Benno Bodenheimer and Mathilde Gruenwald of Baden

My Great Great Grandparents from the Bodenheimer and Gruenwald families of Waibstadt and Affaltrach in Baden

Benno Bodenheimer
When Benno (Benjamin) Bodenheimer was born on March 21, 1845, in Waibstadt, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, his father, Isaak, was 31 and his mother, Sophie, was 28. He was married three times and had two sons and seven daughters. He died on August 20, 1918, in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, at the age of 73, and was buried there.

Mathilde Gruenwald
When Mathilde Gruenwald was born on May 24, 1849, in Affaltrach, Obersulm, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, her father, Gabriel Loew Gruenwald (Gabriel Löw Grünwald), was 39 and her mother, Klara, was 32. Mathilde was the 7th of 9 children. She married Benno (Benjamin) Bodenheimer about 1872. She had four children by the time she was 28. She died as a young mother on May 18, 1880, in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, at the age of 30, and was buried there.

1785 Waibstadt Census
The earliest document I have found is the Census of Jews in the Archbischopric of Speyer from about 1785. The transcription for the town of Waibstadt is very short. There are only three Jewish families living there.

The second listing for Baruch Seligmann matches up really well with the known information I for the four Bodenheimer brothers born to Baruch: Koppel (1774), Aaron (1771), Seligmann (1768), and  Jehuda (1765).  I know nothing about the four daughters!
1785 Census of Waibstadt, Germany

1800 Death of Benno's Grandfather
Josef Baruch, son of Jehuda Zalman died on 31 August 1800 in Waibstadt. He was the father of Jehuda Aaron and Koppel Jakob, and the husband of Serle.  His grave can be found in Jüdischer Friedhof Waibstadt, where he was buried Sunday, 31 August 1800.
Waibstadt Grave of Josef Baruch, son of Jehuda Zalman
Here lies a simple honest man, who walked ....
..... Yosef Boruch son of Yehuda Zalman ....
died and buried on day 10 Elul 5560
May his soul be bound up in the bond of everlasting life

1806 The Grand Duchy of Baden
With the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, the Margraviate of Baden and parts of other territories (including the Palatinate) became the Grand Duchy of Baden.  Baden joined the German Confederation in 1815, and then in 1871 became part of the German Empire.

The creation of the Grand Duchy improved the lives of Jews, as the first constitutional edict of 14 May 1807 recognized Judaism as a tolerated religion. In 1808, the sixth edict gave the Jewish people irrevocable civil rights and removed the restrictive Familiants' Laws on marriage.
Wappen Grossherzogtum Baden, by Hugo Gerhard Ströhl 

1809 Surname Adoption Laws
Historically, Jews were named in a Hebrew patronymic fashion, such as Aaron son of Jakob, then Issak son of Aaron.

In the late 1700s, a trend was started by the emperor of Austria to fully integrate the Jewish people into the German states. Jews were given more access to education, and they had to give up their own language and writing. Napoleon decreed on 20 July 1808 that Jews adopt fixed surnames in German areas he controlled.

Baden followed Austria's example, and on 13 Jan 1809 there was a ninth edict called Judenedict, that emancipated and granted Jews more rights. It also required all Jews to adopt permanent German surnames to incorporate them more fully.

In 1809 Waibstadt, three sons of Baruch son of Joseph chose the surname of Bodenheimer.

 11 March 1812, King Frederick William of Prussia declared "the Jews to be his national subjects and citizens."

This transcribed record comes from the Berthold Rosenthal Collection, and while it is listed as 1809, it appears to be from 1815 as Aaron's wife is listed as a widow and he died in 1814.
Surname Adoption list of the Jewish families of Waibstadt
1. Süsel Isely = S. Marx Dec.1735
                      Wife: Mische Jul.1753
           Children: Levi May.1774,  Judel Dec.1788  (both are peddlers)

2. Kauffmann Salomon = R. Glück Aug.1756, fabric merchant
                      Wife: Gliksche Apr.1767
           Children: Salomon Dec.1790,  Moises Jan.1792

3. Seligmann Baruch = S. Bodenheimer 5.July.1768, peddler
                      Wife: Medel Aug.1774
           Children: Isaac Dec.1799,  Simle Dec.1800,  Milke (Milka?) Apr.1801,  Vögele Feb.1810

4. Jakob Baruch =  J. Bodenheimer 9.Sep.1772, peddler
                      Wife: Milke 12.Dec.1791
           Baruch W. = (mother of line 4) 5.Jan.1743

5. Aron’s widow = Aron Bodenheimer’s widow 6.Mar.1775
           Children: Edel Mar.1805,  Rösle Apr.1808,  Baruch 12.Jul.1811,  Itzig 16 Jul.1813

1809 Birth of Mathilde's Father
When Gabriel Loew Gruenwald was born on October 24, 1809, in Obersulm, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, his father, Loew, was 38 and his mother, Bela, was 33. He married Klara "Karolina" Strauss on July 23, 1839, in his hometown. They had nine children in 13 years. He died on December 23, 1893, in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, having lived a long life of 84 years, and was buried there.

1810 Death of Mathilde's Grandfather
Gabriel Loew's father Loew Baer passed away in 1810 in Obersulm, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, at the age of 40. Gabriel was only a year old. Loew Baer was Mathilde's paternal grandfather who she never met, as she was born almost 40 years after his death.

1813 Birth of Benno's Father
Isaak Bodenheimer, whose nickmane was Itzig or Itzy, was born 15 July 1813 in Waibstadt. His father's name was Aaron Bodenheimer, and his mother's name is something like Babette. Benno's grandmother is listed on a few documents, but each time it is listed differently!

1814 Death of Benno's Grandfather
Isaak Bodenheimer's father, Aaron Bodenheimer died when Isaak was less than a year old: on the 23 April 1814. This might explain the discripency as to Isaak's mother's name, as she may have remarried.
Death of Aaron Bodenheimer of Waibstadt
Aaron Bodenheimer died in Waibstadt  in the year 1814 on the 23rd of April at 4 AM. He was a protected Jew of age 42. Based on the testimony of the local surgeon  Sohler, because of danger [not explained], he was buried on the 24th of this month in the local Jewish cemetery,
after the coffin had again been opened and the corpse inspected, at the grave. Witnesses were Suessel Marx,  protected Jew from here, 80 years old, and Simon  Suessel Marx, protected Jew from Siegelsbach, 34 years old. Recorded in the presence of the above witnesses by J. Bapt. Scharvogel, parson in Waibstadt, as official registrar, on the 24th of April, 1814.

1814 Burial of Benno's Grandfather
Aaron Bodenheimer was buried in the Waibstadt Jewish cemetery the day after his death. His grave is still there today, in plot 1707 of Jüdischer Friedhof Waibstadt.
Aaron Bodenheimer (1771-1814) grave in Waibstadt

1817 Birth of Mathilde's Mother
Klara "Karolina" Strauss was born on February 1, 1817, in Obersulm, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, the child of Nathan Isaak Strauss and Sara Levi. She married Gabriel Loew Gruenwald on July 23, 1839, in her hometown. They had nine children in 13 years. She died on October 4, 1895, in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, having lived a long life of 78 years, and was buried there.

1838 Marriage of Benno's Parents
On 4 September 1838 at 1:00pm in Hoffenheim, Benno's parents Isaak Bodenheimer of Waibstadt and Süschen Wolfsbrück of Baiertal, were married. Isaak was the son of Aaron Bodenheimer and Breinle Mayer. Süschen, the daughter of Simon Wolfsbruck and Gutel Bodenheimer.
4 Sept 1838 marriage of Isaak Bodenheimer and Süschen Wolfsbrück

1839 Marriage of Mathilde's Parents
Gabriel Loew Gruenwald married Klara "Karolina" Strauss on July 23, 1839, in Obersulm, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, when he was 29 years old.
23 July 1839 marriage in Affaltrach of Mathilde Gruenwald's parents

1844 Death of Mathilde's Grandmother
Gabriel Loew Gruenwald's mother Bela passed away on July 10, 1844, in Obersulm, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, at the age of 68.

1845 Birth of Benno Bodenheimer
Benjamin Bodenheimer was born on March 21, 1845, in Waibstadt, Baden-Württemberg, Germany to Sophie Suessche Wolfsbrueck, age 28, and Isaak Bodenheimer, age 31. Benno's birth record lists a date exactly one week after the date listed on his grave, so his parents probably didn't register his birth until after the Jewish bris ceremony.
Birth of Benjamin "Benno" Bodenheimer on 21 March 1845 in Waibstadt, Baden-Württemberg

1847 Birth of Benno’s Sister Sophie
Benno sister Sophie Serle was born about 1847, in Waibstadt, Baden-Württemberg, Germany when Benno was 2 years old.

1849 Birth of Mathilde Gruenwald
Mathilde Gruenwald was born in 1849, in Affaltrach, Obersulm, Heilbronn, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Her parents were Gabriel Loew Gruenwald (Gabriel Löw Grünwald) and Klara "Karolina" Strauss (Strauß). She was the seventh of nine children, all born in Affaltrach. The family moved to Stuttgart in 1853.
Birth of Mathilde Grünwald on 24 May 1849 in Affaltrach

1850 Birth of Mathilde's Sister Ernestine
Mathilde's sister Ernestine was born on December 27, 1850, in Affaltrach when Mathilde was 1 year old.

1850 Birth of Mathilde's Sister Regine
Mathilde's sister Regine was born in 1853 in Affaltrach when Mathilde was 4 years old.

1853 Birth of Benno’s Brother Hermann
Benno's brother Hermann Chajim was born on August 10, 1853, in Waibstadt when Benno was 8 years old.

1855 Birth of Benno’s Brother Salomon
Benno's brother Salomon was born on September 20, 1855, in Waibstadt, Baden-Württemberg, Germany when Benno was 10 years old.

1856 Death of Benno’s Brother Hermann
Benno's brother Hermann Chajim died on July 29, 1856, in Waibstadt, Baden-Württemberg, Germany when Benno was 11 years old. Hermann was only about three years old.

1859 Death of Benno’s Sister Sophie
Benno's sister Sophie Serle died on April 8, 1859 at age 12, in Waibstadt, Baden-Württemberg, Germany when Benno was 14 years old.

1860 Birth of Benno's Sister
Karolina Bodenheimer was born 2 April 1860 in Waibstadt, Germany. Sadly, both Karolina and her mother would not survive the year.

1860 Death of Benno’s Mother
Benno's mother Sophie Suessche passed away on May 31, 1860, in Waibstadt, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, at the age of 43. Benno was only 15 at the time. She had just giving birth less than two months earlier, and there must have been infection or comlications.
1860 death of Benno's mother and infant sister in Waibstadt
1860 Death of Benno’s Sister
A few months after her mother passed away, Benno's infant sister died on 6 October 1860 at the age of six months.

1862 Benno's Father Remarries
On 23 August 1862 in Waibstadt, the widower Isaak Bodenheimer married his deceased wife's sister. This seems to have been fairly common back in those days. A woman dies in childbirth, and her sister steps in to help out. Mina and Isaak had two more children of their own. Benno was 17 when his aunt became his step mother
1862 second marriage of Benno's father, Isaak
Marriage of Isaak Bodenheimer, born 16th January 1813, son of the deceased Aaron Bodenheimer and the deceased Breinle nee Salomon with Mina Wolfsbruck, born the 10th April 1834, daughter of the deceased Simon Wolfsbruck of Baiertal [in Wiesloch] and the deceased Gertrud nee Bodenheimer. Marriage was held on the 3rd September,  1862  pre-midday at half past nine. The official marriage-permissions were issued at the 1st August 1862 by the Grandduchal district office Neckarbischofsheim (certificate nr. 6249) and at the 4th August 1862 by the Grandduchal district office in Wiesloch nr 6744. Witnesses: Joseph Steinhardt, religion school teacher in Baiertal and Moses Degen, citizen and butcher from here. Sinsheim, the 3rd September 1862. Geismar, district rabbi, for the correctness of the copy: Waibstadt, the 5th September 1862, the catholic church office (signature)

1871 The German Empire is Established
Prussian King Wilhelm I was proclaimed emperor of Germany at the Palace of Versailles in France on January 18, 1871 following Prussia's victory over France. Mathilde Gruenwald and Benno Bodenheimer, who were living in Baden-Württemberg, were among the first generation of citizens to live in the German Empire.
King Wilhelm I is proclaimed emperor of Germany at the Palace of Versailles, 18 January 1871

1872 Marriage of Benno and Mathilde
Benno Bodenheimer married Mathilde Gruenwald about 1872, when he was 27 years old. I haven't found the marriage record in either Waibstadt or Heidelberg. Since Mathilde was from Obersulm, Baden-Württemberg, it's likely they got married there.

1873 Move to Heidelberg
About 1873 or so, after their 1872 marriage, Benno and Mathilde moved to Heidelberg where all their children were born. Heidelberg is about 30km Northwest of Waibstadt.
1892 Map of Baden, Germany

1874 Birth of Daughter
Mathilde and Benno's first child was born in early 1874. Daughter Selma was born on January 7, 1874, in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Selma would marry Philipp Uhlfelder and have two daughters.  While her children survived, both Philipp and Selma Uhlfelder were lost in the holocaust.
Birth of Benno and Mathilde's first child, Selma Bodenheimer in Heidelberg

1874 Birth of Son
Immediately following the birth of their first child, Mathilde became pregnant again. Their son Siegmund was born 11 months after Selma's birth, on November 22, 1874, in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.  Two children in one year!  Siegmund later moved to Berlin and married Rosa Maass, with whom he had three children. Siegmund and his family moved to New York in the 1930s.
22 November 1874 birth record for Siegmund Bodenheimer of Heidelberg, Germany

1876 Birth of Son
Their son Ludwig "Louis" was born on May 8, 1876, in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

1877 Birth of Daughter
The last child of Benno and Mathilde was their daughter Bertha, born on June 28, 1877, in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

1880 Death of Mathilde
Benno’s first wife Mathilde passed away on 18 May 1880, in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, at the age of 30. They had been married 8 years, and they had four children. It is possible that she died trying to have a fifth child, but that is not confirmed.

1882 Benno’s Second Marriage
Benno Bodenheimer married Mina Baer (Bär) about 1882, when he was 37 years old. Mina was born in Bruchsal, Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, Germany in about 1853 to Kaufmann Baer and Henriette "Jette" Blumenthal.

1883 Birth of Daughter
Elsa and Benno welcomed a daughter Elsa into the world 9 February 1883, in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Signing his daughter's birth record, we get a nice clear example of his autograph.  Elsa married Heinrich Lauchheimer and had two daughters.
1883 Death of Wife 
Benno’s wife Mina passed away just four days after giving birth in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Upon her death on 13 February 1883, her infant daughter became Elsa Mina Bodenheimer and went by "Minna" for the rest of her life.  Minna Lauchheimer died in the United States about 1962.

1885 Benno’s Third Marriage
Benno Bodenheimer married Rosa (Bianca) Loeb about 1886, in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, when he was 41 years old. Their marriage produced three daughters, two of which were lost in the holocaust.

1886 Birth of Daughter
His daughter Klara "Cläre" was born on May 12, 1886, in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

1887 Birth of Daughter
His daughter Bella (Betty) was born on September 29, 1887, in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

1892 Birth of Daughter
His daughter Flora was born on November 15, 1892, in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

1893 Death of Benno’s Father
Benno's father Isaak passed away on 10 May 1893, in Waibstadt, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, at the age of 80.
Death of Isaak Bodenheimer
Waibstadt, 11th May 1893 - To the below signing registrar came today the personally known merchant Aron Bodenheimer, residing in Waibstadt and reported, that Isaak Bodenheimer, merchant, husband of the deceased Mina nee Wolfsbruck, 80 yeats old, catholic (at the left side corrected into israelitic) religion, residing in Waibstadt, born in Waibstadt, son of the in Waibstadt deceased Merchant Aron Bodenheimer and his also there deceased wife Babette nee Sandheimer in Waibstadt at the 10th May 1893 at 5 p.m. is deceased. The reporter was himself present at his death. Signature

1893 Burial of Benno's Father
Isaak Bodenheimer was buried at Jüdischer Friedhof Waibstadt two days after his death.  His grave is still there.
Grave of Isaak Bodenheimer
Here is buried
Yitzchak Bodenheimer
of Waibstadt
__ in his creator and walked in justice
Put his trust in God, keeper of covenants
He rose early and prayed sweetly and joyfully
He wore the crown of old age
[Will reap] the reward for his deeds
[Died] 24 Iyar
Was buried 25/26 Iyar
5653 as we count

1896 Death of Benno's Brother Aaron
Just a few years after their father died, Benno's older brother Aaron Bodenheimer died at age 56 in Waibstadt.  Aaron's wife, Hannchen Born, died five years later in May 1901, and shortly after that their youngest son David Theodor Bodenheimer immigrated to the United States. Theodore Bodenheimer has many descendants in Wisconsin.  Aaron and Hannchen had 13 children in Waibstadt, spanning the years 1866 to 1884: Simon, Sophia, Jettche, Bertold, Carolina, Heinrich, Rose, Bertha, Mina, Selma, Gustav, Mathilda, and David.
Grave of Aaron Bodenheimer in Waibstadt
Aaron Bodenheimer Death Record

1903 Birth of Grandson Erich
Erich Loeb was born to Bertha Bodenheimer and Arthur Loeb on 28 October 1903 in Belgium. He married and had one daughter.

1904 Birth of Grandson Marcel
When Marcel "Paul" Loeb was born on October 18, 1904, in Belgium, his father, Arthur, was 35 and his mother, Bertha, was 27. He had one brother. He was married to Charlotte Schlomann, and they had no children. He died on September 19, 1989, in New York, New York, at the age of 84, and was buried in Paramus, New Jersey.

1907 Birth of Granddaughter Helene
Helene L. Lauchheimer was born 12 April 1907 in Brussels to Benno’s daughter Minna and her husband Heinrich Lauchheimer.  Helene went on to marry Ernst Caspary and have children of her own.

1907 Marriage of Siegmund Bodenheimer and Rosa Maass
On 4 June 1907, Benno's son Siegmund Bodenheimer married Rosa Maass in Berlin, Germany.
Marriage of Siegmund Bodenheimer and Rosa Maass in Charlottenburg, Berlin on 7 June 1907
Bodenheimer-Maass Familiy Tree

1908 Birth of Grandson Edgar
Edgar Bodenheimer was born 14 March 1908 in Berlin, Germany. He was the son of Benno’s first son, Siegmund Bodenheimer, and his wife Rosa Maass.  Siegmund, Rosa, had three children, and all five of them escaped from Nazi Germany to New York in the 1930s.
Three generations of Bodenheimers

1911 Birth of Granddaughter Gerda
Gerda Mathilda Bodenheimer was born in Berlin, Germany on 4 June 1911 to Siegmund Bodenheimer and Rosa Maass.  Gerda went on to marry Theodore Blau and have two sons.

1912 Birth of Grandson Hans
Hans Bodenheimer was born in Berlin, Germany on 5 May 1912. His parents were Ludwig Bodenheimer and Else Hahn.  Ludwig and Else had two sons, and all four of them escaped Nazi Germany for New York.

1912 Birth of Granddaughter Tilde
Tilde Uhlfelder was born 2 November 1912 somewhere in Germany. He parents were Selma Bodenheimer and Philipp Uhlfelder (both who were later lost in the holocaust). Tilde survived the holocaust and married Kurt Gruenbaum and never had children.

1912 Birth of Granddaughter Lotte
Lotte Ruben was born on 31 Dec 1912 in Cologne to daughter Klara and her husband Albert Ruben.

1914 Birth of Granddaughter Jeanne
Jeanne Lauchheimer was born 25 May 1914 in Brussels to Benno’s daughter Minna and her husband Heinrich Lauchheimer.  Jeanne went on to marry Albrecht Otto Weinreich and have children of her own.

1914 Birth of Granddaughter Trude
Gertrude “Trude” Uhlfelder was born 22 June 1914 somewhere in Germany. Her parents were Selma Bodenheimer and Philipp Uhlfelder (both who were later lost in the holocaust). Trude survived the holocaust and married Hugo Lowenthal and never had children.

1915 Benno's 70th Birthday

Benno Bodenheimer with his children and their spouses

1916 Death of Benno’s Brother, Salomon
Benno's younger brother Salomon died on April 7, 1916, in Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany when Benno was 71 years old. Salomon Bodenheimer was married to Wilhelmine Weiss and the couple had six children:

  1. Selma Straus (Bodenheimer) 1883-1985
  2. Clara Schwarzschild (Bodenheimer) 1884-1953
  3. Sigmund Bodenheimer 1886-1897
  4. Johanna Hansel Schiff (Bodenheimer) 1891-1988
  5. Willy Julius Bodenheimer 1898-1987
  6. Friedrich "Fritz" Karl Bodenheimer 1900-1980

Grave of Salomon Bodenheimer in Mannheim
Salomon Bodenheimer Death Record

1918 Birth of Granddaughter Lolo
When Helene "Lolo" Rosenzweig was born on January 15, 1918, in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, her father, Felix, was 42 and her mother, Bella, was 30. She died in the holocaust at Stutthof Concentration Camp, Gdansk, Poland, at the age of 26 in 1944. Lolo’s younger sister, Inge, and both of her parents, perished in the Shoah.

1918 Flu Pandemic
Benno died the same year that the Spanish Flu decimated the world population. It is not known if this was the cause of death.

1918 Death of Benno
Benno Bodenheimer died on August 20, 1918, in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, when he was 73 years old. he is buried at Jüdische Friedhöfe in Bergfriedhof Cemetery in  Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

Grave of Benno Bodenheimer in Heidelberg
Benno Bodenheimer Death Record

While Benno didn't live to see the Holocaust, he lost three of his daughters, three son-in-laws, two grandchildren, a cousin, and a nephew: Selma Uhlfelder née Bodenheimer and her husband Philipp Uhlfelder; Klara Ruben née Bodenheimer and her husband Albert Ruben; Bella Rosenzweig née Bodenheimer, her husband Felix Rosenzweig, and their two daughters, Inge and Lolo; and Isack Bodenheimer and his son, Berthold. And many more.

My 8 Families
Bodenheimer-Gruenwald of Baden
Kessler-Spies of Berleburg
Maass-Lachmann of Berlin
Lukes-Martyn of Cornwall
Levy-Landsberger of Posen
Zimmer-Petau of Reichenbach
Wolff-Wolff of Posen
Mansel-Obst of Breslau