Re: The origins of my KATZ family #general


Robert Israel <israel@...>
 

In article <30.73a58b32.2fce673f@aol.com>, <MBernet@aol.com> wrote:
In a message dated 5/31/2005 6:02:08 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
mlbishow@mindspring.com writes:
< I was told that KATZ meant cohen tzadik (righteous cohen). My
grandfather, Shimon KATZ, fiercely denied that he was a cohen, as did his
cousins, all descendents of Aaron KATZ (b. circa 1840). >
==Katz "means" cat in German. It's a name, borne by some Jews. In many
cases, as you say, it is an acronym derived >from cohen tzedek (cohen of
righteousness).
==In many cases, among Jews, it is not the name of a Kohen.
==The name may be derived >from ...
... and another strong possibility is that someone in your family took the
name (but, of course, not the status of Kohen) >from his mother's family
rather than his father's. This could happen for several reasons, of which
one (especially prevalent in Galicia) was that it was very difficult for
Jews to marry officially in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Many couples had
only a religious wedding which was not recognized by the state; their
children were officially considered "illegitimate" and would be registered
under their mother's maiden name.

Robert Israel israel@math.ubc.ca
Vancouver, BC, Canada

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