Valerie Schatzker <vjs@...>
I would like to express my appreciation of Suzan Wynne's sharing
her research with us about the adoption of hereditary names in
Austria, especially her demonstration of the distinction between
fact and myth. Aside >from the regulations and historical facts that
she has summarized, it would seem that there is practically no
documented evidence about how individual family names arose.
We can all speculate that the name "Spinner" meant someone in
the textile trade, that extravagant names like Kronstein or
Rosengarten might suggest the payment of a fee or bribe, or the
propensity for "colour" names indicates some group collaboration
but we cannot know this. Speculation is easy and amusing but
without a specific reference >from documents, even information
from the Genealogy Department at the Diaspora Museum (BeitHatfutsot) cannot be accepted as truth.