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The Genealogical Research Division of

Frankfurt Ele Toldot


The Frankfurt Index-Database is designed to help researchers find and reconcile information contained in several major sources of data about the Jewish Community of Frankfurt am Main.  

The Microsoft Access file includes a single table which contains all of the data, and a single form style which is used for entering and searching for information.  When the file is loaded, you will see a “switchboard” screen.  Click on “Enter/Edit: Ele Toldot” and the form for accessing the data will appear.  This database does not utilitze Microsoft Access’s relational database features.

Sources. The base source of data is Shlomo Etttlinger’s Ele Toldot, a typewritten set of many thousand sheets compiled over several decades in the 20th century from the original documents in Germany and elsewhere. There are several copies of this many-volume material housed at various archives, and there are indications that each set may vary slightly.  The version used for this database was, for the most part, the one in the collection of the Leo Baeck Institute in NY City.

The information in Ele Toldot is supplemented with data from other reliable sources. These sources have been used when they appear to clarify or improve upon Ettlinger’s information.  Since his focus was specifically on Frankfurt, records from other communities often provide important additional data.

The following table lists some of the sources used in addition to Ele Toldot and how they are referred to in the database.


Referred to as

Die Inschriften des alten Friedhofs der israelitischen Gemeinde zu Frankfurt am Main, [Sefer Avnei Zicharon] by Rabbi Marcus Horovitz ; J. Kauffmann (Frankfurt am Main, 1901).


Frankfurt Beerdigungsbuch in the Jacobson collection on microfilm at the Leo Baeck Institute


Gedenkbuch der Frankfurter Juden: Transcription/translation of the Frankfurt Berrdigungsbuch by Simon Unna

sk or Unna

Epidat: The Steinheim Institut's database of gravestone transcriptions for Frankfurt, Worms, and many other communities.

Epidat (followed by the code - e.g. "ffm-663")

Stammbuch der Frankfurter Juden, 1349-1849, by Dr. Alexander Dietz (Verlag von J. St. Goar, Frankfurt am Main; 1907).


Andernacht" Regesten zur Geschichte der Juden in der Reichsstadt Frankfurt am Main von 1401-1519 (Forschungen zur Geschichte der Juden)

Andernacht or And.

Dr. Michael Brocke: Der alte juedische Friedhof zu Frankfurt am Main


Gedenkbücher (Memorbücher) von Offenbach a. Main, by C. Duschinsky


Leopold Loewenstein (Several works)


Die Inschriften des Alten Judenfriedhofes in Wien, by Dr. Bernhard Wachstein  [Also some refs. to Wachstein's work on Eisenstadt]


Gruene Buch of Worms as transcribed by Berthold Rosenthal  

Grn Buch

Worms Memorbuch – Kobets al Jad


Gravestone transcriptions by Julius Rosenthal and Samson Rothschild: Die Epitaphien des alten israelitischen Friedhofs zu Worms (some of which are included in a handwritten list (item #11 III 100 in the Jacobson Collection at the Leo Baeck Institute) but many of which are in the Worms Epidat).


Levi von Bonn alias Löb Kraus und die Juden im Alten Reich. Birgit Klein

Klein: LeviBonn

Frankfurt Pinkas 1552-


Frankfurter Judenstaettigkeitsliste vom Jahre 1802

1802- followed by the number of the house in the articles on that subject in Juedische Familienforschung.

Die Juedische Gemeinde von Frankfurt/Main in der fruehen Neuzeit: Cilli Kasper-Holtkotte


Franz-Josef Ziwes: Studien zur Geschichte der Juden im mittleren Rheingebiet waehrend des hohen und spaeten Mittelalters.


Content. Almost every individual in the database has his or her own record (displayed as a row in the table view and as a single screen with labelled fields when you are working with the form).

If the field labelled "Source" is empty, it means the individual has a sheet with name, death date, and other data, in Ettlinger’s Ele Toldot. If the source field contains a name (surname, name of a house, or first name), it means that we have not found an Ele Toldot sheet for the individual, but he/she appears in the Ele Toldot index for that name.  For example, if the field says “Baruch,” we know of this individual from the Ele Toldot index for the name Baruch. If the field says “Storch,” we know of the individual from the index for the house of the Storch.  In some cases, the person was found on the sheet for a parent or spouse (or child) but not in an index (this is rare because Ettlinger's indices are incredibly complete), so the Source field will usually read "Individuals from E. T."  Whether from this or from an index entry, the chronology field at the bottom of the form for a person who does not have his or her own sheet in E. T. will show a date (the death year and month of the person on whose sheet this individual is mentioned) followed by "bei".

Individuals found in the indices sometimes show a handwritten date.  In almost every case, these are people who converted away from Judaism and are found in the "Judentaufen" section of Ele Toldot. Most of these dates are the baptism date, but the death date is sometimes used, if known.  Entries in the database for these individuals show the addition of a "T" in the chronology field.

There are several other references which can appear in the source field. For example, "Individuals from Epidat" indicates we only know of the person from his/her Steinheim Institut Epidat epitaph.

Presentation of Data. To the extent possible, entries are directly copied from Ele Toldot, with additions and corrections in brackets, if from outside sources, or in parentheses, if from other sections of Ele Toldot where the data are not in agreement or are in addition to the information shown on the person's own sheet. (Because Ettlinger worked on this project for so many years, he sometimes missed a spot where a newly corrected piece of data needed to be entered. In addition, his section on the houses of the Judengasse and who lived in them often has information which is not shown on that person's own E.T. sheet, so it is important to show both as a way of evaluating which factoids are right, which are wrong, or which work together and are both accurate.) In the “Footnotes” field, the types of information can vary greatly, depending on the issues being clarified or questioned, but sources are shown whenever there is room.

Since Ettlinger makes clear what each individual's exact name is, we have been able to insert, as an aid to searching the database, additional, standardized pre-names (such as Sarah for Serle or Sorchen, Gutle for Gittel or Guetchen, Moses for Moshe and even for Meisus, Jacob for Jekkel or Jaakov, Isaac for Jitschak and Eisik, etc.). Searching for them would otherwise be impossible, and this standardization allows the search capabilities of the program to live up to their full potential.  When a name has a spelling with many variations we have tried to use one spelling. For instance, in the case of Gotschalk or Gottschalk, etc., we have used a standard spelling of Getschlik, so that the search can be made for "Get" with both Getschlik and Getz being found in one step  The same is true of certain surnames, to avoid the need to search by several different possible spellings. "Haas" and "Hase", "Flesch" and "Flasche" are examples of these. Here again, the individual did not necessarily ever use the "extra" spelling which we have added for searching purposes. Also, note that FNU and LNU mean "first name unknown" and "last name unknown"

Where we have marked z"l after a person's father's name, it means he is so designated in the epitaph of the person and predeceased him or her (or died before the gravestone was placed).

Umlauts and other accent marks are not used at all in the database out of compatibility concerns.

Organization of Data. The database consists of 12 fields:

  • ID: This is a unique number automatically assigned by Microsoft Access and has no genealogical significance
  • Name: The name of the individual, frequently, but not always, with the same wording as on the person's Ele Toldot sheet.
  • Death Date: The date of death expressed as DDMMYYYY (eg: 07031395 is 7 March 1395). Additional qualifiers, such as the Hebrew month of death or “after” are also sometimes included. “um” is equivalent to "circa". There is also is a “Chron” field which allows chronological sorting of the database. When referring to a death date in fields other than the Death Date or Chron field (for instance in he field for Father, or Mother, or Spouse, etc.) the following formats are usually used: For individuals who have their own Ele Toldot sheets, Ettlinger's method of using an equals-sign followed by the day, month, and year is used in most cases, showing the months as Roman numerals (for example, =24 V 1623) except in the cases of "Jan" and "Feb", which are too easy, in some fonts, to misread as a capital "I" and eleven (for example =16 Feb 1762 instead of =16 II 1762).. The use of "d." for died, in place of an equals-sign should mean that the person does not have his or her own Ele Toldot sheet, except where this was missed.
  • HO Number: This is the number of the entry in Rabbi Horovitz's Sefer Avnei Zicharon (not to be confused with the gravestone number, which, for most individuals, is also included in that book, but which is not mentioned in this index-database except where the grave number proximity helps to identify the person).
  • Source: The source of the data (discussed above)
  • House: The name of the house (or houses) in Frankfurt associated with the individual. Other communities where the individual lived also are indicated in this field (for example, an individual who came from Gelnhausen and lived in the house of the Buchsbaum in Frankfurt will be entered as Gelnhausen, Buchsbaum). When the person lived in another city which used house names, and the house name is known, it is included in parentheses: e.g. Worms (Haus Wolf).
  • Father: The name of the father of the individual.  As noted above in more detail, if his death date is expressed with an equals-sign (eg. =um 1475), then he has his own sheet in Ele Toldot.
  • Mother: The name of the mother of the individual. As noted above in more detail, if her death date is expressed with an equals-sign (eg. =1550/51), then she has her own sheet in Ele Toldot
  • Spouse(s): The name of the individual’s spouse(s). As noted above in more detail, if a spouse’s death date is expressed with an equals-sign (eg. =15 X 1630), then he/she has his/her own sheet in Ele Toldot. When no names are shown in this field, there should be a "v" for married (verheiratet), to indicate that it is known that the person married but not to whom, or "unm" when the person died unmarried, often followed by another word, such as "bachur" or "child", etc., which might help the user know whether this was a person who died young or just never married. If the field is empty it is for lack of any marriage information.   
  • Children: The names of the individual’s children. As noted above in more detail, if a child’s death date is expressed with an equals sign (eg. =1550/51), then he/she has his/her own sheet in Ele Toldot.  In this field (as in certain other places) Eshet (wife of) is expressed as e', but "m." or "marr" is usually used for a man.  So for instance a brother and sister, Loeb and Brendle, might be described as "Loeb m. Gutle Bonn, and Brendle e' Isaac Kann". In both cases, it simply means "married to".
  • Footnotes: Additional notes and source information relevant to the individual. Some frequently-used indicators are "joledet" for a woman who died in childbirth, chasan for a cantor, AB"D (Av Bes Din) for a head Rabbi, and wherever possible notations about the person's age at death.  This is also where references from other sources are placed, whenever possible, and where conflicts in data are discussed and sometimes resolved.
  • Chron: The chronology field (which is the field on which the database sorts, unless another field is specified by the user) is, wherever possible, the person’s own death year (as given by Ettlinger) followed by a period and the two digit month. However, if the person only appears on another individual’s Ele Toldot sheet, it will be that individual's death date which shows in that field, followed by the word "bei".

When subsequent research has revealed a death date of which Ettlinger was unaware, the chronology field will still show the death date given in Ele Toldot. Any corrected death date will be shown either in the Death Date field or in the Footnotes field.

The following guidelines apply to using the database in its original Microsoft Access format. These may not be applicable once the database is online.        

Some Notes on Searching. To find a person for whom you have an Ele Toldot sheet or reference, begin your search (using Control-F to search the Death Date field) by inputting the death date shown on the Ele Toldot sheet (even if that date is now known to be incorrect). Be sure to enter the information in the same format as the Death Date field (DDMMYYYY) and to select “Match Any Part of Field” when you are using Control-F.  If the exact date is not shown on the Ele Toldot sheet, enter just the month and year, or just the year, and keep searching until you find the right record.

A sometimes easier way is to search in the HO field for the person's Horovitz number, if he or she has one.

To find a person without using Ele Toldot as a starting point decide on the best search parameters and either click Control-F and search in the appropriate field (select "current field"), or search in all fields ("current document").

If your search can involve multiple keywords (for example, an ancestor Isaac haLevi whose children include a son named Suskind), select Home/ Sort and Filter/ Advanced/ Filter by Form.  

The Filter by Form option allows Like searches, with the keyword held between quotation marks and asterisks, and with And and Or and certain other formats permitted. This type of search will allow you to find otherwise hopeless matches such as Like "*Isaac*" And "*seGal*" under Name, combined with Like "*Suskind*" under Children (as in the above example).

For further information, please contact: E. Randol Schoenberg.

Searching the Database

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