Poland's Partitions and origin of the Jewish surnames #galicia


Marlene <mlbishow@...>
 

Since early on in my genealogical research, I was told that KATZ meant cohen
tzadik (righteous cohen). My grandfather, Shimon KATZ, fiercely denied that
he was a cohen, as did his cousins, all descendents of Aaron KATZ (b. circa
1840). IIn fact, every time there is a life cycle event in my family, thsi
question arises.

So the question that I puzzle is what was the origin of this familiy's
name -did they just "foget" that they were cohen. I would have cast aside
Alexander Sharon's theory that the name is Sephardic, except that I had my
father genetically tested several years ago and they found that he varies
from the cohen model and he also has a very rare genetic pattern which
indicates more direct African origins - hence, they may well have been
Sephardic, even if KATZ was not their original name. There are no traces of
Sephardic customs in their practices, but then again, that could have been
the influence of their marriage to wives whose families were of Ashkanazi
origin.

The fact that Alexander Sharon references a source stating that Sephardic
KATZ families as having been in the area of Stryy (close to Zhurawno) since
the late 15th century, just adds more basis for my quest and questions. I
have not had any luck with JRI Poland records and other sources for Zurawno.
There is no dedicated Yiskor book and I do not speak or read any of the
native languages to facilitate reading sources in their original form.

Regards,
Marlene KATZ BISHOW
Rockville, MD
VP, Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington

Alexander Sharon wrote:

Katz is a Sefardi surname and it appers in the Jewish Galicia records
before
the introduction of Germanic names.

While Sephardi Jews have long since adopted the Spanish practice of
surnames, the Ashkenazis have been very conservative, still following the
antique custom of using their first, plus father's first name, in a
Hebrew -Yiddish form, Dawid ben Solomon, for example.

Sefardi Jews have started to arrive in the territory of Polish Eastern
Galicia following their expulsion >from Spain and Portugal, (1492 and 1497,
respectively). They have been settling in towns and suburbs of Przemysl,
Drohobycz, Lwow and Stryj.

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