German SIG #Germany Re: The extent to which patronymics were used in the 18th century? #germany


In a message dated 6/3/2004 MHMarx@... writes:
"In researching names that clearly pre-date the edict requiring Jews to
adopt permanent family names, I find names such as Abraham HIRSCH or Mordche HERZ.
Were these names in fact patronymics, i.e., Abraham ben HIRSCH and
Mordche ben HERZ and the "ben" has simply been left out as understood?
Or was this not necessarily the naming convention for all Jews in Germany during
that time? Would the same be true for the women, i.e., "bat"? "

MB==If you'll be in Jerusalem, I have a PowerPoint presentation that deals with
this specifically. The authorities named a male Jew by his own first name
followed by his father's; the ben, as you note, was left out. When names were
required around 1813, many Jews chose to use this patronymic as their family name.

Single women were also called officially by their first name followed by the
father's first name; when they married, they took the husband's first name as
their "surname"--when they were widowed they werE referred to as Witwe
[husband's first name].

Michael Bernet, New York

MODERATOR NOTE: As a GerSig Archive search for "Mbernet@... and names"
will show, Mr. Bernet is one of GerSig's most valued authorities on the subject
of Jewish names. I hope that he will agree with my MOD NOTE attached to
another posting on this subject today.

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