While the name and live data of my ggg-grandfather, Heimann Itzig ELKELES
(born Posen 1784, died Posen 08 May 1875) are well documented, there are
some difficulties concerning his wife.
In the household books of Posen city starting in the 1840s her name is
constantly given as Sara HAMM, born 1803 in Posen, died there 08 Jun 1862.
There can be no doubt about the reading of the name. But in the death
certificate of Heimann Itzig >from 1875 the name is given as Sara LOEWENBERG.
The same name is also given in the death certificate of two sons, who died
in 1887 and 1912, while the death certificate of the oldest son (died 1891)
says that the name of his mother was unknown. The death certificate of the
youngest son, who died in 1904, gives the name of the mother as "Dorchen
Civil registration only started in 1874/1875. The Jewish registers of Posen
city are lost. So there is no chance to get an original document.
There is a low probability that Heimann Itzig ELKELES married twice, so that
the youngest son came >from another wife, called also "Sara". There is a gap
of three years between the date of birth of the youngest children (1830 and
1833). But on my opinion they rather are the same person.
I did not find the surnames HAMM, HAIM, CHAIM as Jewish surnames in early
documents >from Posen city (magistrates list >from 1832, naturalization
registers, early city directories). But there were some CHAIM/HAIM at
Schwersenz nearby and in other communities in the region.
There were some LOEWENBERG at Posen city in the 1850ies and later, as far as
known they were born in the province of Posen and later moved to Posen city.
Sara is said to have been born at Posen city, but this kind of information
has been found to be wrong in some cases. Heimann and Sara must have married
about 1821/1822 (the first child was born in 1822), Sara being about 19
years old, her husband about 28, the minimal age of marriage for male Jewish
grooms was 24 in Prussian times at Posen.
I found a similar confusion in other branches of the family >from Posen with
identical first names and different surnames for a wife (Bertha MARGELES and
Bertha BUTTERMILCH, both born in Lissa, the first one in 1815).
Does anyone have suggestions on these contradictions: my own suggestion is
that the father of Sara was CHAIM, who called himself in the process of
names adoption in the 1830ies LOEWENBERG. Or did the name Chaim give the
religious name of her husband Heimann? Any suggestions are welcome.
Barbara Elkeles, North-Rhine Westphalia Barbara_Elkeles@gmx.de
Searching: ELKELES, ELKUS anywhere, PROCHOWNIK Posen, Leipzig, Hamburg