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Werner Frank Genealogical Research Collection

 Collection
Identifier: AR 25555

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists primarily of the research material underlying Werner Frank's genealogical work, "Legacy: the saga of a German-Jewish German family across time and circumstance" (2003, Avotaynu Foundation). It also contains research files for Frank's self-published book, "The Curse of Gurs."

The material is primarily correspondence (mostly with distant relatives and genealogical researchers); copies of archival materials such as family registers; clippings and off-prints of magazines and genealogical newsletters; printed material from various libraries, archives, and Jewish museums; lists of names, graves, towns, and other lists of genealogical interest; narrative family histories; and extensive family trees.

The collection shows the impact of the Internet on genealogical research. The correspondence from the primary period of Frank's research, from 1995 to 2005, shows a marked shift from postal mail to email. Printouts of email newsletters and postings to listserv and online groups clearly show that it became easier to connect with relatives, interested researchers, and archives.

A list of related families is found in box 10, folder 12, and a set of family trees is found in box 10, folder 13.

Family names that appear prominently in this collection include: Frank, Regensburger, Heinsheimer, Oppenheimer, Furth, Wimpfheimer, Eppinger, Ottenheimer, Wolf (paternal families); Weingartner, Gutmann, Herz, Blum, Geismar, Auerbach, Auerbacher, Uffenheimer, Günzberger, Weil (maternal families). Other family names found in the collection, including alternate spellings, include Bloch, Levy, Loria (Lourie), Rapoport, Schwab, Weyl, Weijel, Weijl, Whyl, and Weill.

Frank's ancestors were primarily from Baden, with some from the Alsace; other areas are also included. Town names that appear prominently in this collection include: Affaltrach, Altdorf, Bebra, Berwangen, Birsheim, Breisach, Bretten, Bruchsal, Diersburg, Eichstetten, Emmendingen, Eppingen, Ernsbach, Ettenheim, Flehingen, Freiburg, Friesenheim, Fürth, Geilingen, Geismar, Louisiana, Gemmingen, Grötzingen, Grussenheim, Günzburg, Haigerloch, Hamburg, Hechingen, Heidelberg, Heidelsheim, Heilbronn, Heinsheim, Hoffenheim, Hohenems, Ichenhausen, Ihringen, Ittlingen, Jebenhausen, Karlsruhe, Kippenheim, Kirchheim, Kochendorf, Kraichgau, Switzerland, Lahr, Lissa, Mannheim, Michelstadt, Mühringen, Müllheim, Neckarsulm, Nördlingen, Nordstetten, Offenburg, Östrigen, Pforzheim, Randegg, Richen, Rust, Schmieheim, Schriesheim, Shirrhoffen, Sinsheim, Stebach, Steinfurt, Stühlingen, Wangen, Weil der Stadt, Weingarten, Weinheim, Worblingen, Worms

Dates

  • 1695-2013
  • Majority of material found within 1995-2005

Creator

Language of Materials

The collection is in German and English, with some Dutch, French, Hebrew, and Russian.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open to researchers.

Access Information

Readers may access the collection by visiting the Lillian Goldman Reading Room at the Center for Jewish History. We recommend reserving the collection in advance; please visit the LBI Online Catalog and click on the "Request" button.

Biographical Note

Werner Louis Frank (born 1929) is the son of Arthur Frank and Bertha née Weingartner. Born in Heilbronn, he grew up in Eppingen, in the Baden region of Germany. He fled to the United States with his parents and his sister Hilda in 1937, settling in Chicago. After semi-retirement from the software industry in late 1994, he became interested in genealogical research. Over 10 years, he managed to assemble a family database of over 30,000 names.

Extent

16 Linear Feet (16 boxes)

Abstract

This collection consists primarily of the research material underlying Werner Frank's genealogical work, "Legacy: the saga of a German-Jewish German family across time and circumstance" (2003, Avotaynu Foundation). It contains correspondence with distant relatives and genealogical researchers, copies of archival documents, and family trees relating to the following German-Jewish families from Baden: Frank, Regensburger, Heinsheimer, Oppenheimer, Furth, Wimpfheimer, Eppinger, Ottenheimer, Wolf (paternal) and Weingartner, Gutmann, Herz, Blum, Geismar, Auerbach, Auerbacher, Uffenheimer, Günzberger, Weil (maternal).

Arrangement

Basic groupings (the subseries) and most folder titles were left as created. Series were created to add structure to the collection. Within subseries, folder titles were arranged alphabetically.

Frank organized his research materials in three distinct ways, namely by correspondents (Series I), families (Series II), and subjects (e.g. cemeteries, towns: Series III). Types of materials (correspondence, family trees, copies of archival materials pertaining to his ancestors) may be found throughout the collection. Therefore, a researcher using this collection to look for information about a specific person or family should examine each series to see whether additional information is found. For example, Weil family information may be found in the Weil family subseries, but also in Correspondence and Subject Files series. Researchers are encouraged to consult Frank's book before turning to this collection.

Related Material

The LBI Library holds Frank's book, "Legacy: the saga of a German-Jewish German family across time and circumstance," by Werner L. Frank (2003, Avotaynu Foundation). The accompanying CD-ROM "Frank Family Tree" contains the full GEDCOM file of the author’s family tree and can be displayed by a GEDCOM Viewer.

The LBI Archives holds a small amount of additional material related to Werner Frank (AR 10810).

Separated Material

An incomplete set of the Mannemer Newsletter, a self-published newsletter for and about former residents of Mannheim, was provided to the LBI Library. The Library holds a complete run of the newsletter.

Digital media (8 3.5'' floppy discs, 1 5.25'' floppy disc, and 3 CDs) were removed to the LBI digital media collection. The contents are mostly like GEDCOM files with genealogical tables.

Processing Information

Materials were refoldered. Original folders with written information on them were photocopied before discarding. Most of the materials dated before about 1980 are photocopies. Original materials older than that are noted.
Title
Guide to the Werner Frank Genealogical Research Collection undated, 1695-2013, bulk 1995-2005 AR 25555
Author
Processed by Kevin Schlottmann
Date
© 2013
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Sponsor
Made possible by the Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives Grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources through The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support "Illuminating Hidden Collections at the Center for Jewish History"

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

Contact:
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States