Re: First time researcher looking for help with Dutch Jewish ancestry #records

R Jaffer

The first thing you need to find is the name adoption records, 1811-1812, for this family. Unfortunately, Abraham Benjamin was born just after name adoption and therefore he was born as Abraham with the adopted surname. Abraham's father had the given name Benjamin. When Jews left Amsterdam for the U.S. or England shortly after name adoption, they dropped the surname in favor of a patronymic surname. Remaining relatives in Amsterdam today are using the adopted surname. Once you have the name adoption record, you will have the entire family listed and can easily go back as many generations in Ashkenazi families for which there are records. Since Abraham would not appear in the name adoption records because he wasn't born yet, it would be easier to do knowing more such as name of Abraham's parents and older siblings. Without that, I suggest you hire an archivist in Amsterdam to do this for you as he/she would be more adept at working with the records and I assume you don't speak Dutch. After you have the family unit, online searching of transcriptions can be done in English. Below is one of the name adoption records for which I paid an archivist. You can see the adopted name "Richter".  In the U.S. he was called Abraham Levy.

Roberta Jaffer
Massachusetts, USA

Abraham Levij who was living at ...Weesperstraat 47 ( it's )section one appeared before a civil servant named AD Jungt-Mae(?)re from the town of Amsterdam, department Zuiderzee, first district. He (Abraham) declares that he adopts the name of Richter as his family name and for his first name Abraham Levij . That he has three sons and three daughters, no grandson and no granddaughter. Levij 13 years old Jacob 8 years old Mozes 9 months Jettje 11 years old Leentje 6 years old Saartje 4 years old (To the right of the bracket surrounding the children's names it's written that they live in the same house as at the top). Down at the bottom it's written that Levij couldn't sign the document because he can't write.

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