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Hal Stern Family Collection

Identifier: AR 25857

Scope and Content Note

The Hal Stern Family Collection documents the lives of the related families Schwartz (Schwartzbart), Thal and Stern. The primary focus is on their lives and employment in southern Germany and their emigration to the United States. Information is available on their commercial background as well as information on their military service. The collection consists further of personal correspondence between family members, official educational documents, travel documents, proof of ancestry, naturalization documents, financial and investment documents, a few photographs of their residence in the United States and a genealogical overview about the Schwartz family.

In 2019 Hal Stern wrote down this genealogical overview about the Schwartz family. It can be found in folder 1/6. The information goes back to his ancestors Moses Jacob Schwartzbart and Babette Schwartzbart who lived in Lenkersheim in southern Germany in the early 19th century.

Information about their son Michael Schwartz, born in 1823, his education and certificates of employment are to be found in folder 1/1. Furthermore, in folder 3/1, the collection includes his and Lena Schwartz's oversized passports, both issued in 1845. Correspondence such as a letter from 1851 in which Michael Schwartz was appointed "treasurer of the Jamaqua Cavalry", presumably in Jamaica, his letter with advice for life, presumably addressed to his descendants, and his daughter's letters to her brother Jake are to be found in folder 1/2.

There are two documents in folder 3/2 concerning Isidor Tahl, the husband of Pauline Schwarz: his oversized certificate of naturalization was issued in 1893; and there is a letter addressed to him from 1893.

There are two documents in this collection concerning Hugo Stern: his certificate of naturalization and his military identification issued in 1898, both in folder 1/4. The only document pertaining to Rafael Palm in this collection is his military pass which was issued in 1880 in folder 1/3.

Furthermore there are oversized loan letters issued by the state of Hamburg (issued 1909 and 1914) and Berlin (1912 and 1915) in folder 3/3 and photographs of an unidentified family apartment in folder 3/4.

Finally, folder 1/5 holds an undated list of stocks written on a safe keeping envelope issued by the Chase National Bank of the City of New York.


  • 1835-1984
  • 2019
  • Majority of material found within 1840-1880


Language of Materials

The collection is in German and English.

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

Michael Moses Schwarzbart was born on June 26, 1823. His parents Moses Schwarzbart and Babette lived in Lenkersheim, then in the Kingdom of Bavaria (today in Bavaria), and had four children: Michael, Mayer, Lena and Babette. Michael graduated from school in 1835 and was employed in Fulda and Karlsruhe. He and his wife Helena (alternately Lena) Schwarzbart left for the United States, though it is not stated when exactly. Michael changed his family name later to Michael Schwartz. They had six children: Jacob, Pauline, Hulda, Bella, Alice and Fannie.

Pauline Schwartz was married to Isidor Tahl, who was born in 1854 and immigrated to the United States in the 1870s. They had three children and resided in New York. He was granted citizenship for the United States in 1893.

Hugo Samuel Stern was born on March 11, 1879 in Heilbronn, then in the Kingdom of Württemberg (today in Baden-Württemberg). He later immigrated to the United States accompanied by his wife Tilly Stern, née Palm. Tilly was born in 1890. Hugo and Tilly had two children, Minnie and Samuel Ludwig. Tilly's father, Rafael Palm was born on September 8, 1860 in Grötzingen, a small town in then the Grand Duchy of Baden (today in Baden-Württemberg) and served in the German Army as a reservist in 1880.

The documents in this collection do not explain the relationship between the Schwartz-Tahl and the Stern-Palm families.


0.25 Linear Feet

4 Folders (4 oversized folders in shared oversize box)


The Hal Stern family collection contains documents providing information about the related Schwartz (Schwartzbart) and Tahl families as well as the Stern-Palm family, specifically about their lives in southern Germany and their emigration to the United States from 1845 to the 1870s. The collection furthermore consists of a family tree, naturalization certificates, family correspondence, certificates of employment, travel documents, military identification documents, financial documents and photographs of the families' apartments in the United States.


The collection is arranged in one series and in approximate chronological order.

Guide to the Papers of the Hal Stern Family AR 25857
Processed by Julia Pohlmann
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from HalSternFamily.xml

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States