Diana da Costa
Dear all subscribers, especially all those of you who responded to my
I had an amazing response (thirty-three to date) to my query which I posted
on both the GERSIG and JewishGen Discussion Group Lists and I thought it
might be of interest and help to summarise the contributions I received, in
no particular order:
1. The issue was not important as a) it was not the Hebrew name and b)
daughters were not viewed as significant as sons as they were not called to
the Torah and so naming girls was not taken as seriously.
2. The child could have been named after another ancestor with the same
name and in fact, her aunt could already have been named after said person.
The name could also have been given >from a different family which
coincidentally was the same as the aunt's.
3. Marie is a secular name and her Hebrew name, if she had one, might
have been different.
4. A living relative can give permission for their own name to be given
to a child.
5. It was often known that all siblings and first cousins to have the
same name if all were named after the same deceased grandparent.
6. The custom to name after the living is known amongst the Sephardim,
some Hassidic sects, amongst some early German Jewish communities, in 19th
century Holland and in Breslau, now part of Poland.
7. It was also known in Prussia and Alsace to name after living aunts
and uncles but not after living parents and grandparents.
8. It was more of a taboo to name after the living amongst those
originating >from Eastern Europe than amongst 19th century German Jewish
9. Traditions tended to break down in the US but that it is important
to know the traditions of one's own family.
Thank you to all who emailed me so promptly. I now need to continue
researching into my DITTMANN and ROSENFELD ancestors, which hitherto has
been quite problematic, to see whether I can find any "Maries". If anyone
is researching DITTMANN >from Tuechersfeld, near Bamberg or ROSENFELD from
Bamberg or anyone at all >from either place, I should be most grateful to
hear >from you. With all good wishes,
Diana (Mohr) Gomes da Costa, Kent UK - formerly >from London