Origins of Jewish names SITE CITE and name questions #germany

Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer

We sometimes have questions about this on the list, so I thought I'd
forward this URL:

[Mod note: This is a blog page containing advertising.
The time tested and favored sources on this subject are the classic
_ A Dictionary of Jewish Names and Their History_ by Benzion C. Kaganoff
and, for Germany, _A Dictionary of German-Jewish Surnames_ by Lars Menk ]

I have quibbles with some of his derivations. For example, I suspect
the name Gluck is more likely derived fro the German word for luck, He
suggests Goldman might be derived >from the name Golda, but Is Goldmann
an actual German name, or is it an English translation of Geltmann,
someone who works with gold; goldsmith. He suggests Berliner as
meaning son of Berl, but gives a better attribution in the section on
names derived >from towns as meaning a person >from Berlin. But in
general, it may be helpful for people wanting to understand names.

Also a question re. patronymics and matronymics. In the third
paragraph, he suggests that before surnames, a son would take a
patronymic, but a daughter would take a matronymic. I'm lucky enough
that many of the people in my husband's Jewish line had surnames
before Jews generally accepted them, but the few women without
surnames in the line seem to have patronymics rather than matronymics
(e.g., Gutrut b. Eliezer; Frummet b. Josef Lewi). Is the use of
matronymics for daughters a regional thing, or an occasional thing
(the examples he gives of people taking a matronymic when the mother
is predominent), or what?

Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer Hyde Park, NY christine3cats@...
Author of: Long-Distance Genealogy: Researching Your Ancestors >from Home

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