Re: "Vin", "Win", "Bin" or "Ben" - Origins of a name #galicia

Valerie Schatzker <vjs@...>

Dear Brian,

Before Jews adopted hereditary surnames, they would have been
known by their given names with patronymics. Prominent Jews
mentioned in historical documents are referred to by both name and
patronymic. A 1770 census >from Rzeszow in Galicia is an interesting
illustration of how names were recorded before 1772. 214 Jews are
listed. Most are male, with about 10 females. In some cases their
occupations are listed. 82 have family names that are in most cases
patronymics (Josefowicz) with few indicating places of origin
(Krakowski). There is no way to ascertain whether these names had
become accepted as surnames or were just functioning as patronymics.
It is strange however, that 132 of those counted have no patronymic.
However, many names have added information concerning
relationships, such as son-in-law or son of, widow, husband of. Those
with patronymics usually have no such qualifying information.

Interestingly for 57 of those with patronymics there is no occupation
listed. I wonder if these were young men who were old enough to be
counted in the census but too young to be working. Perhaps they were
still studying.

When Austria demanded that Jews adopt hereditary family names, they
did not allow names indicating places of origin. I believe, however, that
those who already had accepted surnames were allowed to keep names
like this. My husband's name (SCHATZKER) is one of these. I am not
sure if there was any interdiction about adopting patronymics as family
names. They are certainly found in Galicia but a quick glance at the
JRI-Poland records indicates that they are more frequent in other parts
of Poland.

Valerie Schatzker
Toronto, Ontario

On Mon, 3/29/10, Brian J. Lenius <brian@...> wrote:

I have had opportunity to see several documents that refer to the
name "Winowicz" as a patronymic name. Although Winowicz is a valid
Polish or Ukrainian surname, in the case of these particular documents
it is clearly used as the patronymic name.

As an example of patronymics, the name Iwan Stefanowicz Kowalczuk
would be Iwan (the son of Stefan) Kowalczuk. Other patronymics are
also used as surnames, such as names like Iwanowicz (son of Iwan),
Fedorowicz (son of Fedor), etc.

Could the name Winowicz be a patronymic for "son of Win"? Eastern
Slavs (Ukrainians, Russians) sometimes use the "V" in place of the
western Slav (Polish) "B" as in "Vasyl" in place of "Basil". Therefore
could "Vin" be derived >from "Bin" or maybe "Ben" as found among
Jewish names?

To show that Jewish given names can also be found in Jewish
patronymic names and that this is not just a Slavic phenomenon, the
names of a couple of Jewish landlord families in Galicia were
Rabinowicz (son of Rabin) and Abrahamowicz (son of Abraham). Any
ideas or references would be appreciated.

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