JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: 2 part question concerning Americanization of names, and the on-line indexes #general

Robert Israel <israel@...>

lilishoshana@... (Shoshana Kahan) writes:
Does anyone have experience with the use of the names "Gladys" and
"Harriet" as anything other than Americanizations of "Gittel" and
"Chana" (as they are according to the GNDB?) I think I identified my
grandfather's cousin Isaac Cooper of the 1910 census as an Isadore
Cooper on the 1930 census. All details match, except that his two
oldest daughters are named Gladys and Harriet, while his own mother,
who probably died before either daughter was born, was called "Mamie."
I suspect there was another child there who died, and whose name I
don't know. But I would expect to find a daughter named something
like Mamie or Marsha or Mary or something, and the fact that I don't
makes me wonder if this is the same fellow. Did the name Harriet ever
stand in for Esther (his grandmother's name?) Should I take the fact
that these girls don't seem to be named after his mother as a sign
that this Isadore isn't the Isaac of the earlier census ...
Maybe the mother was still alive, or maybe her name was already taken by
someone else in the family, or maybe he simply didn't want to name a
child after his mother. Naming customs vary, and not everybody
followed them. And many people have "Jewish" names that do not correspond
in any way to their secular names, so Harriet = Esther is perfectly possible.
Robert Israel
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, Canada

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