Re: Middle Names in Research #general

Ida & Joseph Schwarcz

My father zal was Tsevi Moshe in shul, Hershmoyshe at home, and Moyshele to
his friends in America. His American name was Morris, so in general he was
known by his middle name. Three of his great-grandsons are Tsevi Moshe and
one is just Moshe.
Ida Selavan Schwarcz
Arad, Israel

From: Pamela Weisberger []
Sent: Tuesday, October 05, 2004 8:09 PM
To: JewishGen Discussion Group
Subject: Middle Names in Research

Israel and Fraida's comments about considering the usage of middle names in
research is an excellent reminder for all genealogists. I also have been
lead down the wrong (or confusing) research track by not investigating an
ancestor going by a middle name, instead of the given first name.

For example:

My great-grandfather's 1832 Polish birth certificate says he was: "Imie
Leysor" -- translated as "Named Leysor." (With the assumption that his
full name was Eliazer.)

He appears as Leysor or Lazar in his marriage and childrens' birth records
yet, on a Book of Residents >from Czestochowa, Poland, where his adult
childrens' names are listed, the father is written as: Icyk and other times
Eliazer, though with the same wife! Brothers marrying the same woman, I
thought? But no...that didn't match up with the childrens' birth documents.

Eventually, finding one of his son's gravestones in this country, the
father's name was written as: Icyk Eliezer so clearly that was his entire
Hebrew name, but for all intents and purposes he called himself Leysor.
(Except, when the census taker came around!)

One of his sons who emigrated to the United States was known as Leopold but
I could never find him in that Book of Residents. However, in that book,
there Was, another brother listed--never identified by me--named Napthali
Leyb. When I located That gravestone, I discovered that Leopold and
Napthali Leyb were one and the same. In this country, obvoiusly, Leopold
(>from the middle name Leyb) sounded more "American" than Napthali.

Luckily finding the gravestones helped me make these identifications, but
the lesson is that Yes, sometimes middle names were used, other times
discarded, but just because a given name doesn't match up with the person
your'e searching for, but everything else points to a connection, consider
this name-switching/modifying possibility.

snip <
Pamela Weisberger
Santa Monica, CA

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