JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re Karo/Caro as a surname #general

Chava Agmon <havahug@...>

To Jewishgen Discussion Group.

Greetings to Ury Link and interested Genners.

Thank you so much for making the search for family members and
descendants so easy for me. >from my experience they tend to be
very reticent. As a maternally-descended Caro family member, backed
by 110 year old original inherited Gothic documentation,I would like
to add a few observations, made over a period of 20 years of
Caro/Karo Research:

1) Many people do not realize that the name Caro/Karo is not
necessaily only a Jewish name. The late Paul Jacoby LL.D. of high
genealogical repute, wrote a whole chapter on this name in his 2 volume
typescript on the Kara/Caro Family,which would be too long to quote
here,so I will just say that the name is *not* necessarily Jewish !!

2) Paul Jacoby suggests the name also originated >from the time of
the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (281/83 A.D.) who was greatly
respected and loved, having CARUS or CARO, meaning: beloved-heart-dear,
added to his name. Italians still start letters with "Cara mia"=My dear.

3) You wrote "Most Ashkenasi Caro-s are written only Kof-Reish-Alef".
As we deal in *Jewish* genealogy,the name is (as you correctly said)
originally a *Hebrew* term-but this means it is neither Ashkenasi nor
Sephardi. The multitude of spelling variations and changes appeared only
much later during the long period of exile after the destruction of the
2nd Temple.

4) Re the name Caro being "popular" in Posnan, Poland in the 18th and
19th century, I think, is questionable. It is true that Caro-s were
well-represented in many of the places in this Prussian province, but
I would hesitate in describing the name as "popular". You are also
correcct in claiming that the majority if not all the Posnan Caro-s
of that time were Ashkenasim.

5)Rabbi Joseph CARO (Toledo,Spain 1488-1575 Safed,Israel)was the
compiler of the Code of Jewish Law -Shulchan Aruch=Laid Table- followed
by orthodox Jews to this day. Contrary to popular belief,there were
numerous rabbis over the centuries with the same name,since the Spanish
Inquisition.They too had families,but the ambition to belong to "The"
Toledo -born Rabbi Joseph CARO family,about whose Sephardic family
"there are many yawning gaps" (P.Jacoby) also gave rise to many
fallacies and baseless wishful thinking of descent.

With best wishes for a Happy Pessach and Shalom

Chava Agmon
Caro Family Research

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