GERSFELD (גרספלד)


a town on the Fulda river about 20 km southeast of the city of Fulda in Landkreis Fulda, Hesse, Germany



Jewish History

The origins of the Jewish community in Gersfeld goes back to at least 1730, when there were 4 heads of family (see below). In 1762-1763 (during the Seven Years' War), still only 6 Jewish families lived there. By the late 19th century, the Jewish population had gradually increased to just over 100 people.

Most families lived on the former Judengasse (Jewish street) and made their living from livestock, textile trade, and several retail shops in the city. The town had a synagogue, Jewish elementary school, and mikveh (ritual bath). As a result of the Judenedikt of 1817, 21 Jews in Gersfeld at that time adopted permanent surnames (see below).
Time Period Region
Before 1806 Holy Roman Empire
1806 - 1813French Empire
1815 - 1866 Kingdom of Bavaria
1866 - 1871 Kingdom of Prussia
1871 - 1918German Empire
1918 - 1933Weimar Republic
1933 - 1945Nazi Germany
1945 - Present Federal Republic of Germany

Year Total Population Jewish Population
1730 4 families
1762 6 families
1800 50
1871 1,542 119
1885 1,402 91
1895 1,476 104
1905 1,440 114
1925 1,525 110



Surname Adoptions - 20 August 1817
Old Name New Name
Kusel Moises Kusel BARTH
Juda Maier Juda BAUMANN
Baer Maier Baer BLUMHOF
Maier David Maier FEUERSTEIN
(widow of Michel Salomon) (unknown) GERBER
Hirsch Nathan Hirsch GRÜNBAUM
Seckel Kalmann Seckel HOMMEL
Moses Moses HOMMEL*
Maier Joseph Maier KARPF
Seckel Salomon Seckel KIEßMANN
Maier Michel Maier KUPFER
Kalmann Juda Kalmann LAMP
Abraham Abraham MORGENROTH*
Abraham Moises Abraham NUßBAUM
Moses Nathan Moses RAAB
Moses Juda Moses ROßKOPF
Abraham Katz Abraham SICHEL
David Hirsch David STERN
Moses Maier Moses TANNBAUM
Juda Katz Juda WALDHAUS
Salomon Juda Salomon WEINBERG

* these surname adoptions occurred in Feldbau on 18 July 1822 and 26 September 1823, respectively

Other early Gersfeld Jewish families were:

KATZMAN
ROSENSTOCK
STRAUS
WORMSER

A theorized chart showing the possible ancestry of and connections between some of the families:

Jacob David
( -1787)
Juda
(1739-1818)
Kalman LAMP
(1762)
Moses ROßKOPF
(1768-1822)
Salomon WEINBERG
(1775-1858)
Maier FEUERSTEIN
( -1826)
Bär BLUMHOF
(1774-1856)
Juda BAUMANN
(1779-1846)
Moses TANNBAUM
(1782-1839)
Abraham MORGENROTH
(1790-1856)



Census Record
Gersfeld, 
11 December 1730
Zu Gersfeld und Weyhers Freiherrl. Weyherischen Herrschaft, befindet sich an Judenschaft

The Jews residing in the Gersfeld and Weyhers barony of the Weyhers domain
Männer
Men
Weiber
Wives
Söhn
Sons
Tochter
Daughters
zu das 13. Jahr erreichen
who have reached the age of 13
Gersfeld
Jud Salomon
Jew Salomon
deßen frau
his wife
1 Sohn
1 son
1 Tochter
1 daughter
Jud Jacob
Jew Jacob
Jud Marthgen
Jew Marthgen (Mordechai)
deßen frau
his wife
Jud Hirsch
Jew Hirsch
deßen frau
his wife
Diese Juden  nahren sich mit Viehhandel manche mit Läden auf, die anderen zu
these Jews' income is cattletrade, some with outlets the others without
Weyhers
Jud Wolf
Jew Wolf
deßen frau
his wife
1 Tochter
1 daughter
Jud Arnd
Jew Arnd
deßen frau
his wife
Jud Jetzig
Jew Itzig
deßen frau
his wife
Jud Jetzig jun.
Jew Itzig, the younger
deßen frau
his wife
Der erstere von diesen hat einen Krahm und ist mittelmäßigen Vermögens. die anderen drei stehen schlecht in ihrer Nahrung
the first named has a general dry goods business and is of mediocre wealth, the other three have inadequate income
Summa
18. Personen
Gersfeld Inn
11. Xbr. 1730.

Summary
18 People
Gersfeld on
11 December 1730
Heinrich Christoph Callmberg

Amtsvogt allda
District judge here


References

[1] Allemania Judaica: Gersfeld community (translation), Weyhers cemetery (translation)
[2] "Gersfeld." Pinkas ha-kehilot Germanyah: entsiklopedyah shel ha-yishuvim ha-Yehudim le-min hivasdam ve-'ad le-ahar Sho'at Milhemet ha-'olam ha-sheniyah: Hesse, Hesse-Nassau, Frankfort. Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1992. pp. 417-418.
[3] Rosenstock, Dirk. Die Unterfränkischen Judenmatrikeln Von 1817: Eine Namenkundliche Und Sozialgeschichtliche Quelle. Würzburg: Schöningh, 2008.