Biographical Notes About The Toeplitz Family
Little is known about the first four generations of this family other than the very elaborate and unusual descriptions of their lifestyle on their tombstones. Not only are the inscriptions very detailed, but it was very fortunate that the script was still legible at the time it was translated from the Hebrew by a Rev. Rosenbaum in the early 1920s.
For Salomon Toeplitz: "The aged scholar, Salomon, son of R. Israel Toeplitz, died and was buried on Friday the eve of Rosch Hashanah 5525. An upright man, distinguished by many virtues, of a family of scholars and of good birth; an associate of learned men who had fixed hours for the study of the Torah and the service of God, attending the synagogue every morning and evening."
For his wife, Fradle Toeplitz: "Fradle, wife of the learned R. Salomon Toeplitz, daughter of the respected late Amschel Kulp, died and was buried Thursday 24th Iyar 5514. A respected woman - who can recount her merits. Devoted to her household and her husband. She trained her children to Torah and good deeds."
For his son Amschel Toeplitz: "The highly esteemed R. Amschel, son of the scholarly R. Salomon Toeplitz the Levite, died and was buried on Wednesday, 3rd of Shebatt 5533. An upright man who always shunned evil, doing only what was good and proper. He despised the pleasures and vanities of this world, occupying himself with the Thorah. He was a skillful Sopher (Scribe of the Sacred Scrolls) and a great linguist, experienced in worldly affairs. Even in times of distress he regularly studied the Thorah. He was honourable in business. He worshiped devoutly, practiced charity and good deeds. They mourned for him, saying, 'Amschel is blessed above all men.
For Amschel's wife, Zippor: "The respected lady Chaje Zippora, wife of Amschel the Levite, daughter of Bauchweiler died on Saturday night 19 Sivan 5529. She cared for the poor and took every opportunity to perform Mitzwoth. She prayed devoutly and lovingly, bore bodily affliction and died at an advanced age and was deeply mourned."
Please note that neither age or date of birth are shown - all that mattered was the quality of a person while they lived.
Not much is known about their son Israel Toeplitz, whose son Simon Toeplitz was a bookkeeper for Mayer Amschel Rothschild, the founder of the Rothschild Bank. He died at a young age when his daughter Auguste, my grandmother, was only 4 years old. Crossing the Alps in a carriage upon his return from a visit to the Milan branch of the Rothschild bank, he had loaned his blanket to a fellow passenger who was cold and caught a kidney ailment himself. His tombstone read, "Ever since he was young, he helped the poor in need, reached out to the needy and stood by the one who had gone astray. He feared God and was humble. May his piety precede him, and his soul be bound for eternity."