We've always believed a story that's been passed down in the family. In 1851 Barbara (Babette) Rothschild (daughter of Carl & Adelheide Rothschild) married Danilo Petrovic of Montenegro. The story goes:
The Rothschilds disowned her at that time for marrying a Christian. They removed any record of her from the family records as if she never existed according to the customs of the time.
Then there was great dissatisfaction amidst Petrovic's family and Montenegrans in general that a Jew should be their princess. So, he anulled the marriage. She went to Switzerland where she gave birth to their son, Christian on 12 May 1852. Christian was my great-great-grandfather.
This has always been a colorful story, but now, as we'd like to go further back in our genealogy we're seeing that we need to verify this link before we can continue. As our records become part of a genealogy database, these families probably wouldn't appreciate a family branch linked to them that they've never heard of.
The way we figure it, we can only prove if it is true, not if it isn't. If we can find birth records and a marriage record we'll know it's true. If we don't find those things it's plausible that the records were removed by the very powerful families they had. That would take us to a dead end.
3. My understanding is that there are still descendents of the Petrovics of Montenegro - in fact they have a foundation. Someone there (maybe even a family member :) may be able to provide some help. Here's an article on them.
Thanks for all your help. We'd seen the record from the Jewish encyclopedia. It doesn't list Babette, but her 1831 birth would fit well between the last two children. Babette said that when she was disowned the family would've just removed her from any listings of their children.
Thanks for the info on the Petrovics. I will check nto their foundation.