DE BEER: Naming traditions #germany #sephardic #names

Hilary Osofsky

 I could use some help determining which of two conflicting patronymics provides the given name of a DE BEER ancestor.

According to a summary written by a family member about 25 years ago, "In the year 1742, Jacob Simon Beer signed his name Jakob bar Moscheh Bar in Hebrew." The question is, what was the name of Jacob Simon's father - Simon or Moscheh?

For context, this signature might have been for secular purposes, possibly related to a writ of protection the family was seeking in Emden that year, following their emigration from Amsterdam to Germany. Although we don't have Jacob Simon's date of birth, since he was necessarily an adult in 1742, guesstimating, he was born in the late 1600's or early 1700's, most likely in Amsterdam. There is some speculation that the family originally came from Portugal.

Normally, I would conclude that Jacob Simon's father was Moscheh.

However, Jacob's descendants were very consistent in the naming pattern they used; in every generation, the sons used their father's given name as their middle name. So Simon Jacob, born 1747, named one of his sons Jacob Simon (1774); who named one of his sons Simon Jacob (1808), who named one of his sons Jacob Simon (1853). Presumably, the "bar" was implicit in this patronymic naming scheme. 

If the family naming pattern were decisive here, then the original Jacob Simon's father would be Simon. 

If, however, "bar Moschech" were determinative, then Jacob Simon's father was named Moscheh.  

I'm hoping someone who has some knowledge of naming customs in Amsterdam around the turn of the 18th century can give me some direction.

Thanks very much.

Hilary  Osofsky




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