JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Is ISAAC "Heimish" or "Amish"? #general

Harold Pollins <pollins@...>

Judith Romney Wegner wrote:


Generally, if the family is Ashkenazic, when a biblical first name like
Isaac becomes a surname ... the anglicized
version will end in "s" -- i.e.. it would be ISAACS rather than ISAAC.
Such Ashknenazic surnames almost NEVER lack the added "S"...
In the case of Sephardim, by contrast, such
surnames are NORMALLY without the added "S." (i.e., they are spelled
exactly the same as forenames: Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, David, etc.)
I notice that in the list of burials 1733-1918 of the London Sephardi
congregation (published 1997) there were ten people with the surname ISAACS
and not one named ISAAC. Similarly in the list of London Sephardi marriages
1837-1901 (published 1973) there are 36 (thirty-six) people named ISAACS
and only two named ISAAC. (That number includes fathers of the spouses.)
The editor of the published marriage list notes that there were very many
marriages between Sephardi men and Ashkenazi women. He identifies the
Ashkenazim by surname while accepting that some - COHEN, LEVY, for example
- are common to both groups and there is scope therefore for error. Of the
36 people named ISAACS only sixteen were women and therefore possibly
Ashkenazi; the twenty men were presumably Sephardi; it was normal for
marriages to take place in the groom's synagogue.

Harold Pollins
Oxford England

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