In a message dated 6/19/2006 5:08:52 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
<< As stated on my ancestors naturalization papers in the UK, my
LEVY/LEVEY/LEVI/LEVER ancestors former name was BENJAMIN.
eg. my grandfather, Louis Lever (formerly known as Louis Benjamin >>
==In Germanic countries, before the requirement for hereditary surnames, a
Jew was officially known by his personal name followed by his father's personal
name (as in Hebrew, but without the connecting "ben"). So Belah Benjamin
would be the official name of Benjamin's son Belah. In a German record of the
assumption by Jews of hereditary surnames, we can expect to find an entry
"Former name Louis Benjamin; new name Louis Lever" where Benjamin is the father
of Louis and Lever is the new official surname.
==>from the Middle Ages, the Baltic countries had in varying ways been
colonized by settlers >from Germany, such as the Livonian Knights. Some areas had a
distinctive Germanic culture, such as Memel and Kurland, where the German
language had a somewhat dominant position. It is reasonable to assume that some
Jews would have been named in the old Germanic style.
==What is the origin of Lever? Could it indicate he's a Levite? Menk
derives it >from the name LEVOR. (I have some relatives LEVOR >from Bamberg in
Germany). Menk believes Levor was a name assumed by Levites.
Michael Bernet, New York