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Current Merzbach Family Research

Most of us in the extended Merzbach family had no idea that there were so many other Merzbachs in the world! In the last several years we have made a lot of progress in finding other members of the Merzbach family, and connecting them all together. For example, the German branch of the family had virtually no contact with the French branch since World War I. Now the two parts of the family are aware of each other, and we are all about to meet in early June 2007 for the first Merzbach Reunion!

Similarly, we have become aware of many other branches of the Merzbach family that had been disconnected over the years. In large part this has been made possible as a result of the Internet – and without this Merzbach website we would have no central way to display our findings for everyone to see – and to broaden our inquiries.

However, there are many questions that are still unanswered. For example, we know that there is a branch of Merzbachs who went to Holland in the 18th century, but we have lost the actual connecting point to the rest of the Merzbach family. Similarly, there is a large Polish branch, that subsequently went to Belgium. We are still looking for the connection to the rest of the family. And there are also Merzbachs that appear in San Francisco in the mid-19th century.

One of the most exciting avenues of our current research started with an email to Sarah Merzbach, who lives in Frankfurt. Bob and she met last summer in Frankfurt, and with the information she provided we have been able to connect her part of the family with others that we have known about. In the last few weeks and months we have been connecting more and more people through the research avenues which were initiated there.  This part of the family traces back to Magdeburg. With help from several sources we found information about Ignaz Merzbach (b. 1847, Madgeburg), and just recently now we have moved one generation further back to Max (b. 1829, Fuerth). We had some previous intimations that the Merzbachs had a Fuerth connection, but Max is the first member of the family to actually bring us there. We now know that the earlier generations of Merzbachs actually came from Fuerth, and it has also revealed a connection between the name Merzbach and Merzbacher.  In a document we just found, we see Max listed as “Merzbacher” – he must have dropped the “er” later in life. This now opens up new avenues of research to connect the Merzbach family with the Merzbacher family.
As you can see, there is much that needs to be done to complete our family tree. The following links will take you to the latest information and what we are doing to figure out this puzzle. Perhaps some of you would be interested in helping us with this research. If so, please contact David Lewin or Robert JesselsonBob Jesselson.

Prof. Ely Merzbach kindly sent us a photograph of the village of Merzbach. We need to note that while the family uses the name of the village, thus far we have found no actual family connection to it. We do have the family name appear in Bavaria - notably in Autenhausen, Burgpreppach, Fuerth, Georgensgmuend, Nuernberg and Schwabach, but not in Merzbach itself....
For an interesting history of the Jews in Fuerth see the following: http://www.rijo.homepage.t-online.de/pdf/DE_FU_JU_fuerth4.pdf
This also explains why some Jews left in 1813, which may explain our Offenbach family and the other Merzbachs we have found in Magdeburg, Aachen, etc.

Currently we are searching for information on the  following:

1) Max Merzbach - born March 9, 1829 in Fuerth. Who were his parents, 
grandparents, and any siblings

2) Fradel Merzbach died 1777 in Fuerth - any further information on 
her father Simcha Merzbach who died Feb 18, 1772

3) Aaron Chaim Merzbach - born 1760 - was he possibly born in 
Fuerth?? He was the first to appear in Offenbach.

4) Jakob - we have conflicting dates and information on him. He was 
the father of Aaron Chaim. We think there were actually several  Jakobs
- one b. 1740/41 d. 4-Jan-1791;
- one who we know was a Rabbi in Fuerth  who may have died in 1741,with a wife named Kele geb. Epstein  who we know died 26 May 1749 .

We have just located the cemetery where  another Rabbi is buried: in Georgensgebund. See  Jüdischer Friedhof Georgensgmünd Von Peter Kuhn

I. The Magdeburg Merzbachs

II. The Polish/Belgian Merzbachs

III. The Dutch Merzbachs

IV. San Francisco Merzbachs

V. Other Merzbachs