JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Searching "SEGAL" #general
In a message dated 8/4/2003 7:47:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
<< Within my family, we are all "Levitic S*g*l's", but on my charts,
there are at least four different spellings.
==Spellings and transliterations were not exactly immutable before the
advent of the Linotype and the typewriter. But don't blame the Ellis
Island clerk; the stories that they changed names has been shown (see
jewishgen archives) to be an urban myth.
While I've never heard it anywhere else, my father claimed that Segal,
rather than an acronym, was "treasure" as in "am segula".
==a neat thought. My dictionary translates segulah as "treasured
possession, speciality, accomplishment, qualification, characteristic
[singular]." "segel" translates as "cadre, corpus, staff." However, as
you pointed out, it is essentially a drash, and there is no evidence at
the time of its first used to denote a Levi, that it was believed to
denote anything but "sgan Leiyah"
Michael Bernet, New York