Is the 2nd name on the headstone a given name or a family name? #poland #lithuania #names


I need help with the 2nd name on the gravestone of a cemetery in Suwalki, Poland, near the Lithuanian border. For years I assumed the name that follows Sarah in the gravestone, Tzerna,  was a 2nd given name. This was based on it meaning "black", in Russian. I now suspect that it may be the maiden name of Sarah. Can anybody shed some light on the issue? Tzerna may be Czerna or Czerny, as family name?


Angel Kosfiszer

Richardson, Texas


I would say it is definitely a 2nd given name.
A Google search in Hebrew reveals that there are 2 graves on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem with that name (as a given name). Also a death notice for someone else.  All the deceaseds (or their families) are originally from Eastern Europe..
Steve Goldberg
Jerusalem, Israel
Sagan/Shagan family from Veliuona (Velon), Lithuania
Goldberg family from Vidukle, Lithuania
Susselovitch/Zuselovitch family from Raseiniai (Rossein), Lithuania


Definitely agree with Mr Goldberg, this is a second part of what's referred to as a "Legal Double" given name.  The Jewishgen Given Names database is a good resource to verify this.

Note that the initial consonant in the Russian and Polish roots for "black" is ch (as in English "cheese") -- Russian черный /chorny/, Polish czarny /charny/ -- but the ts/ch alternation in Yiddish is well attested, for example tchotchke/tsatskele, "toy, trinket" (and a few other meanings as well).

Joel Novis
Longmeadow, MA
Researching:  NOVITSKIY (Kyiv, Vasil'kiv), OLSZTAJN (Łódź, Łowicz, Żychlin, Zgierz), GEYMAN/HYMAN (Ashmyany), POTASNIK/LEVY (??)

Shimy Karni


I am also sure that it is a second name because:
1. I have a relative in my family from Romania that was called Cherna as a given name (she had just one name).

2. From the  headstone  format you can see that the given name and the surename are written separately, as in most stones graves.

Best Regards,
Shimi Karni, Israel