bernard Keijzer from Steenwijk and they had two children - Julius Barend and Albertine Frouwke. Sidenote, in a break from tradition Dutch Jews did name for living relatives. Unfortunately that entire branch was murdered in Sobibor in 1943. I did however make an interesting discovery. It seems after the war someone found a folder of papers belonging to Julius on a bench in Amsterdam which made their way to the Joodse Historisch Museum. When I went to visit the museum in 2011 I, along with some other family members, had the opportunity to look at these papers. One of the more surprising things found among them was an engagement card for Albertine and a man named Walter Moses dated February 2, 1941. My grandmother and her sisters (who were Albertine's first cousins) had no idea about this engagement as they were already in the US by then. Walter was murdered in Auschwitz in 1942. They never did marry.


Their other daughter Roza Johanna was married to Heiman Elkan Sanders from Sneek, Heiman being related to the previously mentioned Benjamin Sanders from Sneek. Heiman was also a first cousin of his sister in law Bertha Cohen's mother Florentine Frank. Together Roza and Heiman had five children - Joachim Hans, Albertina, Hanna, Dora, and Jacob Barend. I do not know the full story but as I understand it thorughout the war the entire family was in hiding however Joachim was captured and murdered in Auschwitz. As a gift for my bar mitzvah I went on my first trip to Israel. While at a party on my Aunt's kibbutz I had the opportunity to meet the three sisters, however they passed before I got into genealogy. Their descendants live in Israel. Last I heard Jacob or Jaap is still living in the Netherlands.


I saved Alfred and Max for last because for the most part their lives, and the lives of most of their descendants have been intertwined. Also I know their stories the best.


Unlike the two sisters Alfred and Max stayed in Tilburg where they took over their father's business and raised their families.



Alfred, my great grandfather, was married to Seraphina van Cleeff of Rotterdam and they had three children - Adah, Edith and Judith.


Max, or Hans as was known, was married twice. His first wife was Bertha Cohen, whose mother was the previously mention sister-in-law of Roza. Together they had four children - Bertram, Florentine, Leonie, and Louise. Bertha died from cancer in 1931. After Bertha's death their house keeper Charlotte Elias helped raise the children.

(This next part is abridged, for the full story please see this book)

House of Alfred Polak, Seraphina van Cleeff, and family in Tilburg

While in Tilburg the two families would eventually live two doors away from each other and the girls, being so close in age, would spend a lot of time together. On May 10 and 11th, 1940 however their lives would be forever changed. May 10th was the day the Nazi's invaded the Netherlands and in a book written about my family she talks about watching the planes fly over head while at a friends house. She goes on to say how scared she was and slept in parents bed that night. In the middle of the night Alfred and Hans made the decision to flee and later that morning the two families (minus Adah, Edith and Bertram) left Tilburg. for Amsterdam missing the Nazi occupation of Tilburg by one day. While in Amsterdam they met up with Edith who was living and going to school there at the time. Eventually Adah, who was doing Hachshara by preparing for Aliyah on a farm in Loosduinen outside of the The Hague, was able to meet up with the families, however Bertram was in the army with no way to contact him. The would eventually make their way to Ijmuiden and boarded a ship for London. At this point, due to all out confusion while boarding Hans lost track of his daughters and for a short while believed he had lost all his children. While on this boat to London a cousin of Alfred wife Seraphina and her family were also on board. Ironically they also made their way to Pittsburgh for a few years. On May 15, they arrived in Harwich and subsequently stayed with Alfred and Hans' cousin Andries de Leeuwe (son of their father Barend Polak's sister Helena) and a relative of Charlotte mother. Eventually Hans' three daughters met up with their family in London, having arrived in Dover, also on the 15th albeit from a different port in Ijmuiden and reuniting with their family on the 18th. Mostly reunited (remember still no Bertram), the families stayed in London for two months making arrangements eventually applying for and receiving visas to the United States as the Dutch citizen quota had not been reached yet. The families left London separately. Hans and family left Liverpool on July 18, 1940 arriving on July 29. Alfred and his family however found themselves on a children's transport to Canada, leaving on July 19, 1940 and arriving on July 29 in Montreal.


As stated above Hans' son Bertram was in the Dutch army at this time having been mobilized after the invasion of Poland in 1939. On May 25, 1940 he was released from the army and on the 28th received permission to continue his families business at the legally appointed administrator. It is possible his uncle Heiman (Rosa's husband) assisted in these legal matters. When he returned to his parents home and that of his uncle's he found them deserted and the families had escaped to England. After visiting with maternal family members that autumn in The Hague he announced that he too would leave the Netherlands and join his relatives who by that time were in New York. On October 30, 1940 the Dutch Red Cross sent an inquiry initiated by Hans to the municipal authorities in Tilburg and eventually managed to reestablish contact with his father. During this time he was also in touch with his new step-grandparents (parents of Charlotte Elias) and his Aunt Emma who were still in the Netherlands. By May of 1941 the Nazi seizure of the Polak firms and houses had begun and in June he was ousted from his family home. At one point he stayed with his Aunt Roza. It is at this point I should mention that Salomon Levy, Albertina's brother (mentioned above) was also staying with Bertram. Salomon would eventually spend the war in a hospital due to kidney problems where he remained in hiding and where he died in 1944. After being forced from his home Bertram would stay with friends and family would eventually go into hiding. On December 9, 1941 Bertram was betrayed and initially sent to Scheveningen then on to Amersfoort and finally deported to Auschwitz on July 16, 1942, where he died a month later.


In July of 1941 Hans and Charlotte would have their only child. In December of 1941 Hans deposited $200 with the Jewish Transmigration Bureau in an effort to obtain passage for Bertram to the US from The Netherlands. This deposit however was refunded on November 9, 1942. Hans would pass away three days later presumably from a broken heart. After the war Charlotte was left alone with an infant in an unfamiliar country. She would raise the child on her own, sometimes returning to the Netherlands for family matters. Eventually that child married, had kids and grandkids and currently lives outside of Philadelphia. When Charlotte got older she went to live with her daughter up to her death in 1991. Her descendants live in Philadelphia, Washington DC Metro Area, and Boulder. As for Hans' other children they kind of went their own ways as they were at least 19 years older than their half sister and had no real attachment to Charlotte. Florentine married a man, also from Duisburg though non-Jewish, named Kurt Piel and they had a son. She died a week before we had the Stolpersteine ceremony for Bertram. However her son brought some of her ashes to her childhood home and he took some of the dirt with him to bury with her. Louise also married a non-Jew named August Koehler and while they did not have any children of their own, they adopted his brother's children. Louise passed away in 1968 in Des Moines, Iowa. Leonie on the other hand never married and succumbed to heart disease in 1955 while walking on Fifth Ave near the New York Public Library.


After the war Alfred and Seraphina returned to Tilburg and with the help of his brother-in-law Heiman was able to recover various assets the family had lost. Alfred passed away in 1956 and Seraphina would immigrate to Israel to be with two oldest daughters where she passed in 1969. In 1945 Edith returned to the Netherlands to her fiancee Frederik Spitz who survived the war in hiding. In 1955 after marrying and having two children they made Aliyah. Fre passed in 1963 and Edith in 2015. One of Edith's daughters is the wife of the previously mentioned Neumark family also from Duisburg. Their descendants continue to live in Israel and one branch in New York City. Adah's fiancee was Alfred Cohn, grandson of Albertina's sister Sophie. Alfred had survived the horrors of Monowitz eventually escaping from a prisoners train in Czechoslovakia and was hidden on a farm until he was liberated by Americans. Before returning to The Netherlands to be with Alfred, Adah finished her agriculture degree from Cornell University. In 1946 they reunited and married in 1947. Before emigrating to Israel they went to US to continue their studies, finally settling in Israel in 1952. Alfred passed in 2016 and Adah passed in 2021. They were two of my best sources when I first started on this journey with Adah also seemingly interested in family research and with them knowing their grandparents. Their descendants continue to live in Israel. Judith on the other hand stayed in the United States. She got engaged to Harry Rothstein in 1946 and were married in September of that year. Harry, born in Vienna, had immigrated with his sister Paula as unaccompanied minors to live with their family who was already here as their father was in Dachau and their mother was straightening up their affairs. It was during their time in high school when they started dating and when he was old enough, joined the army as a translator. In 1953 after their first two children were born they moved to Pittsburgh. Harry passed away in 1972, but Judith is still going strong! Their descendants live in Pittsburgh, Washington DC Metro area, and Israel.

 

Enigmatic Epstein's

(continued)


So jumping back a little bit I mentioned that Simon (Levy) Epstein's wife was Regina Herzog. Regina's parents were Salomon Levy (Herzog) and Martha Schmul/Levy from Ruhrort-Duisburg. I found this interesting since my Levy's were from Duisburg and other ancestral names lead me to believe that Simon married some degree of cousin. In addition to this, it appears that Regina's aunt Lisbet/Liberte was the great grandmother of the above mentioned Regina and Henriette Mendel.


Moving on, as I mentioned Johanna and her husband Jacob Frank had two children - Samuel and Moritz. Mortiz unfortunately passed at the age of 39 and appears to have been unmarried. Samuel on the other hand was married twice. Samuel's first wife was Henriette Hertzmann, also from Krefeld, and they had three children - Siegmund, Sara, and Johanna. Sara appears to have been unmarried and was murdered in Theresienstadt. Johanna died at the age of 1. Siegmund however was married to an Emi Stern and they had two children - Henrietta and Samuel Kurt. Henrietta was married to a Mordechai Hayinz Arazy and it appears they had no children. Samuel Kurt was married to Erna Hirsch and had two children. Both Henrietta and Samuel's families ended up in Israel. After Henriette died Samuel married Johanna Reiss and they had two children - Pauline and Mortiz. It appears this branch was all murdered in the Holocaust but I need to do a little more digging.


As mentioned before Ludwig was married to Helena Lehmann and they had six children - Mozes, Leopold, Regina, Heinrich, Salomon and Simon.


Mozes was married to Rosalie Hindele Sternfeld from Goch and they had six children - Hermann, Helena, Isaac, Marianne, Siegmund, and Lisette.


Leopold was married to Johanna Sternfeld, Rosalie's sister and they had nine children - Ludwig, Isaak, Helena, Marianna, Regine, Lea, Josephine, Abraham, and Sigmund.


Regina was married to Simon Spanier and they had four children - Hermann, Heinrich, Helene, and Martha.


Heinrich was married to Julie Heymann from Essen and they had three children - Eugen, Hermann, and Richard. One tertiary source says Richard died in World War I in the First Battle of Champaign but I have not found him listed in any records. Eugen died at the age of 30 seemingly unmarried. Hermann however, has been one of the more enigmatic branches. Hermann was married to Adele Geiringer from Vienna and they had three kids - Leonora, Charles and Eugene. This branch has been particularly confusing, at least at the beginning and still is a little. Charles was married to a woman named Elizabeth Sandford and they had a daughter. The same year the daughter was born Charles passed away. Eugene was married to a woman named Natalie Griswold however it appears they divorced and had no children. This is where things get a little confusing. It appears that Eugene married his brothers widow (not unusual), but was using the surname Eaton. However their marriage record says they had both been married twice before so either I am missing a spouse for Eugene or I am looking at the wrong person. Subsequently it looks like he may have adopted his niece (step-daughter) and had three children. From the looks of things they may have ended up in Alaska.


Salomon was married to Hermine Lieberg from Wolfhagen and they had four children - Harry, Martha, Fritz, and Richard. Richard passed away as a child.


Harry is the previously mentioned Harry that contributed to the book that was mentioned. He was also one of the partners in the Cohen and Epstein Department store in Duisburg. He was married to Bertha Loewe and they had four children - Theodor, Hannah, Emanuel, and Gabriel. Hannah it appears was unmarried and died in either Switzerland or Israel (I will need to double check on that.) Gabriel was a renowned architect and I have linked his Wikipedia page. He married a woman from France and they had three children who currently live there, in London, and other places in Europe. Emanuel ended up in California where he married a Hazel Margaret Leask. They had two children. This branch was also particularly interesting due to finding out that possibly one of the children and their family became involved in Scientology and a conversation I had with a descendant of the other. Lastly Theodor ended up in Israel and married Gretel Nussbaum from Haifa and they had four children. Interestingly a descendant of Theodor went Carnegie Mellon University which is about 10 minutes away from where I grew up and currently live.


Martha was married to Ernst Hirtz from Aachen and they had three children - Elizabeth, Walter, and Doris. Doris passed away at the age of 24. Elizabeth married Hans Dannenberg from Duisburg and they had two children, both of whom ended up in California.


Fritz was married to Irma Magnus from Bocholt and they had two children - Marianne and Ludwig. It looks they ended up in California but do not appear to have had any children.

 

All in all my research into my ancestors from Duisburg has and will continue to be an interesting one. Once the pandemic is over and I have the money I am hoping to one day travel to Germany to visit the archives. I am also looking to someday get the aforementioned 1500 page book translated in some manner. Additionally, I can tell you that two things I did not expect to find was a branch that became Scientologists and a branch that now appears to have become Messianic.

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