German SIG #Germany Re: Laws Mandating Fixed Surnames #germany

Roger Lustig <trovato@...>

Regarding the list of surname-adoption dates attributed to George ARNSTEIN:
If the date of 1935 is correct, then the source may well be:
Kessler, Gerhard. Die Familiennamen der Juden in Deutschland. Leipzig:
Zentralstelle für Deutsche Personen- und Familiengeschichte, 1935.

In the event, the list in question, while invaluable, nonetheless
requires a few corrections and amplifications. My comments and
additions are indicated with *** asterisks.
Exhibit 1: Laws Mandating Jewish Family Names
from a 1935 compilation:
Austrian Galizia 1774
Austria 23 Jul 1787

Breslau (Silesia) "Stammnumeranten" 1790 *** Add
Silesia other than Breslau 1791 *** Add

South Prussia and New East
Prussia (formerly Polish) 17 Apr 1797 *** Polish after 1815
City of Frankfurt [Main] 30 Nov 1807
Grand Duchy of Frankfurt 26 Nov 1811
French possessions on the Rhine
and in North West Germany 20 Jul 1808 and 12 Jan 1813
Kingdom of Westphalia 31 Mar 1808 and 04 Jul 1811
Oberhessen-Starkenburg 15 Dec 1808
Baden 13 Jan 1809
Lippe 16 Dec 1809
Sachsen-Altenburg 20 Jun 1811

Prussia proper (east of Elbe) 11 Mar 1812 *** not 1811!

Mecklenburg-Schwerin 22 Feb 1813
Bavaria, Vorarlberg, Tyrol
and Salzburg 16 Jun 1813
Schleswig-Holstein (Danish) 29 Mar 1814
Mecklenburg-Strelitz 01 Jun 1814
Anhalt-Dessau 1822
Sachsen-Weimar 1823
Kingdom of Wuerttemberg 1828
Grand Duchy of Posen (Prussian) 1833
Sachsen (= Saxonia) 1834
Oldenburg 1852

A review of the surname-adoption list for Kurmark Brandenburg (the part
west of the Oder) suggests strongly that the Jews of Berlin had adopted
surnames some time before the Emancipation Edict of 11 March 1812
required them to do so as a condition of obtaining citizenship. Unlike
Jews in other parts of Brandenburg (or Pomerania, Neumark, E. Prussia,
etc.) the Berlin families had far more "after" names identical to their
"before" names, and most of these were not obviously derived >from
patronyms either. The situation is similar for the other large Jewish
community in the region, that of Frankfurt/Oder.

The date of 11 Mar 1812 is itself slightly misleading. Not all of
Prussia was under Prussian control at the time! Not until Napoleon's
retreat did Prussian law obtain in Danzig, for example; there, surnames
were adopted around 1814. has
the surname list.

The legal gazettes that noted the adoption of citizenship (and usually
also the fixed surname) in much of Prussia were published in 1814-15 for
Silesia (except Lower Silesia, the part ruled >from Liegnitz); 1814 for
Pomerania, Kurmark, Neumark, and most of West Prussia; and 1817 for
Danzig. I haven't seen the East Prussian list, and would be grateful
for any information.

As far as I know, there was no published Liegnitz list, but we do have
the 1812 census of Jews in Glogau, where almost all of the Jews in that
area lived. That document includes information about name changes.
(The census of 24 Mar 1812 was generally the basis for the
citizenship/name adoption lists; some of the published lists contain
numberings corresponding to those in the local censuses.)

The southern portion of West Prussia, i.e., the area around Thorn, was
not included in the published West Prussian list. A separate
name-adoption list appeared in 1845, of which I've only seen the typed
transcription at the Leo Baeck Institute. The title of this list
suggests that name-adoption itself only happened then (_Nachweisung des
Regierungs-Bezirks Marienwerder von denjenigen Juden, welche nach der
Allerhoechsten Kabinetts-Ordre vom 31sten October 1845 erbliche
Familien-Namen angenommen haben_), but I'm not sure that was generally
the case there. Again, further information is welcome.

Information about surname-adoption in portions of Germany not listed
above--e.g., Hohenzollern, the rest of Hessen, and Braunschweig--would
make further valuable additions.

Roger Lustig Princeton, NJ USA <>

Peter Wyant Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada <> Wrote:
On 9 May, Sandi GOLDSMITH posted a partial list of European
jurisdictions and the dates (or years) in which fixed surnames were
mandated. A list very similar to this list was published in Avotaynu, Vol. XII,
No. 2 (Summer, 1996), p. 34, by George ARNSTEIN, titled "Mandated Family
Names in Central Europe". If George is a subscriber to this list,
perhaps he can shed some further light on its origin.
I, too, have used this very useful list over the years and whenever a
new date/jurisdiction comes to light, have added to it.
MOD NOTE: The list is available at JewishGen: ( Exhibit 1 )

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