Giedel Rothschild Heinemann-Stern, 1778 – 1861

Sometimes, as is the case with Giedel’s sister, Märle, there’s a limited amount of information. Sometimes, as you’ll see when we get to Adolph Rothschild, there’s more information than you know what to do with. And sometimes, as is the case with Giedel, there’s a lot of information, but much of it doesn’t make sense, so you just have to sort through it as best you can, and decided which pieces to run with.

Aside from the fact that she’s the daughter of Salomon Abraham Rothschild, the information about Giedel, as found at, is limited to the following:

Giedel Rothschild
geb . 1788 ?
gest. nach 1861
Sie heiratete am 11.Oktober 1800? Kain Heinemann-(Stern) in Niedenstein

Born about 1788, died after 1861, and got married on 11 October 1800 to Kain Heinemann-Stern.

Recently I found a book by Karl E. Demandt entitled “Bevölkerungs- und Sozialigeschichte der jüdischen Gemeinde Niedenstein 1653 – 1866.” This is a fantastic reference book regarding the Jewish community of Niedenstein. Pages 188 – 192 are about the family of Kain Heinemann-Stern.

Kain was the son of Sara Itzig and Kallmann Heinemann. He was born in December 1763 and passed away sometime between 1849 and 1858. Kain and Giedel were the parents of Belie (3 November 1801), Solke (1 April 1803), Abraham (23 January 1805), Röschen (9 June 1806), Geldchen (7 January 1809), Kallman (15 October 1810), and Merle (6 September 1812).

According to this well-researched book, Kain and Giedel appear in numerous documents together throughout the years. And this is where you see what I mean about having to pick and choose information.

The civil register of 1812 lists her as Giedel nee Abraham. My personal belief for this one is that it may be a play on Jewish Patronymics, which could have been written “Giedel bat Abraham”, meaning “daughter of”, and referring to her father’s middle name.

Another civil register, this one from 1823, lists her as Jette (Henriette) Abraham from Vöhl.

The registry office extract from 1828 lists her as Getel Salomon, while the one from 1812 says her birth name was Giedel Blaut. Other records list her as follows: Giedel Kugelmann (1804), Giedel Abraham and Giedel Blaut (1812), Giedel Abraham (1823), Giedel Salomon (1828), Giedel Rothschild (1829), Giedel Abraham (1843), and Giedel Rothschild (1861, 1894, and 1897).

All of these names (Giedel, Guttle Güttel, Jette, etc) are listed as the wife of Kain Heinemann-Stern. It is unlikely that he married so many different women with the same — or similar — first name. And while the last names of Rothschild, Abraham, and Salomon make sense, I have no idea why Kugelmann and Blaut would sometimes be assigned to her. According to, “Before the 1800s, the use of a family name by Jews was left to the discretion of the individual. Jews in Germany followed the custom of using only a given name and the name of the father, such as Isaac son of Abraham. Most Jews did not adopt hereditary family names until required to do so by law. In 1790 Baden was the first German state to require fixed surnames. Preußen issued an edict on 11 March 1812 that required permanent family names be adopted within six months. Compulsory surname laws were enacted in the German states of Bayern and Mecklenburg in 1813 and 1814. By the 1820s, most small German states had extended civil rights to Jews and required them to adopt surnames.”

To add to the confusion that is Giedel, many of the records list her birth year ranging from 1769 – 1788, nearly a 20 year span. We women have been known to lie about our age from time to time, but this seems a bit extreme to me. The only thing that makes sense to me is that record keeping in the early 1800s wasn’t an exact science (still isn’t, truth be told), and we just have to make do with what we’ve got.

Given the ages and birth years of her children, the birth year that makes the most sense for Giedel is 1778. This put her at 22 when she got married, and 23 when her daughter Beile was born.

In 1858, and again in 1861, the widow of Kain Heinemann-Stern was assessed a fee of 14 thalers as a “Pensioner in the 20th class.” 1861 is the last mention of her amongst the living, so it can be safely assumed she died not too long after that.

The next post will be about Selig Salomon Rothschild‘s youngest son, Ascher Rothschild.

Published by Elizabeth Foote

I am a wife, step-mother, auntie, daughter, sister, friend. I love family history, restoration projects, counted cross-stitch, quilting, and photography. I am grateful for the blessings that abound in my life.

10 thoughts on “Giedel Rothschild Heinemann-Stern, 1778 – 1861

  1. Oy vey! All those names. But your analysis makes sense to me, given what we know about Jewish names before and after surnames were required.

    When I saw born in 1788, married in 1800—I thought, “Twelve?” Even back then, that would have been terribly young!


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