Children Use Mother's Maiden Name #general


Stanley Winthrop <ak102@...>
 

I have been told that there was a period in Poland arround 1880 when the
government did not recognize Jewish marriages. As a result the children of
those marriages who later emigrated were given Polish emigration documents
with their mothers maiden name as their family name. Is this true? Has
anyone discovered a situation like this with their family tree?

Stanley Winthrop


Brandler Institute of Chasidic Thought <bict@...>
 

Though I am not exactly sure what Stanely is referring to, I have found in
the course of interviewing elderly immigrants >from the Galicia area, that it
was not unusual, especially in the small towns or villages for some Jews to
suffice with the Religious Marriage ceremony and never bother to register a
civil marriage with the authorities. The children of these marriages had the
option of taking either surname, and I have heard of instances that children
actually took their mother's maiden surname. I personally have seen a
passport of a woman born in 1865 that was still in her maiden name although
she had been married at the time the passport was issued for more than
thirty years!

Abraham J. Heschel


news@...
 

I have been told that there was a period in Poland arround 1880 when the
government did not recognize Jewish marriages. As a result the children
of those marriages who later emigrated were given Polish emigration
documents with their mothers maiden name as their family name. Is this
true? Has anyone discovered a situation like this with their family tree?
Yes. This happened to my boyfriend's family, who took the maternal name of
OHRINGER through the 19th century.

His paternal grandfather says that Jewish marriages were not recognised,
and Civil marriages were conducted in front on a cross, so that he and his
parents were all technically illegitimate as they refused to marry in
front of a cross.

Amanda Jones


George Farkas <george@...>
 

RE: "a period in Poland arround 1880 when government did not recognize
Jewish marriages."
Certainly there were times that governments in Poland and in Hungary did
not allow Jews to marry more than once (even if his spouse was deceased).
In that case, they were married only by Jewish ceremony and the children
of this second (etc.) marriage bore the family name of the mother.

Stan Goodman is also right in saying that there were those who bore their
mothers' family name in order to avoid military service.

I am not aware of any authorities not recognizing the first marriage of a
Jewish couple.

george

researching the names FARKAS, FRIED, LINKS, KNOPFELMACHER, WEISZ, VIDOR,
LIFSHITZ, KORNETZKY, YELLIN, SHAPIRA


Gurtler <gurtler@...>
 

I would like to add to the response below. There were many instances like
the ones described below, even in large cities. People had religious
marriages and just didn't bother to register with the authorities, after
all there was a registration fee. Often they final registered _after_ the
first child was born.

I have seen birth records of _very_ religious families were the child is
registered under the mother's maiden name and in addition the record
indicates that the child is illegitimate! This was because the marriage was
never registered with the authorities. In general Jews scoffed at this
notation as being illegitimate in the eyes of the Polish government was of
no consequence at all.

David Gurtler
David and Tina Gurtler
Jerusalem, Israel
gurtler@netvision.net.il

From: "Brandler Institute of Chasidic Thought" <bict@safeaccess.com>

Though I am not exactly sure what Stanely is referring to, I have found
in the course of interviewing elderly immigrants >from the Galicia area,
that it was not unusual, especially in the small towns or villages for
some Jews to suffice with the Religious Marriage ceremony and never
bother to register a civil marriage with the authorities. The children
of these marriages had the option of taking either surname, and I have
heard of instances that children actually took their mother's maiden
surname. I personally have seen a passport of a woman born in 1865 that
was still in her maiden name although she had been married at the time
the passport was issued for more than thirty years!


Stan Goodman <sheol@...>
 

On Mon, 27 Nov 2000 20:52:53, avjones@cix.co.uk (Amanda Jones) opined:

I have been told that there was a period in Poland arround 1880 when
government did not recognize Jewish marriages. As a result the children
of those marriages who later emigrated were given Polish emigration
documents with their mothers maiden name as their family name. Is this
true? Has anyone discovered a situation like this with their family
tree?
Yes. This happened to my boyfriend's family, who took the maternal name
of OHRINGER through the 19th century.

His paternal grandfather says that Jewish marriages were not recognised,
and Civil marriages were conducted in front on a cross, so that he and
his parents were all technically illegitimate as they refused to marry in
front of a cross.
Somehow the situation as described may not be as simple and
straightforward as it appears. I possess several marriage
registrations >from the period 1880 - 1895, all of which by definition
reflect official recognition of the marriage, which is invariably
described as a Jewish religious marriage. If that were not so, there
would not be an official registration. These documents even speak of
reading of the banns three times, and even give the date and place of
the three -- always in a synagogue, as was the marriage ceremony
iself; the name of the rabbi is also specified. All this makes it seem
unlikely that these Jewish marriages were regarded as a fiction.
What is true, however, is that there is invariably a final sentence
stating that there was no written contract of marriage.

That is nonsense, of course, because there must have been a ktuba in
each case. What it means is that the contract, being in Aramaic and
not readable by officialdom including courts, couldn't be considered
as a legal contract. In spite of the "lack" of a contract, however,
each and every one of the children of these marriages bore the surname
of his father.

A far more persuasive reason for assuming the maiden surname of the
mother is the desire to avoid the authorities for some reason,
probably connected with military service. This indeed describes the
case of my own grandfather, who left Poland under an abbreviated
version of the maiden surname of his mother, having left the Imperial
Army "at his own initiative". He had grown up, however, with his
paternal surname. The case is not unusual. A possible variant is the
avoidance of conscription in the first place, although it isn't clear
to me how a different surname gets one off the conscription hook;
failure of parents to register a male birth in the first place seems a
better method.

Stan Goodman, Qiryat Tiv'on, Israel

Searching:
NEACHOWICZ/NOACHOWICZ, NEJMAN/NAJMAN, ROKITA: >from Lomza Gubernia
ISMACH: >from Lomza Gubernia, Galicia, and Ukraina
HERTANU, ABRAMOVICI, LAUER: >from Dorohoi District, Romania
GRISARU, VATARU: >from Iasi, Romania

See my interactive family tree (requires Java 1.1.6 or better):
http://www.hashkedim.com

PLEASE NOTE: Messages to the "From:" or "Reply to:" address of this
posting will NOT reach me, but will be deleted automatically unread.
Replace "sheol" with "stan". Please send plain text only.


Tomek Liniecki <liniecki@...>
 

U┬┐ytkownik Amanda Jones <avjones@cix.co.uk>
I have been told that there was a period in Poland arround 1880 when t
government did not recognize Jewish marriages. As a result the children
of those marriages who later emigrated were given Polish emigration
documents with their mothers maiden name as their family name. Is this
true? Has anyone discovered a situation like this with their family
tree?
Yes. This happened to my boyfriend's family, who took the maternal name
of OHRINGER through the 19th century.

His paternal grandfather says that Jewish marriages were not recognised,
and Civil marriages were conducted in front on a cross, so that he and
his parents were all technically illegitimate as they refused to marry in
front of a cross.
It is not only a matter of a conflict with an official religion of the
state, as you both referred to in your posts above. Such cases could have
happened in 19th century, in Austro-Hungarian state in particular.
In 20th century some left-oriented Jews, in particular the ones, who were
anarchists or at least communists (and that was a pretty common epidemical
disease of the age) did not recognise the state as a power proper for
marriage authorization, not for reasons related to religion, but for
political ones. I don't bother to explain, that they didn't recognised
synagogue for the same purpose either. I know several cases of that kind.

Tomasz Liniecki (Linetzky) liniecki@rocketmail.com


Aaron Kuperman <akup@...>
 

Until fairly recently (typically the 19th century), no Christian
government recognized a Jewish marriage (or a Christian
marriage). Marriage was traditionally governed by religious law (canon law
or halacha, depending on the individual in question). How individual names
were recorded in official documents is a totally different question.

European Jews generally did not consistently use what we consider to be
"surnames" (family names uniformly reflecting the paternal line) until the
19th century as the earliest. Jews who needed a surname often used the
wife's name if they were (as often occured) living with the wife's family.

Poland did not really exist in 1880. Areas where the Polish langauge was
spoken were divided between Austria (by then Austro-Hungarian Empire, but
everyone knew who was in charge), Russia and Germany. Each country had
different polcies in terms of recording Jewish marriages and legislating
use of surnames among Jews.

Aaron Kuperman

Stanley Winthrop (ak102@freenet.carleton.ca) wrote:
:I have been told that there was a period in Poland arround 1880 when the
:government did not recognize Jewish marriages. As a result the children of
:those marriages who later emigrated were given Polish emigration documents
:with their mothers maiden name as their family name. Is this true? Has
:anyone discovered a situation like this with their family tree?


Paul Silverstone
 

Is it possible that this might explain why my grandfather used his wife's
maiden name when he came to America? I have not found the arrival records
of either him in about 1889 or his wife & children who came later in 1892
so do not know what name they traveled under.
Paul Silverstone

Stanley Winthrop wrote:
I have been told that there was a period in Poland arround 1880 when the
government did not recognize Jewish marriages. As a result the children of
those marriages who later emigrated were given Polish emigration documents
with their mothers maiden name as their family name. Is this true? Has
anyone discovered a situation like this with their family tree?
Paul Silverstone
New York
reply to: paulh@aya.yale.edu


Marla Waltman Daschko <waltman@...>
 

Paul Silverstone asked if others had found examples of men or children
taking a mother's maiden name upon emigration to North America. I have a
similar situation in my family when my grandfather emigrated to Canada
from Ukraine in 1927. He changed his name so he would be accepted as an
immigrant.

My paternal grandfather's name in Ukraine was Yehuda Leib ben Tzion ha
cohain SPECTOR. In order to be accepted as an immigrant in 1927, my
grandfather needed to be sponsored by a family member. He didn't have
family in Canada but he was hoping to come to Toronto to marry my
grandmother whom he had known in his home shtetl Kryzhopol. The mother
(Masha VELTMAN KRAFT) of my grandmother sponsored him as an immigrant by
pretending that Leib was her youngest brother. So Leib took her maiden
name which was VELTMAN, somehow got a passport and immigration paper in
this new name (Lev VELTMAN), and was able to travel to and enter Canada.

At some point after they married my grandparents changed their surname
again to WALTMAN. In fact, I didn't know this story until I was in my
twenties - until that time I had always looked for WALTMAN/VELTMAN
relatives only, not realising that SPECTOR was also my name. If my
grandmother hadn't told me this story before she died I would never have
known why the name was changed. The point, I guess, is that the reasons
for name changes are many and varied.

Marla Waltman Daschko
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
waltman@fox.nstn.ca


Ben Ari <yrcdi@...>
 

There were many cases in which a man who married into a well known
Rabbinical family took the father-in-law'sfamily name.

In our family one of my ggfathers went into his father-in-law's profession,
a shochet (ritual slaughterer) and >from then on the family's name became
SCHECHTER (>from Galicia).

Yoni Ben-Ari, Efrat, Israel


Paul Silverstone
 

In my grandfather's case the reason given was that his real name was
unpronounceable, and that when in 1889 the "immigration officer" asked him
to spell his name he could not and gave his wife's maiden name Silverstein
instead. His brothers, arriving later, also took that name.
His real name which appeared in three different Hebrew spellings was
Chrzan, which in Polish means 'horseradish.' I was told one of his
brothers who also had a wife with the surname Silverstein, changed it
because he didn't like the real name. Since so many people tell stories of
men using their wife's name, this casts doubt upon the reasons given by my
grandfather as told by the family.

Paul Silverstone

Marla Waltman Daschko wrote:

Paul Silverstone asked if others had found examples of men or children
taking a mother's maiden name upon emigration to North America. I have a
similar situation in my family when my grandfather emigrated to Canada
from Ukraine in 1927. He changed his name so he would be accepted as an
immigrant.