Goldberg Surname Genealogy

people were
obligated to take surnames in the early 19th century, they often chose
ornamental names, such as names prefixed with “Gold” or
“Rose.”  Goldberg (or “gold mountain”) was the most common “Gold” name.  Goldenberg is the Austrian variant of
Sometimes Goldberg was not the actual surname back home
and was simply chosen on arrival.  And sometimes the name Gold
or its variant changed into Gould.

Goldberg Resources on

Goldberg Ancestry

Goldbergs emigrated to America from a number of
  Germany, Russia, and Poland were the main
countries of Jewish
settlement and Yiddish culture in central and eastern Europe in the
19th century.   The Goldberg name is invariably Jewish in
America but
not necessarily.

America. The peak years for
Goldberg immigration into the United States were from 1890 to
1910.  They came mainly to the cities of the East.  New York drew
many Goldbergs, such as:

  • Hayim Goldberg, who came to America from Kovno, Lithuania in 1883
    and settled in the Lower East Side of New York – where he and his wife
    raised eight children.
  • Abraham and Celia Goldberg, who came to New York from Bialystok
    in Poland with their six children in 1906.  Abraham died within
    the year but the rest of the family settled in Brooklyn.
  • Rube
    , who arrived in New York from California in
    1907.  He became well-known for his political cartoons, which were
    sometimes controversial during World War Two.
  • and Itche
    , born in Poland, who grew up in Canada and
    then moved to New York in the 1920’s.  He was a lifelong promoter
    of Yiddish culture and was generally on the left of the political
    spectrum.  He died in New York in 2006 at the age of 102.

Some Goldbergs made it West.   David Goldberg left Russia in
1879 after the death of his father for America and initially
to Cleveland.  He then moved west and settled in Butte, Montana
he bacame one of the town’s prominent merchants.  Max Goldberg
from Russia made it out to California by 1916.  It was said that
he was killed there after having been hit by a horse and buggy.

arrived from Poland with his wife Rebecca in the early 1900’s, changed
his name
to Goldberg, and settled in Charleston, South Carolina.
By the 1930’s he was well-established there,
operating Goldberg’s Men’s Store on King Street, and his brother George
him.  The family back in Poland, however,
perished during the Holocaust.

Southern Africa.  
Goldbergs also made it to southern

One family history traces back to Davis Goldberg from Poland who
arrived in London with his family in the 1860’s.  His children,
however, soon uprooted themselves, took the steamer to South Africa,
and eventually settled in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).

Another Goldberg family who had made that journey had come from Riga to
Dublin before deciding to head for South Africa in 1901.  Simon
did not care for the Cape Colony and set off for Rhodesia ten years
later.  The family story was narrated in W.E. Arnold’s 1980 book The Goldbergs of Leigh Ranch.

Goldberg Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Goldberg Names

Itche Goldberg, born in Poland, was a lifelong promoter of
Yiddish culture in America.
Rube Goldberg was a creative
American inventor and cartoonist.
Arthur Goldberg, born in
Chicago, was an American statesman and jurist who served as the US
Secretary of Labor, Supreme Court Justice, and Ambassador to the United
Nations during the 1960’s.
Denis Goldberg was a South
African political campaigner who stood up against the apartheid regime.
born Caryn Johnson, is a popular American comedienne
and actress.

Select Goldbergs Today

  • 3,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in London)
  • 16,000 in America (most numerous in New York)
  • 2,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)



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