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 Abbey-principality of Fulda
1806 - 1813 French Empire Principality of Nassau-Orange-Fulda
Grand Duchy of Frankfurt
1813 - 1815 Alled troops of Sixth Coalition
1815 - 1866 Kingdom of Bavaria
1866 - 1871 Kingdom of Prussia
1871 - 1918 German Empire
1918 - 1933 Weimar Republic
1933 - 1945 Nazi Germany
1945 - Present Federal Republic of Germany Fulda district, Hesse

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

Heads of Households 1810 3Surname Adoptions - 20 August 1817 4 Death records Gravestones
(Weyhers Jewish cemetery)
Old Name New Name
Kusel MosesKusel Moises Kusel BARTH Kusel Barth, widower, 6 November 1842, 84 yrs יקותיאל בן יוסף משה, [נפטר] ד׳ לחודש כסליו תר״ג
Jekutiel son of Joseph Moses, died 4 Kislev [5]603 (6 November 1842)
Juda MaierJuda Maier Juda BAUMANN Juda Baumann, married, 7 August 1846, 67 yrs יהודא ב״ר מאיר מג״פ, מת ט״ז אב תר״ו
Jehuda son of Maier of Gersfeld, died 16 Av [5]606 (7 August 1846)
Bär MaierBaer Maier Baer BLUMHOF Bär Blumhof, married, 31 August 1856, 81 yrs (not present)
Maier DavidMaier David Maier FEUERSTEIN (not listed) מאיר כהן מג״פ, נפטר א׳ דח׳המ׳ סכות תקפ״ז
Maier k"z of Gersfeld, died the 1st day of Sukkot [5]587 (18 October 1826)
Salomon Michel(widow of Michel Salomon) (unknown) GERBER (not listed) (not present)
Hirsch NathanHirsch Nathan Hirsch GRÜNBAUM Hirsch Grinbaum, house no. 131, widower, 29 December 1830, 59 yrs נפתלי ב״ר אברהאם נתן, נפטר ג׳ טבת תקצ״א
Naftali son of Abraham Natan, died 3 Tevet [5]591 (29 December 1830)
Seckel KalmanSeckel Kalmann


Sekel Homel, son of Calmann from Schondra?, wife Gitel born Edel, 16 September 1820, 62 yrs החבר ר׳ יצחק ב״ר קלונימוס, נקבר ו׳ תישרי תקפ״א
Isaak son of Kalonymos, buried 6 Tishrei [5]581 (14 September 1820)
החבר ר׳ משה צבי בחבר ר׳ יצחק מג״פ, [נפטר] ג׳ אדר שני תרי״ט
Moses son of Isaak of Gersfeld, died 23 Adar II [5]619 (29 March 1859)
Maier JosephMaier Joseph Maier KARPF Maier Karpf, married, 29 June 1865, 96 yrs (ה׳ תמוז תרכ״ה) (not present)
Seckel SalomonSeckel Salomon Seckel KIEßMANN Seckel Küssmann, house no. 123, married, 17 November 1838, 81 yrs זעקל ב׳ שלמה מק״ק גערזפעלד, נפטר ר״ח כסלו תקצ״ט
Sekel son of Salomon, died Rosh Chodesh Kislev [5]599 (17 November 1838)
Maier MichelMaier Michel Maier KUPFER Meyer Kupfer, wife Michel? Moses from Wustensachsen?, 6 March 1829, 69 yrs מאיר ב״ר יחיאל, נפטר ב׳ א״ש תקפ״ח
Maier son of Jechiel, died 2 Adar II [5]588 (7 March 1829)
Salmon JudaKalmann Juda Kalmann LAMP Kalmann Lamp, house no. 129, married, 10 April 1838, 76 yrs יחיאל ב״ר קלונימוס מג״פ, [נפטר] ביום ג׳ ה׳ כסליו תרי״ז
Jechiel son of Kalonymos of Gersfeld, died 5 Kislev [5]617 (2 December 1856)
Abraham MosesAbraham Moises Abraham NUßBAUM Abraham Nussbaum, widower, 10 May 1839, 84 yrs אברהם ב״ר משה מג״פ, מת כ״ז אייר תקצ״ט
Abraham son of Moses of Gersfeld, died 27 Iyar [5]599 (10 May 1839)
Moses NathanMoses Nathan Moses RAAB Moses Rap, house no. 132, widower, 12 August 1829, 56 yrs משה ב״ר אברהם נתן מג״פ, נפטר ט״ו אב תקפ״ט
Moses son of Abraham Natan, died 15 Av [5]589 (12 August 1829)
Moses Juda

Juda Debele
Moses Juda Moses ROßKOPF Moses Roskopf, son of Juda David from here, house no. 162, wife Schenla Joseph from Niederaula, 19 May 1822, 54 yrs

Juda David, wife Sara, 29 July 1818, 79 yrs
משה ב״ר יהודה מג״פ, נפטר כ״ו אייר תקפ״ב
Moses son of Jehuda of Gersfeld, died 26 Iyar [5]582 (17 May 1822)

יהודה ב״ר דוד מג״פ, שנפטר בש״ט כ״ה תמוז תקע״ח
Jehuda, son of David of Gersfeld, died 25 Tamuz [5]578 (29 July 1818)
Abraham KatzAbraham Katz Abraham SICHEL Abraham Sichel, house no. 126, wife Jitel, 23 April 1851, 85 yrs אברהם ב״ר יהודא הכהן מגערספעלד, [נפטר] יום אחרון של פסח תרי״א
Abraham son of Jehuda k"z, died the last day of Pesach [5]611 (23 April 1851)
David HirschDavid Hirsch David STERN David Stern, married, 4 October 1841, 84 yrs דוד ב״ר נפטלי מגערספעלד, מת ג׳ דח״ה״ ס׳ תר״ב
David son of Naftali of Gersfeld, died the 3rd day of Sukkot [5]602 (4 October 1841)
Moses MaierMoses Maier Moses TANNBAUM Moses Tannebaum, house no. 133, married, 20 December 1839, 57 yrs אברהם משה בן הח״ר״ מאיר מגערשפעלד, מת י״ג טבת ת״ר
Abraham Moses son of Maier of Gersfeld, died 15 Tevet [5]600 (20 December 1839)
Juda KatzJuda Katz Juda WALDHAUS Juda Wahlhaus, married, 4 March 1846, 76 yrs יהודא בן יהודא כ״ץ, מת ו׳ אדר תר״ו
Jehuda son of Jehuda k"z, died 6 Adar [5]606 (4 March 1846)
Salomon JudaSalomon Juda Salomon WEINBERG Saloman Weinberg, widower, 18 December 1858, 83 yrs שלמה ב״ר יהודא מג״פ, [נפטר] י״ב טבת תרי״ט
Salomon son of Jehuda, died 12 Tevet [5]619 (19 December 1858)

* surname adoption occurred on 18 July 1822 in Feldbau

Other early Gersfeld Jewish families were:

MORGENROTH (surname adoption in 1823 in Feldbau)

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

Jakob David
Jakob Joseph GERSFELD
Kalman LAMP

Census Record
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
zu das 13. Jahr erreichen
who have reached the age of 13
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
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
18. Personen
Gersfeld Inn
11. Xbr. 1730.

18 People
Gersfeld on
11 December 1730
Heinrich Christoph Callmberg

Amtsvogt allda
District judge here


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. Imhof, Michael. 400 Jahre Juden in der Rhön. 2017. (source: Staatsarchiv Würzburg Admin 12929 III u. Würzburg Gebrechenamt VII W 1606)
4. Rosenstock, Dirk. Die Unterfränkischen Judenmatrikeln Von 1817: Eine Namenkundliche Und Sozialgeschichtliche Quelle. Würzburg: Schöningh, 2008.