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Belarus SIG #Belarus Jewish and non-Jewish families sharing the same last name: LEWAK #belarus


Dave Lewak <dlewak@...>
 

Hi,

I've discovered an interesting little mystery concerning my surname,
LEWAK.

I've discovered a set of Lewak families who are not Jewish, instead
they are Roman Catholic, and come >from the Lvov area of Poland.
My own family is Jewish, and comes >from Drohiczyn, in what is now
southern Belarus. The distance between Drohiczyn and Lvov seems to
be about 150 miles.

I've contacted one of the Roman Catholic Lewaks, who still has family
in Poland; he says that Lewak is an uncommon name there.

How common is it for Jewish and non-Jewish families to share the same
last name?

I know that the name means "Left-handed" in one language (Yiddish or
Polish or Russian, not sure which); since it has a generic meaning
I'm tempted to write off the coincidence as coincindence.

Can anyone think of any reason why the Jewish and non-Jewish families
might have the same origin?

Thanks -- Dave Lewak
Berkeley, Ca, USA

Belarus: LEWAK (LEVAK?), DWINSKI, GOLDBERG, KIER (>from Drogichin);
FLAKSMAN (>from Pinsk).
Ukraine: MISHURIMAN, POLISHER, FLICKSTEIN, TOBERMAN (>from Balta, and
maybe Odessa)
Galicia: WINZELBERG, WERTHEIM (>from Chekhoif?)
Lithuania: LIEBERMAN (>from Balbieriska)