Janice Jones <janjones@...>
We are trying to confirm a possible Jewish connection to a family known
firstly as BRECKNOCK, later as BREAKWELL, but whose descendants sometimes
used either "BRECKNOCK ALIAS COLTON" or just "COLTON" alone.
The uses of the primary name and the "alias" are a mystery to us - the
primary name, in the Shropshire area around Wheathill, appeared in the early
to mid 1600's, as far as I can tell, and then in the mid 1700's the alias
appeared or the name COLTON was used alone. There seems no discernable
pattern to the usages - for example, a family where the father was
"BREAKWELL ALIAS COLTON" might register the first few children under
BREAKWELL and the rest under COLTON - and in later years, those same
children would sometimes marry under the other name!!
BRECKNOCK is generally accepted as an ancient Welsh name - and, so far, we
have not found a marriage which would have introduced the "COLTON" into the
family - yet there must be some explanation for this curious usage.
At present, I am in touch with others who, like myself, descend >from a
COLTON line and none of us found anything to resolve this puzzle. However,
one of us has agreed with me that we had heard something of a Jewish
heritage >from now-deceased relatives. Unfortunately, this was long before
we took up our genealogical research! One passed-down theory is that there
was a connection with Eastern Europe and that the COLTON name may have been
passed down the female line. The only other "clues", if they can be called
that, are that there were several ancestors fore-named Israel among the
various BRECKNOCK, BREAKWELL and COLTON branches.
We realize we are reaching a long way back, when records were sparse, but
would be grateful for any advice or information anyone may have. For
instance - is there an old Jewish cemetery in Brecon?