Arthur Obermayer <obermayer@...>
GerSIG is considering undertaking a major project to assemble and put
on-line name adoption lists >from throughout Germany.
Between 1800 and 1830, all communities in Germany required Jews to convert
from patronymic names (your father's first name as your given name)to surnames (consistent last names/family names which would be inherited).
Officials in the various communities recorded the surnames selected by
resident families. Lists were compiled showing the various surnames
together with the traditional patronymic names of the family members.
These name adoption lists were generally published so that everyone
would be able to identify the surname that a family adopted. Only a
minority of Jews had inherited surnames before that time.
Currently used surnames usually were chosen during that period.
Only in a few regions of Germany are compilations of name adoption lists easily
available. However, many German Jewish genealogists have discovered specific
name adoption lists >from ancestors' communities.
For example, the largest assemblies seem to be at the Leo Baeck Institute in
New York, (LBI) which has the Berthold Rosenthal Collection of many thousands
of handwritten names >from Baden, as well as a 180-page book by Edward Luft
focused on Posen.
Arthur Obermayer Newton, MA <obermayer@...>