REICH > RICH? - tracing original Jewish family name #general


Celia Male <celiamale@...>
 

Nicholas Rich asks: <"My great-grandfather was a German subject and his brother
a Russian/Polish subject. Their surname in this country was RICH which I would
guess was changed >from something else. What is my best hope of trying to find
out their original surname? Is it possible to find passenger lists? They were
Jews and came into the UK with their parents when they were children sometime
around 1870.">

It would have helped if Nicholas had given us the first names of his great-
grandfather and his brother as well as the earliest date he had for the name
RICH. Assuming the family was in England in 1870 - you can only find two
RICH born in Germany and two born in Poland in the 1871 census. There are a
few more, but they do not appear, because of the indexing system:
see for example:

Jacob RICH abt 1823 Poland, Head Cheetham Lancashire
John G RICH abt 1827 Eshliach, Freeling, Head
Camberwell St Giles Surrey [a garbled version of Eschbach, Freiburg]. John
was a watchmaker and Jacob a master tailor.

John's precise birthplace allows for further research, but he may not have
been Jewish - his family had been in England since the early 1850s >from the
census data [birth of children].

There are 48 listings in 1871 for REICH [which is the German word for RICH].
If you enter the word Preussen [or the word spelled with the sharp German S]
in a "keyword" search or "place of birth" search under "parish or place", you
will find four REICH - and two are seamen.

The two of interest are Henry C.A REICH and Gustas [sic] REICH. They *does not
appear* under any other search of "birth-place" criteria.

Then we can trace their families. Gustav lives in Newcastle, and his wife was
born in Northumberland - and Henry lives in London and *also* has a wife born
in Northumberland - could Gustav be Henry's oldest son.
Are Henry and Gustav Jewish?

Henry's family all living in St Marylebone: Name, birthdate & location given
below.

Henry C A REICH abt 1813 Preussen, Head
Mary A REICH abt 1822, Herthamberland [sic], Hexham Wife
Henry abt 1844 Liverpool, Lancashire, Son
Cornelius abt 1849 London, Middlesex, Son
Charles abt 1851 Paris Son
Louis V abt 1857 London, Middlesex, Son
Eugenie abt 1860 London, Middlesex, Daughter
Louisa abt 1863 London, Middlesex, Daughter

You can trace this particular REICH family through till 1901, after that - who
knows, they may have changed to RICH in 1914?

And Gustav >from Northumberland:
Gustas [sic] REICH abt 1843 Preussen Head
Jane A REICH abt 1843 N. Shields, Northumberland, Wife

Elizabeth R - abt 1866 Newcastle Upon Tyne, Daughter
George F - abt 1871 Newcastle Upon Tyne, Son

Again, they or their descendants may have changed their name to RICH in 1914,
when anti-German feeling was high.

Unless we have more detailed data, it is impossible to be more precise and make
further informed guesses. Unfortunately, there do not appear to be two brothers
who would fit Nick's criteria, so I really am doubtful these are the correct
families.

To save time and to target the right families for a census search, one really
has to send in as much key data as possible in the original query. And as Tom
Klein has replied today, REICH is not the only possibility, there could be many
others [REICHMANN, GOMBRICH etc].

I contend it is perhaps the most likely, but genealogy is always full of
surprises. GOMBRICH is not that common a family name - I have it on my family
tree.

Celia Male [U.K.]

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