Jewish "juniors" in Hungary mid-1800's #hungary #slovakia

Hilary Osofsky

I'm wondering how to account for religiously observant Jews conferring the name of a living father upon a newborn son in Hungary in the mid-1800's.
In that regard, I was surprised to learn that both my Stein g-g-grandfather from Vychodna or Budapest, as well as my Reicher g-g-grandfather from Benedekfalu, had a son bearing his name c. 1846 and 1860, respectively. There is no doubt that each of them was still alive at the time.
I have reason to believe that both of those g-g-grandfathers were observant Jews. Of course, the Ashkenazi naming tradition is only that - a tradition, not a religious mandate.
Does anyone know whether there was some social or cultural trend that accounted for Jewish "juniors" during those years?

Hilary Stein Osofsky
Orinda, California

Judith Shamian

I discovered this week that there were Hungarian Jews that were descendants from the Spanish Inquisition I wonder if that can be a source of the practice you describe.

Judith Grunfeld Shamian


Sephardim do name children after relatives who are still living, so that could provide an explanation for any father-son sharings of a given name.
Yale Zussman

Peggy Mosinger Freedman

I've found that the "rules" about naming children are really common customs that are used sometimes, but not always.  In addition to sons having the same name as a living relative, I've found that half brothers (same father, different mother) have the same names.  I haven't tracked down all the details yet, but it has happened often enough that I consider the Askenazi naming custom as just part of the evidence to be considered, not the final decision when evaluating the evidence.

Peggy Mosinger Freedman
Atlanta, GA