JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Surname selection #general


In a message dated 8/20/2004 6:05:20 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

In the USA melting pot a non-European suffix was acceptable but in England
much less so. I find that one can very often follow the metamorphosis >from say
Polish to English surname - eg by straight translation of a trade-based surname
- but occasionally a new surname seems to plucked out of the air making
research in the country of origin even more problematical.

==The phrase "melting pot" was devised by Israel Zangwill, the British (and
British-born) Jewish author of "Children of the Ghetto." But he used the term
in reference to the USA. Britain was (certainly in my days there, 1938-1955)
much less accepting of things foreign, >from names to dress, to food and

Among the name changes I'm familiar with there, these stick in my memory
Ichenhauser to Ingram
Schwarzwald to Sherwood
Cohen to Caine
? to Kennedy
? to Montgomery
Koenigshoefer to Kaye
Schajowitz to Sheldon
Osterman to Austin

The last gave rise to a game I used to play with my friends. We knew that the
French Citroen car was named after its Jewish founder, Citronenbaum. Now we
understand that the British Austin automobile must have been named after a
Jew, Osterman. Hence the Austen-Siddley car was named after Aaron Sidlewitz, the
Rolls Royce after Raphael Rottenberg, the Bentley after Bernstein, the Morris
after Moishe (obvious! what else?), the Vauxhall after Volksmann, the Rover
after Reuven, and so on. The game was who was the first to "recognize" the
Jewish name of every car we wncountered on our walk home >from schul. There were
probably at least 30 British brands at the time

Michael Bernet, New York

Join to automatically receive all group messages.