JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: BERNSTEIN - name origin - BER #general


In a message dated 4/12/2006 7:56:13 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, writes:

"Heating amber will soften it and eventually it will burn, a fact that
has given rise to the name of /bernstein/, by which the Germans know amber."
==Yes, that's true. And it is possible that a Bernstein here or there may
have been a collector or carver of amber, or may have had a face that reminded
his neighbors of amber.

==B-u-t , in truth though, most of the Bernsteins would have been simply
Ber or Baer or Behr if they hadn't added the suffix -stein to their "Jewish"
name, which is a kinnuy for biblical Issachar or Hebrew Dov.

==Similarly, most Berlins didn't take their name >from the city but >from Ber.

==It was common, especially in German-speaking countries to add suffixes
like -stein, -baum, blatt, berg, -feld to "Jewish" names to make them less
"Jewish"--a requirement in some jurisdictions when registering a surname.

==some examples:

Rosenbaum , Rosenblatt (Rosa)
Nissenbaum (Nathan or Nissan)
Ehrenfeld (Aaron; most surnames starting with Ehren are Kohanim)
Loewenberg (Loew)
Levenberg (Levi)
Birnbaum (Ber)
Mendelsohn, Mandelstamm, Mandelbrot (Mendel)
Hirschfeld, Hertzfeld (Hirsch, kinnuy for bib. Naftali or Heb Tzvi)

Michael Bernet (>from Ber),
New York

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