Of the many archival records which document the families of early KI, the Religious School Registry is unique. Covering fifty years beginning in 1877, it shows the children enrolled, their age, the parent enrolling them and their address. The indication of two generations is the feature that makes this so valuable. Not until the 1890’s did KI’s marriage records indicate the parents of the bride and groom. There were no membership lists in the pre-1890 era; and even after 1890, only the members or seatholders were listed. (Since each new member was approved by the Board, a careful reading of the earlier period’s minutes’ translation from German can yield the members’ names.)
The very first school entry, dated Sep 30, 1877, is that of Morris Stern, age 9, the son of Menko Stern, a member living at 660 8th St. A few lines further down the first page is Herman Meyer, age 8, son of seatholder A H Meyer (Abraham Herman Myers) of 625 Marshall St.; Charles Guggenheimer, age 11 and Flora Guggenheimer, age 8, children of seatholder Henry Guggenheimer; and Emanuel Massman, age 8, son of member S E Massman, 1511 15th St. Further down the page is the enrollment of Ellen Geisenberger, age 8, daughter of seatholder Joseph Geisenberger of 1319 Marshall St.
Near the top of the second page is the entry where seatholder A Gimbel, living at 884 N 6th St. enrolled his sons Ellis (age 8), Louis (age 9) and Benny (age 11) on the same date cited above. This second page also includes the enrollments of Bella and Grace, twin 10-year-old daughters of member (and future KI President) B H Feustman; Simon Rau, age 10, son of seatholder Louis Rau of 1233 South St.; Eva Einstein, age 8, daughter of seatholder (and Civil War officer) Max Einstein living at 932 Marshall St.; and Charles Mayer, age 8, son of seatholder Aaron Mayer of 1237 Marshall St. (A few pages later appears the 1881 registration of Eva Mayer, sister of Charles and the future mother of Gilbert Kraus and Mrs. Albert M Greenfield.)
Why are these entries of particular interest? Of those mentioned above, most are related to current KI members. When cross-referenced to Rabbi Hirsch’s marriage record journal of 1866-1888, which indicates where the brides and grooms were born, a picture of the earlier generation that founded KI can come into focus.
Creating a computer index of this registry is an important future project.
Religious School Registry-ALPHA 1877-90