How two genealogists helped themselves in helping me with my STERN/STARR family ...
- Here's a story to warm the cockles of the heart.
I posted on a couple of Ohio mailing lists to try and enlist
assistance with my STERN/STARR family in Portsmouth, Scioto County,
originally from Heppenheim an der Bergstrasse in Hesse-Darmstadt,
Three people stepped forward separately - a lady in
Cincinnati, a retired schoolteacher who no longer lives
in Portsmouth and a gentleman from Portsmouth who have
all been more than generous in assisting me in very different
ways in making very exciting discoveries and of course I had
said thank you several times, thinking how inadequate it was.
I happened to mention the surname of the Portsmouth
resident to the retired schoolteacher and received an
e-mail from that lady cautiously asking about the
surname, since her uncle, who married into her family
had the same surname and she knew only a couple of families
in Portsmouth who carried the name.
I copied the e-mail to my other helper and received a
thrilled e-mail back. Her uncle was his first cousin!
They both had lived in Portsmouth and never knew one another.
If I was a moralist, no doubt I could draw an obvious
conclusion from this. Whatever, this has given my
genealogy a real feel-good factor boost!
And now the new information. A list of my family follows on afterwards:
The Portsmouth Times, Saturday, December 4, 1880
(My great grandfather's eldest brother, Moses STARR, born STERN)
The remains of Moses Starr, nephew of Mrs. L. Levi, [Hannah
or Hindle STERN] residing on Fourth Street, were brought to
this city last Wednesday evening. He died suddenly at his
home in Carthage, Tennessee, last Sunday morning. He has a
sister, Miss Eva Starr [also born STERN in Heppenheim], residing
with her aunt Mrs. Levi.
He had frequently visited Portsmouth and had many friends
in Jewish circles. Mr. Starr was 27 and had been Deputy
Clerk of Smith County, where he resided, for the past
eight years. He was an estimable young man, popular
among his acquaintances, and his untimely death occasions
deep regret. The funeral took place last Thursday from the
residence of his aunt on Fourth Street.
(From same issue of same paper)
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Gravestone Inscriptions from Greenlawn Cemetery,
Portsmouth, Ohio, 1985.
(Note: Caryn Shoemaker did the Hebrew portion of the cemetery in
1983) Burial records from 1872 to the present are available
at the main cemetery office on Offnere Street. Records prior
to 1872 were lost in a fire.
p.66 Hannah Levi, b. 7 April 1825; d. 27 September 1891
Nannie, daughter of L & H (Louis and Hannah LEVI);
b. 19 December 1865; d. 26 January 1888
p.67 Levi, L[ouis]. b. Neiderseebach, Alsace,
1 July 1819; d. 9 July 1870
Stern, Abraham b. 5 July 1853 Heppenhein
Germany d. 22 June 1875
Levi, Louisa, daughter of L & H; b. 17 July 1870,
d. 16 November 1871, age 1year, 4 months
p. 68 Stern, Hannah (no other information given)
Starr, Moses 1852-1880 - something curious here
because his German date of birth is 1850, but everything
else fits - his aunt being Mrs L LEVI and his half
sister Eva STARR.
(A footnote to page 68 says that the section in the center
of the Hebrew section appears to be mostly children.
There are about 10-12 stones that say only Infant, no
last name or other information.)
Nelson Evans' HISTORY OF SCIOTO COUNTY,
OHIO regarding the Hebrew Congregation there (pages 531-32):
"The Hebrew Congregation"
The Hebrew congregation of Portsmouth, known by its Hebrew
name, "K'bal Kodesh Bene Abraham" (K. I. B. A.) or its English equivalent
"The Holy Congregation of the Children of Abraham," was founded
presumably in the early part of the fifties (l850's). As the records bearing
on this are no longer extant, it is impossible to ascertin the exact date.
But as the Congregation was incorporated in l858, it may safely be
conjectured that a religious body of Jews must have been in existence
a few years prior to the incorporation. The tide of the Jewish
immigration from Germany to the United States became very strong
during and immediately after the memorable year, 1848, the year
of European Revolutions and very many of those Jewish settlers
went westward, making the large cities like Cincinnati and
Chicago, their principal places of residence, but settling also in smaller
cities, like Dayton, Zanesville, and Portsmouth.
The Jewish cemetery must have been purchased simultaneously with the
organization of the Congregation, although the exact date of that purchase
is not known. In this, the history of the Portsmouth Jewish community,
simply resembles that of most of the Jewish Congregations of the land, when
the purchase of a cemetery was the first sign of life on the part of the
Congregation and the first mark of its activity. It is only after their
cemetery was secured that the Jews attended to their other spiritual wants,
and notably those of erecting a synagogue and securing the services of a
The incorporation of the Congregation took place November l, l858. The
Board of Trustees at that time consisted of Louis Levi, Mayer Eichelstein,
Ludwig Stern, Isaac Freiberg, Jacob Stern, Mayer Seeberger, and Bernard
Dreyfoos. Up to l864, the Jewish citizens worshipped either in a private
residence of one of its members, or in a hall rented for the purpose. In
l864, Thomas Dugan offered to sell his property on the corner of Washington
and Third streets. After due deliberation the Congregation decided to buy
the building in partnership with the Masons; the Congregation to have the
first and second floors, the Masons the third floor.
For this,, the Congregation paid Dugan the sum of two thousand dollars.
The tide of church reform which has swept away so many of the old Jewish
religious customs during the latter half of the l9th Century, did not leave
intact those of the Portsmouth community. From a strictly Orthodox
Congregation at the beginning, it gradually became more and more a rollover
of the reforms instituted and promulgated by the great reform leaders, Drs.
Einborn of Baltimore, and Wise of Cincinnati. Yet, unlike most of the
American Jewish congregations, this congregation submitted to the
iconoclastic influence of the Jewish reform movement without the least
perceptible reluctance or struggle, rewarding, as it did, all the changes
and innovations as
God-sent and conformable with the spirit of the age and environment.
The first minister ever formally engaged by the Congregation was Rabbi
Wechsler, who served from l863 to l864. Following is the list of Rabbis,
who have served the congregation ever since:--Rabbi Laser, l864-l866; Rabbi
Gabricher, l866-l868; Rabbi Eppstein, l868-l870; Rabbi Weil, l870-l871;
Rabbi Gerstman, l871-l873; Rabbi Kaufman, l873-l876; Rabbi Lasker,
l876-l877; Rabbi Stempel, l877-l879; Rabbi Eichelstein, l879-l886; Rabbi
Pollak, l886-l887; Rabbi Block, l887-l888; Rabbi Schapiro, l888-l90l. The
present incumbent of the Temple is Rabbi Max Raisin, an alumnus of the
Hebrew Union College and the University of Cincinnati. The Jewish citizens
of Portsmouth have always done their utmost to live in peace and concord
with their Christian fellow-citizens and have never refused their
contributions toward other Congregations, when called upon. Their
Christian friends always reciprocate these feelings of friendship. On the
occasion of the dedication of the Jewish Temple, September, l864, the choir
of the Presbyterian Church very generously assisted at the services; and to
this day most of the members of the choir at the Temple are also members of
the choir of the Bigelow M. E. Church.
The present officers of the Congregation are: President, I. Levi; Vice
President, M. Lehman; Secretary, F. Haas; Treasurer, B. Schloss. Other
bodies within the Congregation are: The Ladies Temple Aid Society and the
Jewish Kaffee Klatsch for the mutual social intercourse between the members
of the Congregation.
Of course I'm now wondering about Ludwig and Jacob STERN, STERNs
I have previously never encountered. There are two missing STERN
male lines, Salomon STERN and his younger brother Mendel STERN.
Here is the family list.
I am looking for descendants of Gottfried STERN (1784-1838
Heppenheim an der Bergstrasse, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany) and
Nannchen HOCHSCHILD (1787 Gross Rohrheim, Hesse-1857 Heppenheim)
had seven children:
1) Salomon STERN (1810-1880 Heppenheim) married Jette or Henriette
MAIERFELD or MAYERFELD or MEYERFELD or MEIERFELD (1813 Biebesheim,
Kreis Gross Gerau, Hesse-1886 Heppenheim). No children of this marriage
2) Feist STERN (1812-1889 Heppenheim) married:
i) Jette WEIS (1812 or 15 Mainz Hechtsheim-1849 Heppenheim)
Eva STERN (born March 7 1845 Heppenheim-?)
Jette STERN (born June 17 1849 Heppenheim-?)
ii) Jeanette MAIERFELD or MAYERFELD or MEYERFELD (born 1823 Biebesheim,
Hesse died 1878 Heppenheim).
Moses STERN (?STARR) (born 31 October 1850 Heppenheim-?1880?
Scioto, County, Portsmouth, Ohio). Emigrated 1867 from Hesse.
Abraham STERN (born July 5 1853 Heppenheim-1875 Portsmouth, Ohio)
Mina STERN (born July 11 1855 Heppenheim-1930 Massenheim, now
Hochheim am Main, Hesse, Germany) married Moses SCHWARZSCHILD
Gustav (1883 Massenheim-1942)
Malchen STERN (born June 7 1857 Heppenheim-?)
Anna STERN (born April 18 1859 Heppenheim-?)
Rosa STERN (born November 29 1860 -April 16 1936 Heppenheim)
married Joseph FRANK (1866 Bad Koenig in Odenwald-1933 Heppenheim)
Friedrich (1891 Heppenheim-1915 1st World War)
David (1894 Heppenheim-1916 1st World War)
Selma (1896 Heppenheim-1942) married Leo HIRSCH
Leopold STERN (November 2 1863 Heppenheim-July 1901 North
3) Mendel STERN (March 27 1815 Heppenheim-?)
4) Heimann STERN (later Henry STARR) 1817 Heppenheim-1900 Zanesville,
Muskingum County) married Yetta ROSENFELD (1815 Schriesheim,
Baden Wuerttemberg, Germany-1879 Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky)
Joseph G STARR (1845 Louisville-1892 Birmingham, Alabama)
Sarah (1848 Louisville-1927 Zanesville, Muskingum County, Ohio)
Frederick (known as Harry) (1850 Louisville-1911 St Louis, Missouri)
Rosa Leonora (1853 Portsmouth-1910 Chicago Illinois)
Abram Emannuel (known as AE) (1855 Portsmouth-1917 Zanesville)
Isaac E (1857 Portsmouth-1900 Cincinnatti, Ohio)
Line traced (lived in Louisville and Portsmouth and then Zanesville, Ohio).
4) Mameth STERN (January 25 1820 Heppenheim-?)
5) Guthal STERN (April 22 1823 Heppenheim-?)
6) Hindle or Hannah STERN (April 7 1825 Heppenheim-1891) married butcher
Louis LEVI (1819 Niederseebach, Alsace, France-1870 Portsmouth).
Charles (circa 1851 Kentucky (Louisville?) -?) Liquor store retailer
Isaac (Ike) (1858 Ohio (Portsmouth?) - 1920 Portsmouth) Travelling
Salesman for L EISMAN & Bro married Carrie Davis (1866-1955)
Samuel (1861 Ohio (Portsmouth?)-1937 Portsmouth) Shoe factory worker,
then furniture shop with Louis LEVI in Portsmouth.
Bertha (circa 1864 Ohio (Portsmouth?)-?) (may have been nicknamed Betty)
Nannie (19 Dec1865 Ohio (Portsmouth?)-16 January 1888) aka Nellie in
1880 census. age 14 was living at Columbus Asylum
Louisa (17 July 1870-16 November 1871, age 1 year 4 months)
Emanuel (Mannie) (circa 1869 Ohio (Portsmouth?)-1951 Zanesville, Ohio)
married Beulah. Ran a store with his cousin Abram E STARR in Zanesville.
Clyde dates unknown but former mayor of Ashland, Kentucky.
According to the 1880 Scioto County census , a niece aged 26
Eva F STIR was living in the house. She would therefore have
been born around 1854). The name STIR may be a misspelling
for STERN or STARR. The age is completely wrong for Moses's
half sister Eva who was born in 1845.
My own website at