Seeking grandfather's family name #unitedkingdom #lithuania #southafrica


My grandfather's application for naturalisation at the Cape Colony, South Africa, in 1899 gives his name as Harris Arnott, his birthplace as "Kurshan, Government of Kovno, Russia" (which is Kursenai, Kaunas, Lithuania), his age next birthday as 36 (which means he was born in 1863 or 1864) and that he had resided in the Colony for 4 years. Arnott is most unlikely to be the name with which he was born, but searches in JewishGen for similar names have failed to find anything.
Arnott was probably a name he adopted or was given to him on his arrival in the United Kingdom between 1881 and 1891. I assume his arrival in the UK between these dates because in the Scottish census of 5 April 1891 he appears under the name of Harris Arnott, born in Russia, as a boarder in a Glasgow household, but he is not listed in the previous census of 1881.
In 1892 in Glasgow he married my grandmother, who according to family tradition came from Bialystok, Poland. The marriage register gives his father's name and occupation as Aaron Arnott, Teacher of Hebrew, and his mother's name as Annie Arnott (maiden name Lipschitz). Unlike my grandmother's parents, they are not described as deceased at this date. The marriage authorisation from the synagogue yields no further information.
On his tombstone in South Africa, my grandfather's father's name is given in Hebrew as "Aharon". Searches for Hebrew Teachers in Kursenai, with first name Aaron or the like, have been fruitless. Can anyone suggest how I might find the family name?
Harold Luntz AO
Melbourne, Australia

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