Albert Weissenberg

Albert Weissenberg: 12th August 1850 to 5th February 1920

Albert Weissenberg, signature on Leopold’s birth certificate, 1881

Albert was my great grandfather on Leopold’s side of the family – in other words, he was Leopold Weissenberg’s father and my father’s grandfather.

We found out about Albert when Malgosia helped us to find Leopold’s birth certificate. Albert’s signature is clearly visible in the image extracted below.

Albert Weissenberg, signature on his son's birth certificate, 1881

Obviously, at this distance, we will not be able to find out very much about great-grandfather Albert, but we do have some pieces of information from the various certificates that have been found.

Albert was born in Alt-Tarnowitz, in (the region of) Kreis Tarnowitz. Sławek, who kindly sent us the copy of Albert’s death certificate, tells me this is now called Stare Tarnowice, and is part of Tarnowskie Góry. Albert’s parents were innkeeper Markus Weissenberg and his wife Dorothea Weissenberg, geb. Panofsky (or Panofski). Their last known residence was in Tarnowitz/Tarnowskie Góry. (For the source of this information, see Albert’s death certificate at the bottom of this page).

We looked up Albert’s details in JewishGen Online and found the following entry and image.

Albert Weissenberg, Jewish Gen, certificate of birth, 1850
Albert Weissenberg, certificate of birth 1850, image. Source: JewishGenOnline

Thus, Albert is confirmed as being born on 12th August 1850, and his birth was registered on 19th August.

And after this amazingly quick ‘find’, we then noticed that Albert was not the only junior Weissenberg to have been born in that generation …

Albert Aron Weissenberg had siblings: Heimann, born on 26th April 1848. The birth was registered on 15th May.

Hermann Weissenberg, born 1848, JewishGen Online entry
Hermann Weissenberg, born 1848, JewishGen Online entry, image

Then we found Eduard Eber Weissenberg, born in May 1853.

Eduard Weissenberg, birth certificate entry, 1853, JewishGen Online
Eduard Weissenberg, birth certificate, 1853, JewishGen Online, image

Sadly, Eduard only lived for a few months, and the following entry is his death certificate entry and image, below. He died in October 1853.

Eduard Weissenberg, death certificate entry, 1853, JewishGen Online
Eduard Weissenberg, death certificate entry, 1853, JewishGen Online, image

Then there was another little boy – Siegfried, born in 1855, as shown in the two images below. He was born on 20th October, and his birth was registered on 12 November 1855.

Siegfried Weissenberg, birth certificate entry, 1855. Source: JewishGen Online
Siegfried Weissenberg, birth certficate, 1855, JewishGen Online, image

And finally, as far as I have been able to find, there was a little boy called Hermann, for whom there is only a death certificate, because he only lived for a short time. There probably wasn’t time to register the birth.

Hermann Weissenberg, death certificate, 1860, JewishGen Online, entry
Hermann Weissenberg, death certificate 1860, JewishGen Online, image

Albert Weissenberg was an Eisenbahngehilfe – a helper on the railways – or a wagon master/railway official. We know this because it is noted on his son’s death certificate, extracted below.

Albert Weissenberg, occupation, from Leopold’s death certificate, 1941

As far as I have been ascertain from Wikipedia, there was an Upper Silesian Railway, the Oberschlesische Eisenbahn AG. It connected Breslau with Myslowitz. The first section opened in 1842 and the company then merged with the Prussian state railway in 1883.

A typical timetable is shown below. Even a cursory peruse of the family place names in this website will suggest that this was the line Albert was likely to have worked on, although I cannot be sure.

Railway timetable. Source: Wikipedia 2017

We now know from Albert’s death certificate (image extracted below) that Albert and Bettina owned an apartment in Beuthen (now Bytom) – number 16 Virchowstraße.

Albert Weissenberg, extract from death certificate, 1920_02_06 – address in Beuthen

We can be fairly sure that Albert and Bettina owned this property because it passed to great aunts Hedel and Clara after their parents died. They are listed as living there in 1937 in the Beuthen Adreßbuch for that year, for example.

When we visited Poland in May 2016, we found the apartment, which can be seen in the photograph below. The whole block has clearly been renovated recently and looks really smart.

Albert Weissenberg, apartment, Bytom, 2016

When we visited Poland in December 2016, we went to the Bytom New Jewish Cemetery (the town was called Beuthen and was in Germany when our family were living there). We had found a record (see below) at JewishGen Online for a grave in Bytom for Albert Weissenberg and his wife, Bettina (geb. Pinoff).

Albert Weissenberg, Jewish Gen, Burial record, Bytom

Eve, a remarkable and kind woman who looks after the cemetery, showed us a book that lists all the known graves among the several thousand there. Our entry is shown below.

Book of graves, New Jewish Cemetery, Bytom, 2016

It was a bitterly cold day, but among the remaining snow on the ground, and among the fallen leaves, was indeed the gravestone of my great grandparents – Albert and Bettina.

The grave of Albert and Bettina (geb. Pinoff) Weissenberg, Bytom (was Beuthen, Upper Silesia, Poland.

The gravestone gives us another piece of information about our great grandfather Albert – his Hebrew name was Abraham.

Which, as this is probably as far back as we’re likely to get, seems an excellent name for our family patriarch.

Gravestone of my great grandparents: reverse side
Jewish burial house, Bytom cemetery
Star of David on Albert’s tombstone, Bytom Jewish cemetery, December 2016
Reverse side of gravestone, Bytom Jewish cemetery

Update May 2017

Last week a researcher in Poland – Sławek Pastuszka – sent me images of two death certificates – one for Albert and one for Bettina, which he had found in the course of his own research.

Albert’s is shown below, and an English translation follows.


C. Number 240

Beuthen, O/S., on February 6 1920

In front of the signing civil registrar, businessman Leopold Weissenberg – not known to the registrar, appeared in person, with an identification card,

Living in Tost, Kreis (in the region of) Gleiwitz

And informed that the retired wagon master, his father, 69 years old, of Jewish religion, living in Beuthen, Virchowstr. 16, born in Alt-Tarnowitz, Kreis Tarnowitz, married to Bettina, geb. Pinoff, son of innkeeper Markus Weissenberg and his wife Dorothea, geb. Panofsky, both deceased, last residence in Tarnowitz (now Tarnowskie Góry),

in Beuthen, O/s, Virchowstr. 16

on February 5 1920, at 4:45pm, has died in the presence of the person making this announcement.

Read out, authorized and signed

Leopold Weissenberg

Registrar’s name


The accordance with the main registry is authorized.

Beuthen, on February 6 1920

Civil registrar Kaluza [Signature}

[Translated by Rüdiger Rodrigo Dikty-Daudiyan, MA in Translation & Localization Management; Member of the Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators]

Extraordinarily, this means we are now another generation back on the Weissenberg side as well – with Albert’s father’s name being given here as Markus, and his mother’s as Dorothea, whose last known place of residence was Tarnowitz.

These two certificates are what have in part enabled us to find out so much about some family members from so long ago.