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Ennis Brandenburger Family Collection

Identifier: AR 25150

Scope and Content Note

The Ennis Brandenburger Family Collection contains documentation of and research on the history of the Brandenburger family of Gailingen and Wil. The collection includes various official and citizenship certificates, family trees and narratives on the family history, contracts relating to marriage or the transfer of property, photographs and a newspaper clipping.

The Brandenburger family's genealogy is the collection's most prominent subject. An oversized family tree shows the descendants of Moses Brandenburger and Sarah Block; Moses Brandenburger was one of the three sons of Samuel Brandenburg of Gailingen who first used the surname Brandenburger. Folder 2 contains a family tree sketch for Mayer Elias Moos and Fanny Weil, whose daughter Clara Moos married Emanuel Brandenburger. In also includes a report by Frank Brandenburger of a visit to the town of Gailingen in 1993 with a description of the state of Gailingen's Jewish cemetery, photographs of it and correspondence regarding the trip. A copy of Eugen Brandenburger's account of the family history includes transcriptions of family documents located elsewhere in the collection. Among the papers of folder 3, which holds the documents from Gailingen for various Brandenburger family members, is a letter from a rabbi of Gailingen to Albert Brandenburger on the family's history, including sketches of family trees and genealogical information that show the relationship between the Brandenburger, Sax, Bloch and Weil families.

The remainder of the collection largely consists of official, legal or business documents of various family members. Certificates regarding the Swiss citizenship of Emanuel Brandenburger and his wife and children will be found in multiple folders, including for Emanuel Brandenburger (among the folder of his oversized documents) and in folder 4. Other family documents show the sale or transfer of property between family members. Some information on Moses Brandenburger's store in Wil will be found in folder 4, which includes advertisements for it, and in folder 5, which includes a photograph of family members in front of the store along with a letter identifying most of them. This final folder also holds a clipping on the Gailingen Jewish Community.


  • 1847-1939; 1990-2005


Language of Materials

The collection is in German, English and a small amount of Yiddish.

Access Restrictions

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 "Reserve" button.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact:

Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011


Biographical Note

The Brandenburger family lived in Gailingen in southern Germany. The first recorded use of the name was Mayer Brandenburg of Gailingen, born in 1761; all of his nine daughters and one of his sons were registered at birth with the surname Brandenburg, while three of his sons (Daniel, Ezechiel and Moses) had the surname Brandenburger.

Moses Brandenburger sent his sons Emanuel, Heinrich, Samuel and Baruch to a secondary school in nearby Diessenhofen (Switzerland), which sat just over the German-Swiss border from Gailingen. He wanted his sons to grow up speaking Swiss-German and not Yiddish. Once the Jews were allowed entry to Switzerland he started operating stalls selling men's wear in several small communities in Switzerland. Only in 1869 did he obtain permission from the town council in Wil (Saint Gall, Switzerland) to open a permanent shop with living quarters. After his family settled there, they obtained Swiss citizenship. In 1881, Moses Brandenburger transferred ownership of his store in Wil to his four sons. Emanuel Brandenburger, who married Clara Moos, received Swiss citizenship in 1891 for himself, his wife and their children Betty, Eugen, Moriz and Meier.

M.F. Brandenburger joined Seligmann Brothers in London in 1919, and remained with the firm, holding the position of general manager for many years until his retirement in 1957. His son Frank Brandenburger spent 18 months shortly before World War II as a volunteer at Seligman Frères in Paris.


0.25 Linear Feet


The Ennis Brandenburger Family Collection documents the Brandenburger genealogy as well as the family business they established in Wil, Switzerland. Information on the history of the Jewish Community in Gailingen, Germany is also present. The collection includes various official and citizenship certificates, family trees and narratives on the family history, contracts relating to marriage or the transfer of property, photographs and a newspaper clipping.


The collection is arranged in one series.

Other Finding Aid

An item-level inventory of items in the collection, including a few biographical details of family members, has been retained in the collection in folder 2.

Digitization Note

The collection was digitized and made accessible in its entirety.

Related Material

Related is Ennis Brandenburger's manuscript "The Brandenburger Family" (MS 536).

Guide to the Papers of the Ennis Brandenburger Family 1847-1939, 1990-2005 AR 25150
Processed by Dianne Ritchey
© 2013
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Digitization made possible by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
Edition statement
This version was derived from EnnisBrandenburgerFamily.xml

Revision Statements

  • April 2015: dao links and digitization information added by Leanora Lange.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States