Why the name "Sylvester"? #names


In my Grossberg family from (or around) Vilkija, Lithunia, I discovered that there were two or three pairs of brothers and sisters, all with the same first and last names—and all born around the same time in St. Louis (and yes, it is totally maddening to keep them straight). I was able to figure out for whom they were named: my second great grandmother, Sarah Judah Bowes, who died near the end of 1905, right before the first of them was born.   Each sister-brother pair was named Julia  and Sylvester Grossberg.  My question is:  with all the names beginning with S, why was “Sylvester" chosen as a given name for the boys?  And not just once, but twice or three times. It seems like an unusual choice. Sylvester was not a common name (at least in St. Louis in the 1910s--I know because I checked the census).  Was there a Hebrew or Yiddish name it might have been referring to? Or was there perhaps a figure in American or local popular culture named Sylvester—the Brittney Spears, so to speak, of its time, whom it might have been referencing? 

Erika Gottfried
Teaneck, New Jersey

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