The Ringels in Berlin—time of prosperity

Hermann and Elly's marriage certificate among several major Ringel developments

The hits keep on coming. One of our most long-sought-after documents has just turned up, courtesy again of the Berlin Landesarchiv and its publishing arrangement with It is the marriage record of Hermann Ringel and Elly Wohlgemuth in Berlin-Weissensee on April 20, 1922.

Other than the date that we did not know, the other information is consistent with what we know. The groom resides at Lothringer Strasse 4a in Berlin, the bride at Woelckpromenade 6 in Weißensee. The back page of the record with witnesses and signatures is not provided. The date, too, is not especially surprising, coming roughly 18 months before the birth of the daughter Helga. Still, it is excellent to have that information and the image of the front of the record. 

The funny thing is that I could not get this information from the Landesarchiv when I was there two years ago. At that time, they could only retrieve the record if I knew the date, which of course I did not. Now it seems all marriages in Berlin from 1874 to 1936 are accessible in a Landesarhiv database. Ancestry provides a search form where you can enter just the names of the marriage parties and the record is found. 

Even better, with Ancestry hints, I didn't even have to go looking for it. There was a new leaf for Hermann Ringel and there it was, lo and behold!

This happened in the afternoon on a day that I had already made two other important Ringel discoveries. I will cover them in the next post.

Hilda's marriage to Herbert Peiser

Another document that miraculously appeared on Ancestry is the April 12, 1928, marriage certificate of Hilda Wohlgemuth and Herbert Friedrich Peiser. Peiser is described as a merchant from Breslau. 

Wohlgemuth death certificates located in Berlin Landesarchiv

The record requests I put in last month with the Berlin Landesarchiv came through yesterday in the mail—copies of the official death records for Isaak and Betty Wohlgemuth. Hurrah!

The archive holds historical Berlin vital records that are at least 100 years old. More recent records such as the 1929 and 1942 deaths of our Wohlgemuth ancestors are held in the local registry offices in specific districts around the city. To locate these records, you need both the right district office (usually the residence location) and the date of the recorded event. 

After returning from Berlin last year, when I visited the archive, I took an inventory of vital records for our Wohlgemuth and Ringel relatives who lived in Berlin. This revealed a target list of missing documents. The big four on the list were the marriage record for Hermann and Elly and the death records of Schija Ringel and Isaak and Betty Wohlgemuth.

With the the first two on the list, I am missing a necessary piece of information, the date. For the Wohlgemuth death records, I realized that I had everything needed and I submitted my search request during the holiday period a month ago. 

I'll review Isaak's record here and then go on to Betty in the next post.

This rounded form of German handscript is something I have seen before, which doesn't make it any easier to make out. Fortunately, this is all fairly straightforward. The merchant Hermann Ringel reported the death of his father-in-law, the merchant Isaak Wohlgemuth, age 63, born in Preußisch Stargard, husband of Betty Wohlgemuth nee Katz.

Hermann lived at No. 5 and Isaak at No. 6 Woelckpromenade in Weißensee. This is significant because it means the Ringel move to Charlottenburg happened after Isaak's death, which makes sense. 

Maybe the most interesting thing on the record is Hermann's signature affixed at bottom, with its little flourish on the final letter. I think I have other documents with his signature, but this is the first time I've noticed that flourish. 

Fanny Ringel was the familiar name of Feigla Kauffler

Also in the previous post was the question of the identity of Fanny Ringel Twiasschor, who is listed as the resident of a Ringel apartment in 1920. I looked up name derivations for Fanny and found that among Jews it was often a variant of Feiga. The directory listing was published in the year before the death of Feigla Kaufler Ringel.

So it must have been Feigla, Hermann's mother, who was living in the apartment and is listed in the directory as Fanny Ringel Twiasschor. She died in November 1921. It seems Helga got her middle name in 1924 in honor of her deceased grandmother. 

I just went and looked at Feigla's death certificate, which was one of the original documents Elly carried with her to America. I had previously misread the year of her death of 1925 when the date is really Novemeber 28, 1921. She was 67. Her address was Lothringerstraße 4a. Bingo!

I also reviewed the chronology of directory listings for Ringel family members at the address at Lothringerstraße 4. 

Table to come.


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