Emanuel Wolff and Hedwig Wolff of Posen

My Great Great Grandparents from the Wolff and Wolff families of Posen city and Schroda in Posen, Prussia

Emanuel and Hedwig Wolff
When Emanuel Wolff was born 3 July 1850 in Posen, Posen, Prussia, Germany, his father, Isaak, was 52 and his mother, Marie, was 32. He married Hedwig Wolff in 1880, in his hometwon -- I recently found the marriage record. Emanuel and Hedwig had four children during their marriage. He died on December 30, 1901, in Berlin, Berlin, Germany, at the age of 51 of an appendicitis, and was buried in Weißensee cemetery, Berlin, Germany.

Hedwig Wolff was born 6 January 1860, in Schroda, Posen, the child of Jacob Wolff of Morrn, Posen and Sara Metz of Lissa, Posen. She married Emanuel in 1880 in Posen. She had four children by the time she was 27. She died on 23 April 1935, in Berlin, Germany, at the age of 75, and was buried in Pankow, Berlin, Germany.


1798 Birth of Emanuel's father, Isaak
Emanuel Wolff's father, Isaak Wolff was born in 1798 in Schwersenz, Posen -- now Swarzędz, Poland. His death certificate from 18 January 1879 sadly does not list his parents. A wonderful source for some of the information about his family came from a Posen city family card. For some reason, the card does not list any daughters. My guess is that they were married and on their husband's card along with their own families -- such is the case for Paulina Appel geb Wolff whose husband's family card has been found.   Here's the card for Emanual Wolff's parents and siblings:

  1. Wolff, Isaak, merchant born 1798 in Schwersenz, died 18 Jan 1879 in Posen, Jewish
  2. Wolff, Marie (Maria?) née Heilbronn, his wife, born 1818 in Posen, died on 15 Feb 1884
  3. Wolff, Gustav, son, merchant in Berlin, born 11 Mar 1841 in Posen  
  4. Wolff, Moritz, son, born 15 Oct 1847, died 5 Jul 1876 (age 29) in Posen  
  5. Wolff, Emanuel, merchant son in Berlin, born 3 Jul 1850 in Posen 
  6. Wolff, Leopold, merchant son in Berlin, born 1 Mar 1857 in Posen  

Posen City Family Card for Isaak Wolff

1813 Birth of Hedwig's father, Jacob 
Jacob Wolff was born about 1813 in Morrn, Posen, Prussia, Germany (now Murzynowo, Poland). He died in Posen city on 20 January 1891. Many of the details of his family come from this family card from the Posen archives.  The card lists:
  1. Wolff, Jacob, merchant, born 1813 in Murzynowo (Morrn in German) of Jewish faith. Died 20 Jan 1891 in Posen
  2. Wolff, Sara née Metz, his wife, born 1827 in Lissa. Died 13 Dec 1888 in Berlin
  3. Wolff, Salomon, son, born 15 Jan 1847 in Schroda
  4. Wolff, Eva, daughter, born 16 March 1856 in Schroda. Married 24 May 1877 in Posen to merchant Salo (Schmul) Rosenfeld
  5. Wolff, Hedwig, daughter, born 6 Jan 1860 in Schroda. Married 27 Jan 1880 in Posen to merchant Emanuel Wolff, moved to Berlin 
Posen City Family Card for Jacob Wolff

1818 Birth of Emanuel's mother, Marie
Marie Heilbronn, sometimes spelled Maria Heilbronn was born in the city of Posen in 1818, making her 20 years younger than her husband. She died on 15 February 1884 in Posen, and her parents are listed on her death certificate as Pincus Heilbronn and Eva Lipschütz of Posen. Marie Wolff geb Heilbronn had seven children.

1822 Birth of Hedwig's mother, Sara
Sara Metz, who married Jacob Wolff and became Sara Wolff, was born about 1822 in Lissa Posen, which is now Leszno, Poland. One of the reasons I was able to find a great deal about her was that she died at the home of Hedwig and Emanual Wolff while visited them in Berlin on 13 December 1888. Her parents were Nehemias Metz and Zerline Wiener, both of Lissa.

1841 Birth of Emanuel's borther, Gustav
When Gustav Gerson Wolff was born on March 11, 1841, in Posen, Posen, Prussia, his father, Isaak, was 43 and his mother, Marie, was 23. He had one son with Minna in 1870. He died on November 22, 1911, in Berlin, Germany, at the age of 70.

1844 Birth of Emanuel's sister, Elwina
Elwina Wolff was born about 1844 in Posen. She married Philipp Schiff and moved to Breslau, where her husband passed away. She returned to Posen, and died at the fairly young age of 40.  Emanual named one of his daughters after her.

1847 Birth of Hedwig's brother, Salomon
Salomon Wolff was born 15 January 1847 in Schroda, Posen. It is not known if he married, or when he died. It would be wonderful to reconnect with this long-lost branch of the family (if it exists).

1845 Birth of Emanuel's sister, Flora
Flora Wolff was born on 16 April 1845 in Posen, and she died at age 36 on 19 June 1881.  After she passed away, her brother Emanuel named one of his daughters after her.  She married, and her married name was very hard to figure out but I finally found her. She married Hermann Hirschberg and had two sons, Leopold and Paul.  After Flora Hirschberg geb Wolff died, her husband remarried and had a few more children.
Yes, it really does say, "Flora Hirschberg geb. Wolff" 

1847 Birth of Emanuel's brother, Moritz
Moritz Wolff was born on October 15, 1847, in Posen, Prussia. He died on July 5, 1876, in his hometown, at the age of 28, and was buried there.

1850 Birth of Emanuel Wolff
Emanuel was born 3 July 1850 in Posen as the youngest of four children of Isaak Wolff and Marie Wolff geb Heilbronn. He had an older brother, Gustav, and two older sisters, Elwina and Flora.  Take note of his sister’s names, as they both died early, and Emanuel named two of his daughters after them.

1852 Birth of Emanuel's sister, Paulina
I'm still searching for the original marriage certificate of Paula Wolff and Wilhelm Appel, but an index lists her parents as the one and the same Isaak Wolff and Marie Heilbronn.  She was born 12 November 1852, and has living descendants who kindly shared their photos with me! Paula Appel had eight children, and died about 1940 in Berlin.

1856 Birth of Hedwig's sister, Eva
Eva Wolff was born 16 March 1856 in Schroda, Posen. Eva eventually married Salo Rosenfeld, and had four daughters in Posen, one who died in infancy.

Salo Rosenfeld family
Here's the Posen family card for the Salo and Eva Rosefeld family:
  1. Salo (Schumel) Rosenfeld, born 17 June 1843 in Posen. Died 16 March 1920 in Berlin
  2. Eva Rosenfeld geb Wolff, born 16 March 1856 in Posen
  3. Martha Rosenfeld, born 25 March 1878 (died same day) in Posen
  4. Hedwig Rosenfeld, born 17 July 1879 in Posen
  5. Else Henriette Rosenfeld, born 11 March 1882 in Posen
  6. Margarete Rosenfeld, born 17 January 1884 in Posen. Married Kurt Hermann Loewenberg

1857 Birth of Emanuel's brother, Leopold
Ah, the mysterious Leo Wolff.  I wasn't sure if Leo was a nickname of Gustav Wolff, so for many years I thought it was one person.  It's actually two.  The youngest brother, Leopold Wolff was born on 1 March 1857 in Posen. he married Ida Lazarus and had two sons, Max Martin Wolff and Hans Wolff. I'd love to find some of his descendants and share photos.

1860 Birth of Hedwig Wolff
Hedwig was born to Jacob Wolff and Sara Metz in Schroda. She was born 6 January 1860, and she had at least two siblings. Her birthplace, Kreis Schroda was a county in the southern administrative district of Posen, in the Prussian province of Posen. Schroda is now part of Poland. At a young age, her family moved to the city of Posen.

1872 Berliner Petroleum founded
Brothers Gustav and Emanuel Wolff  began work in the petroleum trade in East Prussia and partially concerned in the Baltic States as public company on 29 April 1872 with registered capital of two million dollars trading company founded in Königsberg (KHC). As objects of the company was registered in the Commercial Register: "The trade in petroleum and products of a similar nature and operation of all available at the discretion of the Supervisory Board with the company. Berlin Petroleum.” The company had a stockyard of oil tanks at Spandau ship navigation canal.  Their primary petroleum product was kerosene, which was used for lamps and possibly heating.

1876 Gustav moves to Berlin
In the Posen city archives I found a strange family card written in Polish for Emanual Wolff's brother, Gustav Gerson Wolff. Normally these cards were in German, and this one seems to have been added later from a transcription of the "book of souls".  The card says that Gustav lived at Pocztowa 22 on 16 October 1875, and on 1 April 1876 he moved to Berlin.  The question this card raises is did Emanuel found the oil company, and then his brother joined him later? Or did they work remotely in concert?
Posen City Family Card for Gustav Gerson Wolff

1879 Engagement of Emanuel and Hedwig
On 22 October 1879, Jacob Wolff announced the engagement of his youngest daughter, Hedwig, to the businessman Emanuel Wolff of Berlin.
1879 Engagement Notice for Hedwig Wolff

1880 Marriage of Emanuel and Hedwig
On 27 January 1880, when Hedwig Wolff had just turned 20, she married Emanuel Wolff — no known relation. They probably met in Posen, as they were both from that area. The marriage took place in the city of Posen, in Posen, Prussia, Germany.  I think that Emanuel was living in Berlin at the time, working with his brother Gustav in the oil business. The young couple immediately went back to Berlin to live.
Emanuel Wolff's 1880 Posen marriage to Hedwig Wolff

1880 Birth of Fritz Georg
Their first child, a son, was born on 11 Nov 1880 in Berlin, Germany.  Fritz was married twice, and both of his wives and him were lost in the holocaust. He had four children, one of which died in infancy, and the other three who survived the war and made it to the United States. Fritz was murdered on 30 May 1944 in Auschwitz Concentration Camp.

1881 Death of Emanuel's sister, Flora
Emanuel Wolff's sister Flora died at the age of 36 on 19 June 1881 in Posen.  She left behind two young sons, Leopold Hirschberg (1867-1929) and Paul Hirschberg (1869-1942).
1881 Death of Flora Hirschberg geb. Wolff in Posen, Prussia

1882 Birth of Flora 
Named after Emanuel’s sister who died the year before, Flora Wolff was born in Berlin in 12 March 1882. She married Gustav Mayer and had two sons, one of which was lost in the Holocaust.  She lived until 15 July 1962, dying at her son Ulrich Philip Mayer’s home in Port Elizabeth near Johannesburg, South Africa.

1884 Birth of Zerline Marie
My great grandmother Zerline Marie Wolff was born in Berlin on 1 Feb 1884. I do know currently know if she is named after anyone, as I have found no Zerline’s yet. Perhaps the name Zerline comes from the unknown family of her mother Hedwig.   Marie, as she was called, married the Roman Law Professor, Ernst Levy on 21 May 1909 in Berlin.  They had two children, including my grandmother.  Marie and Ernst moved to Seattle, Washington in 1936 to escape the Nazis.   She died in Davis, California on 30 December 1974.

1884 Death of Emanuel's Mother, Marie
On 15 Feb 1884, Emanuel's mother, Marie Wolff geb Heilbronn, died in the city of Posen in Posen. She was 65 years old. Her parents are listed on her death certificate as Pincus Heilbronn and Eva Lipschütz. Her brother, Salomon Heilbronn signed the record.
1884 Death of Marie Wolff geb. Heilbronn in Posen

1884 Death of Emanuel's sister, Elwina
A few months after her mother passed away, Elwina Schiff geb Wolff died in the city of Posen on 13 June 1884 at the age of 40. She had married Philipp Schiff and moved to Breslau, but after he died in 1875 she returned to Posen.

Elwina Schiff geb Wolff (1844-1884)

1884 Death of Elwina Schiff geb. Wolff in Posen

1887 Birth of Elwina
On 8 April 1887, Emanuel and Hedwig's fourth child was born, and they named her Elwina Wolff after Emanuel's recently departed sister.   Elwina Wolff married Georg Neustadt on 19 April 1906 in Berlin. They lived in Berlin until 1937 when subjected to harassment by the Nazis, and learning of imminent deportation to the camps, Georg killed himself on 29 May 1937.  Elwina carried on for another month or so, and then joined him in his fate on 14 July 1937.  They are buried together at Weissensee cemetery in Berlin.

1888 Death of Hedwig's Mother
It seems that while visiting Berlin, perhaps to help care for the infant Elwina, Hedwig's mother Sara Wolff geb Metz died at age 66 on 13 December 1888. Emanuel Wolff reported his mother-in-law's death, and signed the record.  The death record lists Sara's parents as Nehemias Metz and Zerline Wiener, and her birth in Lissa, Posen about 1822.
Sara Wolff geb Metz 1888 Berlin death

1891 Death of Hedwig's Father
Just a few years after the death of his wife, Hedwig's father, Jacob Wolff died in the city of Posen in Posen Province.  The date was 20 January 1891.  Jacob had been born in Morrn about 1813, which is now the city of Murzynowo, Poland. At the time it was part of Posen, Prussia.

1892 Selling of Berliner Petroleum
In the metropolitan area of ​​Berlin, the brothers Gustav and Emanuel Wolff stood at the head of the local petroleum trade with their company, Berliner Petroleum. Emanuel Wolff was the President of the largest oil company in Berlin, Germany; he was forced to sell the company to Rockefeller -- he didn't want to sell, but they were going to come over and compete aggressively. Rockefeller's company Standard Oil formed Deutsch-Amerikanische Petroleum-Gesellschaft (DAPG) in 1890, and that put a lot of pressure on them with unfair competition practices.  Rockefeller specifically wanted the distribution infrastructure that Berliner Petroleum owned and operation. On January 1, 1892 the Wolff’s sold their business (Berliner Petroleum) to DAPG. As compensation, each of the two brothers received 100 Share Certificates, with additional 80 shares on April 1, 1893. By 1901, their total shares had reached 204 a piece.

1901 Pegli Trip
In March 1901 the Wolff family went of a trip to Pegli on the Italian Rivera. They stayed at the famous Grand Hotel Mediterranee. Many photos were taken on this trip, including the last known photos of Emanuel who died shortly after.
Emanuel and Hedwig Wolff with family in Pegli, March 1901

1901 Death of Emanuel
Emanuel died somewhat unexpectedly at his home in Berlin at age 51 of an appendcitis on 30 December 1901 at 6:45pm.  His address at the time was Viktoriastraße 23 [Victoria Street], Berlin which is in Tempelhof, right next to the ship canal that was so important to his oil company. His son Fritz who was a student of philosophy, was living with them. Emanuel is buried at Jüdischer Friedhof Weissensee, Berlin, Germany.

1909 Marriage of Zerline
On 21 May 1909, Zerline Wolff married Ernst Levy, the son of Robert Gottfried Levy and Betty Landsberger of Berlin. The marriage took place in Berlin.
Levy-Wolff Family Tree

1914 Lindenallee 35 is Finished
Emanuel designed and planned a large mansion house in West Berlin, but died before he could live there. The house was finally finished in 1914, and his wife lived there until the early 1930s. The address was Lindenallee 35, D-14050 Berlin, Germany --- in the late 1930s the Nazis took over the house and used it as a headquarters -- there is a book on the history of the house.

1933 Hedwig moves to care home
Hedwig Lived in a large mansion in West Berlin, and then moved to a care home around 1933, where she lived for a few years and then passed away.

1935 Death of Hedwig
Hedwig Wolff died on 23 April 1935 in Berlin at age 75. She is buried with her husband at the  Jüdischer Friedhof Weissensee in Berlin, Germany.
Grave of Emanuel and Hedwig Wolff in Weissensee, Berlin

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