Belarus SIG #Belarus Re: belarus digest: November 05, 2003 :Patronymics #belarus

Alice Gutenkauf <agutenkauf@...>

In regard to the question about Patronymics : they are usually the result of
combining the first name of the parent with an ending meaning son of or
daughter of - in Denmark it would be Mads the son of Jens would become Mads
Jensen - no matter what Jens last name or patronymic would be. In Hebrew it
would be ben -- so that Judah son of Yehudah would be Judah ben Yehudah-
when surnames became the rule people often took the name of the town,
district, business, occupation etc or made the patronym the surname from
then on, so that Mads Jensen's children all became Jensens and Judah's
children became either Yehudah's or variations of the name. Often the
surname then became their occupation, Kaufman for a buyer etc. So looking
for someone with a Patronym means looking for the town they came >from and
not necessarily anyone else with the same name. In other countries outside
of Russia and Poland the non-jewish population were registered in the
churchbooks so one has to know not only the town but the parish- I don't
think the synagogues registered the birth, death and marriage of their
congregations but if they did that would be where to start (if possible).
Otherwise one would still have to start with the local authorities style of
registering such information.

Alice Gutenkauf
researching RIFKIND >from Rogachev and Riga, POLLACK/POPLACK/POPLAR from
Rokishiki Lithuania and Riga

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