REISTENHAUSEN: 97903 Bavaria (Gerz)
Numerous tombstones in old and very old part of cemetery which is well tended, although nature has made inroads. Additional data from
: The very large cemetery is in Reistenhausen (1 k. from Fechenbach), up in the hills. The Priest from Fechenbach (Collenberg) took us there. I believe he got the key from the mayor of Reistenhausen. Perhaps 1/2 dozen burials in last 50 years. All but the very old ones legible, all in Hebrew. The Priest from Fechenbach also has a record book from the 1800s listing all births, marriages & deaths from that town. In his letter to me he said this had been the cemetery for Wuerzberg, although it seems a bit far for that. Source: Steinerne Zeugnisse juedischen Lebens in Bayern; eine Dokumentation, 2nd ed. by Israel Schwierz. Muenchen: Bayerische Landes- zentrale fuer politische Bildungsarbeit 1992, ISBN 3-87052-398-0, 368 pp. [1st ed. 1988, ISBN 3-87052-393-X, 352 pp.].
[UPDATE] Documentation Project Underway [December 2015]
"It may interest you to know that a project documenting the matzevot
(gravestones) at the Reistenhausen cemetery is in advanced stages.
Reistenhausen is located in Lower Franconia, Northern Bavaria, near the
northern bank of the Main river, roughly halfway between Frankfurt-am-Main
and Wuerzburg, some 25 kms west of Wertheim and 50 kms east of
Sitting on land purchased in 1542, it was one of the first Jewish cemeteries
in the wider region, serving during its 400 years of existence the
neighbouring village communities of Fechenbach (now part of Collenberg),
Freudenberg, Sommerau, Eschau, Moenchberg, Hobbach, Roellfeld, Roellbach,
Woerth, Trennfurt and Hofstetten.
There are 485 remaining gravestones at Reistenhausen - the oldest from 1555
and the most recent from July 1938.
I have been given access by the Johanna-Stahl-Zentrum to more than 1000 good
quality photos taken a few years ago by members of the local Rotary branch.
So far, I have transcribed the Hebrew inscriptions of approximately 350
Reistenhausen gravestones. I intend to finish all 485 in the next few weeks.
The Hebrew transcripts are then translated to German by Oded Zingher and his
colleagues at the Zentrum, and the information is uploaded to the online
databank "Landjudentum in Unterfranken", which is maintained by the Zentrum
and is hosted online by the University of Wuerzburg. Once in the databank,
the names are linked and cross-matched with other research resources such as
birth and death registers and community records.
Most Jews in that area adopted their family names in 1811 and these names
started appearing in gravestone inscriptions from the mid-19th Century
Among the family names I have so far identified the following:
BERGMANN, BERLINER, FRIED, LINDHEIMER, LUSTIG, MANNHEIMER, MAIER, MOSBACHER,
OPPENHEIMER, REISS, ROSENSTOCK, ROTHSCHILD, SELIG, SOMMER, STRAUSS, STUMPF,
WOLF and more.
Full records of the project (photos, transcripts and translations) will be
available online within the next few months.
You can find the home page here: -
and the search page here - http://tinyurl.com/q6bptqa
Meanwhile, if I could be of assistance to other researchers of these
communities, please feel free to contact me directly at
. All the best,
Wellington, New Zealand
(a descendant of the ROTHSCHILD and STRAUSS families of Sommerau)