Origin of the surname Greenberg
Source: Greenberg Mailing List - by poster Terry Greene

The family name GREENBERG is a partly translation of the original German form GRUNBERG, meaning 'green mountain'. This means that the first bearer of the surname GRUNBERG must have come from the locality called also GRUNBERG. When the bearer of the surname GRUNBERG moved to the Polish territory his surname could have changed a little, namely to that of GRUNBERG, as in Polish there is no such a phone and letter as German u. There is a town of Greenberg in Hesse, Germany, and a Greenberg in Silesia. This latter town was formerly an important center of wool weaving. Polish and Russian wool would be imported and material known as "grunberg" cloth would be exported. Many Jews were in this business and were known as " grunberg merchants", When they had to take permanent family names, many of these businessmen called themselves GREENBERG. An anglicized form of GRUENBERG ( also spelled GRU'NBERG with the u-umlant), literally "green mountain". The fact that it's German doesn't contradict Polish origin, however, much of what is now western Poland was ruled by Germans for many years, and a great many ethnic Germans lived there. Also interesting is that GRUENBERG was the German for the city of ZIELONA GORA ( which means "green mountain" in Polish) a provincial capital in western Poland.


My Greenberg ancestors

01. Anna was born in Austria or Hungary around 1850.  Her husband's first name is unknown.  According to Herbert Greenberg, son of Harry, Anna was his father's mother and was 103 when she died.  It is unknown whether or not she came to America with Harry or her husband.

02. Harry Greenberg, son of Anna was born in Austria or Hungary abt 1879/80.  He married Dora Shnall around 1899/1900.  Harry came to America probably around 1900 with his family.  He was a saloon keeper and spoke 5 languages fluently according to family tradition.  Harry has 3 known brothers: Max, Phillip and Herbert. The 1930 census in Brooklyn found by Rebecca Gorlin provides some interesting information on his family.  In that year it shows both Harry and Dora as being 50 years old and age 20 when they were married.  Harry was listed as being a proprietor of a restaurant; Max was 20 and a helper in the restaurant; Beatrice was 18 and worked in a millinery, ladies' hats; and Herbert was 13 and in school.   Harry and Dora could read and write, and speak English, and were listed as naturalized. Harry came here in 1891 or 1897 (questionable handwriting), and Dora in 1892. Both came from Austria and Yiddish was their mother tongue.  According to son Herbert Greenberg, Harry died in his 60's and Dora in her 70's.  Harry and Dora had the following children :

      Al Greenberg - Born in 1900.  Managed movie theaters.  Died in 1993.  Al's wife was Isabelle.  They had
                                a son, Jerold who died young at age 12 or 16.
      Mildred Greenberg - married Herman Kaufer.  They had 2 boys, George and Jerry.
      Emanuel Greenberg - married Billie and had a daughter Beverly.
      Henrietta Greenberg (see next generation)
      Max Greenberg - died at age 70.  He married at 50.
      Beatrice Greenberg - Died in 1953 in a car accident.  Married Harry Jaker and had 2 children.
      Herbert Greenberg

03. Henrietta Greenberg, daughter of Harry and Dora was born in 1910.  She married Bertram Fishman around 1928.  Henrietta died in 1939 in Miami, Florida.


Surnames that married into my Greenberg family



This page was last updated on 9/01/2012

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