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Family Genealogies, Part 1

4General Resources
4Jewish Encyclopedias
4Bibliographies of Hebrew Books
4General Bio-Bibliographical Works
4Chassidic Rabbis
4Family Genealogies, Part I
4Family Genealogies, Part II
4Sephardi and Mizrahi Sources
4Yizkor Books
4South Africa
4United States

4Jewish Historical Periodicals
4Journals of Jewish Genealogy



(H) = Hebrew, (E) = English, (G) = German, (Y) = Yiddish, (F) = French, (R) = Russian, (P) = Polish

To locate resources, see How to Locate Rabbinic Information Sources in Libraries and Archives.

  • Alfasi, Yitskhak. Sefer Hayakhas Lebeit Eliash. Jerusalem, 1975.(H)
    • Descendants and ancestors of the Eliash family of Vilna (related to the Vilna Gaon). [Comment by Chaim Freedman, F1]
  • de Trani, Isaiah (1180-1250). Shem Ha-Machriah (The Book of the Arbitrator). Livorno, 1779. (H)
    • Has a genealogy of a later publisher, Noah Samuel Lifshitz (Lublin, 1897) which ends with the Lurias, Rashi, and King David. [Comment by David Einsiedler, F2]
  • de Weille, G.J. and de Weille Jr, G.A. Het Geslacht de Weille (Weil, Weill, De Veille, De Veil). Weesp, Netherlands: Drukkerij-Boekhandel G. a. de Weille & Zn., 1936. (in Dutch)
  • Eisenstadt, Israel Tuvia, Daat Kedoshim (Knowledge of the Holy Ones). St. Petersburg, Russia: J. Berman & Co., 1897-98.(H, G)
    • This work was written as a memorial to the two famous martyrs, Yisrael Zak and Tuviah Bachrach, who were burned at the stake in Rossinoi, Belarus, in 1660. Essentially they were the ancestors of the families Zak and Bachrach, while the book covers other major families. It is divided into the following major sections:
      • ZAK - includes Katzenellenbogen, Broida, Grayever, Rabbinovitch, Meizel, Polak
      • BACHRACH - includes Altshuler, Jaffe
      • POSNAN
      • MIRELS - includes Neumark, Ashkenazy, Berlin, Broda, Frenkel
      • HEILPRIN - Parness, Horowitz, Hochgelerenter, Margolis
      • YOSEF YOSKA of Dubno - includes Auerbach, Babad, Berliner, Eskeles, Heilprin, Heshil of Krakow, Kara, Landau, Lipshutz, Meizels, Ornstein, Shorr, Teumim
      • RAPAPORT - includes Ashkenazy, Halberstadt, Epstein, Sirkin, Meizels, Volozhiner, Luria, Ettinger, Berlin, Zusman
      • ROKEACH
      • EISENSTADT - includes Shach (Shabbtai ben Meir ha-Cohen)
      • GUNZBERG - Mirkes, Landau, Levi
    • Each section is arranged by generation number for cross-reference. The entries include dates, places and biographical material. Daughters are included by name (where known) and not just in order to link rabbinic sons-in-law. Likewise fathers-in-law are noted as are rabbinical positions held and books written. Daat Kedoshim is an extensive source of over two hundred pages which continues lines recorded in earlier works, updating them to the end of the nineteenth century. It is a major authoritative source of classical rabbinic genealogy, often quoted in later genealogical works. [Comment by Chaim Freedman, F1]
    • Includes genealogical material on the following families: Bachrach, Eisenstadt, Friedland, Ginzburg, Heilperin, Katzenellenbogen, Merowitz, Mintz, Rapoport, and Rokeach. Part 2 includes 60 transcriptions from cemeteries in Leipnik, Lublin, Ludmir, Minsk, Nikolsburg, Satanow, Slutsk, St. Petersburg, Tykocin, Vienna, and Vilna. [F3]
  • Epstein, A. Mishpakhat Luria. Vienna, 1901.(H)
    • Traces the ancestry of the Luria family and gives details of principal descendants. Whilst this work provides considerable information, it has been criticised for its inaccuracies and unsubstantiated claims. [Comment by Chaim Freedman, F1]
  • Ehrlich, S. Ateret Yehoshua. New York: Photocopied version of a pre-Holocaust publication, 1982.(H)
    • Biography and descendants of Rabbi Yaakov Yehoshua of Lemberg, Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, etc. Includes considerable genealogical material. [Comment by Chaim Freedman, F1]
  • Friedberg, Chaim-Dov (Bernhard) (1876-1961). Bnei Landau Lemishpakhotam. Frankfurt am Main, 1905. (H)
  • Friedberg, Chaim-Dov (Bernhard) (1876-1961). Hayakhas min Mishpachat Steinberg. Anvers, 1934. (H)
  • Friedberg, Chaim-Dov (Bernhard) (1876-1961). Toldot Mishpachat Horowitz. Frankfurt am Main, 1911. Antwerpen, 1928. (H)
    • Detailed material on the early generations of the Horowitz family. [Comment by Chaim Freedman, F1]
  • Friedberg, Chaim-Dov (Bernhard) (1876-1961). Toldot Mishpakhat Shor. Frankfurt am Main, 1901. (Reprinted: Brooklyn, 1994) (H)
    • Genealogical material about the major personalities in the early generations of the famous rabbinical family Shor. [Comment by Chaim Freedman, F1]
  • Fraenkel, Louis and Henry. Forgotten Fragments of the History of an Old Jewish Family. Copenhagen-Munich: K. G. Saur, 1975. (E)
    • The cited book has been reprinted in a two-volume book: Fraenkel, Louis and Henry. Genealogical Tables of Jewish Families, 1st-20th Centuries. Munich: K. G. Saur, 1999. This book is not oriented to a rabbinical focus. It is however very valuable. [Comment by Werner L. Frank]
  • Freedman, Chaim. Eliyahu’s Branches: The Descendants of the Vilna Gaon and his Family. Teaneck, NJ: Avotaynu, 1997. (E)
    • Genealogy of the descendants of the Vilna Gaon and his siblings. Includes about 20,000 people with many families updated to the date of publication. Extensive sources and bibliography. Biographical details where available, often including personalities previously unknown to the English readers. Detailed explanation of research methodology. [Comment by Chaim Freedman, F1]
  • Heilprin, Shmuel Eliezer. Sefer Hatze’etzaim. Jerusalem, 1980. (H)
    • Descendants of the founder of Chabad (Lubavitch) Chassidism, Rabbi Shneour Zalman of Liadi. Each generation is presented with biographical material. Updated to current generations. [Comment by Chaim Freedman, F1]
  • Heilprin, Y. Shalshelet Hayikhus. 1740. (H)
  • Horodetsky, S. A.. Rabbi Nakhum mi-Chernobyl ve-tze'etza'av.(H)
    • Rabbi Nachum of Chernobyl and his descendants.
  • Horowitz, Tsvi. Toldot Mishpakhat Horowitz. Krakow, 1932. (H)
  • Jacoby, Paul J. The Kara-Caro-Karo Family. Jerusalem: two-volume typescript, 1988.
    • By the renowned late attorney and genealogist. The first non-rabbinical source on the Sephardi and Ashkenazi Caro Family ever written. [Comment by Chava Agmon]
  • Katzenellenbogen, Pinkhas. Yesh Mankhilin. Jerusalem, 1986. (H)
    • This book was based on a manuscript written by a member of the Katzenellenbogen family in the mid-eighteenth century. Essentially a personal memoir, the author mentions many rabbis and their families. The editor has prepared indices of those mentioned to facilitate research. A fascinating and valuable first hand source of rabbinical genealogy. [Comment by Chaim Freedman, F1]
  • Kohen-Tzedek, Yosef. Dor Yesharim (Generation of Righteous). Berdichev, 1898. (H)
    • Material on the classical medieval rabbinical families descended from Rashi, through the Treves and Luria families. The author was a renowned nineteenth century genealogist. A number of his claims have been disputed by the modern genealogy critic, Rabbi Shlomo Englard. [Comment by Chaim Freedman, F1]
  • Kohen-Tzedek, Yosef. Shem Ve-She'erit (Name and Remainder). Krakow, 1895. (H)
    • Both books (Dor Yesharim and Shem Ve-She'erit) contain the theme of descent of the Lurias from Rashi. It may be of interest to note that some of the Treves changed the name to Dreyfus. [Comment by David Einsiedler, F2]
  • Levin, N. Megilat Yukhsin. Warsaw, 1889.(H)
  • Lipschitz, Chaim Uri and Neil Rosenstein. The Feast and the Fast. Jerusalem. New York: Moriah Offset, 1984. (E)
    • The autobiographical Megillat Eiva (Scroll of Envy), 1645, by the famous Rabbi Yom Tov Lipman Heller, ABD Prague, (the Tosfos Yomtov), describes his prosperous life, the great misfortune that befell him and his ultimate triumph over adversity. The Feast and the Fast, the English translation of Megillat Eiva, includes genealogical charts of many of his descendants. [Comment by Neil Rosenstein]
  • Lipshitz (Lifshitz), Arye Judah Loeb. Avot Ateret Lebanim. Warsaw, 1927.(Reprinted Tel Aviv, 1965) (H)
    • Whilst the prime purpose of the book is to present the descendants of the Katzenellenbogen family, many inter-related families are included with coded cross reference. This work is chronologically an extension of Daat Kedoshim, while its purpose is to concentrate on the descendants of Shaul Wahl (Katzenellenbogen). Because the book was written in the late 1920’s it differs from earlier sources in that it is not restricted to rabbinical personalities, although these abound. The changes which took place in the Jewish social structure in the early twentieth century produced later generations whose activities were not only in the rabbinic sphere. Therefore this book provides a valuable source for those families whose immediate ancestors may not have been famous rabbis, but who hold a tradition of descent from a particular rabbi. The major families covered, other than the main Katzenellenbogen lines and their appendages, include Bloch, Heilprin, Pines, Zabludowsky, Lipshutz, Rotenberg, Alter, Morgenstern, Shershevsky, Folman, Tsuker, Levin, Finkelstein. A separate section is devoted to the Polish family Berliner which stemmed from Rabbi Tsvi Hersh of Berlin and which settled principally in Piotrykow, with links to families Baharier Posner, Gliksman, Morgenstern, Schwerdscharf and Michelson. There is also a list of people who held a tradition of descent from Shaul Wahl, but whose exact descent the author was unable to determine. This book is a valuable precursor to Neil Rosenstein’s The Unbroken Chain. [Comment by Chaim Freedman, F1]
    • Has a great number of derivative families. It begins with a detailed history of Saul Wahl, moves back to each ancestor up to Rashi, mentions the few known ancestors of Rashi, on to Hillel, to Shephatiah, son of David, as far back as Judah (head of the tribe). The primary families are Wahl, Katzenellenbogen, Luria, Treves, Spiro, and Shapiro. One part has a list of ancestors from the Lifshutz family all the way to King David, followed by a number of related branches. Some of the derivative families: Ginzburg, Schor, Teomim, Shereshevski, Morgenstern, Posner, Berliner, Levinsohn, Alter, Weinberg, Bernstein, Falman, and Rotenberg. [Comment by David Einsiedler, F2]
  • Lourie, Anton. Die Familie Lourie. Vienna, 1923. (G)
    • The author is a direct descendant of the Lurias and was particularly interested in tracing the Polish branch of the family, which is still with us today. I am quite certain that he consulted the three Luria genealogies composed by earlier historians of the family, as did Epstein, but came to different conclusions. [F4]
  • Maggid, David. Toldot Mishpakhat Ginzburg. St. Petersburg, Russia, 1899. (H)
    • Traces various branches of the Ginzburg family with biographical material and genealogical charts. Tends to be disorganized and often fails to show clear linkage between certain branches. Critical comments by other genealogists appear in appendices. [Comment by Chaim Freedman, F1]
    • The Ginzburg saga tells of some family members who are descendants of the MaHaRaL of Prague, others of Saul Wahl, both descendants of King David. Some of the derivative families are: Itingen, Lichtenstadt, Roffe, Winkler, Ginzburger, and Paprosh. [Comment by David Einsiedler, F2]

Continue to Family Genealogies, Part II >>

4Information on rabbinical genealogy published on the Internet may be found separately in the extensive Links section of the Rav-SIG web site. See: Links Index.


1. All comments by Chaim Freedman are used with permission from his book, Beit Rabbanan: Sources of Rabbinic Genealogy. Petah Tikva, Israel: self-published, 2001.

2. Einsiedler, David. "Are You a Descendant of King David? A Look at Rabbinic Sources." Roots-Key: Journal of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles. Spring, 1988.

3. Hundert, Gershon David. "18th-Century Polish Jewry: Demographic and Genealogical Problems." Avotaynu: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy. Winter, 1999.

4. Richter, John Henry. "About Some Problems with Rabbinic Genealogies." Avotaynu: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy. Spring, 1989.

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