Oberman Family Groups.

Group One.

Those that emigrated from Germany, Holland, Austria, Slovakia, and Luxembourg. Some spelt their name with a double 'n'. Most removed this second 'n' during the First World War to make the name sound less German. Some spelt there name with an 'O' umlaut, others commenced the name with 'Oe".They were mainly of Lutheran and Roman Catholic faith. It is worth noting that both the non- Jewish and Jewish Obermans emigrated to escape religious and economic persecution. The German, Dutch etc. emigrated mainly to the U.S.A. , Australia and South Africa. There were also several Jewish Oberman families that emigrated to the U.S.A. from Germany.

An interesting aside to the history of non-jewish Oberman families in the U.S.A. is that they first came to North America in the 1770’s. Conscripted German immigrants and European mercenary soldiers fought for the British in the War of Independence / Revolutionary War in 1776 against the Americans. For example; "Frederick Joseph Oberman, Brunswick regiment, was sent to Canada in 1776". They were known as "Hessian" soldiers. They were not strictly from Hessen in Germany. Many of those captured by Washington were pardoned by him and became citizens of the newly independent country.

One famous Dutch Oberman was;

Heiko Augustinus Oberman (1930-2001) was born in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and received his university training at the University of Utrecht and Oxford University, earning his doctorate in 1957. Following professorships at Harvard University (1958-1966, Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History) and the University of Tübingen, Germany (1966-1984, Director of the Institut für Spätmittelalter und Reformation), he founded the Division for Late Medieval and Reformation Studies at The University of Arizona in 1989. Over the years Professor Oberman served as a guest professor at Brandeis University, the University of Zürich, Stanford University, the Hebrew University (Jerusalem), the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), the University of Wisconsin (Madison), and All Souls College (Oxford).

Group Two.

The majority of the Jewish Oberman families in England and in New York came from Poland. Places such as Warsaw, Lublin, Kielce, Tomaszow Mazowiecka, Nova Radomsk, Grodno, Lodz and Czestochowa.

Group Three.

The majority of the Jewish Oberman families in South Africa came from Lithuania. I have corresponded with one Oberman family that came from Gomel in Belarus.

Group Four.

Jewish Oberman families whose forbears came from Western Ukraine, Bessarabia/Moldova and Romania. Places such as Yedenitz, Iasi/Jassy, Galati, Braila, Kishinev, Kaminetz-Podolsk, Nemirov, Zaslov and Shimsk.

Group Five.

Many Jewish Obermans that I have been in contact with, had grand parents and great-grandparents that came from towns and villages along or near the Dneiper River ( such as Smolensk, Gomel, Chernihiv, Nezhin, Kiev, Berdichev, Belaya Cherkov, Dnepropetrovsk, and Odessa) which runs from Russia, through Belarus then through the Ukraine on to the Black Sea.. It has been said that the original Obermans in the Ukraine came originally from Lithuania. This is possible, because, Lithuania, Poland and the Ukraine were part of the Pale, an area set up by the Tsar of Russia in 1792 as a restricted zone for the Jews. In 1840 Tsar Nicholas in an attempt to Russify the Jews, brought Jews from Lithuania, Poland and Bessarabia and settled them on the land and imported German agriculturists to train them. Unfortunately the next Tsar was a complete anti-Semite and so we got the period of the Pogroms and in the 1880's these farming Jews left for Palestine, South Africa, South America, U.S.A. and Australia.


I have met an English Oberman who states that his English Oberman ancestors built ships for the British navy to fight the Spanish Armada. There is a Louis Oberman born in Keidani (Then in Russia but now in Lithuania) who is buried at Broken Hill a famous mining town in the far West of New South Wales, Australia.