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Naming pattern among Ashkenazic Jews #general


Herbert Lazerow
 

The naming pattern for eastern European Ashkenazi Jews was:
1. A child is named for a deceased ancestor or a deceased highly
respected person, but never for a living person. Subject to that rule:
2. The first son is named for its father's father; the second son
for its mother's father.
3. The first daughter is named for its mother's mother; the second
daughter for its father's mother.
4. If someone cannot have a namesake in the normal order of rules
2 or 3 because they are still alive at the appropriate time, the next
baby of the appropriate sex to be born after the death of that person
will be named for that person.
5. When the child's father dies during the pregnancy, the child is
named after the child's father if the child is a boy.
After that, I do not think there was a rule.
One must remember that this is only a custom. Individuals could,
and sometimes did, disregard custom.
Bert
--
Herbert Lazerow
San Diego


Jenny Schwartzberg
 

Re the naming pattern for Ashkenazi Jews, I have a question. My
family has assumed that my great-grandparents Schwartzberg's first
two children, Sam and Sara, born in Gniewoszow/Granica, Russia-Poland,
in the 1890s, were named for my great-grandmother's parents, since she
was an orphan and my great-grandfather's parents were still living at
that time.

They were pretty religious >from all accounts since they brought two
Torahs with them to the US and had a mikveh bath in the basement of
their home in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Does the religiosity mean that they were more likely to have named for
the father's side of the family first?

Yours,
Jenny Schwartzberg
Chicago, IL


Adam Cherson
 

Dear Herbert,

Thanks for this summary.

I wonder what is the convention for a son's name if the father's father
is still alive, or mother's mother is still alive in the case of a
daughter?

Would it be the father's paternal grandfather's name for the son or the
mother's maternal grandmother's for the daughter?

Thanks,
Adam Cherson
NY, NY

---
From: Herbert Lazerow <lazer@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2018 11:34:34 -0800

The naming pattern for eastern European Ashkenazi Jews was:
1. A child is named for a deceased ancestor or a deceased highly
respected person, but never for a living person. Subject to that rule:
2. The first son is named for its father's father; the second son
for its mother's father.
3. The first daughter is named for its mother's mother; the second
daughter for its father's mother.
4. If someone cannot have a namesake in the normal order of rules
2 or 3 because they are still alive at the appropriate time, the next
baby of the appropriate sex to be born after the death of that person
will be named for that person.
5. When the child's father dies during the pregnancy, the child is
named after the child's father if the child is a boy.
After that, I do not think there was a rule.
One must remember that this is only a custom. Individuals could,
and sometimes did, disregard custom.
Bert


joseph just
 

The custom followed in my family and probably the most common custom
(in Hungary at least) was for the mother to choose the name of the
first child and the father the second, mother the 3rd etc.
Names were usually chosen by degree of closeness- first grandparents,
then great grandparents. But there are exceptions.
A parent often relinquished their "turn" at child naming for various
reasons. One example would be if a grandparent had recently passed
on.Sometimes a father would want to name a child after his recently
deceased rabbi and the mother would agree. Maybe one parent had a
particularly distinguished male or female ancestor and had only had
children of the opposite gender. So that when the child with the right
gender was born he/she would get that name regardless of whose turn it
was.
There were alot of other scenarios in which a parent might relinquish
a turn. So using naming patterns to determine birth order is very
iffy. In general common sense prevailed when naming a child.
To the person who wrote assuming that baby Sam was named after Grandpa
Sam. Since your grandparents were religious you should know that Sam
was a secular name and that Grandpa Sam almost certainly had a Jewish
name. And the Jewish name was not necessarily Samuel/Shmuel. It may
have been Yehoshua or Yeshayahu or a number of other names. So that
baby Sam did not necessarily have the same Jewish name as Grandpa Sam
even if they shared a secular name.

Sarah Just


Arthur Hoffman <arthhh@...>
 

My two older brothers were named according to the "rules". When my
turn came, my uncle (father's brother-in-law) asked my father that I
be named for his deceased father. My uncle had two daughters and
apparently no hope that he would have a son. And so that's how I
became named Ahvrahom.

Arthur Hoffman
Boynton Beach, Florida