Re: The male name Shapsei #lithuania #names

Moshe Davis

The origin of the name Shabsai (Ashkenazi pronuciation) or Shabtai (Sefardi pronunciation) is Biblical - see Ezra 10:15, Nechemia 11:16
Shabsai HaLevi was apparently an important enough individual to be mentioned as helping to organize those who returned to the land of Israel from the Babylonian exile.

My wife's father was Shabtai. We have a son Shabsai. In the family there are a series of descendents named in alternating generations Shabtai the son of Moshe or Moshe the son of Shabtai. There are thus a number of parallel cousins named either Shabtai or Moshe. The family are Sefardim from Istanbul by way of Cuba, originally probably descended from exiles of the Spanish expulsion of 1492. In Cuba he went by Sabeto. After arriving in the USA in the mid-1950s, he went by Robert (because of the English resemblance to Sabeto). Most of the family members today live in Michigan, Florida, and Israel.

Moshe Davis

On Thu, 11 Jun 2020 at 14:42, Jill Whitehead via <> wrote:
I am seeking an English equivalent of the first name Shapsei who was the father of Samuel Servian who was a cousin of my grandfather who was also called Samuel Servian (ne Serwianski). Shapsei and his son were born in Kovno in Lithuania, whereas my Servians came from nearby Sejny in Suwalki Gubernia in NE Poland. I have come across Samuel as being a translation of Shapsei, but this seems unlikely as his son was called Samuel. Certain names are repeated in the Servian/Serwianski family (e.g. Mordecai/Max, Josiel/Joseph, Baruch/Barnet, Abraham/Albert, Jacob/Julius) but Shapsei is not one of them - could this be a pet name for another name?

There are several Samuel Servian/Server/Serviansky's (all cousins) in the same generation who lived in variously Liverpool, UK; Middlesbrough, UK (a rabbinical line who came from Vistytis in Lithuania which used to be in Suwalki Gubernia until 1919), Chicago, Pittsburgh, California, Grand Rapids, Toronto and New York. Most have two first names. My grandfather was Samuel Salmon (Solomon), and his Liverpool cousin was Samuel Henry (presumably after Hirsch?). Therefore it is possible Shapsei is one part of a two part name. 

I would be interested to hear if anyone else has a Shapsei in their family and what the English version of the name was most likely to be.

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, UK

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