Hello, I love your family legend, but it's very likely the origin of
this name among Jews has nothing to do with the castle or any noble
family. Sturz is the Romanian word for a thrush, a pretty bird that
has significance in traditional Romanian culture as a symbol of beauty
and love. Some Jewish families adopted Sturza (or related spellings)
as a poetic or ornamental surname. For this reason names derived from
birds were common among Jews in Europe generally.
Rabbi David Osachy
On 2/7/19, Marina Smerling email@example.com
I have a question about the origin of Jewish surnames in Romania. My
grandfather's last name was Sturza (Sturdza prior to immigrating),
same as the royal Sturzda castle in Miclauseni, near Iasi. Our family
lore goes two ways:
1) Our ancestors worked for the royal Sturzda family palace as
teachers and "minor managers," and somehow came to adopt the royal
2) Our ancestors interrmarried with a member of the royal Sturzda
family (which I have since heard is unlikely)
Does anyone have a sense of the likelihood of either of these
possibilities for Jewish folk in Romania, or know how else a Jewish
STURZA could have come to be?
Many thanks for your time!
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