Question about a matzeva: is Samuel mis-spelled or is a Yiddish alternative used? #names


David S STERN
 

My grandfather's matzeva spells his given name, Samuel, with an ayin rather than an aleph, as you can see in the attached photograph.  I don't know if the spelling is simply an error or if what is used is a Yiddish spelling where the inscription should properly be in Hebrew. 

Thanks for any comments on this.

David Stern


Harry Auerbach
 

His Yiddish/Hebrew name was Shimon. He evidently went by Samuel in English. That's not unusual.
 
Harry Auerbach
Portland, Oregon


Malka
 

Hello,

The name on the headstone is Shim’on son of Eliyahu Ha’cohen.

Shim’on and Shmu’el (Samuel) are two different names.

Shalom, Malka Chosnek

 


Dick Plotz
 

Lots of Jewish men ended up being called "Sam" when they came to
America, whatever their original Hebrew or Yiddish name was. "Sam" was
an easy name for anyone to spell and pronounce and remember, so it was
convenient. This process has been called "Samification", It makes
genealogy harder to do.

Dick Plotz
Providence RI USA


On Thu, Jan 21, 2021 at 5:29 PM Malka <Malkachos@...> wrote:

Hello,

The name on the headstone is Shim’on son of Eliyahu Ha’cohen.

Shim’on and Shmu’el (Samuel) are two different names.

Shalom, Malka Chosnek




Shlomo Katz
 

I had a great-uncle named Shimon (like the person whose tombstone is shown), who went by Sam.
I had another great-uncle named Shlomo, who also went by Sam.
My father-in-law is Shabse, and he too goes by Sam.
A common error in researching is to assume there is a one-to-one correlation of Hebrew and English name.

Shlomo Katz (named after the above-mentioned Sam, but do I not use that name) 
Silver Spring, MD


David Harrison
 

The answer to the question as to the use of Sam by people who had been Shimon, Shlomo or Shabse is really simple.  They have changed to a name which they think is more suitable within their new situation, but which uses the same initial letter and therefore does not need them to change their signature.  This is the same logic that caused my Great-grandfather to change from Hertog  (in Amsterdam) to Henry (in London).  If an ancestor has crossed a language frontier this is the norm.  It is not necessary that it is the result of a mis-heard name by a clerk at the border.  Though clerks in higher places can also make mistakes; as did the royal clerk who made a family living in Derbyshire the Dukes of Devonshire.  This change of name whilst retaining the Initial is also common amongst the criminal community according to people who study forensic linguistics.

David Harrison
Birmingham UK

Searching in London, UK, the Netherlands and Friesland for VAN RYN,  DE YOUNGE, DRIELSMA, DUPARC, DUQUE, HYMAN, MYERS,PIMONTEL, ROCO and SREPHANY. 


From: main@... <main@...> on behalf of Shlomo Katz <shlomodkatz@...>
Sent: 22 January 2021 12:55
To: main@... <main@...>
Subject: Re: [JewishGen.org] Question about a matzeva: is Samuel mis-spelled or is a Yiddish alternative used? #names
 
I had a great-uncle named Shimon (like the person whose tombstone is shown), who went by Sam.
I had another great-uncle named Shlomo, who also went by Sam.
My father-in-law is Shabse, and he too goes by Sam.
A common error in researching is to assume there is a one-to-one correlation of Hebrew and English name.

Shlomo Katz (named after the above-mentioned Sam, but do I not use that name) 
Silver Spring, MD


sharon yampell
 

My great grandfather was indeed Shmuel and in English Samuel… his brother came here with the Hebrew name of Shlomo but when he ran into a potential problem, he changed his name completely to Samuel and a different last name…for researchers unfamiliar to the story would surely be confused as to why two brothers had the same first name and different last names if they were indeed full brothers…

 

Sharon F. Yampell

Voorhees, New Jersey

 

From: Shlomo Katz
Sent: Friday, January 22, 2021 9:55 AM
To: main@...
Subject: Re: [JewishGen.org] Question about a matzeva: is Samuel mis-spelled or is a Yiddish alternative used? #names

 

I had a great-uncle named Shimon (like the person whose tombstone is shown), who went by Sam.
I had another great-uncle named Shlomo, who also went by Sam.
My father-in-law is Shabse, and he too goes by Sam.
A common error in researching is to assume there is a one-to-one correlation of Hebrew and English name.

Shlomo Katz (named after the above-mentioned Sam, but do I not use that name) 
Silver Spring, MD

 


David S STERN
 

Thanks to all who noted that the name on the stone is not Shmuel at all but Shimon.  

I have done a good deal of family history research in both US and old country sources, so I am very accustomed to confusion about names.  But in this case Shmuel was a Hebrew name that should have been well known and not infrequently used in the family.  It was a stable family, and Sam was present, almost assuredly, for both of his sons' bar mitzvahs (and of course for all six children's births and other life cycle events).

I’ve checked with my father and my uncle and both say unhesitatingly that their Hebrew names are “… ben Shmuel,” and my uncle’s oldest son is named Shmuel ben Eliezer, after his grandfather Sam.  The understanding that Sam’s Hebrew name was Shmuel was not handed down by family members who didn’t know better. It must have come from Sam himself.

Because of the stability, all of the life cycle events occurred under the auspices of the same shul in Shreveport, LA.  I am now looking to see if there are records that confirm Shimon was Sam's Hebrew name or if the understanding of his whole family that his Hebrew name was Shmuel is born out.  Let's hope we are able to find something.  There is a possibility that the matzeva is mistaken since it is not original.  The original one fell and broke decades ago and was replaced by the one in the photograph about 2000.

Or, as one of my cousins put it, maybe this poor family got the stone at a steep discount ...

 

David Stern


Peter Cohen
 

In addition to the answers described below, one does find mis-spellings from time to time. On my father's headstone (d. 1959) his name Ruvain is mis-spelled in that the aleph, which is supposed to follow the initial letter resh, is missing. Why? Apparently it happened because my mother asked my oldest brother (who was 14 at the time) to provide the spelling when she ordered the monument.  So, there are all kinds of reasons why names can be mis-spelled on a matzeva (including lack of space).
--
Peter Cohen
California