JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Children Use Mother's Maiden Name #general


Aaron Kuperman <akup@...>
 

Until fairly recently (typically the 19th century), no Christian
government recognized a Jewish marriage (or a Christian
marriage). Marriage was traditionally governed by religious law (canon law
or halacha, depending on the individual in question). How individual names
were recorded in official documents is a totally different question.

European Jews generally did not consistently use what we consider to be
"surnames" (family names uniformly reflecting the paternal line) until the
19th century as the earliest. Jews who needed a surname often used the
wife's name if they were (as often occured) living with the wife's family.

Poland did not really exist in 1880. Areas where the Polish langauge was
spoken were divided between Austria (by then Austro-Hungarian Empire, but
everyone knew who was in charge), Russia and Germany. Each country had
different polcies in terms of recording Jewish marriages and legislating
use of surnames among Jews.

Aaron Kuperman

Stanley Winthrop (ak102@freenet.carleton.ca) wrote:
:I have been told that there was a period in Poland arround 1880 when the
:government did not recognize Jewish marriages. As a result the children of
:those marriages who later emigrated were given Polish emigration documents
:with their mothers maiden name as their family name. Is this true? Has
:anyone discovered a situation like this with their family tree?

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