Family and DNA
'beekeeper' in Yiddish?
background - My father's grandfather & GGF were born in Czernigov/Chernihiv, moved for some reason to Romny (Poltava), then to Chicago. GGF Abraham (son of Pinkus) arrived in 1882 as BENJAN -- although he returned when his wife and at least 1 daughter were killed in a pogrom apparently while trying to follow him (some time between 1887-1897, no info ever found on that story). Abe remarried in Romny (as BENIN), had some more kids, & returned to Chicago in 1908. He was a big proponent of the Hebrew language, and felt that it should be used on a daily basis for secular stuff, and was apparently quite religious (& felt that folks in Chicago lacked that).
Everyone we know about arrived in Chicago between 1904-1910 as BENIN (kids were Yitchak/Isaac, Zelik Mordechai/Jacob Max, Berl/Benjamin, Sore/Sarah, Pinchas/Phillip; then Mera/Mary, Shia Refael/Jacob John, Riwl/Rose Leah, Zalmen/Sam).
Afterwards, all of them went by BERLAND. A 2nd cousin has said that "the first sibling that arrived [Ike] decided to change the name and everybody followed"... However, he just found an old tape of Rose where she says that it was actually Phil who chose the name (not the 1st to arrive), & that the original name BENIN has something to do with beekeeping in Yiddish. Does this sound correct?
(Apparently 'Berland' was chosen because of 'berlyant', the Yiddish word for diamond, & I think this works with Beider's name info in re the surname 'Berland')
They were almost all painters or sold paint. I've found other BENINs on the 1923 Romny census who were "tradesmen from Czernigow" --- I'm wondering how painting & being "tradesmen" could connect to bees, if at all. I had suspected that when it came time to chose a name, 'Benin' was a form of the given name 'Benjamin' -- but maybe not, & it had to do with bees instead? Or could it be tied to something in Hebrew, since Abe was so connected to that language? I do not speak/read Hebrew, Yiddish, or Russian, so I hope you can offer some advice... Any thoughts on this surname 'Benin'?
Juliana Berland (currently in Rennes, France)