Name Selection: Jewish women in Europe #general

Pamela Weisberger <pweisberger@...>

To add a bit to Michael Bernet's comment on the names of our ancestors:

"There's no accounting for the names many Jewish men (and especially
women) chose."

Here's an anecdote heard >from my Transcarpathian third cousins on how
their Hungarian names came to be "Americanized." When they were
preparing to leave Csap/Cop in 1921, this very observant Jewish family
went to the local Catholic priest for English lessons, because he was the
only person in town who knew the language. They also asked him to
suggest more assimilated-sounding names.

Marketa became Margaret

Andor, Alex and Oscar stayed the same.

But "Ferenc" (whose Hebrew name was Efraim) became "Frances,"
probably based on the "foreignness" of Ferenc and the priest's narrow
(and religion-based) knowledge of appropriate English names. When
"Frances" began school in Yonkers, New York and realized that both boys
and girls were known by that name he became upset and changed his
name quickly to Frank.
Two of these "children" (ages 87 and 90) just recently told me this story it's not simply legend...and just goes to prove the truth
of Michael's comment. In genealogy we should assume nothing...and
expect everything.

Pamela Weisberger
Santa Monica, CA

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