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Friday 23rd Feb 2024


Family Voehl in and from Gedern, Hesse, County of Wetterau

© Karl-Heinz Stadtler
von Karl-Heinz Stadtler 2023

In 2000, we invited former Vöhl Jews or their descendants. Among other things, we placed an ad in the magazine "Aufbau" looking for potential guests. A Joseph Rosenthal from Coral Springs in Florida contacted us with the information that his mother was a born "Voehl" from Gedern in Upper Hesse. In Gedern there had been three "tribes" "Voehl". His family had a document from the year 1732, in which the right to setle in Gedern was granted to the Schutzjuden Joseph from Vöhl by the Count of Solms.
Joseph was a quite common name in Vöhl. It was not possible to determine which Joseph it could have been.
More or less by chance, but thanks to Google in a quite simple way - by entering the names "Vöhl" and "Gedern" -, we recently found on the Internet quite quickly "Simcha Simon Kohen Zedek", who was born in Vöhl and died in Gedern. His existence, that of his son and grandson and other descendants can be found on the genealogy platform "Geni.com". Whether Simcha Simon was that Joseph or whether another Vöhl moved to Gedern at about the same time, we do not know yet. The name addition Kohen Zedek gives a small identity hint. Kohen or Kohanim are descendants of the temple priests in ancient Israel, see themselves even in the succession of Aaron, the brother of Moses, entrusted by God with the priesthood. In Vöhl, the Katzenstein family belonged to the Kohanim; this family had been resident in the village since at least 1705.

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In the 18th century, Jews generally did not yet have surnames, but supplemented their own first name with that of their father. In the first decade of the 19th century - at the time of the occupation of large parts of Germany by France - family names also became obligatory for Jews. Many families chose the name of the place of origin. This explains why the descendants of that Simcha Simon chose Vöhl as their surname.

The Joseph Rosenthal mentioned at the beginning can be found at the botom of the Simcha Simon family tree. He died in 2008. It is a pity that we did not contact him.
Several hundred people comprise the descendants of Simcha Simon. We have initially put four family trees on the net. Gradually we will add short biographies of the persons to them.
We have granted the Jews in the succession of Simcha Simon their own folder on this website.

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