Advanced question on family name adoption lists in Baden #germany #records


For many years, I have used extensively the name adoption lists in Baden for my research.    A great resource for Baden researchers are the files created by Berthold Rosenthal available online at the Center for Jewish History.   The part of his collection containing the name adoption lists is here:

In these files, depending on the town there may be:
1.  Lists of names from enumerations before names were adopted towards the beginning of the 19th century.
2.  Lists of names of heads of households at the moment of the name adoption with the new family name:  e.g. Samuel Judel = Samuel Emmerich
3.  Lists of names of individuals with their new names,  including other family members.    These are the most rich in information and usually have the ages of all the individuals and frequently the birthdates as well.     As such, these files seem to represent the most easily accessible (online) resources for "census" type information and 18th century birthdates previous to the 19th century "Matrikel" files that are available online (from the Baden archives or Familysearch) and usually start around 1810.

Does anyone know about the original sources that Rosenthal used to create his lists and whether/how those sources can be accessed?

Thanks very much,
Jeff Sugarman


Bade was politically very close to Franceand was dependant after 1806 from French Empire (Napoléeon 1st).
It should have follwed the law edicted the 20 of July requiring that all jews take a family name and be identified by First name -Family name and more with XXX ben (or bath) YYY. That leeds to funny things (greek names like Aristide, all the jews from a village taking the same family name etc.)
For more infos in French, look at
Truly yours
Jean-Pierre Lambert, president of the jewish society for historical studies, Alsace and Lorraine.

Irwin Keller

I never knew this resource. Very exciting – found my ancestors in the lists. Thank you, Jeff. I'll watch the conversation closely to see what answers people to your question.

David Seldner

Yes, the original source is in the Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe. It is all based on the "Judenedikt" of Grossherzig Carl Friedrich, dated Jan 13, 1809 in which he requested that all Jews in Baden have to adopt a "vererbbarer Zuname". I took a look at the collection when I was at LBI in New York many years ago. As mentioned, the original tables with "old name", "new name" is in the Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe. I only checked the list for Hainstadt in Baden which was written in Wallduern and is contained in the list of the "Landvogtei Mosbach". GLA Abt. (department) 313, Nr. 1262 - but I guess that this number is not valid for the whole collection. It was more than 20 years ago that I was in those archives. Unfortunately, no family members were listed.
David Seldner, Karlsruhe, Germany


Hi all
I have also used the Berthold Rosenthal documents available online from the Leo Baeck Institute. I have also noticed this document available from Family Search which looks like it could be a copy of the microfilm held in the Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe. David, could you confirm ?

Unfortunately the document is hard to use because of the way it is assembled. First, all left pages, then all right pages.

Also, I read on one of the old Jewish Gen forums that there were two documents : one in 1809 and one in 1815 and that Berthold Rosenthal only copied the 1809.

Best Regards
Daniel Mayer

Ralph Baer

In some cases Rosenthal copied the 1809 list and in others the 1815 list. Rarely did he copy both. The 1809 lists only contain ages, not dates of birth. The 1815 lists usually contain the dates of birth at least for children. They may not be correct which can be seen by comparing young children's birth dates with those on birth records.

When i was at the Generallandesarchiv in Karlsruhe, I looked at some of the records which Rosenthal did not copy.

One more thing, some of the microfilms of these records which can be seen using DigiBaeck at the Leo Baeck institute website were microfilmed very light and are difficult to decipher.
Ralph N. Baer        RalphNBaer@...       Washington, DC