Marle Stern Adler, 6 September 1812 – 17 September 1897

Marle Stern is the 5th daughter, and 7th and youngest child of Giedel Rothschild and Kain Heinemann-Stern, and the granddaughter of Salomon Abraham Rothschild. Most of the information for Marle comes from the book by Karl E. Demandt “Bevölkerungs- und Sozialgeschichte der jüdischen Gemeinde Niedenstein 1653 – 1866”. When I finished the previous post, I was looking ahead in the book, and was stunned at the amount of information that’s available for Marle. I don’t mean for Marle’s husband, I mean for Marle herself. So let’s see what we can find out!

As mentioned above, Marle, sometimes written as Merle or Merla or Mehrle, was born 6 September 1812 in Niedenstein. In the Civil register of 1812, she is listed as the daughter of the tradesman Kain Heinemann-Stern of Mittelstraße 46 and his wife Giddel nee Abraham. According to Marle’s death entry, she was the daughter of Kain Heinemann-Stern and Giedel nee Rothschild. Ahh, Giedel; you do make things interesting.

Marle married Süßmann Adler on 15 Nov 1837. Süßmann was also from Niedenstein. He was born 2 April 1810, son of Moses Süßmann and Beile nee Heinemann. Marle and Süßmann were the parents of 9 children. (1) Moses Adler was born 19 September 1838. He married his cousin Sara Stern, daughter of Callmann Stern and Madchen Wertheim. (2) Kallmann was born in 1839. In 1858, he emigrated to America, and in 1911 he was living in Baltimore, Maryland. (3) Betti, born 1841. She married Nathan Speyer in 1872, and died in Fritzlar in 1911. (4) Salomon, born 1843. He married Rechel Hahn, who died in 1885, and he died in 1908. (5) Michel, born 1846. The information for him is pretty interesting. “He comes home from school on 28 April 1860, whereupon his mother is invited to the mayor’s office and encouraged to let him learn a business. They said that since he was still stupid, and also very young, he should stay at home for another six months so that he could learn more and become stronger; then he should take up the profession of carpenter.” Not sure yet if he became a carpenter, but he followed his brother Kallmann to Baltimore, and died there before 1911. (6) Sara, born 1848. She married Simon Goldstein of Felsberg on 24 April 1876. (7) Herrmann, born 1850. Like Michel and Kallmann, he also went to Baltimore. (8) Geldchen, born 8 July 1852. She was known as Karoline, and married Jonas Löwenstein on 13 Aug 1879. (9) Kaim (Heinemann), born about 1855. He also went to Baltimore (I’m wondering if the brothers all went together) and was known as Henry Adler.

In 1830, Süßmann and his brother Kallmann were subject to a council tax of 10 Reichsthaler. In 1835, Süßmann paid in excess off 11 Reichsthaler in citizen’s admission money for a leather fire bucket and 3 grafted fruit trees. In 1837, Süßmann was taxed in the 15th class in the amount of 7 thaler; in 1853/54 he was taxed in the 2nd class of middle-taxed traders, and in the 1st class of butchers, the highest taxed of the business taxpayer.

Süßmann died before 5 June 1855. In 1858, his widow was taxed in the 11th class at the amount of 4 Thalers, and in 1861 in the 13th class at the amount of 5 Reichsthalers. In 1858, with the help of her son Moses, Marle continued the business of her deceased husband: wholesale cattle trade. The footnote, which has the reference of “Aust. mit Randverfüngung StA. Marburg, Best. 180 Fritzlar in Nr. 74”, states the following: Michele submits a corresponding request to District Administrator Weber in Fritzlar in 1858 Oct. 14, whereupon he declares that no special permit is required for the wholesale cattle trade, but warns her not to conduct this cattle trade as an emergency trade and says, “It would also be better if she dedicates her son Moses to a trade rather than raising him for the cattle trade. “ In 1858, Moses would have been 20.

I am in awe of brave, intrepid women, especially those who are widowed young and have small children, as Marle did. As my own mother did.

At the bottom of the entry for Marle and Süßmann, it indicates there are some addendums, which are below.

Addendum 7: 1858 Oct. 14. Request from Merle Adler, widow of the trader Sussmann Ader, for approval of her wholesale cattle trade because she has to support a family of 9 children and has all legal requirements for this trade.

Addendum 8: January 5, 1872. Testament of Merla Adler née Stern, widow of Süßmann Adler. Mehrle Adler née Stern, widow of the merchant Sussmann Adler of Niedenstein, draws up her will and designates all of her children: Moses, Calmann, Betti, Salomon, Michel, Sarchen, Hermann, Julchen and Heinemann as their heirs.
Betti, married to the trader Nathan Speyer II of Züschen, received 700 thalers and a trousseau worth 300 thalers when they married. Since, according to the inventory of June 5, 1855, from her father’s property only 358 Tl. And 2 2/9 Sgr. are entitled, she should receive the additional amount from the testator’s assets.
By taking over the parental real estate and transferring some outstanding debts, Moses has already received his paternal and maternal inheritance.
When they emigrated to North America, Calmann, Michel, Hermann and Heinemann already received a large part of their future fortune, and Sarchen has already been partially compensated for by various donations. All these five children named receive another 300 thaler from the estate. The other two children, Julchen and Salomon, are to share the rest of the property, with Julchen inheriting all the clothes, shirts and all linen from the testator in advance.

The “Julchen” referred to above must be Geldchen.

Marle passed away 14 September 1897 in Niedenstein at the age of 85. She had provided for all her young children, had seen them to adulthood, and had provided generously for them while still living. The death entry was reported and witnessed by her son Solomon Adler.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about this family as much as I have, and I hope it helps you in your research. Now that we’re done with the family of Giedel Rothschild and Kain-Heinemann Stern, we’re going to move on to the children of Ascher Rothschild and his two wives: Sprinza and Blümchen Sternberg. There are 12 of them total, and of all the family members I’ve researched so far, I know this group the best, because they were my main focus for a long time. Will I learn new things in the process? I certainly hope so!

Until next time, stay happy, stay healthy, and stay safe.

Calman Heinemann Stern, About 1810 – 11 December 1894

Calman Heinemann Stern, also known as Kallmann Stern, was the 6th child and 2nd son of Giedel Rothschild and Kain Heinemann-Stern, and the grandson of Salomon Abraham Rothschild.

Most of the information we have about Calman comes from the book by Karl E. Demandt entitled “Bevölkerungs- und Sozialgeschichte der jüdischen Gemeinde Niedenstein 1653 – 1866.”

Calman was born in October 1810 in Niedenstein. He married Madchen (Mudchen) Wertheim on 21 August 1843. She was the daughter of Jakob Wertheim and Merle Gumpert. Madchen was born January of 1817 and died 12 July 1881. Her death entry lists her age at time of death as 65, but if she was born in 1817, she’d have been 64.

Calman and Madchen were the parents of five children: Jacob (1844 – ?); Sara (1846 – ?); Isaac (1849 – ?); Kain (1852 – 1878); and Merle (1857 – 1898).

The aforementioned book has this to say about Calman: “Kallmann Stern and his wife Mudchen, née Wertheim, had the above-mentioned 5 children in 1858. He was taxed at 8 thalers in the 16th grade. He was a shoemaker, but had also borrowed on pledges and is supposed to use fabric (yardage) for peddling in neighboring villages, which is why he was warned by the Mayor on July 19, 1858. On February 10, 1859, because of his son Jacob, who was about 14 years old, the mayor asked Kallman to let him (Jacob) learn a business. The father says that his son should go to school until Easter and then learn a business. On June 27, 1859, Kallman was asked to bring Jacob into business within 8 days or to send him to the district office in Fritzlar for a warning. This warning was repeated on July 7th by the mayor, who reported to the county office on October 25th that Jacob was still being kept at home. After further back-and-forth negotiations, the father announced on Feb. 15, 1860 that Jacob was to do his apprenticeship in Grebenstein after Easter, but on May 7, 1860 he was apprenticed to Kaufmann Schloß in Witzenhausen. In 1858, Kallman Stern was elected the community’s calculator (treasurer?) and in 1861, as a shoemaker and capitalist of the 17th grade, taxed at 9 thaler.

I love all the depth and history that comes from various resources, especially civic records. It’s interesting to me that he seemed reluctant to allow his oldest son to be apprenticed anywhere. It’s also interesting to me that the Mayor seemed so intent on having Jacob apprenticed just about anywhere. Wonder what the issue was.

Calman passed away 11 December 1894 in Niedenstein. He outlived both his parents, his wife, one son, and his sisters Beile and Röschen. The witness for his death entry was his son-in-law, Karlmann Plaut, who was married to Calman’s youngest daughter Merle. (Death entry is from the “Persosnenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand 920; Laufende Nummer: 5714”, found at

Next up, we’ll learn about the youngest daughter in the family, Marle STERN Adler. Until then, stay happy, and healthy, and safe.

Geldchen Kilchen Stern Kaiser, 1809 – ?

Geldchen Kilchen STERN Kaiser was the daughter of Giedel Rothschild and Kain Heinemann-Stern, and the granddaughter of Salomon Abraham Rothschild.

I would love to tell you that we have as much information for Geldchen as we did for her sister Roschen. But we don’t.

Geldchen was born 7 January 1809 in Niedenstein, Germany. She was the 4th daughter and 5th child born to Giedel and Kain Heinemann-Stern. She married C. Kaiser in Elben, but we don’t know when. According to the book by Karl E. Demandt “Bevölkerungs- und Sozialgezchichte der jüdischen Gemeinde Niedenstein 1653 – 1866”, C. Kaiser was from Elberberg, and that the couple married in Elben.

According to, Elben is 195km to the South West of Niedenstein, while the town of Elbenberg is a short 9.7km due East. I could not find a town with the name Elberberg. While I have the utmost respect for Herr Demandt and all the work that went into this incredible reference book, I’m not convinced his information is 100% accurate in this instance. I’m leaning toward C. Kaiser being from Elbenberg, and that the marriage also took place there.

And that, really, is all we know about Geldchen and her husband. I haven’t been able to find any marriage, birth, or death records for either of them. I would presume they passed in Elbenberg, but without records, can’t know for certain.

Next up, we’ll learn about her brother, Calman Heinemann Stern and his family. Going to get to work on it right away, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long. Until then, stay safe!

Röschen Reisgen Stern Nagel, 1806 – 1877

Röschen Reisgen Stern was the 4th child and 3rd daughter of Kain Heinemann Stern and Giedel Rothschild, and the granddaughter of Salomon Abraham Rothschild. Röschen was born in Niedenstein 8 June 1806. On 14 May 1828, at the age of almost 22, she married Seligmann Nagel.

Seligmann was also from Niedenstein, was born 12 December 1790, the son of Moses Heinemann and Röschen Levi. Together, they were the parents of Sarchen (1829), Dünn/Dina (1831 – 1836), Calmen (1834), Salomon (1836), Selke (1838), Joseph (1841), Abraham (1843), Moses (1846), and Beilchen/Bertha (1849). The following information regarding Seligmann Nagel comes from the book “Bevölkerungs- und Sozialgeschichten der jüdischen Gemeinde Niedenstein 1653 – 1866” by Karl E. Demandt.

Seligmann Nagel is referred to as a dealer as early as 1812. The excerpt from the general protocol of the Fritzlar district office dated June 28, 1827, on the request of Selig Heinemann-Nagel of Niedensten for permission to marry. He can thus prove beforehand that the operation of the cattle and yarn trade has been assigned to him by his father for his own account. On July 16, 1827, Nagel applied for admission to the citizens of Niedenstein, which was granted to him in November against payment of 10 Rt , received. Thereupon Moses Heinemann-Nagel indicates that, in addition to the business, he has assigned his son 12 debt claims in the amount of 2009 Rt. Thereupon the marriage license for Seligmann is given on 6 Dec 1827 by the district office. The marriage announcement at the district office takes place on January 29, 1828 by the father Kain Heinemann-Stern from Niedenstein for his daughter Reischen with Selig Heinemann-Nagel there. He gives his daughter 1500 thalers as a dowry and the usual trousseau. In 1830 Selig Nagel is assessed at 12 Rt. 12 CGr. Corporate and 13 Rt 9 Alb. Municipal tax, and taxed at 14 thalers as a cattle dealer in 1837 in the 20th grade. In 1834 Selig Nagel was the tax assessor of the municipality and in 1843 was appointed second eldest of the municipality. He held this office until 1857 and was meanwhile a member of the district’s class tax audit committee in 1849. In 1853/54 he ranks in the group of traders as well as in the group of butchers in the 1st class of the highly taxed. In 1858 Selig Nagel was 60 years old, his wife Rose, née Stern, 56 years old. The children Selke, 20 years old, Joseph, 17 years old, Abraham, 15 years, Moses, 12 years, and Bertha, 9 years, are still alive. He is taxed in the 24th grade with 25 thalers. He runs cattle wholesale. His son Abraham works with him in trade. At the time of Seligmann’s death in 1859, his inventory showed an asset value of 14,926 Rt. Since Abraham initially does not continue to trade as a wholesaler but as a northern trade, he should learn a business according to the decree of the district office of March 15, 1859. On July 27th it is noted, however, that Selig Nagel drowned, and that her son Abraham continued the business from September 1st, 1859 as a wholesale cattle business. In 1861 Selig Nagel’s widow Röschen nee Stern was assessed as the highest taxed person in Niedenstein with 20 Rt. in the 23rd class of class tax, after she successfully defended herself against an assessment in the 24th class with 25 Rt.

Wow! That’s a lot of information. From it, I believe we can deduce that Selig and Röschen lived quite well. I think it’s interesting to note the wording about the family in 1858: it lists all the children, then says they “are still alive”. Given their ages, the older children could be married and out on their own. I know that their daughter Dünn/Dina passed away at age 4 1/2, but I haven’t been able to find her death record or cause of death. Very, very sad that Selig drowned.

Röschen passed away 19 November 1877 in Gudensberg, near, but not with, her son Salomon. Salomon was the informant on her death record. Her parents names are listed has Kaim Stern and Gidel Rothschild. Despite being written in a TERRIBLE script, it does clearly confirm that she was the widow of Selig Nagel.

Writing this post had me delving deep into the book by Karl Demandt, and helped me learn more about Selig, and that he and Röschen had 9 children, not just 4, which is how many were in my family tree this morning.

Next time we’ll learn about Röschen’s little sister, Geldchen Stern Kaiser. Hoping this finds all of you happy, healthy, and safe.

Abraham Stern, 23 Jan 1805 – ?

Here we have another short bio, this one about Abraham Stern. He was the third child and first son of Kain Heinemann Stern and Geidel Rothschild, and was the grandson of Salomon Abraham Rothschild.

Abraham was born 23 January 1805 in Niedenstein. On 4 April 1841, he married the 23 year old Beilchen Rosenbaum from Grebenstein. As of 1858, there were no known children associated with this couple.

In 1853/1854 Abraham Stern belonged to the 1st class of high taxable trade taxpayers in the group of traders, and was taxed 17 thalers in the 22nd class as a businessman and capitalist in 1858 and 1861. He runs a grocery store. His wife’s application to accept an Israelite foreign maid is rejected by the district administration in 1858.

This is all of the information I have concerning Abraham and Beilchen. I don’t know when they died, or where, though I suspect it was Niedenstein. All of the information comes from the book “Bevölkerungs- und Sozialgescheicte der jüdischen Gemeinde Niedenstein 1653 – 1866” by Karl E. Demandt.

Our next bio will be about Abraham’s sister Röschen. I promise it will have a bit more information than this one. In the meantime, stay happy, healthy, and safe!

Solke Stern Rosenmeyer, 1803 – ?

First of all, I’d like to apologize for the long silence. Despite being toned-down, the holiday season was crazy, hectic, and stressful. Mom had pneumonia, recovered, then both parents had COVID. We saw them a few days before they were symptomatic, so we were on quarantine for awhile. Jim and I had food poisoning New Year’s weekend. Jim’s co-worker tested positive last week, so we’re back on quarantine. I’ve been dealing with chronic migraines on a daily basis… the list seems to be unending. There have been good things, as well. Long conversations with siblings and friends. Launching year two of my Quilt Block of the Month business. Getting started on the first of three commissioned quilts. Spending more time walking my dog, which is good for both of us.

The further I got into January, the further away my ancestors became, until I had effectively forgotten about my blog. Until yesterday, 1/27/2021. Holocaust Remembrance Day. And my cousins started asking me about our relatives who were murdered in the Holocaust. And so today I pick up my virtual pen, and get back to work.

Solke Stern was the second child and second daughter of Kain Heinemann-Stern and Giedel Rothschild, and the granddaughter of Soloman Abraham Rothschild. She was born 1 April 1803 in Niedenstein. Much of the information for Solke (aka Soulke, Soulken, Sulke) comes from the book by Karl E. Demandt entitled “Devölkerungs- und Sozialgeschichte der jüdischen Gemeinde Niedenstein 1653 – 1866”. (I know; the title just rolls off the tongue. But it has been a tremendous resource for me.)

Not much is known about Solke. We know she married Moses Jakob Rosenmeyer (also written as Rosenmeier). He was born around 1800 in Wolfhagen; not sure yet who his parents were. Solke and Moses were the parents of one daughter: Fredchen Friederike Rosenmeyer. Fredchen’s death certificate states her name was Fredchen, but she was known as Friederike.

Fredchen was born about 1832 in Wolfhagen. She married Abraham Jakob Rosenmeyer, who was born in Wolfhagen around 1830. As near as I can tell, they did not have any children. This could be simply because I haven’t found the right records yet.

Death certificate found on Source Citation: Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Signatur: 10624

Fredchen died 28 April 1884 in Wolfhagen, at the age of 52. Her death certificate states that both her parents were deceased.

I have no other information about Solke. I do keep running into records for a Moses Jakob Rosenmeyer of Wolfhagen who married Sara Kugelmann, but they appear to be two different people. That they’re related, I have no doubt. Just haven’t been able to make that connection yet.

Despite not being able to learn anything about Solke as a person, I feel a connection to her. Hopefully, someday, I’ll be able to learn more.

Next time, we’ll learn about Solke’s brother, Abraham Stern. In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy.

Beile Stern Rosenmeyer, 3 November 1801 – 7 April 1879

Beile Stern is the oldest child of Geidel Rothschild and Kain Heinemann-Stern, and the granddaughter of Salomon Abraham Rothschild.

Unlike everyone else so far, none of Beile’s information comes from the Synagogue Vöhl website.

Beile was born 3 November 1801 in Niedenstein, and was the oldest of 7 children. Sometime before 1838, Beile married Jacob Rosenmeyer. They were the parents of one child, Friedericke Rosenmeyer, born 12 November 1838. I’ve seen Friedercke’s name also written as Fratchen Rosenmeier.

Beile passed away 7 April 1879 in Wolfhagen. At the time of her death, she was living with the family of her sister Sulke and Sulke’s husband Moses Jakob Rosenmeyer. I’m not sure yet what the relationship is between Jacob Rosenmeyer and Moses Jakob Rosenmeyer, though I suspect they were brothers, both named for a grandfather, perhaps. The fact that Beile was living with them implies her husband had died prior to that point.

Ironically, Sulke and Moses also only had one daughter, and named her Friedericke. But that’s a blog post for another day.

Our next blog post will be about Beile’s brother, Abraham Stern. Until then, stay safe, stay healthy, and happy holidays!

Bär Stern, 1805 – 1877

Bär Stern is the third and youngest son of David Isaac Stern and Märle Rothschild Stern, and the grandson of Salomon Abraham Rothschild. Unless otherwise noted, the information for Bär comes from the Synagogue Vöhl website.

Bär was born sometime in 1805. The first mention of him as an adult is in 1826 on the list of conscripts which states “He is said to be wealthy. He can’t handle horses.” Which is probably why his profession had nothing to do with them. He was a dealer of fruit and cattle. Like many other members of this extended family, he belonged to the most taxed half of the population. He and his family lived at Arolser Straße 17 in Vöhl.

Sometime before 1844, Bär married Sara Bär, who was born about 1810. Sadly, we don’t know anything else about her. They were the parents of one known child, Emilia Stern, born 4 December 1844 in Vöhl.

Starting in 1841, Bär was a member of the Jewish Community Board for most of the rest of his life. In 1844, the Board of Directors, consisting of Bär Stern, Simon Kugelmann, and Isaak Rothschild, signed a letter regarding the new funeral orders. The Board agreed to the orders, but had financial reservations about it. By comparing the handwriting in the letter to the signatures, it’s believed to have been written by Bär. In 1860, he signed the “Estimate of Income and Expenditure for the Israelite Religious Community in Vöhl, Basdorf, Marienhagen, and Ob. Werba” for the years 1861 – 1863.

In 1862, as a member of the Board, he had to deal with Moses Kugelmann’s complaint about “synagogue demurrage.” It seems Moses, who was Bär’s first cousin once removed, believed he didn’t have to pay the synagogue fee since he was a local resident. It was proved that he had become an official registered citizen of Vöhl in February 1861, but that he attended the synagogue in 1859 and 1860, before he was a registered citizen, and therefore owed his membership dues to the synagogue.

In addition to being on the Jewish Community Board, Bär was a member, and possibly the chairman, of the Vöhler chapter of the Association for the Moral and Civic Improvement of the Israelites. This group was founded in Darmstadt around 1832. Bär’s membership fee was 15 kreuzers.

In a letter to the Vöhler local court in 1877, it is stated the Bär Stern company, owned by Bär Stern, had ceased to exist, and the local court was tasked with finding the rightful heirs. A penciled-in note, probably written by the court clerk, states “Family Jacob Strauss.” Bär’s daughter Emilia married Jacob Strauss in 1867, and they lived in Kirchhain.

There is no other mention of Bär after this point, so it’s presumed he passed in or before 1877.

That brings us to the end of this Stern family. Next up we’re going to start exploring the children of Giedel Rothschild and Kain Heinemann-Stern. They had 7 children, so we’re going to be with them awhile. Until then, stay safe and stay healthy!

A Little More about Selig Stern’s Second Wife, Helene Kugelmann Stern, and Her Family

I know, I know. I said the next post would be about the 3rd Stern brother. But on Sunday evening, I received some unexpected information from Karl-Heinz Stadtler in Vöhl and just knew I needed to share it.

Helene was the daughter of Joseph Kugelmann and Julie Belchen Goldenberg. Joseph and Belchen were married in November of 1823. In fact, they were married twice! They were married by a Rabbi in Adorf, then came back to Vöhl where they were married by the Mayor. They had one son and five daughters: Jakob (1826 – ?), Sarah (1828 – 1886), Bettchen (1832 – ?), Regine (1833 – ?), Theresa (1834 – ?), Helene (1839 – 1900), and Amalie Malchen (1840 – 1858).

Joseph was an active member of the Jewish Community Board, and, along with his next door neighbor Selig Stern, was the head of the Board for a time. According to the tax records, he was a large scale cattle dealer and horse trader, as well as a butcher. He did well for himself and was among the most taxed half of the population of Vöhl.

In 1856, things took a left turn, as it were. He was convicted of forgery and sentenced to a six month penalty in “cartionshaus”. I’m not sure what that word means.

By 1857, things are looking even worse. He’s widowed and his financial situation was sketchy. He sought a loan of 400 guilders at 5% annual interest so that he could provide travel money to his children were had or were planning to emigrate to America, and to pay his court costs. His properties were evaluated. He owned a riding school, a couple of fields, his home, and a “grave garden”, all of which was valued at 1130 guilders. So he was worth a fair bit, but it sounds like he didn’t have a lot of ready cash.

On 3 March 1858, Joseph Kugelmann applied to the Grand Ducal District Office in Vöhl to be released from the Grand Duchy of Hesse in order to emigrate to North America. The parish records, where such things were recorded, states:

Directory above emigrants with and without Discharge of the Vöhl municipality 1858
Joseph Kugelmann emigrated to America with his family. The family consisted of:

  1. Jacob Kugelmann 30 years
  2. Sara Kugelmann 28 years
  3. Bettchen Kugelmann 26 years old
  4. Regine Kugelmann 25 years
  5. Therese Kugelmann 24 years
  6. Lenchen Kugelmann 22 years old
  7. Malchen Kugelmann 18 years

The wife had died earlier. Assets were executed with about 2000M.
No. 1 – 3 – 4 – 5 have already traveled there on a passport. No. 1 secretly ran away on investigation.

“No. 1 secretly ran away on investigation”? So Jakob was also in trouble with the law. Well, perhaps life would be better for them all in America. And perhaps it was, for awhile. But by 1864, Joseph had returned to Vöhl, with daughters Sarah and Helene.

In his email to me Karl-Heinz indicated he suspects Helene’s “condition” may have been the reason for their return. He further suspects that Selig Stern married Helene to protect her, and to have a wife to care for him as he grew older.

In my research of Selig Stern, I got a sense that he was a stickler for rules, and him getting a young woman pregnant and waiting until the last possible second to marry her just didn’t seem to fit with the picture that had formed in my head. But I can see how a man of honor, with strong moral values, and who might have been a bit lonely could have stepped up to marry his neighbor’s fallen daughter.

I’ll be honest, all this information just leaves me with more questions. Why did Jakob secretly run away? When did the other children emigrate? What other reasons prompted Joseph to return to Vöhl? What happened to his children in the States? These all bear researching. And when I’m done digging into the Rothschild family, I’ll go explore the Kugelmann family in more depth. Sounds like they were a colorful bunch!

There will be another post soon. In the meantime, I encourage you to find/take part in a Kristallnacht commemoration event sometime on November 9th. I’ll be going to the online event hosted by Synagogue Vöhl. I know there is also one hosted by The Jewish Federation.

Never Forget.

Simon and Selig Stern

I’m combining the entries for Simon and Selig Stern because there’s so little information on Simon, and the two spent their lives together. As always, unless otherwise noted, the information comes from the Synagogue Vöhl website.

Both were the two oldest sons of Märle Rothschild and David Stern, and the grandsons of Salomon Abraham Rothschild.

Simon was born in 1799, and never married, most likely because he was deaf and dumb. In 1838, he was placed in the guardianship of his brother Selig. I would imagine this is because one or both of their parents were dead at this point. Simon is known to have lived with Selig until 1853, and there is no other mention of him after that point. I believe he probably died.

Selig Stern was born 22 March 1800 in Vöhl. His birth has been recorded not only on the Synagogue Vöhl website, but also on His headstone was, luckily, returned to the Jewish Cemetery in Vöhl following the end of WWII. He is also referenced in the book by Hanno Müller entitled “Juden in Schotten (1629 – 1945) und Einartshausen (1800 – 1942).” NOTE: I do not currently have a copy of this book, but have purchased one, and it’s on its way to me from Germany. Always good to have another reference book!

Selig Stern and his family lived at Arolser Strasse 19. The house stood a very long time, long after Selig had passed, eventually burning down. It has since been rebuilt, but I’m sure looks different. This is what it looked like before.

Selig was married twice. He married his first wife, Reikel Hess, sometime before 1830. Reikel was born about 1810, probably in Einartshausen. Her father, Nathan Hess, was born there in 1751 and passed away there in 1813, when Reikel was just 3 years old. Her mother was Ela Meier, and does not appear to have remarried. (Juden in Schotten (1629 – 1945) und Einartshausen (1800 – 1942) by Hanno Müller).

Selig and Reikel were the parents of 6 children. Hannchen Stern Hess (1830 – 1855), David Stern (1832 – 1921), Helene Stern (1830 – 1871), Nadan/Nathan Stern (1834 – ?), Isaac Stern (1836 – 1857), and Madilde Stern Biermann (1854 – ?). Reikel passed away in 1854. Given that was the same year Madilde was born, it’s possible there were complications in childbirth. It’s interesting there’s an 18 year gap between Madilde and the next oldest child, Isaac. Were there other pregnancies in between? Was Madilde a “surprise” baby?

Selig’s second wife was Helene Lenchen Kugelmann. She was born in Vöhl in 1839 to Joseph Kugelmann and Julie Belchen Goldenberg. This means that she was younger than all of Selig’s children except Madilde. The text of the marriage certificate reads: The Authorized representative of the Großhl. Rabbinate of Giessen, teacher S. Baer of Vöhl, has today in the opinion of Gr. District official marriage certificate, like Gr. Regional court certificate, that the execution of the marriage is not an obstacle under private law, and that nothing stands in the way of the marriage of Selig Stern to Lenchen Kugelmann from here today in the presence of the two witnesses: Salomon Liebmann and Koppel Katzenstein, both from here, and they were married according to Jewish rite. Vöhl, 17 June 1864. S. Baer, Authorized Representative.

Less than a month later, on July 8th, the birth of a daughter was recorded, but no name was mentioned in the birth register. They do say the first baby can come at any time and all the rest take 9 months, but three weeks? They were cutting it a bit close. The birth register goes on to state the father’s year of birth as 1800, and that this was the first child born to this marriage, and to the mother. I haven’t been able to find any other information about this daughter. Helene Kugelmann Stern died sometime after 1900, presumably in Vöhl.

Starting in 1821, Selig was a member of the Jewish Community Board. He held many positions, including that of treasurer, and in 1835 was the head of the Jewish Community Board. In 1827, he was involved in dealing with our old friend “The Basdorfer” over the cost of the building of the school/Synagogue. And in 1829, according to Simon Kugelmann, Selig was one of the 14 members involved in the raffle for seats in the synagogue, and that he bought the first and most expensive seat for 12 fg. Since I know the Ascher Rothschild family secured Platz Nr. 1, I have to believe Ascher acquired it by right of having financed the construction. Does that mean Selig Stern secured Platz Nr. 2? In 1845, the District Councilor Zimmerman asked Mayor Wiseman to decide whether Selig Stern could retain his position or if someone else would be more suitable. The Mayor responded that both were good candidates, but that Selig had the better arithmetic and writing skills, and would therefore be better suited. In 1849, there was a vote regarding changes to the Board membership. In the end, the Board consisted of Selig Stern, Salomon Kugelmann, and Abraham Rothschild. For some reason, he stepped down from the Jewish Community Board in 1851, but was back again in 1853.

Selig was a merchant, dealing primarily in wool, some fruit, and occasionally horses. He was in the most taxed half of the population. But I have to wonder if he always paid his taxes. In 1838, there is a complaint about the trade tax, and the administrator of The Grand Ducal Hessian Tax Commission asks Mayor Prinz to determine “how large, approximately, the annual quantity of wool and fruit, as well as the number of horses, that Selig Stern buys and sells.”

In 1835, Dr. Nuss inspected the Mikveh in the basement of Selig’s house, and found it in very poor condition. Selig explained to Dr. Nuss that it would no longer be used for its original purpose, but didn’t want to fill it in either because the cellar would then be filled with water. Dr. Nuss did not agree with this assessment. Wish I knew what the final decision was.

I’m beginning to think the laws in Vöhl were either very strict, or the people of Vöhl were a litigious lot. In 1831 or 1832, Selig was fined 5 guilders “because he left a workhorse unburied.” Eww! The informant was District Administrator Diez. In 1833, he had a claim of 19 guilders against Peter Schäfer; District Judge Koch ordered an auction be held. In 1842, former resident Heinrich Heinze had debts to Selig Stern as well as the savings and loan fund. His village property and fields were auctioned off by Mayor Prinz at the request of District Judge Koch. The next year, Selig appealed against Heinrich Heinze in a bankruptcy matter. And in 1865, he was sued by his cousin Abraham Rothschild over a boundary dispute.

Selig had numerous servants throughout the years. Nov 1844 – Nov 1847, Maria Krum from Dorfitter as a maid; 1845 – 1847, Jettchen Goldberg from Höringhausen as a maid; 1845 – ?, Katharina Wilke from Langenfeld as a maid; 1853 – 1854, Wilhelmine Stein from Herzhausen as a maid; 1854 – ?, Annakatharina S_ese (?) from Höringhausen as a maid; 1857 – ?, Rosalie Ruttenburg from Rüthen as a housekeeper; 1860 – 1862, Elisabetha Neuman from Meinringhausen; 1860 – 1862, Rikel Hess from Schotten as a housekeeper; 1862 – 1865, Henriette Iske from Meinringhausen as a housekeeper; 1887 – 1889, Elisabeth Zarges from Nieder-Orke; 1890 – ?, Caroline Lamm from Dorfitter as a maid; and 1891 – ? Katharine Graves from Asel as a maid.

On 16 February 1893, the following appeared in the Korbach Newspaper: Vöhl, February 15th. Yesterday evening at 11 o’clock, Mr. Selig Stern died here at the age of 93 after a five-week sick bed. The deceased, who was probably the oldest person in the entire district, was in very good health, until recently, for such an advanced age, and had made numerous trips in the previous year.

While the obituary lists his age as 93, his death record lists his age as 92 years, 10 months, and 22 days. The informant was his wife, Helene Kugelmann Stern.

Selig was buried in the Jewish cemetery in Vöhl, and his headstone was returned there after WWII. It is in excellent condition, with a light covering of green moss. The lower Germanic portion of the stone reads, Here rests Selig Stern, born 22 March 1800, died 14 February 1893. Rest in Peace. The upper Hebraic portion of the stone reads, Here lies Yehoshua, son of the Levite Dovid, born 23 Adar 5560, died Wednesday 29, 5653. May his soul be bound in the bond of life. HUGE thanks to Tova Levi from Tracing the Tribe for help with the translation. You confirmed, and filled in the blanks, for what’s on the Synagogue Vöhl website. And thanks to my cousin, Camille Calman, who took pictures of all the headstones in the Jewish Cemetery of Vöhl and created memorials for them on I meant to follow your lead, but got distracted.

Next time we’ll learn about Simon and Selig’s brother, Bär Stern. Until then, stay healthy and stay safe.

Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

Adventures in Genealogy