Summary of Wohlgemuth records research

Despite my earlier belief that all the Wohlgemuths in Pr. Stargardt were our family members, I have found quite a few people in town with that surname who were not related. In the Naldex database, we see the name was adopted in at least seven West Prussian towns, some near to Stargardt, and some descendants of these Wohlgemuths also show up in the Stargardt community Jewish records that I have been busily studying.

Unfortunately the two Wohlgemuth graves in the Starogard Jewish cemetery, Teile Wohlgemuth Blau and Pauline Weiss Wohlgemuth, are not from our branch. Many of our Wohlgemuth relatives are buried there, but none of their headstones survive.

I have spent the last several days extracting Wohlgemuth vital record data from Jewish community logbooks covering the period from 1812 to 1910. They are mainly in hand-scripted German with some Yiddish language records mixed in. I have downloaded images of the most important records, and have entered the birth, marriage and death dates for all the descendants of Moses Wohlgemuth (born 1729), whom I consider to be the original Wohlgemuth.

Actually I am not at all done with that work and there is much more to be learned about maternal family lines in particular. But I need to get back to work on my magazine assignment, so this is a good time to put out some highlights of my findings.   

"W" index page showing all Wohlgemuth deaths in Pr. Stargardt in order from 1847 to 1874. Some are our family members; others are not.

Although the earliest records are from 1812, household residence lists from that year record the birth dates of residents much older than that. This is where we see records of the birth dates for Moses Salomon, the original Wohlgemuth (1729), and his wife Yette (1738). Moses was 83 years old when he adopted the Wohlgemuth name. In that year, his sons Herz and Salomon were in their 50s with grown families of their own 

Salomon (1763-1827) and wife Selme had a bunch of children, of whom two sons, Marcus and Raphael, had families. The daughters may have had families too, but these are harder to find. Anyway there are a number of Wohlgemuths in town who are descendants of Salomon.

We are more interested in Herz. He and his wife Rose had three sons, one daughter who died at 13, and another who I haven’t tracked yet. The sons were Jacob, Abraham and Baruch, born between the years 1799 and 1809. Jacob and Abraham married sisters, Henriette and Rebecca Altmann. All three sons left children but we will focus here on Abraham’s branch.

Abraham and Rebecca had two children who survived to adulthood. One was our GG grandfather Leopold, discussed further below. The other was a daughter Rose, with whom we see the first sign of intermarriage in the family. She went with her mother to Danzig after Abraham’s death in 1873, but the following year she married in Berlin to Salomon Razinski. The marriage record obtained by hint on Ancestry is from a collection of Lutheran records. I conjecture that Razinski was half-Jewish and raised as Christian. I’m not sure that being married in a Lutheran rite means that Rose necessarily converted. 

Leopold Wohlgemuth was born in 1833 and married in 1863 to Friederike Pächter from the town of Tiegenhof, across the Vistula River near to Elbing. They had a daughter and three sons, plus two children who died young. As usual, the daughter, another Rose or possibly Rosalie, is yet to be tracked. The sons were Isaac, Heinrich and Julius. 

Of the siblings, we already know a lot about Isaac’s family (Betty Katz, Elly and Hilda) and we recently learned about Julius’s only child, Leopold, who went to Brazil after the war. The interesting new one is Heinrich whom we did not know of until I recently found Aunt Hilda’s restitution affidavit. She says he was a banker in Danzig and I have more work to do to confirm that and find any family information about him.

One thing I will note is Heinrich's name, which is the Germanized version of his Yiddish given name Herz, which was probably already altered from an earlier form of Hirsch or Hersch. We have already seen this Germanizing of given names with Heinrich's father Leopold, who was given the name Lewin but was called Leopold. Julius and Isaac are similarly Germanized versions of Hebrew names Yehuda and Yitzhak, which in Yiddish might have been Juda and Itzik. By the way, based on the records, I am now spelling Isaac's name with a 'c' instead of a 'k.' 

Leopold Wohlgemuth died fairly young at age 42 in 1876, It is possible but not proven that Friedericke moved her family to her Pächter family town, Tiegenhof, which could account for Isaac and Julius later entering business in Elbing.

I now put aside my Wohlgemuth work for a few weeks while I work on other business.