Forword to the 3rd Edition | First American Jewish Families
In the historian's tool chest there are few utensils more
helpful than genealogical tables. Since 1960, when the American
Jewish Archives first published Malcolm Stern's Americans
of Jewish Descent, every work dealing with early American
Jewish history has utilized it. Scholars have filled footnotes
with references to it, popular writers have alluded to it.
At least one best seller has been based on it.
The uses of these genealogical charts are manifold: the family
researcher seeks American roots. The historian, interested
in society, plots the physical and social mobility of people.
Changes in family names demonstrate acculturation; intercolonial
marriages provide information for the economic historian. Infant
mortality, family size and lifespans, and hereditary disease
can be traced here. The rise of Jewish communities becomes
evident, the interplay of marriage between Jewish natives and
Jewish newcomers is documented. Here, most graphically, one
can trace the assimilatory effect of intermarriage, and notice,
not without irony, the unbroken line that leads from a Polish
Jewish immigrant peddler to an American ambassador to one of
the Great Powers. There is a sermon and a threnody on every
Behind this work lie the heart and soul of a hard-working
scholar. Dr. Malcolm H. Stern devoted eleven years to the
creation of his original compilation, Americans of Jewish
Descen , that established his reputation as the father
of American Jewish genealogy. The growth of interest in the
field produced his revised and enlarged First American
Jewish Families. Through patience and perseverance, he
has now brought forth this third "update" edition.
All hail to him for setting the record straight and for continuing
to produce this important reference tool!
Jacob R. Marcus
American Jewish Archives Cincinnati, Ohio
Dedication and acknowledgements
from the 3rd Edition
Preface to the 3rd Edition by Malcom H. Stern
How to use this resource