Re: Surnames BERL and SCHMELTZER #general


In a message dated 8/8/2003 4:31:20 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
rubest@... writes:

<< I'm looking the source and the origin of the following names:

That's a toughy. They're both quite common names.

BERL is derived >from the very common (German and Yiddish) first name, Ber,
meaning bear, which is associated with its Hebrew translation Dov, and is
a kinnuy for Issachar.

SCHMELTZER is German for smelterer, a skilled artisan in the metal
industry but among Jews possibly someone who rendered down animal fats to
use in the manufacture of candles or soap (in Europe, in the 18th-19th
centuries, the utilization of animal by-products was very much in the
hands of Jews).

There were probably hundreds of families bearing each name, and the name
alone does not necessarily imply family affinity.

Michael Bernet, New York

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