Re: MASH, LION and KENNEDY - are they Jewish? #general

Celia Male <celiamale@...>

On May 26th 2005 Claire Sztern >from Paris asked "as
a French person, I'm not really familiar with the
Jewish names in America since many immigrants changed
their names. I would like to know if the names MASH,
LION and KENNEDY can be Jewish (for example, do you
know any Jewish family with these names?"

There have been various replies about this and
Mathilde Tagger's was closest to the truth [re
Kennedy]. Robert Israel in Vancouver wrote "KENNEDY is
of course a common Irish/Scottish/English name, and I
can't think of a plausible Jewish derivation, except
that if somebody wanted to choose a very non-Jewish
sounding name starting with K this might be one that
came to mind (especially after 1960 or so)."

This and similar replies have missed the point
relating to Hungarian Ken[n]edys! I knew Hungarian
Ken[n]edys as a child in Alexandria, Egypt in the
1940s. They were certainly not thinking of Gaelic

If you search the Yad Vashem database you will see
where the name came from. Many Jews with the name KOHN
changed their names much earlier than the 1960s and
many, many years before they ever thought of
emigrating to English-speaking countries [mainly the
UK or USA]!

As with the name KERRY; this was chosen by a certain
KOHN family now prominent in the US, years before they
emigrated to the USA; the name-change documents are
available in Vienna. They were never thinking of
Boston, Mass. at the time!

My own KOHN family living in Grossbock in the far
north of Bohemia since the early 1700s and >from 1850s
in Vienna, changed their name to KERNER in Vienna in
the 1890s. There are many early variants of KOHN I
have come across in Vienna, Germany and Hungary and
they include Kerr, Kende and Kary.

In the Zentralfriedhof, Vienna we can find a Johanna
KENDE who died aged 53 in May 1898.

The Yad Vashem database reveals KENDI, KENDY, KENDE,
KENEDI and CHENDI >from Transyvania, Hungary and
Subcarpathian Ruthenia [then in Czechoslovakia].

Here are the KENEDI burials in the Jewish Vienna
Zentralfriedhof: [date of burial is given]:

Kenedi Alfred age 74 20.05.1954
Kenedi Arthur age 45 1.02.1915
Kenedi Ernst age 56 24.11.1938

and here is one KENEDI family all buried together [nb
Julius was born in 1846 and I am sure never touched
foot in the USA or heard of the Irish Kennedys]:

KENEDI Ernst age 56 24.11.1938
Helene age 44 22.05.1900
Herbert age 7 weeks 18.07.1906
Julius age 52 29.09.1898

These were probably all KOHNS to start with and they
"hungarified" their names. There were definitely
Jewish KENEDIs a long time ago and some of these may
then have anglicised the Hungarian spelling even
further to Kennedy when arriving in the USA or UK. The
surviving KENDIs and KENDES may also have taken this
route to a more anglo-sounding "Kennedy".

This does not rule out that there may have been some
de-novo name changes of immigrants as they arrived in
the English-speaking world without the intermediate

All I wish to stress is that the name and its variants
was used amongst Hungarian Jews many, many years ago.
As I do not speak Hungarian, I do not know if
the name KENDE and variants has an actual meaning.

Celia Male [UK]

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