Introduction by Michael Moritz
Hamburg was the home of one of Germany’s most storied Jewish communities, with centuries of history and unique Jewish personalities. Much of Hamburg’s Jewish life centered in the neighborhood of Altona, which was an independent city until 1937.
For centuries, Altona sat on the dividing line between Denmark and German Hamburg, and Altona was under Danish control until 1864. Unlike the still-divided German states, Denmark had censuses frequently taken of its population. Being that Altona was under Danish control, its population was included in those censuses.
This data set contains all of the Jews of Altona listed in the 1845 Danish census, in total about 2,200 individuals separated by household. The census is remarkable for its time in how much information was provided – not only each member of the house, but also their age, place of birth and religion.
Additionally, what is uniquely interesting about the Jewish community of Altona is it had one of the only Sephardic communities in Northern Europe, east of the Netherlands. All Jews are thus listed either as members of the “German” community or the “Portuguese” community. There are 87 individuals listed as “Portuguese,” with distinctively Sephardic surnames, including Souza, Delmonte, Abensur and De Castro.
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This index of the Jews of Altona from the 1845 Danish census was prepared by Michael Moritz, who donated his work to JewishGen.org.
Special thanks to Avraham Groll, and Warren Blatt for their continued contributions to Jewish genealogy. Particular thanks to Alex Calzareth, Director of German Resesarch.
This database is searchable via JewishGen’s German Database.
Current Record Count: 2219