Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Barry’s Blog

A blog by Dr. Barry Lever. Click the links below for earlier entries in this series.

Post One
Post Two
Post Three

The last blog recounted our research at the Edward C. Papenfuse Maryland State Archives in Annapolis, Maryland. It was there, in the microfilm records of the Baltimore County Court’s marriage licenses that we first encountered the name of the “Minister- Ansell,” who two days subsequent to the issue of the marriage license officiated at the wedding that the Golombek Ketubah documents.

We also pointed out that the July 14, 1845 license No. 273 was granted to Wolf Solden and Teressa Habal. This revealed the bride’s English name and clarified the groom’s last name to begin with the letter “S,” rather than a “G”
as initially interpreted on the Golombek Ketubah.

Another very important issue however is raised by these few entries. The spelling of the groom’s name Solden on the marriage license differs from the last name he personally inscribed on his own ketubah. The Golombek Ketubah records the spelling of the groom’s name as Soldin, spelled with the letter “i” rather than with the letter, “e.”

This is a graphic example of how an individual’s name could move from its original spelling in the person’s native language to a different anglicized spelling, and even to a complete name change. Because of these spelling and translation anomalies it is often difficult to ascertain whether or not a researcher is tracking the same individual in the historical records.

The marriage license entry for the name of the Minister,”Ansell,” opened an opportunity to explore and clarify the role, if any, that this individual played within the hierarchy of the historic Lloyd Street Synagogue.

In a 1905, on the occasion of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation 75th Anniversary, Rabbi Adolf Gutmacher wrote the History of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation: Madison Avenue Temple.Author Rev. Dr. Adolf Guttmacher
Title page
The Madison Avenue Temple

According to this Baltimore Hebrew Congregational record the congregation occupied four locations prior to the dedication, on September 26, 1845, of its new building now known as “The Lloyd Street Synagogue.”

Lloyd Street Synagogue, c. 1864, 1997.71.1
Photo by D.R. Stiltz & Co. photographers.
Courtesy of the Ross J. Kelbaugh Collection.

Lloyd Street Synagogue today.

Participating in these dedicatory events was Rabbi Isaac Leeser of Philadelphia.

Rabbi Isaac Leeser

At the time, Leeser was a prominent rabbi who also served as editor of the Occident, one of the first Jewish journals published in the United States.

In the November 1845 issue of the Occident, Leeser describes in great detail those dedicatory events under the title of “Consecration of a Synagogue at Baltimore.”

Click the excerpt to read the full article.

From this we learn that the marriage license Minister, Ansell,” functions as Baltimore Hebrew Congregation’s Hazon or Cantor. This is also confirmed on page 33 of Rabbi Guttmacher’s book, History of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, where we also learn that Cantor Ansell first name began with the initial “A.”

Our next blog will continue the exploration of the lives and times as revealed through the Golombek Ketubah.

I want to thank my colleague, Deb Weiner, JMM Research Historian and Family History Coordinator, for bringing the website for the Occident to my attention.

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