Re: Moses Hyam or Hyam Moses - name reversal in early 19th century #unitedkingdom

David Lewin

At 09:33 13/06/2020, jlevy2008@... wrote:
Hello everyone from the sweltering heat of Dubai,

Thank you all for your replies and interest.

I just wanted to clarify that I am asking about the likelihood of a
man swapping his given name and his family name.

The 1812 marriage recorded in the register of London's Great
Synagogue indicates that the groom's given name was Hyam in English
and Chayim in Hebrew. His English family name was apparently MOSES.

Is it likely that that he later chose to call himself Moses (given
name) HYAM (family name) for civil purposes, i.e. change his family name?

Were the family names used by the Jews of early 19th England fixed
or was there a degree of fluidity?

Justin Levy
Are you certain that the reversed names apply to the same individual
and not to different generations in that family?

A string of two names was used before they invented family
names. XY was simply X, the son of Y

Jews also often named a newborn after a deceased grandparent. So XY
could be read as X son of Y. Mostly that was the name of a
grandfather - but not always, of course. That would be too
simple. Giving the child the same personal name as the father became
a "modern" copying of the gentiles.

In Germany Jews did not take on family names until 1812 -
1834. There are a couple of such databases at Jewishgen of name
adoptions which I created some years back for the 1812 and 183427
West Prussia and Posen provinces. At that time the Jews were granted
citizenship in those territories and one condition was that they
adopt family names as had been practiced by their non-Jewish host
territories for generations.

David Lewin

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