Prof. G. L. Esterson <jerry@...>
I am continuing my research to collect and post in the Hungary Given Names
Data Base on JewishGen (< www.jewishgen.org/databases/GivenNames/ >) the
Hebrew, Yiddish, and secular names used by Jews in Hungary who were born
there during the period 1795-1925.
This data base also contains, for Hungary-based sets of Jewish and secular
names used in Hungary, the English names they adopted upon immigration to
the US, and corresponding secular names adopted in other "foreign"
countries. This type of information is of use to researchers who are not
aware of all the given names their ancestors might have used in Hungary,
but do know their English names in the US, as well as, in reverse, to
researchers who are not aware of all the given names their ancestors might
have used in the US, but who do know at least some of their names used in
Hungary. It is known that there is a statistical linkage between the
Jewish/secular given name groupings used by Jews in European countries and
the secular names adopted by immigrants to "foreign" countries.
While I am attempting to collect the secular names adopted in all ten
"foreign" countries included in the Hungary Given Names Data Base, I am at
present concentrating my efforts on those emigrants who migrated to the US.
Acquiring linked English names adopted by US-immigrants >from Hungary is a
difficult task. There are only four basic methods which can be
used: 1. Collect gravestone readings >from cemeteries where it is known
that all or most of those buried there were emigrants >from Hungary, or
2. Collect Hebrew, Yiddish, and secular given names >from the family trees
of individual genealogists where there are emigrants >from Hungary who
immigrated to a "foreign" country, or 3. Collect gravestone readings >from
all Jewish cemeteries in the country if the assumption can be made that all
or most of those Jews who immigrated to that country came >from Hungary, or
4. Collect names >from Landsmanshaftn and other records of meetings, etc.
where the assumption can be made that all or most of those whose names are
mentioned had immigrated to that country >from Hungary.
For Hungarian emigrants, the third alternative is not feasible for all
countries of the world to which Hungarian Jews immigrated, as far as I know
(although it might be feasible for Lithuanian immigrants to South Africa,
for example). Similarly, the fourth alternative is not feasible for most
countries of the world, since it was not always the practice to create such
organizations, as was commonly done by US Landsmanshaftn; furthermore,
such name lists when they do exist, turn out to be mostly ONLY the secular
name of the person.
However, the first approach may be feasible if it can be shown that those
buried in certain "foreign" cemeteries were actually emigrants >from Hungary
during the appropriate period. Proving or being able to assume that this
was the case is a difficult problem, as stated by Rabbi Avrohom Marmorstein
who wrote in a recent posting: "He was sure that not all those buried
there were of Hungarian origin" when speaking of an elderly member of the
Society associated with the Hungarian Union Fields Cemetery in Queens.
Never the less, some Hungary SIG members may be aware (as I am not) of some
such cemeteries, and furthermore, that gravestone readings of ALL names
there were transcribed in a data base -- including the Hebrew and Yiddish
names which came with the immigrants >from Hungary, as well as the English
names they adopted in the US, or other local secular names adopted in other
In addition, the second approach is feasible for researchers who have
recorded all of the known names of their ancestors -- Hebrew, Yiddish,
Hungarian secular, and European secular names. If such given name sets can
be extracted >from your data base, and if they are for Hungarian emigrants
to the US who were born in Hungary during the period 1795-1925, I would be
most grateful to receive the lists. I do not need or want to know the
surnames or other information about these persons in your family tree.
Can anyone help me with this difficult problem?
Thanks in advance,
Professor G. L. Esterson, Ra'anana, Israel