Re: jri-pl digest: September 23, 2002 #poland


In a message dated 9/24/02 2:45:32 AM, writes:

<< No, it is not that she is unmarried; it is simply the marker of a feminine
patronymic, exactly as "-ovitch" for the masculine patronymic. The
between the two suffixes is that one is a patronymic, the other a surname.
Yitshaq Neiman is right that "owna" is used in vital records to indicate a
patronymic, but the meaning is still that of an unmarried woman. In a birth
record, for instance, it indicates the maiden name (surname or patronymic) of
the mother, that is, what her name was before she was married. In marriage
records, you sometimes see a widow whose name ends in "owa." This is giving
her married surname before her remarriage, not her maiden name. That is why
it is important to distinguish between "owna" and "owa."

Fay Bussgang
Lexington, MA

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