Edna Berkovits Teaneck, berkovitse@... wrote:
I have been researching my mother's BERENZ family for the past 2 years, and
have not previously seen that name as a first name. I know my
gt-grandparents' names but have no dates or place of birth. My mother and
her father were both born in Bonstadt (umlaut), Hessen.
Is there any possible connection between families sharing what I believe is
an unusual name in this unusual way?"
My answer is : the family name BERENZ is a patronymic family name that
derived >from the nickname Ber (Nickname to Yssachar and Dov) . We know
also that the name Ber (Beer) is a German word and is used in names as
Bernard, Bernd, Bernt, Berend , Berent, Bernhard, Berman etc.....
The name Berenz was often derived >from >from the name Berend or Bernhard. In the
German name culture we find a lot of given names that changed to a name
ending with the Suffix letter Z.
A Few samples are: Arnold changed to Arntz, Dietrich to Dietz, Gotfried to Goetz,
Hugobert to Hutz, Heinrich to Heinz, Ludwig to Lutz, Bernhard to Berenz and more.
In Holland and in Friesland (North Western part of Germany) the meaning of
a Suffix SZ, is "the son of", so that Berentsz meant the son of Berent and
Jansz meant the sun of Jansen.
You see that this name BERENZ as a first name is not as unusual as you think.
I don't think that families adopting the same last names names or using the same
first names must necessarily be related.
We know that the given name Ber was very common in the Jewish world and Berend
or Bernhard was also very common in the German world, so the chance that you came
from the same family as another BERENZ is small, ( but still a chance ) especiallysince BERENZ was used as the given (first) name in one case and as the family
(last) name in the other. It is possible that the BERENZ family name was a patro-
nymic - an adopted last name selected because it was the father's given name.
Best regards Ury Link Amsterdam Holland uryl@...