Re: Godparents? #galicia

Stephan Owen Parnes

The first step in understanding a record that has been identified by reviewing an indexing project should be to review the original document.  In this case the original document may be found in the Grodek Jewish birth records available at FamilySearch.

In the box showing the child’s name in this document are the names of the sandek and (I believe) the midwife.  In a box with the heading “Parentes” the names of the child’s mother and father are listed. In a box with the heading “Patrini” are found the “godparents.”

Thus, the term “Godparents” does not refer to the sandek in this record.  It is not clear to me whether the couple named as Godparents  are relatives or not.  This couple would likely be important people in the town, if not relatives.

In any case, the woman named here (the “Godmother”—sometimes called “kwatterin”) would bring the baby from the mother and then hand the baby to the man named here (the “Godfather”—sometimes called “kwatter”).  The “Godfather” would the bring the infant in and place him on the Chair of Elijah or hand the infant to the mohel or to the child’s father.

Regarding Freude’s maiden name, looking the JRI-Poland’s indexes shows a Brzezany marriage record for Uscher Stahl and Freude Feintuch in 1879. Uscher Stahl’s father was Hersch Leib Stahl. Thus, the infant you mentioned would likely be named after Uscher’s father. Whether or not Freude’s mother might have been a Parnes is not clear without further research.

Stephan Parnes
Great Barrington, MA

On Jul 13, 2021, at 3:34 PM, Nikki Nafziger <nikkinashmusic@...> wrote:

I found my great grandfather's birth record in the all Galicia database. It listed Moses and Elkie Parnes as Godparents 1 and 2 (given names and surnames). I didn't think Jews had Godparents. … Please help me understand the translation/meaning of Godparents.  Thank you. (Nikki Drex by

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