The Origin of the Name Thannhauser
The name Thannhauser means "from Thannhausen" in German. Thannhausen means "House in the Trees" or "House in the Pines." Thannhausen is a town in Swabia (now Bavaria), Germany.
The Jewish community was expelled from Thannhausen, Swabia in about 1717/18. When last names were required of the Jews in about 1813 (depending on the locality) the descendants of this community took the name Thannhauser (meaning from Thannhausen).
Our first ancestor with the name Thannhauser was Baruch Löw Samson, of Mönchsdeggingen, son of Samson Löw and Veile (Feil). After 1813 the family adopted (according to the king's order) the surname "Thannhauser", meaning that their ancestors once had lived in Thannhausen (near Augsburg).
A biographical lament of Isaac Thannhauser of Fellheim (b 1774 in Altenstadt - Bavarian Swabia) is in the Leo Baeck collection in New York City and published in "Jewish Life in Germany, Memoirs from Three Centuries," edited by Monica Richarz. I am in touch with some of the descendants of his son Solomon, who spell their name Thanhauser (spelling was phonetic in Germany rather than fixed until the late 1800s). These Thanhausers emigrated to Philadelphia in the mid 1800s.
Other Thannhauser families seem to have come from Hürben, specifically the family of Heinrich and Justin K. Thannhauser. They are related because their ancestor Jonas married a daughter of Baruch's, Mina. There is also a Dutch Thannhauser family who are descended from Jacobus Joseph Thannhauser born 20-03-1773 in Krombach (married Catherina de Bruin), died 1838 in Rotterdam. I wonder whether that Krombach is actually Krombach or really Krumbach-Hürben. See also this article on the Krumbach jewish gravestones.
Trudi Thannhauser Beyer was recently contacted by a resident of modern day Thannhausen who is tracking down distinguished descendants, specifically Justin K. (Opa's second cousin) who left most of his art collection to the Guggenheim. Needless to say, she told him about our Opa, Siegfried Joseph, famous doctor and medical researcher who did pioneering work on lipids. He held the chair of internal medicine at the Frieburg medical school before the Nazis dismissed all Jewish professors. Today there is a street named for him in Frieberg and a Thannhauser medal given out every two years by the Falk Foundation (and the Thannhauser prize in alternate years).
This gentleman from Thannhausen seems to be researching the Jewish community of Thannhausen, Swabia from the 1500s. They dispersed to Kulm-Hurben and Ichenhausen when the community was disbanded. In his letter, which was in German, he mentioned a book that was published in Thannhausen in 1594 by the "Gemeinde Thannhausen" called "Machsor Buch." He knew of one copy in the library at Oxford University, England. Apparently this community published a book with a cycle of prayers for the entire year of stories of Passover for the congregation Thannhuizen. There was a book publishing house in Thannhausen at that time.
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