Minsk Jewish names, #names #belarus

Marcia Heller

Would like to know if Iskov is the same male name as Isko? Information needed to clarify records of  gg grandfather Iskov/Isko Dunner of Minsk. 
Thank you, 
Marcia Amster Heller marciaheller@...


"ov" suffix is an indicator of a male patronymic.  This person's father's name was Itsko.  This name should be preceded by a given name of the person, e.g., Aron Itskov Dunner means Aron son of Itsko Dunner.  Sometimes you will see the male version of the patronymic with the "ovich" suffix, instead of "ov", but it means exactly the same thing.  For females the suffix is "ova" or "ovna" - Sura Itskova (or Itskovna) Dunner (Sura daughter of Itsko Dunner).
In some cases these patronymics became last names, e.g., Aronov, Abramov.

Mike Vayser


Correction: Patronims in Russian are always "ovitch", never "ov". For women it's always "ovna". The person's father name was most likely Itzik in Yiddish or Isaak in Russian documents. This was a name of my Grandfather. 

Efraim Gavrilovich 

Gerald and Margaret

Your next step may be to find someone in Minsk to look through some archives for you.   I suggest you contact The Together Plan, a charity based in London and Minsk.  It helps Jewish Belarussians to help themselves, eg training for and getting work.  One of their projects is genealogical research in Belarus on behalf of  people who live elsewhere.  They have the huge advantage of speaking the language , and often Russian, as well as understanding their Government's bureaucracy.  
Have a look at wwwthetogetherplan.com, and go to Archive research.

Margaret Levin 
London UK

Deb Katz

Not to be contrarian, but the statement "patronyms in Russian are always "ovitch" never "ov" is not consistent with my extensive experience.  I have records of Russian family (from throughout the Pale)....with patronymics ending in ovich, ovitch, ovitz, ovic/s, owitch, owic/s, owich, ov, ova, ovna and ovka.  There may be a tendency to prefer certain versions in certain time period or in certain types of records.  But there is no "always" for name endings or their spelling in transliteration---at least not in the past.
aka Debra Katz
Pacific Beach CA USA


That is not correct.  You are thinking of modern Russian patronymics.  However, if you examine 18-19th century records, you will see both types being used.  Source: I've transcribed and examined tens of thousands of 18th through early 20th century records.

Mike Vayser


Lev Girschov Malachosky(1884-1915) the husband of my 2nd great-aunt would have disagreed with him.  His father's name was Girsch.

Bob Malakoff
Pittsburgh, PA