One name: one person or two? #general
Dave Strausfeld <davestra@...>
I have a puzzler for you. Would it be reasonable for there to be
two Jewish women of the same name in a certain shtetl in the late
The shtetl in question is Frampol, which had a Jewish population in
1900 of somewhere around 1,000, according to Jewishgen.
So here are my two records:
1) I have a translated birth record for a Sluwa Krikszer born in
Frampol in 1878. In this record, the father's name is Majer.
2) I also have a 1910 passenger manifest for a Sluwa Brenner (nee
Krikszer) >from Frampol that lists her father's name as Moshe.
I have many more records for her and I'm sure her maiden name was
Both women would have been about the same age, which makes me wonder
whether I truly have two different people. Clearly, one of the records
could be in error about the father's name, most likely the passenger
What I'm wondering is, how likely would it be for there to be two
roughly-the-same-age Jewish women of the same name in this shtetl?
Thanks for your thoughts.
P.S. Complicating things a bit, I also have an 1889 Frampol birth
record for a Krikszer son that says the father's name was Moshe.
Apollo Israel <apollo@...>
Dave Strausfeld asks a seemingly simple question: How likely would it be for
there to be two roughly-the-same-age Jewish women of the same name in one
However, the answer is not as obvious as it would seem to be. If you look at
the old records, it is *more* likely, not less likely, that two people (in
this case women) of the same age with the same name (especially a
not-so-common name like Krikszer) would be found in the one town -- they
probably would have been first or second cousins to each other, named after
the same grandmother or great-grandmother. Plethoras of first cousins with
the same name in the same town were not at all unusual in the shtetls. I
have dealt with a very confusing situation like that in researching my own
ancestors, and it took quite some sorting out to figure out which branch was
For Dave to answer definitively the question of whether there was one Sluwa
Krikszer or two, he should first look closely at the details in the
documents he already has, namely Sluwa's and her (possible) brother's birth
records. What is the mother's name? What is the father's occupation? How old
are both the mother and the father? If the details match, that indicates
that the fathers, named as Majer in Sluwa's birth record and Moshe in the
son's, were one and the same person (his full name may have been Moshe Majer
or Majer Moshe). If the details vary wildly -- with, for example, Majer
being described as a butcher aged 28 while Moshe is described as a shoemaker
aged 45 -- that would show they are two different men. If looking at just
those two documents doesn't clarify things enough, I'd suggest trying to get
any other birth/marriage/death documents possible >from the town for any
other siblings or possible siblings, as well as for Majer / Moshe and the
mother/s. The key to solving this will be in the details.
Miriam Bulwar David-Hay,
What is the likelihood that two girls would have the same name
in a town of 1,000 Jews?
I cannot comment on girls, but it is very likely that two boys
might have the same name because of the eastern European pattern of
naming persons after a deceased ancestor.
Typically, the first boy was named after the husband's father if
he was deceased. In one of my families, seven of nine children
named the first son Joshua after his deceased grandfather. Since 4
of the children were boys, there were four Joshua Kimmelmans of
roughly the same age.
Girls might be more difficult because the tradition was to name
the first girl after someone in the mother's family, so it was only
with the birth of the second girl that someone was named after
someone in the father's family.
San Diego CA
On 28 Jun 2014 19:10:00 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (David
Mark Strausfeld email@example.com) wrote:
[...]They may be cousins, both named for the same relation.
(E.g., in my family there are two women who are cousins, born early
1830s, same family name, same given name, different father's names.
They both have the name of the deceased first wife of one of the
fathers. They are three or four years apart in age.)