Male given name "Herschel Leib" in 19th Century Lithuania #belarus


We have something of a mystery in the SEGAL family.
The extended branch that seems to have stemmed for an original common
patriarch in Lithuania has repeated the given name of "Herschel Leib," bestowed on
generation after generation of men. (The other branch of the SEGAL family
appears to have originated in Iasi, Romania, and spread out >from there.)

Of course, considering Ashkenazic naming traditions, it is reasonable to
assume that this chain of names, commemorating deceased relations, ultimately
leads back to one and the same "Herschel Leib."

An enterprising distant cousin--who contacted me thanks to JewishGen--has,
indeed, found a prolific 19th Century Herschel Leib in the town of Upyna in

Nwo, when we find Jews of Lithuanian descent with a SEGAL or two in their
family trees, we immediately ask if any of the men in recent generations of
their families bear this same Hebrew first name. In a shockingly high
percentage of the time, the answer is: "yes."

The same cousin has found that "our" Herschel Leib was married four times,
continuously and consecutively, between age 20 and age 96, and that he
apparently had children with all four wives. My cousin is descended >from HL's union
with Wife #4 while I, presumably, descend >from Wife #1 or Wife #2. The best
guess is that HL's first marriage was c. 1820, and that he died
approximately in 1896; another educated guess is that he fathered at least 20 children in

My new-found cousin has located dozens of HL descendants, everyone >from
Wyatt EARP's brother-in-law (by way of Earp's Jewish wife) to the original owner
of Rin Tin Tin, and perhaps Al JOLSON, perhaps Eddie CANTOR's grandmother,
definitely Sherwood SCHWARTZ, creator of both "The Brady Bunch" and "Gilligan's
Island" and composer of their famous jingles--and the mother of Benjamin
NETANYAHU as well.

The problem is that Herschel Leib and his various wives had their children
exactly at that period of the greatest emigration. It is more than possible,
it is likely, that the children of the earlier wives had left Lithuania and
knew nothing at all about half-siblings born to their father and subsequent
stepmothers. Between the oldest child and the youngest, there appears to have
been a 75 year age range!

We have found SEGAL family members all over the world; this is the Levite
form of the name. There are Segals throughout the USA, in every part of the
British Empire, in Western Europe, South America and, of course, in Israel.

What makes the issue distinctive is this name "Herschel Leib" showing up
over and over. As many know, the common pairing of Yiddish/ Hebrew would be
"Herschel-Tzvi" or "Chaim-Leib."

As far as we can discern, the names "Herschel" and "Leib" in combination are
virtually unknown outside of the SEGAL family. As such, this name may be a
useful marker for descendants of that first prolific "Herschel Leib."

Do any of you have males in your own families named "Herschel Leib?"
Similarly, if so, is there a SEGAL connection in that same branch of your family?
If the answer is in the affirmative, I look forward to hearing >from you!

New York City USA
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