It may seem like one’s family history can only be found by locating and analyzing a wide variety of original documents. However, a researcher may not be the first person to be interested in a particular family’s history, so it is always worthwhile to review what research has been done before. Anyone researching a German-Jewish family should always investigate the holdings of the Leo Baeck Institute, which has digitized much of its archival holdings.
The Leo Baeck Institute holds hundreds of family trees. These family trees can prove to be a valuable source, as many of them were compiled in the first few decades of the 1900s, and some earlier. The compilers likely recorded personal recollections and relationships that may be difficult to otherwise reconstruct, especially as families moved to larger cities in the early 20th century. In addition, they may have had access to sources that have since been destroyed. These family trees can provide excellent clues and be instructive in guiding a family historian’s research even today.
LBI’s catalog entries usually contain only the main surnames and places that are covered in each family tree, so relevant family trees may still remain hidden. In order to make the LBI family trees more widely available, JewishGen has partnered with LBI to create an easy to search index of select family trees. In the initial stage, Lars Menk has indexed first and last names (or patronyms), as well as dates and places of birth and death, focusing on those individuals born in the 19th century and earlier. Each entry also includes a link to the original family tree and a page reference so researchers can further explore the family trees.
The first stage of this project includes data from the following family trees:
To learn more about this collection, search the data, and to view the complete list of volunteers involved with this project, please follow this link: https://www.jewishgen.org/new/lbi-family-tree-index/
To access JewishGen’s entire German Collection, visit: https://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Germany/