Richard Cooper <ricooper@...>
I should like to put in my two penn'orth on the subject, if I may.
My great-grandparents Wolf BERNSTINE and Annie (Toibe Hinde)
MATELEVITCH had nine children. The first, Abraham
(whose certificate I don't have) was born in their home city
of Warszawa in 1880. The second, Rachel, in Paris, France in
1882 - no witness signature required. The third, Jacob, in
London in 1883: in the column marked 'Signature, description and
residence of informant' is written 'The mark of Dora BERNSTEIN,
Mother, 14 Broad Street', and to the left are three O's one on top
Later children had my great-grandfather as informant, apart from
Henry (London, 1888) and my grandfather Frank (Portsmouth, 1891)
which have 'X the mark of Annie BERNSTINE Mother'.
I deduce >from this that my great-grandmother, if not illiterate,
could not sign in English. When she first came to England she signed
as Jews were wont to do, with a little circle instead of a cross;
however, as the family became acculturated, she adopted English
ways (though the family stayed staunchly Jewish) and signed
with an X to fit in with the host nation.
After reading the posts, I do have a question: why three O's
to replace one cross? Is there a significance to that number?
Good luck in your research,
BORENSTEIN, MATELEVITCH and GODZINSKIJ >from Warsaw
LEZTER, RINENBERG & SALENDER >from Rzeszow & Kolbuszowa
MILLET & ENGELBERG >from Dabrowa Tarnowska, Zablocie & Lezajsk
ADLER & FINKELSTEIN >from Tarnopol
LEWINSTEIN >from Berdichev
YAROSHEVSKY & SHAPOCHNIKOW >from Odessa