Friday, 16 February 2018

New Information about the early Schiffs: Samuel and his son Salomon

Journal für Fabrik, Manufaktur und Handlung, Volume 58

Voß und Leo, 1799

A chance search for Samuel Schwalbach produced this volume, part of the Google project to make available early printed books. It is a commercial directory printed in Leipzig in 1799 listing, I believe, tradesmen in German-speaking states. Here is the entry:
Mannheim: der Schutzjude Samuel Schwalbach.
This needs some explanation.
1. Samuel Schwalbach just over a decade later changed his name to Samuel Schiff.
2. He was born in Hanau. Hanau is 20km to the east of Frankfurt, about four hours by foot. Mannheim is 90km south-south-west of Hanau, and about nineteen hours journey by foot. Hanau was in the Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel. Frankfurt was an Imperial Free City. Mannheim belonged to the Elector Palatine until 1802 when it was given to the Grand Duke of Baden.
3. Samuel Schwalbach is described as a schutzjude.
Schutzjude (German for "Protected Jew") was a status for German Jews granted by the imperial, princely or royal courts. 
"After the general expulsions of the Jews from a given territory often only single Jews — if any at all — would be granted the personal privilege to reside within the territory. This personal privilege, documented by a Schutzbrief (writ of protection), a Geleitsbrief (writ of escort), or (in Brandenburg) a Patent, was sometimes inheritable by only one son (in rare instances, by all sons), and was sometimes uninheritable. Jews holding such a privilege were thus called Schutzjudenvergeleitete Juden, or Patentjuden, as opposed to Jews who had no right of residence, who were known as unvergeleitete Juden. The latter were not allowed to marry, and might spend their life unmarried as a member of the household of a privileged relative or employer." (Wikipedia)
I believe that Samuel Schwalbach was a posthumous child but he appears to have been well provided for. He was married to Augusta Fuld of Heidelberg, who was also an orphan and who I suspect brought him a dowry. I imagine that he moved to Mannheim as a result of purchasing a permit that gave him the status of a schutzjude. I wonder if that was affected by the transfer of Mannheim to the Grand Duchy of Baden in 1802.

The eldest of Samuel's children was Leopold, born in 1797, ancestor of the London Schiff family. His youngest son was Samson, born in 1807, my own ancestor and of the Italian branch of the family. Adolph, born in 1801 and later a teacher in Nuremburg, appears not to have married or left descendants. There was a fourth son, Salomon, born in 1805, about whose life I have been gradually discovering details. We know that he married and had two sons: Rudolph, who left descendants to this day, and Friedrich Salomon, born posthumously—hence his carrying his father's name. I have traced nothing else about him.
We know that Salomon Schiff was a doctor, further indicating the rise in status of the Schiff family subsequent to the Napoleonic wars.

Verzeichniss der Lehrgegenstände des Großherzoglichen Lyceums in Mannheimals Einladung zu den öffentlichen Prüfungen am .... 1824/25

Here we have a Salomon Schwalbach from Mannheim as a student in the second year of the fifth class of the Grand Ducal Lyceum in Mannheim. I am perplexed by the use of the surname Schwalbach though at this late date. Also, Salomon was twenty years old by now.

Annalen für die gesammte heilkunde: unter der redaction der ..., Volumes 3-4

edited by Jakob Conrad Flachsland, Friedrich Wilhelm Maler

Although my German is inadequate, I believe that we see here that in fact Salomon was at medical school, and that he qualified as a doctor in 1832.

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