STERLING and related names #poland

Celia Male <celiamale@...>

We recently had a query on the Austria-Czech SIG about
this name amongst Jewish families and its possible
origins in Austria; I researched it and posted a
reply; as the results are more relevant to JRI-Poland,
I present them here in modified form:

1. My strong suspicion is that the STERLING families
were not >from Austria, Bohemia or Moravia but from
Poland or perhaps Russia - this sadly can be confirmed
on Yad Vashem where you will find 22 STERLING entries,
mainly >from Poland [especially Warsaw] with Pages of
Testimony [one in France with an address] - which can
all be followed up. If however you enter the word
SHTERLING in an "advanced search with synonyms" on Yad
vashem you find 74 hits, many >from Lodz and Bialystock
as well: <>


Here is a recent death in California {SSDI}:

Pessa K. SZTERLING dd mm year mm 1990 city, L.A.

2. It was suggested by the questioner that STERLING
was an ENGLISH name and had been changed >from an
original German name: I cannot comment on the
circumstances of the name change but if I were called
SILBER [or variants] - I can quite easily see how I
would change my name to Sterling! Sterling silver is
known the world over.

However there was a yiddish actor in London called L.
SHTERLING - who changed his name to L. STERLING so
that may be another clue [and see point 1 above for
other possible "original" names].

You can even see a Millja SHTERLING marrying in London
in 1896 on the free bmd records: Millja SHTERLING 1896
Jan-Feb-Mar London City London, Middlesex

3. Here is a confusing article about a catholic
STERLING family and WW2 [they may also have been

4. The SIG message archives reveals Deborah L STERLING
who was a member of the Ukraine SIG in 2001.

5. Here is the story [The International Raoul
Wallenberg Foundation] of a STERLING family who was
saved in the war by a catholic family

6. And here is a SHTERLING who has written in an
Yizkor book >from the Ukraine: [search for his name in
the contents pages]:

7. There were definitely STERLING immigrants to
England - two each >from Russia and Germany can be
found in the 1901 census and 5 >from Russia and 3 from
German in the 1891 census. Sir Jeffrey STERLING was
Chairman of P & O, the shipping Co. in the UK and is
now Lord Sterling of Plaistow

There are no STERLING immigrants to be found in
England in the 1881 census. I have no free access to
the US censuses but the one free federal census of
1880 reveals no immigrants named STERLING.

Conclusion: There are quite a few Jewish STERLING in
this world - whether they are all related, I have no
idea, but again I doubt it.

Can anyone tell me if the Polish names I gave above at
the end of para 1, mean anything?

Celia Male [U.K.]

Celia Male <celiamale@...>

At the end of my recent posting with this subject
line, I asked whether anyone could tell me if the
names I had listed had any meaning in Polish or

I received two replies, both implying that the
words/names were literal translations of the original
English word STERLING into Polish and Hungarian.

So I looked at the definitition of the word STERLING
in English and was in for a big surprise and perhaps a
closer understanding of the Jewish family name:

1. Middle English, silver penny: possibly sterre,
star; ..... ie small star stamped on the coin);

2.Sterling [Old Eng. sterlynge, starling,
for easterling, Latin: esterlingus, probably from
Easterling, once the popular name of German trades in
England, whose money was of the purest quality: cf.
Middle High German: sterlink a certain coin.

"Certain merchants of Norwaie, Denmarke, and of others
those parties, ..... termed ***easterlings***, because
they lie east in respect of us.'' [this comes >from the
16th century English Chronicler, Holinshed, who was a
valuable historical source for Shakespeare].

In the reign of King Richard I, coins minted in the
East parts of Germany was especially favoured in
England because of their purity and were called
*Easterling monie* as all inhabitants of those
parts were called Easterlings.....

Please note the connotation with East. Could the
family name STERLING be a version of OESTERLING [cf
OESTERREICHER] ie >from the East?

Celia Male [U.K.]