German SIG #Germany Re: Variations on the name Leopold #germany


In a message dated 9/11/2007 smeyer@... writes:

" The marriage register at Dillingen, for my grandparents marriage, lists
the father of the groom as Levy. Family lore states that great grandfather's
name was Leopold.

My interpretation is that these are variations of one name. I suppose
that great grandfather was Loewe in Yiddish (Lion in German). The lion is the
symbol of one of the twelve tribes of Israel, namely Yehuda. Loewe could
easily have sounded like Levy to the official who wrote the entry in the
marriage register. The official German name derived >from lion would
be Leopold. So it seems to me that Loewe, Levy, Leopold and Yehuda
are all connected to lion in some way."

==You are absolutely correct. You will find that Jewishgen
and SIG archives include a thorough treatment of kinnuyim
and their origins.

[ For message archives - Use link at bottom of "List Manager" page. The list manager link
is included in every email you receive >from the GerSIG list. MOD 1 ]

==The names of Jacob's twelve sons, and the names of the twelve tribes (they
largely overlap) are all commonly used by Jewish men. For historical reasons
it became common about a thousand years ago in Europe, to give sons not just
a Hebrew or Biblical name but also a secular name that had some logical
connection with the Hebrew name.

==Jacob's blessings for his sons, Bereshit [Genesis] chapter 49, and Moses'
blessings for the tribes Devarim [Deuteronomy] chapter 33, are the models for
many kinnuyim. Jacob stated "gur aryeh Yehuda" (Judah is a lion cub). Leon
became a kinnuy for Yehuda very early, probably in the early Roman empire.
It was common in Spain >from early years, and was equally common in Germanic
communities where Loeb and Loew were common.

==Loeb etc was a very recognizably Jewish name. Around 1820, European Jews
tended to seek out names that were "more cosmopolitan." Leopold (a Germanic
name meaning "bold people" -- nothing to do with lion or Judah, and therefore
not a genuine kinnuy) became a popular secular name for European Jews from
the middle-19th century

==An emigrant >from Upper Franconia in Bavaria, named Loew Strauss, arrived
in New York in 1848. In 1850 he moved to Sacramento (California) hoping he
could make money as a trader during the gold rush. He changed his name to Levi
along the way because Levi was less typically Jewish at the time than Loew.
At some point he decided to reinforce blue denim workpants with copper rivets.
The rest of the story is well known, I believe.

Michael Bernet, New York MBernet@... MOD NOTE: Further discussion by
private email only.

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