change of surname #names #romania



My great grandfather's parents changed their surname. My maternal great-grandfather Joseph was born under the name of Rozemblat (rozenblat) in may 1886 in Iasi. His mother Leia (Sin Iancu) died in 1892 as Carp.  For know, I still don't know if he had other brother or daughter name Rozenblat. His father Iancu (yaakov, Ionkil) son of Avram and Dvora continued to use the name of Carp and all the children who had with his other wife have the name of Carp. I only found for the moment, a Leizer Rozenblat (born about 1862, 1865) mentionned in two civils records and I think it was a young brother of Iancu.The family Rozenblat may have come to Iasi from the Minsk region (Iancu was born around 1857) to avoid military service. No Rozenblat mentionned in a list  in 1860.

Does anyone know what could be the reason? look like a Romanian citizen? 

Thanks for your answers ?

Angers France

jack nathanson

After years of looking at civil records from Raducaneni and comparing the names with the family names of the people after they immigrated to Canada, it looks like changing one's name was some kind of popular sport in Romania in those those days. For example, a great-uncle of mine changed his family name from Cojocariu to Leibovitch for some unexplained reason.

In fact, until required to by law in the middle of the 19th Century, most Romanian Jews didn't bother having family names at all, often preferring just to use patronymics, such as Ghidale sin Nuta. Presumably this is where my family name "Nathanson" came from. So a lot of people must have regarded family names as some kind of joke and changed them at will.

Jack Nathanson

Odeda Zlotnick

In fact, until required to by law in the middle of the 19th Century, most Romanian Jews didn't bother having family names at all, often preferring just to use patronymics,
In our family, the legend was GGF changed his surname from Sigler to Leizerovici.  The legend held until we started finding documents and gravestones.
In Vienna, where my Romanian GGF married my Galicia born GGM, his parents are registered as Leizerovici in the marriage documents.  So too is GGF's sister, who married said Galician GGM's brother.
And then we found GGF's father's gravestone.  GGF's grandfather was Eliezer, aka Leizer.  Leizerovici -- son of Leizer - was the original surname, not at all one made up at random.

Did you check if your great uncle didn't have a Leib among his ancestors?

Odeda Zlotnick
Jerusalem, Israel.

jack nathanson


You may have a point there. My great uncle's original name was Yehuda-Leib Cojocariu. So he may have been named after an ancestor named Leib, and he eventually may have used the patronymic "Leibovitch".

Jack Nathanson,


The Romanian never required Jews by law to adopt family names. 
The text of Romanian civil laws regarding registration assumed that all had family names. There was never a law that said that all have to have surnames. 

In 1895 there was a law that required anyone who used in daily life a name or surname different than that registered in the records to  register the name/surname change. That was the only requirement - but most Jews did not bother. In fact, in 1949 the communist authorities repeated this requirement in a decree.

Sorin Goldenberg


Thanks for all your answers. Thanks for your answer Sorin. 

I discovered that Cârpà means fabric in Romanian. As my ancestor was a tailor, maybe his new name comes from there...