Sunday, May 21, 2017

Where Are All The Sterns From Kalocsa?

Eleonora Stern, wife of Ahron Schiffer
After visiting the old cemetery in Kalocsa Hungary the week before last and finding several Stern graves, including my third-great-grandparents, I decided to see what Jewish vital records are available for the town.

I was particularly interested in the death record for my third-great-grandmother Barbola (Bluma) Grunwald, the wife of Salamon (Zelig) Stern. At least I thought she was my 3-g-gm. Fani (Feige) Stern Bauer's mother could have been someone else and this woman a second wife. There are, after all, no records before 1850 and Feige was born in 1841. For that I needed additional information.

It turns out that Family Search has birth, death and marriage records for Kalocsa for the period 1850-1895, on line and at no charge. The film number is 624855.

I found the death record for Bluma Grunwald easily enough because the tombstone itself gave me the date of death.
The record is on the second line. She is listed as Grunwald with no mention of her husband's surname Stern

She died of "exhaustion" at age eighty, a widow originally from Perkat. Her death was 27 January 1887 and she was buried the next day. Her parents are Jakob Grunwald and Fani Hercz. My fourth-great-grandparents? I think so. My 2-g-gm is Fani like Bluma's mother.

Salamon's children
I spent several days downloading the whole set of records from Family Search and reviewing them. We knew that Salomon Stern (assuming there is only one!) had a daughter Fani (~1841), a daughter Sali (1851) and a son Wilhelm (1853) but nothing else. The first breakthrough came with the marriage records, which all have age and father's name. Here are Salamon's children as they appear in the marriage records.
  • Fani Stern, age 21, married Simon Bauer in February 1862 - my second g-gm.
  • Sophie Stern, age 20, married Avroham (Adolf) Schein in June 1863.
  • Michael Stern, age 24, married Leni Braun in December 1868.
  • Ignatz Stern, age 31, married Beti Schneider in April 1871.
  • Rosalia Stern, age 20, married Joseph Spitzer in May 1871.
The age for Roslia fits Sali.

I had now identified two children between Fani and Sali and became much more comfortable claiming Bluma as the mother of all of them. Still, there is a break of seven years between Michael and Sali/Rosalia.

There are eight other Stern marriages, including Fani, the daughter of Michael, in 1892. Four others are children of Ahron Stern who is about fifteen years younger than Salamon and could be his brother or nephew. The others are children of "M. Hersch" and David.

So based on a family of six children, I went through the birth and death records. Wilhelm had died at age three.

Salamon Stern [Zelig] b. Abt 1805, Paks, m. Barbala (Beti) Grunwald, [Bluma] b. Abt 1806,
Perkata, (daughter of Jakob Grunwald and Fani Hercz) d. 27 Jan 1887, 2 Shevat 5647, buried
Kalocsa.  Salomon died 6 May 1862, 6 Iyyar 5622, buried Kalocsa.
I.   Ignatz Stern [Izak Leib] b. Abt 1840, Kalocsa, m. 20 Apr 1871, in Kalocsa, Beti
     Schneider, [Bluma] b. Abt 1842.
     A.   Hermina Stern b. 15 Mar 1872, Kalocsa.
     B.   Salomon Stern [Zelig] b. 3 Nov 1873, Kalocsa.
     C.   Rosi Stern [Rivka] b. 11 Sep 1875, Kalocsa, d. note.
     D.   Josefina Stern [Frumat] b. 26 Dec 1876, Kalocsa.
     E.   Izidor Stern [??????] b. 9 Jan 1880, Kalocsa.
     F.   Matias Stern [Menahem Mendel] b. 31 Mar 1882, Kalocsa.
     G.   Jolan Stern [Chana] b. 20 Dec 1884, Kalocsa.
II.  Fani Stern [Feige] b. 1842, Kalocsa HUNGARY, m. 20 Jan 1862, in Kalocsa HUNGARY,
     Simon Bauer, [Shemaya] b. 1833, Kunszentmiklos HUNGARY, (son of Lasar Bauer and WOMAN
     xXxXx) d. 20 Jul 1902, 15-16 Tammuz 5662, buried Kunszentmiklos HUNGARY.  Fani died
     16 Mar 1911, 16-17 Adar 5671, buried Kunszentmiklos HUNGARY.
     A.   Ilona Bauer [Dobrisch] b. 1 Jan 1863, Kunszentmiklos HUNGARY, m. Lipot Wiesel.
           Ilona died 21 Aug 1893.
     B.   Sigmund Bauer [Yehoshua] b. 28 Feb 1865, m. Rozsi Stern, [Sherl] b. Abt 1873, d.
          29 Jul 1928, 13 Av 5688, buried Neolog Cemetery Budapest.  Sigmund died 29 Apr
          1938, 28-29 Nisan 5698, buried Budapest HUNGARY.
     C.   Regina Bauer [Rivka] b. 1 Jul 1870, Kunszentmiklos HUNGARY, m. 8 May 1890, in
          Kunszentmiklos HUNGARY, Moritz Rosenzweig, [Moshe] b. 26 Nov 1858, Domanis
          SLOVAKIA, (son of Isaak Leib (Ignacz) Rosenzweig and Mari Zelinka) d. 1/2 Nov
          1928, 19 Heshvan 5689, buried (photo), Pittsburgh PA (Poale Zedeck-Sheraden).
          Regina died 5 Sep 1950, 23 Elul 5710, buried (photo), Pittsburgh PA (Poale
     D.   Louisa Bauer [Leah] b. 1 May 1873, Kunszentmiklos HUNGARY, m. (1) Mano Steiner,
          [Menasche] d. YES, m. (2) Christopher Andrea, d. YES.  Louisa died 8 Dec 1951, 9
          Kislev 5712, buried Troy Hill, Reserve Twp, Pittsburgh.
     E.   Lajos Bauer [Eliezer?] b. 3 Mar 1875, Kunszentmiklos HUNGARY, d. 17 Jul 1917,
          17-18 Tammuz 5677, buried Kunszentmiklos HUNGARY.
     F.   Hermina Bauer b. 31 Mar 1877, Kunszentmiklos HUNGARY, killed in the Shoah
     G.   Zsuzsanna Bauer b. 28 May 1884, Kunszentmiklos HUNGARY, killed in the Shoah.
III. Sophie Stern [Scheindel] b. Abt 1843, Kalocsa, m. 17 Jun 1863, in Kalocsa, Adolph
     Schein, [Avroham] b. Abt 1840, Rigiza Hungary?.  Sophie died note.
     A.   Stillborn b. 10 Jun 1870, Kalocsa.
     B.   Isidor Schein [Israel] b. 21 Aug 1871, Kalocsa.
     C.   Dezso Schein [David] b. 9 Sep 1874, Kalocsa.
     D.   Szilard Schein [?????] b. 10 May 1878, Kalocsa, d. 24 Apr 1886, 19 Nisan 5646,
           buried Kalocsa.
     E.   Salomon Schein [Yehoshua Zelig] b. 23 Feb 1880, Kalocsa.
IV.  Michael Stern b. Abt 1844, Kalocsa, m. 2 Dec 1868, in Kalocsa, Leni Braun, b. Abt 1848
     A.   Fani Stern b. 9 Sep 1869, Kalocsa, m. 15 May 1892, in Kalocsa, Ignacz
           Sonnenschein, b. Abt 1866.
     B.   Scharlota Stern [Scheindel] b. 24 Sep 1870, Kalocsa.
     C.   Salomon Stern [Zelig] b. 9 Oct 1871, Kalocsa, d. note?.
     D.   Rosa Stern [Rivka] b. 9 Jun 1875, Kalocsa.
V.   Rosalia (Sali) Stern [Sharl] b. 20 Feb 1851, Kalocsa, m. 29 May 1871, in Kalocsa,
     Joseph Spitzer, [Yosef] b. Abt 1844.
     A.   Neti Spitzer [Esther] b. 4 Mar 1872, Kalocsa, m. 16 Dec 1888, in Kalocsa, Nachem
           Friedman, [Nahum]
     B.   Siga Stern [Yehoshua Zelig] b. 19 Jun 1876, Kalocsa.
     C.   Mari Stern [Miriam] b. 15 Apr 1878, Kalocsa.
     D.   Rozsa Stern [Rivka] b. 10 Oct 1880, Kalocsa.
     E.   Ilona Stern [Leah] b. 10 Aug 1882, Kalocsa, d. 11 Aug 1887, 21 Av 5647, buried Kalocsa
     F.   Zsofie Stern [Scheindel] b. 22 Mar 1885, Kalocsa.
     G.   Mihaly Stern [YomTov Yehiel] b. 25 Jun 1889, Kalocsa.
VI.  Wilhelm Stern b. 2 Feb 1853, Kalocsa, d. 30 Jun 1856, 27 Sivan 5616, buried Kalocsa.

Regina in red is my great-grandmother and Sigmund in blue is Cousin Shabtai's grandfather.

Salamon as Zelig
As I wrote last week, Salamon's tombstone gives his Jewish name as Zelig, and Bluma's identifies her as "the wife of Zelig Stern." Ignatz and Michael named their first sons Salomon with the Jewish name Zelig. Sali Spitzer named her first son Siga (a form of Sigmund) with the Jewish name Yehoshua (=Joshua) Zelig and Fani's first son Sigmund was Yehoshua. Sofie Schein's youngest is Salomon and Yehoshua Zelig.

And my great-grandmother Regina Stern Bauer named her first son Sigmund and Zelig.

As I mentioned last week in a different context, Zelig is the Yiddish kinui (=nickname) for Asher. But it's not so simple. My friend Rabbi Dovid Shapiro tells me that the book on names, the Beis Shmuel, gives Zelig as an official kinui for Yitzhak, Yaakov, Reuven, Yehudah, Asher, Pinchas, Yehoshua, Yekutiel, Gershon, Chaim, Azriel, Nathan and a few more. Truly a multi-purpose nickname.

So it appears that my 3-g-gf was Zelig based on Yehoshua and his grandsons were given one or both of these Jewish names, with secular names Salomon or Sigmund.

I would like to see Shabtai's grandfather's tombstone in Budapest. Perhaps he too has both names.

Some of the other Sterns used these names at the same time and they too may be grandchildren of our Salomon/Zelig. Or nephews.

The other Sterns in Kalocsa
What about the scores or other Sterns in those Kalocsa records? Some are clearly identified families. Ahron and his wife Fani Kramer had nine children and I have identified fourteen grandchildren. But perhaps Anton Stern, with nine children, is also a son of Ahron. And others - Beti Weisz, for instance, may be from our Salomon.

Birth record with three given names
The incomplete information, the repeated given names and the various nicknames makes it hard to know. Answers may lie in the post-1895 records, particularly the deaths.(I actually have sixty pages of those, but very poor quality.)

Here is what I have recorded.

I.   M. Hersch Stern m. WOMAN.
     A.   Jakob Stern m. Rosi Straser.
          1.   Wilhelm Stern b. 12 Apr 1855, Kalocsa.
          2.   Joachim Leopold Stern b. 15 Mar 1857, Kalocsa, d. 1912.
          3.   Emanuel Stern b. 1 Nov 1860, Kalocsa.
          4.   Maximilian Stern [Meir ???] b. 1863, d. 1 Nov 1863, 19 Heshvan 5624, buried Kalocsa
     B.   Leopold Stern m. 2 Dec 1868, in Kalocsa, Mari Schiffer, (daughter of Aharon
          Schifer and Eleonora (Leni) Stern).
          1.   Mikal Stern [Yehiel Michel] b. 4 Jul 1870, Kalocsa.
          2.   Gisela Stern [Gittel] b. 27 Dec 1871, Kalocsa, d. 9 Sep 1873, Elul, buried Kalocsa
          3.   Rosa Stern b. 31 Dec 1873, Kalocsa.
II.  Aharon Stern b. Abt 1821, m. Fani Kramer, b. Abt 1829, d. 2 Jan 1892, buried Kalocsa.
      Aharon died 16 Aug 1873, buried Kalocsa.
     A.   Rosalia Stern [Sharl] b. Abt 1853, m. 19 Feb 1877, in Kalocsa, Samuel Salomon [Shelomo]
          1.   Adolf Salomon [Aharon] b. 22 Nov 1877, Kalocsa.
          2.   Sandor Zsiga Salomon [Yehoshua] b. 11 Sep 1879, Kalocsa.
          3.   Bercsi Salomon [Issachar] b. 25 Apr 1882, Kalocsa.
          4.   Rozsa Salomon [Rachel] b. 25 Mar 1885, Kalocsa.
          5.   stillborn son b. 26 Apr 1888, Kalocsa.
          6.   Mariska Salomon [Yenta] b. 29 Apr 1889, Kalocsa.
     B.   Hani (Johanna) Stern [Chana] b. 15 Dec 1856, Kalocsa, m. 12 Mar 1884, in
          Kalocsaa, Jakob Gamsz, [Yaakov]
          1.   Armin Gamsz [Aharon] b. 5 Dec 1884, Kalocsa.
          2.   Rozsa Gamsz [Rachel] b. 10 May 1886, Kalocsa.
          3.   Orzse Gamsz [Esther] b. 24 Mar 1889, Kalocsa.
          4.   Berta Gamsz [Deicha??] b. 4 Mar 1890, Kalocsa.
          5.   Ferencz Gamsz [UriShraga (Feiv] b. 21 Jun 1894, Kalocsa, d. 16 Jul 1894,
               buried Kalocsa.
     C.   Pepi Stern m. 4 Aug 1890, in Kalocsa, Fulop Schwarcz.
          1.   Vilmos Schwarcz [Binyamin Zeev] b. 20 Jun 1891, Kalocsa.
          2.   Nandor Schwarcz b. 28 Mar 1893, Kalocsa.
     D.   Julie Stern m. 25 Jun 1870, in Kalocsa, Joseph Friedman.
     E.   Leni Stern b. 19 Jan 1859, Kalocsa, d. 16 Feb 1859, 12 Adar 5619, buried Kalocsa
     F.   Bernad Stern b. 25 Mar 1860, Kalocsa, m. Regina Ullman.
         1.  Berta Stern [Beila] b. 3 Jun 1885, Kalocsa.
     G.   Rosi Stern b. 4 Dec 1862, Kalocsa.
     H.   Simon Stern [Shimshon] b. 14 Jan 1865, Kalocsa, d. 0114 1865, buried Kalocsa.
     I.   Kati Stern b. 21 Mar 1866, Kalocsa, d. 2 Mar 1868, buried Kalocsa.
III. Simon Stern m. WOMAN.
     A.   Mari Stern [Mindel] b. Abt 1814, m. Jakob Engel, b. Abt 1816, d. 23 Nov 1882.
          Mari died 8 Dec 1872, 6 Kislev 5633, buried Kalocsa.
          1.   Szali Engel b. Abt 1847, m. Fulop Klein.  Szali died 17 Nov 1892, buried Kalocsa
IV.  David Stern m. Fani Breuer.
     A.   Vilmos Stern [Binyamin Zeev] b. Abt 1870, m. Hani Roth, [Hindel]
          1.   Regina Stern [Rivka] b. 4 Aug 1891, Kalocsa.
          2.   Helen Stern b. 1 Jun 1893, Kalocsa.
V.   Eleonora (Leni) Stern [Leah] m. Aharon Schifer, b. Abt 1821, d. 9 Oct 1887, buried Kalocsa
     A.   Mari Schiffer m. 2 Dec 1868, in Kalocsa, Leopold Stern, (son of M. Hersch Stern
          and WOMAN).
          1.   (see children above in purple).
     B.   Jacob Schifer b. 21 Apr 1851, Kalocsa.
     C.   Josef Schifer b. 26 Apr 1855, Kalocsa.
     D.   Ignatz Leopold Schifer b. 6 Aug 1857, Kalocsa.
     E.   Emanuel Schifer b. 12 Mar 1861, Kalocsa.
     F.   Rosi Schiffer b. 16 Sep 1862, Kalocsa.
     G.   Salomon Schiffer b. 17 Mar 1865, Kalocsa.
     H.   Abroham Schoffer b. 17 Mar 1865, Kalocsa.
VI.  Beti Stern m. Leopold Weisz.
     A.   Fani Weisz b. 1 Oct 1851, Kalocsa.
     B.   Bernhad Weisz b. 24 Dec 1856, Kalocsa.
     C.   Abraham Weisz b. 18 May 1859, Kalocsa.
     D.   Salomon Zsiga Weisz [Zelig] b. 6 Nov 1862, Kalocsa.
     E.   Ida Weisz b. 2 Apr 1868, Kalocsa.
     F.   Ignatz Gustav Weisz [Yehudah] b. 7081871, Kalocsa, d. 1896?.
     G.   Isidor Weisz [Israel] b. 26 Jan 1874, Kalocsa.
VII. Joseph Stern m. Cilli Grunspan.
     A.   Philip Stern [Lipa?] b. 11 Aug 1864, Kalocsa.
VIII Juli Stern m. Lowy Braun.
     A.   Gesa Braun [Eliezer?] b. 20 Oct 1865, Kalocsa, d. Maybe 188?.
     B.   Ilka Braun b. 31 Aug 1868, Kalocsa.
     C.   Arpad Braun b. 30 Nov 1870, Kalocsa.
IX.  Anton Stern [Naftali] m. Neti Reh, [Esther]
     A.   Rosi Stern [Shifra] b. 16 Mar 1876, Kalocsa.
     B.   Adolf Stern [Aharon] b. 3 Oct 1877, Kalocsa.
     C.   Bela Stern [Issachar Dov] b. 31 May 1879, Kalocsa, d. 3 Aug 1879, buried Kalocsa
     D.   Margit Stern [Miriam] b. 3 Jun 1880, Kalocsa.
     E.   Markus Stern [Meir] b. 30 Nov 1881, Kalocsa.
     F.   Lajos (Lazar) Stern [Eliezer] b. 26 Apr 1883, Kalocsa.
     G.   Imre Stern [Meir?] b. 21 Sep 1884, Kalocsa, d. 13 Sep 1885, buried Kalocsa
     H.   Jolan Stern [Yentel] b. 20 May 1886, Kalocsa.
     I.     Malvin Stern [Miriam] b. 24 May 1889, Kalocsa.
X.   Helene Stern [Leah] m. Joseph Strasser, [Yosef Zvi]
     A.   Emil Strasser [Yehiel Michel] b. 9 Sep 1876, Kalocsa.
     B.   Scharlota Strasser [Charna] b. 9 Sep 1876, Kalocsa.
XI.  Sigmund Stern [?????] m. Nina Czabel.
     A.   Rozalia Stern [Sarah] b. 29 Nov 1878, Kalocsa.
XII. Mathilda Stern [Miriam] m. Salomon Schwartz, [Shalom?]
     A.   Scharlota Schwartz [Charna] b. 1 Jan 1888, Kalocsa.
XIII Wilmos Stern m. Emilia Steiner.
     A.   Wilma Stern [Feige??] b. 4 May 1881, Kalocsa.
XIV. Mari Stern [Miriam] m. Ignatz Klein, [Yitzhak]
     A.   Bela Klein [Binyamin] b. 27 Dec 1881, Kalocsa.
     B.   Riza Klein [Reizel Leah] b. 18 Feb 1884, Kalocsa.
     C.   Moritz Klein [Meir] b. 16 Dec 1884, Kalocsa.
     D.   Salamon Sandor Klein b. 23 Jan 1877, Kalocsa.
XV.  Salamon Stern [Shelomo Zvi] m. Johanna Silberberger, [Chana]
     A.   Ilonka Stern [Gittel] b. 27 Feb 1888, Kalocsa.
XVI Johanna Stern m. Salamon Zilberberg.
     A.   Riza Zilberberg [Rivka] b. 20 Feb 1891, Kalocsa.
XVII Eugenia Stern m. MAN.
     A.   Margit Stern b. 24 Aug 1895, Kalocsa.
XVIII. Mozes Stern m. Rozalia Braun.
     A.   Hani Stern b. Abt 1880, d. 18 Jul 1886, buried Kalocsa.
XIX.  Rosa Stern b. Abt 1860, d. 23 Feb 1877, buried Kalocsa.
XX. Hanni Stern b. Abt 1842, d. 6 Sep 1884.

So what happened to all these people?  Where are their descendants? WHO are their descendats?

The Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names at Yad Vashem has almost no Sterns from Kalocsa. Most of their Kalocsa victims are from "lists of murdered Jews" not the more anecdotal Pages of Testimony.  So if they were killed in the Shoah, they should be represented there.

Steve Morse's gold page shows no Stern at Ellis Island among sixty-three Kalocsa entries.

The JewishGen Family Finder has ninety researchers for Stern from Hungary, but only one besides me has registered Kalocsa. He has also registered Paks, where our Salamon was born. And he has logged in recently. Looks promising. I'll contact him with a link to this post.

There is also one person who recently listed Sterns from Paks and Kalocsa at the Family Tree of the Jewish People. That is another good place to start.

There are some records cited in the H-SIG database but some of them are not clear and I have not recorded them.

There is obviously a lot of work to be done but putting it online with some social media magic may get the ball rolling.

Housekeeping notes

Skalat memorial
The annual Skalat memorial at the Holon Cemetery outside Tel-Aviv is generally the day after Shavuot - this year Thursday the first of June. I have not yet been notified of the time, but it is usually five o'clock or five-thirty. Watch this space for the time.

Coming presentations in Israel
I am giving two presentations here in Israel in the coming weeks.

4 June 2017, 7:00 PM – IGS “Shorashim BaGalil” Kiryat Tivon, Library and Memorial Center, Migdal 2
19 June 2017, 6:30 PM – IGS Rishon Lezion, Museum of Rishon Lezion, Ahad Ha’am 2.
Both are the Hebrew version of
Lessons in Jewish DNA – One Man’s Successes and What He Learned On the Journey

Presentations in Orlando
I have now signed up introducers for all four of my presentations at the IAJGS Conference in Orlando 23-17 July. Two of them are people I have never met - but they are Pikholz descendants, one from Skalat and one from Rozdol.


  1. I am a Stern. You & I have exchanged emails in the past. My Sterns are my remaining brick wall. I will have to go over this very carefully, but, my grandfather & his mother were from Galicia, Austria. Could there be a tie to Hungary? I know their names, but, I have 2 possibilities for my ggf. I know you are an extremely busy man, but, do you think you might be able to help me? Thanks, Sheryl Stern Titone

    1. The purpose of all the detail in this blog is to find people who are descended from the specifically named Sterns.
      The name is a common one and if you have no idea where to start, you might have a look at JewishGen's Family Finder which can connect you to other researchers doing the same family.

  2. if i see correctly, the death record says "Grünvald Borbália".