German SIG #Germany Re: Location of or meaning of Pfanne #germany

Roger Lustig


"Pfanne" is the German word for "pan"--the cooking utensil.

Before there were street signs and house numbers, houses in larger towns
were identified by signs. (Something like this was necessary in a world
where most people weren't literate.) Many of Frankfurt's Jews and those
in other large urban communities used their house-sign as a surname.
STRAUSS (ostrich), GANS (goose), BLUM (flower), OCHS (ox), SPIEGEL
(mirror), GREIFF (griffin) and many others are still common among their
descendants. Until around 1800 these surnames were not official and
sometimes changed over time, but Jews in large communities like
Frankfurt found them useful for business and other purposes, and many of
their family names can be traced back for centuries.

"Pfanne" as a house is perhaps best remembered for the house behind it.
The famous ROTHSCHILD family lived in their "red-shield" house until
they moved to "Hinterpfann"--the house behind the house with the sign of
the pan. Fortunately for all of us, they kept their already well-known name.

The passage you have on Viewmate shows that the family moved >from house
to house: the White Rose, the Pan, the Horseshoe (Hufeisen.)

Dietz is very circumspect in his attribution of relationships between
the people he mentions, which is a good attitude to have with this sort
of information.

Roger Lustig Princeton, NJ USA research coordinator, GerSIG

On 1/9/2017 7:44 AM, Ben Forman wrote:
According to the book "Stammbuch der Frankfurter Juden", Alexander
Dietz, Frankfurt 1907, a resident of Frankfurt in the 1500s whom I may
be descended >from was the son of Eliakim >from Pfanne. I've uploaded
the relvent paragraph form the book to Viewmate for clarity, and
in case I've misunderstood the translation:
Any advice on the meaning of this or the location of "Pfanne" would be
appreciated; it doesn't appear in the JewishGen Communities Database.

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