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The Danzig Database

Compiled by members of the JewishGen Danzig/Gdańsk SIG
Introductory Notes by Logan Kleinwaks

Overview
Summary of Data Sources
The Communities
Description of Database Fields
Searching by Street Address or House Number 
Details of Data Sources
Errors
Acknowledgments
Searching the Database

Overview

This “Danzig Database” contains searchable genealogical data concerning Jewish residents of the former city of Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland) and the once independent communities that merged to form a unified Danzig Jewish Community, which existed until it dissolved under threat in 1939.  It currently contains 4,164 records.

There is no information about the distinct post-WWII Jewish community in Gdańsk.  This document describes the varied data sources included in the database, the common format used to display the data, and special considerations for researchers.  It will be updated as the database grows.

Summary of Data Sources

The following data sources are included, with details later in this document:

Births:
  • Danzig 1905-1939   (FHL 1,184,407/2, FHL 1,184,407/3)
  • Altschottland 1838-1846   (CAHJP Da/754)
  • Mattenbuden 1832-1846   (CAHJP Da/286)
  • Weinberg 1839-1847   (FHL 1184407/4)
Marriages:
  • Mattenbuden 1832-1846   (CAHJP Da/286)
  • Weinberg 1837-1847   (FHL 1184407/5)
Deaths:
  • Mattenbuden 1832-1846   (CAHJP Da/286)
Memorbuch:
  • Breitgasse 1821-1878   (CAHJP Da/685)
Membership Lists:
  • Mattenbuden 1832 or 1833   (JM D166)
  • Weinberg 1817-1881   (CAHJP Da/1598)
  • Hoppenbruch, Stolzenberg, Langfuhr 1773   (Book Kunst)
Other:
  • Danzig 1687-1763 directory of businessmen (Book Leipzig Freudenthal)
  • Danzig, Altschottland, Mattenbuden, Weinberg 1697-1935 inscriptions on objects   (Book Danzig 1939)
  • Danzig book name index   (Book Lichtenstein)

Additional Danzig data produced by SIG volunteers is searchable elsewhere: the 1814 Danzig surname adoption list is part of the NALDEX database in the JewishGen Germany Database, and burials of refugees in the St. Martin Jewish Cemetery in Bambous, Mauritius are in the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR).

The Communities

In 1883, a unified Danzig Jewish Community was formed by merging the previously independent communities of Altschottland (Stary Szkoty), Breitgasse (Szeroka), Langfuhr (Wrzeszcz), Mattenbuden (Szopy), and Weinberg (Winnicka).  Earlier, the communities of Hoppenbruch (Chmielniki) and Stolzenberg (Chełm) had joined with Altschottland and Weinberg, respectively.  These details are important for using the database, because the communities maintained separate records prior to merging — knowing the community for one record might help find other related records.

In the database, the Community field indicates which of the communities, if known, generated the record.  If unknown, or if post-unification, the Community is listed simply as "Danzig".  Note that records generated in one community often mention other communities.  For example, a marriage might occur in one community but involve a spouse who was previously a member of a different community.  Such details of community membership are also included in the database when present in the original records, typically in the Remarks field, sometimes in the Residence field.

On the search page, you can restrict searches by Town, to match records mentioning specific communities.  For example, if you search for Town is Exactly "Mattenbuden", you will find records that mention Mattenbuden, whether as the Community field or in the Remarks or elsewhere.  If a record only mentions Langfuhr, though, it will not match this search.  If you search for Town is Exactly "Danzig", then records mentioning Danzig itself or any of the communities will match — in other words, the entire database.

Many towns from outside Danzig are also mentioned in records.  The special geopolitical status of the city and its commercial importance contributed to Jewish immigration from sometimes far-away lands.

Description of Database Fields

This database uses a common format to display data from all sources.  Some sources or records do not need all database fields, in which case unused fields are empty.  If a field is empty, it is extremely unlikely to find that type of information in the original record, as, barring errors, the database includes all the information in the original record.  An exception is the time (hours, minutes) of an event (e.g., birth), which is not included.

The database fields are:

  • Name (Married Name): Full name of a subject of the record, with married/maiden surname in parentheses.  Here and elsewhere, unless stated otherwise, content in square brackets [] is not present in the original record, but is an informed guess (the Remarks field sometimes explains in [] reasons for the guess).  If you encounter an entry with no surname, but can supply a probable surname based on evidence from other sources, please contact us so we can share that information with other researchers and make the entry easier to find.
  • Record Type: "B" = birth, "M" = marriage, "D" = death, "Memor" = memorbuch, "Member" = membership list for a community or organization, "Inscript" = inscription on an object, "Nindex" = name index of a book, "Dir" = directory, "Div" = divorce, "Econ" = economic (e.g.: business transaction, tax list).
  • Date: Gregorian date of the event, either as written in the record or calculated from a Hebrew date.  If calculated from a Hebrew date, the Hebrew date written in the record is noted in the Remarks field.  Because Hebrew calendar days begin at sunset, if an event occurred after sunset but before midnight, the calculated Gregorian date is one day too late.
  • Age: The subject’s age in years at the time of the event; or, if “y,” “m,” “w,” or “d” are included, the subject’s age in years, months, weeks, and/or days, as indicated in the record; or, if a full date or partial date is given, the subject’s birthdate.
  • Father: The subject’s father’s full name.
  • Mother: The subject’s mother’s full name, with the surname, if present, likely her maiden name.  In principle, it is possible for the mother’s surname listed in some records to be a married name from a prior marriage; if there is any evidence of this, it is noted in the Remarks field.
  • Spouse: The subject’s spouse’s given name.
  • Residence: The subject’s residence, sometimes including a street address, house number, or street name and house number.  For the meaning of text in square brackets [], see “Searching by Street Address or House Number” below.
  • Remarks: Anything that does not fit in other fields.
  • Community: See “The Communities” above.
  • Source: An identifier for the source of the record, and, sometimes, the specific page (“p”), line (“l”), entry (“e”), or registration number (“r”).  Identifiers beginning with:
    • “CAHJP” — refers to files in the Danzig Archives of the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People in Jerusalem;
    • “FHL” — refers to a microfilm at the LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City.   Sometimes there's an item number after a slash, which specifies the relevant part of the microfilm;
    • “JM” — refers to an item at the Jewish Museum in New York City;
    • “Book” — refers to a publication listed below, under Books.
    • “Web” — refers to a website, listed below, under Web.

Searching by Street Address or House Number

Many records in the database identify the residence of a subject or the building where an event occurred.  This information is useful to genealogists because it can provide evidence that two people from different records are the same person (e.g., they share the same name and live in the same building), or that different people from different records are closely related (since families might share the same residence).  Also, it might enable you to visit the precise location where your relative lived.  This database includes extra information in the Residence field, enabling you to search records by street address or house number (two forms of identifying a building, used at different times).

An example of a Residence field from the database is “Altstädt. Graben 94 [AltstGr94].”  This means the street address "Altstädt. Graben 94" appears in exactly that form in the record, and "AltstGr94" is the extra information you can use to search for all records with this address, regardless of whether the street name is written in the record as "Altstädt. Graben", "Altstädtischer Graben", "Altst. Graben", etc.  To perform this search, search for Any Field contains "AltstGr94".  Similarly, when a house number is given in a record, the Residence field might be “3. Damm, House #1428 [House1428],” in which case you would search for Any Field contains "House1428" to find all records mentioning this house number, even if they spell the street name as "III. Damm" or do not include any street name.  The idea behind this approach to the Residence field is to provide a canonical form for the street address or house number, independent of the spelling in the record, while also listing the information as it appears in the record.  Note that the database does not have a correspondence between (earlier) house numbers and (later) street addresses, so searching for one will not find the corresponding other.

Details of Data Sources

  • Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People (CAHJP), Jerusalem:
    • CAHJP Da/286: Mattenbuden birth (6 Aug 1832 – 5 Nov 1846), marriage (18 Sep 1832 – 18 Aug 1846), and death (18 Sep 1832 – 30 Sep 1846) registers.  The birth entries indicate a community, presumed to be the community of which the father was a member, which is given as Mattenbuden in all cases.  The marriage entries almost always indicate a community, presumed to be the community to which the new couple belongs, and almost always indicate the street name or town of the groom’s residence, and sometimes indicate the street name or town where the marriage occurred (see Remarks and Residence fields).  There is one divorce record in the marriage register.  The death entries typically include a street name and house number (see Residence field), though it is unclear whether these are for the place of death or the place of last residence.  The fact that this information is missing when the death is noted as having occurred in a hospital suggests it refers to the place of death.  [346 entries].

    • CAHJP Da/685: A memorbuch from Breitgasse, with dated entries from 3 May 1821 to 11 Jun 1878 (as calculated from Hebrew dates) and many undated entries.  Includes Hebrew given names and father’s names, but no surnames, except for the signatures of Hirsch Baecker and Michael Paradies, gabbaim of the Hevra Kadisha of Breitgasse, who apparently wrote part of this in the year 5605 (1844/1845).  Some entries indicate tribal status (Kohen, Levi), rabbinical titles, or other genealogical information (see Remarks field).  [173 entries].

    • CAHJP Da/754: A birth register from Altschottland, with birth dates from 21 Mar 1838 to 30 May 1846.  All entries identify the father (first name or first initials, surname), but none list the mother.  [73 entries].

    • CAHJP Da/1598: A non-comprehensive list of members of the Weinberg community, most with a date indicating the date of membership, which is given in the Date field.  Many entries also contain a date of death, given in the Remarks field, and many indicate a town of residence outside of Danzig.  The dates of membership range from 1817 to 1881, but the vast majority are after 1850.  Some dates of membership are shared by multiple entries, but we do not know the significance of this.  The dates of death range from 1869 to 1881.  The list appears to be written in a single hand, but whether it was compiled at one time or copied from other sources is unknown, as is its date.  [218 entries].

    Notes: The Archives of the Jewish Community of Danzig was “the first major community collection to be deposited” at the CAHJP.  The approximately 2,000 files, some hundreds of pages in length, were shipped from Danzig to Jerusalem in 1939.  Our efforts to transcribe these files are ongoing, and more will be added to this database.  The original files can be consulted at the CAHJP, which is located on the Edmond J. Safra Campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Givat Ram (for information about visiting, click here, and call in advance, if possible).

  • Family History Library (FHL), Salt Lake City:
    • FHL 1184407/2 [Gatermann]: A Danzig birth register, with birth dates from 3 Jan 1905 to 7 Oct 1931.  Most include both parents' names and a street address.  Some parents are identified as not being Jewish (see Remarks field).  Some fathers, and rarely mothers, are listed with an occupation and/or title (see Remarks field, which indicates to whom the occupation and/or title applies when explicitly indicated in the register).   [1,598 entries].

    • FHL 1184407/3 [Gatermann]: A Danzig birth register, with birth dates from 10 Oct 1931 to 17 Mar 1939.  Most include both parents’ names and a street address.  A few parents are identified as not being Jewish (see Remarks field).  In two entries, where the mother’s maiden surname is GWIERC or GWIRR, there is a note in the Remarks field to consult this Introduction regarding the contents of an insert into the register, too lengthy to fit in the Remarks field.  The contents are: "Auf Anordnung des Amtsgerichts Abt. 15 in Danzig 15.III.29/39 - vom 09-MAR-1939 wird berichtigend vermerkt, dass das Kind nicht von der Ehefrau des Kaufmanns Wolf JABLON, sondern von der Witwe Anna GRÜNBERG, geborenen GWIERC, ausserehelich geboren ist. Die Wohnung der Mutter der Kinder befindet sich z.Z. Starodingasse 7."   [622 entries].

    • FHL 1184407/4 [Gatermann]: A birth register from Weinberg, with birth dates from 30 Mar 1839 to Jan 1847.  All entries identify the father (usually with first name and surname), but none list the mother.  Almost all entries include a street name and house number.  Page 1 of the register is not on the microfilm, but is partly captured without names or dates in the frame for page 2.  This partial information includes the following house numbers and several that are illegible: 136, 449, 506, 513, 548 (x2), 617, 646, 661, 665, 1073, 1590, 1909.  [127 entries].

    • FHL 1184407/5 [Gatermann]: A marriage register from Weinberg, with marriage dates from 10 Dec 1837 to 26 Jan 1847.  Most entries include a street name and house number, presumed to be the residence of the new couple, and many indicate towns (community membership?) of the bride and/or groom (see Residence and Remarks fields).  [164 entries].

    Notes:

    • FHL microfilms can be consulted at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah; or at the Douglas E. Goldman Jewish Genealogy Center of Beth Hatefutsoth in Tel Aviv, Israel; or requested to Family History Centers around the world (for locations, click here).
    • For items above marked [Gatermann], the original document microfilmed in this item is not known to survive.  This microfilm copy was made by the Gatermann Company in 1944/1945.  For more information about the history of the Gatermann microfilms, search the JewishGen SIG Lists message archive.

  • Jewish Museum, New York City:
    • JM D166: This book of the Eternal Light Society of Mattenbuden, dated to year 5593 (1832/1833), includes a list of names in Hebrew, apparently members of the Society.  Each entry has a given name and father’s name, and sometimes a title, father’s title, or tribal status (Kohen, Levi).  There are no surnames, but several speculative surnames are included in [] in the database from comparison with other sources, such as object inscriptions or the 1814 surname adoption list.  [28 entries].

  • Books:
    • Book Danzig 1939:
      Danzig 1939: Treasures of a Destroyed Community. Edited by Sheila Schwartz. (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1980). ISBN 081431662X.
      Inscriptions on surviving objects from Danzig that mention individuals, translated from Hebrew or in the original German, plus information about the objects from this exhibition catalog.  The Date field indicates the date of the inscription, if given.  The inscription itself and other information is in the Remarks field.  Some long inscriptions have been truncated.  For the full text of truncated inscriptions and additional background information about these objects, note the object # in the Remarks field and click here for more information.  Many inscriptions include surnames, but many do not (and some predate surname adoption).  Some speculative surnames are included in [] in the database from comparison with other sources.  If you can supply a missing surname, it is very important that you contact us, since these objects provide a rare opportunity to have a physical connection with relatives from such a long time ago.  The objects themselves are at the Jewish Museum in New York, but only a small portion might be on display at any time.  Some are photographed in this book, and additional photos might be obtainable from the Jewish Museum.  During the 2006 IAJGS Conference in New York, museum staff graciously arranged for members of the Danzig SIG to view some of the objects not normally on display.  [157 entries].

    • Book Lichtenstein:
      Die Juden der Freien Stadt Danzig unter der Herrschaft des Nationalsozialismus. by Erwin Lichtenstein. (Tübingen: Mohr, 1973).
      A list of names from the book’s index, with the corresponding page numbers (see Source field).  For details of how these people are mentioned, you will have to consult the book.  Some people in the book were not from Danzig or Jewish, and we have attempted to remove obvious examples from the database.  This name index was extracted with permission of the Leo Baeck Institute (Jerusalem).  [342 entries].

    • Book Leipzig Freudenthal:
      Leipziger messgäste: die jüdischen besucher der Leipziger messen in den jahren 1675 bis 1764. by Dr. Max Freudenthal. (Frankfurt am Main: J. Kauffmann, 1928).
      A list of Jews from Danzig attending the Leipzig Fair, with years of attendance from 1687 to 1763, and, sometimes, names of accompanying relatives or other people (see Remarks field).  There are few surnames, but several speculative surnames of later attendees are included in [] in the database from comparison with the 1814 surname adoption list.  The Name field lists the name as it appears in the book, usually as a double name (e.g., David Jakob), where the second name is presumed to be the father’s name.  The second name is not listed in the Father field because we cannot be certain this is the meaning in all cases.  There is one triple name, and its division between son and father is unknown.  [41 entries].

    • Book Kunst:
      Novum Corpus Constitutionum Prussico-Brandenburgensium Praecipue Marchicarum, Oder Neue Sammlung Koenigl. Preuss. und Churfuerstl. Brandenburgischer, sonderlich in der Chur- und Marck-Brandenburg, publicirten und ergangenen Ordnungen, Edicten, Mandaten, Rescripten &c. &c. von 1771. 1772. 1773. 1774. und 1775. Volume 5, Part 2. (Berlin: Christian Ludewig Kunst, 1776).
      Scans available on Google Books at https://books.google.com/books?id=nyJHAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA533.
      A list of Jews living in the Danzig suburbs of Hoppenbruch, Stolzenberg, and Langfuhr who were granted protected status by Prussia in 1773.  Their names and details about the meaning of the protected status (types Ordinarius, Extraordinarius, Bediente) appear in the government order, "No. XL. General-Privilegium und Reglement fuer die Judenschaft in den Danziger Vorstaedten, Hoppenbruch, Stolzenberg und Langfuhr. De Dato Berlin, den 9. August 1773."  With a few possible exceptions, no surnames are present in the order, as expected, since it pre-dates surname adoption in the area.  The Remarks field sometimes contains speculation about possible surnames adopted in 1814, based on comparison with the 1814 Danzig surname adoption list included in NALDEX and on the Danzig SIG website, with some additional remarks.  When a name contains two words, it is generally likely that the first is the given name and the second is the father's name, but this is not guaranteed to be true.  [224 entries].

  • Web:
    • Web Judenporzellan:
      The “Jewish Porcelain”: A commented collection of data concerning the legal and social history of the Jews in the Prussia of Frederick the Great 1769–1788, by Tobias Schenk ( http://quellen-perspectivia.net/en/judenporzellan/start).
      Extraction of Danzig-specific data from this website concerning Jews' purchase of porcelain from the Koenigliche Porzellan Manufaktur in Berlin in exchange for various privileges (e.g., settlement, marriage).  For additional background, see the description by Schenk at http://JewishGen.org/Danzig/Judenporzellan.php.  Note that the Name field refers to the purchaser of the porcelain, while the Residence field refers to the residence of the beneficiary of the privilege (usually the same person).  The Date field refers to the purchase date, while the Remarks include the privilege date.  The entry number following "e" in the Source field is the serial number of the purchase.  Some Remarks fields are truncated and indicate that the full text can be found at http://JewishGen.org/Danzig/Judenporzellan.php.  Also found there, but not in this database, are the purchase prices of the porcelain.  Purchase dates range from 13 Apr 1774 to 31 Dec 1786, before the time of surname adoption in the Danzig area, so few surnames are included.  Surnames in square brackets with question marks, like [COHN?], are speculations based on matching names in the 1814 surname adoption list.  When a name contains two words, it is generally likely that the first is the given name and the second is the father's name, but this is not guaranteed to be true.  [51 entries].

Errors

All entries in this database have been proofread by at least a second volunteer, but errors are always possible.  If you believe you have found an error, please tell us what you believe is wrong, why, and the Source field for the entry.

Acknowledgments

This database exists because of the cooperation of the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, the Family History Library, the Jewish Museum, and the Leo Baeck Institute (Jerusalem); the volunteer efforts of Barbara Algaze, Tamar Amit, Angelika Boening, Logan Kleinwaks, Zeeva Levy, and Roni Pelled; the support of Barbara Algaze, Ralph Chayen, Mark Kalisch, Logan Kleinwaks, Gerard Salomon, Senta Simon, and Rose Losch Speiser; and the dedication of the current and former JewishGen team, including Warren Blatt, Joyce Field, Susan E. King, Michael Tobias, and Avraham Groll.  If you would like to assist in making more Danzig genealogical data available online, please contact us.


Searching the Database

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