Belarus SIG #Belarus RE: Questioning the theory of surnames in the Pale #belarus

Gladys Friedman Paulin <paulin@...>

Bob et al,
Your theory is interesting and I, too, have researched many families
Poland, Lithuania and Belarus.

Before the ukase of 1804 which was enforced later by a second edict ca
our ancestors had already migrated, sometimes in several stages, from
central Europe to their further east residences in the above stated
When they took a toponymic name, it was frequently that of a town where
previously resided or where a parent or grandparent had dwelled. If many
people took the name of the town of current residence, everyone would
that name and the purpose of taking surnames for identification would
been defeated.

Many names denoting religious rank are not necessarily Cohen/Kagan or
Levy/Levik but if you peruse Beider's works you may notice that many
names such as Katz are acronyms which denote such rank. (A recent post
the Jewishgen list pointed out how Segal denoted a Levite.)

Many names are variants of occupations including 'son of the' such as
Rabinovich, son of Rabbi.

However, an overwhelming number are >from patronymics--and some
perhaps not their father's name but perhaps that of a grandfather or
grandfather, especially if their father was still living. And here you
have the use of a Hebrew or Yiddish name (including diminutives) or a
kinnui--in which case, your "theory" of nicknames follows the common
practice. And in this case you might want to consult Beider's work on
names and Boris Feldblyum' _Russian-Jewish Given Names_ (Avotaynu) to
the vast variety of given names that may have been the base of =

Gladys Friedman Paulin, CG
Winter Springs, FL
Editor _OnBoard, the Newsletter of the Board for Certification of
Genealogists_ (BCG)
Member, Association of Professional Genealogists (APG)
CG, Certified Genealogist, is a service mark of the Board for
Certification of Genealogists and is used under license by Board-certified persons who
meet program standards and periodic rigorous evaluations.

Bob Kosovsky wrote, in part, on Monday, July 30, 2007 11:06 AM
I believe (in one of his books) Alexander Beider lists four criteria =
which Jews adopted surnames: place of living or origin, profession,
priestly status...
If this theory were true, logic would indicate that a majority of =
from a particular town would have that town's name, and smaller amounts
would be called by their priestly status or profession.

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