Complications of Hirschland Genealogy: On Naming Hirschlands

It is Herz Solomon or Solomon Herz, and who was the First Hirschland?

Contributed by Daniel Kester
(who connects to our tree through Herz Solomon)
updated Nov. 3, 1010

There are two main sources that I have used for Hirschland data. The first is a document written in the 1930’s, called “Die Familie Hirschland”. I have no author or precise publication date. It starts with Salomon Herz (who I think is actually Herz Salomon, see below) and his wife Golde/Göttgen Levi, and their three sons, Salomon, Marcus, and Jonas.

The second source is a book by Siegfried Porta, “Chronik der Familie Löwenstein-Porta”, published in 1922, about the Bassevi/Löwenstein/Porta families. It starts with Joseph Bassevi in 1545(!), and one branch ends with the children of Israel and Esther Levi, including their daughter Golda, who married “Salomon Herz (Hirschland)” (the same person who I think is actually Herz Salomon).

Yes, it is a tree. From the Porta Book. I could not find our connection on here, but there are other pages too. If you want to see a bigger version, I can ask permission from my source. -- Victoria

A lot of Bassevi data was put into by JB. Much of his data appears to be from the Porta book. He has Herz Salomon Hirschland, who is the same person elsewhere listed as Salomon Herz Hirschland. He has him living from 1779-1871, which are the years that the “Familie Hirschland” document has for his brother Jonas. The years might be messed up, but it is the same person. That allows us to trace the family back an additional eight or so generations!

I have put a portion of the data that I have on the Bassevi and Hirschland families on my web site. At this point the page focuses more on my direct ancestors and their immediate families, but I am working on a separate Hirschland page that will be more complete.

Note that there are two men, father and son, who are called Herz Salomon or Salomon Herz. The younger of the two is the man who moved to Essen, bringing his children and brothers with him.

A source of the confusion is that Jews in that region did not take family names until around 1810. Until that time they would use their father’s first name as their “last name”. So if Herz was the son of Salomon, he would be “Herz Salomon”. Around 1800 there were three brothers in Steinheim: Salomon Herz, Jonas Herz, and Marcus Herz. Their father would have been Herz, and was apparently the son of another Salomon, making him Herz Salomon. When they were required to take family names, the three brothers (Salomon Herz, Jonas Herz, and Marcus Herz) all took the name Hirschland, becoming Salomon Hirschland, Jonas Hirschland, and Marcus Hirschland.

So, the father of the three brothers was Herz Salomon, his son (the one who moved to Essen) was Salomon Herz. BUT: it seems that the son, and possibly the father too, used both versions at various times. Bottom line: any reference to Salomon Herz or to Herz Salomon, could be referring to either one. Confusing? YES! But remember, this was before the days of driver’s licenses or Social Security cards, or even of birth certificates. So people did not have an “official” name; whatever people called you, or whatever you called yourself, that was your name.


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