Topics

Naming Conventions #names


Carl Kaplan
 

Given the custom of naming a child after a deceased relative using only the first letter of the name:

1. Would it be acceptable for males to be named after females, and females after males?
2. Was it acceptable to name multiple children in the same immediate family after the same relative, using just the first letters of the names?

Thank you.
--
Carl Kaplan

KAPLAN Minsk, Belarus
EDELSON, EDINBURG Kovno, Lithuania
HOFFERT, BIENSTOCK< BIENENSTOCK Kolbuszowa, Galicia
STEINBERG, KLINGER, WEISSBERG, APPELBERG Bukaczowce, Galicia


Yehuda Berman
 

I was named Idel Berl in Yiddish after both my grandmothers -  Esther and Basya.  Idel and Esther both begin with an aleph in Yiddish. When I became bar-mitzvah my Cheider teacher said that Idel was actually the Yiddish diminutive for Yehuda and that's how I should be called up to the Torah. And ever since I came to Israel (Yisra'el in Hebrew) many years ago I have been known as Yehuda.
--
Yehuda Berman


Sally Bruckheimer
 

Were males named after females and vice versa?
 
Yes, I was named for my grandfather, Sam, who was dying when I was born.
 
Sally Bruckheimer


binyaminkerman@...
 

As far as I know the convention of naming children in memory of relatives using adapted names that share the first letter is mostly done in specific situations. Usually the actual name of the deceased is used. Examples of when it is commonly adapted would be when naming a child of the other gender (like your question), changing a Yiddish name to a Hebrew equivalent or using variants of the same name, changing uncommon or "old-fashioned" names, or when the name of the deceased is already shared by a sibling (similar to your second question).
So to answer your questions, yes, names are often adapted and given in memory of a relative of the other gender. And while I don't know of many examples, I would guess that multiple children could be named for the same person with adapted names since there are no real rules and it all comes down to the parents' choice.

Binyamin Kerman
Baltimore MD


David Harrison
 

I have met several cases of the first son of all the brothers were given the name of their father.  as a result, as an example the eldest son in alternate generations were all named David.  Because these were of a very similar birth date, I have always tried to verify the name of the Mother.  There is then a problem if the wives of Brothers (from different families) had the same given name, except in the Netherlands where women keep their Maiden name in Marriage.  Netherland family history also has the advantage that a Census is not one day in 10 years but is a diary of all the changes in the household over the decade, with comings and goings cross-referenced to that of the earlier or later address.
David Harrison, Birmingham UK
Searching VAN RYN, DRIELSMA, HYMAN. STEPHANY, DE YOUNG


From: main@... <main@...> on behalf of Carl Kaplan via groups.jewishgen.org <carl.kaplan=ymail.com@...>
Sent: 26 January 2021 00:19
To: main@... <main@...>
Subject: [JewishGen.org] Naming Conventions #names
 
Given the custom of naming a child after a deceased relative using only the first letter of the name:

1. Would it be acceptable for males to be named after females, and females after males?
2. Was it acceptable to name multiple children in the same immediate family after the same relative, using just the first letters of the names?

Thank you.
--
Carl Kaplan

KAPLAN Minsk, Belarus
EDELSON, EDINBURG Kovno, Lithuania
HOFFERT, BIENSTOCK< BIENENSTOCK Kolbuszowa, Galicia
STEINBERG, KLINGER, WEISSBERG, APPELBERG Bukaczowce, Galicia


Simon Zelman
 

This was much more common in the USSR. My uncle was named Dmitry in honor of his grandfather  David, my father was named Aleksandr (Sanya/Sasha as a diminutive) after his grandfather Zyama. I was named Simon after my great grandmother Sonya.

Simon Zelman
San Francisco, CA


Sherri Bobish
 


Carl,

I (a female) was named after my ggf.  I was given for my Hebrew name the female version of his Hebrew name.  My English name begins with the same "sh" sound as the Hebrew name.

My father and two of his cousins had both the same Hebrew and English names.  The three of them were named after their grandfather.

Hope this helps,

Sherri Bobish


Yonatan Ben-Ari
 

I think an easier and more common example which appears in my family
are parents who only have daughters and call one of their daughters
Meira (after an ancestor Meir) or in the case of my children-all boys-
that the Mohel suggested that one of the boys could be named Dvir (for
an aunt named Dvora). Both names are relatively common in Israel
today.

Yoni Ben-Ari, Jerusalem


Stephen Weinstein
 

On Mon, Jan 25, 2021 at 05:40 PM, Carl Kaplan wrote:
1. Would it be acceptable for males to be named after females, and females after males?
2. Was it acceptable to name multiple children in the same immediate family after the same relative, using just the first letters of the names?
1. I (male) am named after a man and a woman (my first name for one and my middle name for the other).  My brother (male) is named after a man and a woman (his first name for one and his middle name for the other).  My niece (female) is also named for two different individuals, at least one male.  I don't know if this was "acceptable" or not; but it was done.

2. In some families, when naming for someone of the same gender, even if the English (or secular) name is a different name with only the same first letter, the Hebrew name is the same as that of the other person.  Because siblings can't have the same Hebrew name, they wouldn't be named for the same person if you are using the Hebrew name (not just the first letter) of the person for whom you are naming.
 
--
Stephen Weinstein
Camarillo, California, USA
stephenweinstein@...


Kevin Brook
 

In post #655025, Carl Kaplan asked, "Would it be acceptable for males to be named after females, and females after males?"

My great-grandmother Chaska Goldszmid (1886-1969) was named after her grandfather Chaskiel Dzięciołowski (1829-1878). Both of them were members of the Jewish community in Węgrów (modern Poland).

Kevin Brook


Jill Whitehead
 

My  great grandparents' first two children who died as infants were George and Julius (named after their grandparents Gershon Joseph and Jacob). After they died, female twins were born called Georgina and Julia. My mother's sister was called Doris Claudia after an Uncle Claude (born Isaac). My father's sister Josephine Edna was named after her grandfather Joseph. And so it goes on.

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, UK


sharon yampell
 

I have two first cousins once removed, brother and sister, who are each named after one set of their grandparents, thus honoring both a male and a female in their family…

 

Sharon F. Yampell

Voorhees, New Jersey

 

From: Stephen Weinstein via groups.jewishgen.org
Sent: Wednesday, January 27, 2021 2:52 AM
To: main@...
Subject: Re: [JewishGen.org] Naming Conventions #names

 

On Mon, Jan 25, 2021 at 05:40 PM, Carl Kaplan wrote:

1. Would it be acceptable for males to be named after females, and females after males?
2. Was it acceptable to name multiple children in the same immediate family after the same relative, using just the first letters of the names?

1. I (male) am named after a man and a woman (my first name for one and my middle name for the other).  My brother (male) is named after a man and a woman (his first name for one and his middle name for the other).  My niece (female) is also named for two different individuals, at least one male.  I don't know if this was "acceptable" or not; but it was done.

2. In some families, when naming for someone of the same gender, even if the English (or secular) name is a different name with only the same first letter, the Hebrew name is the same as that of the other person.  Because siblings can't have the same Hebrew name, they wouldn't be named for the same person if you are using the Hebrew name (not just the first letter) of the person for whom you are naming.
 
--
Stephen Weinstein
Camarillo, California, USA
stephenweinstein@...

 


Lee Jaffe
 

My 2x great-father was named Eliezer, which explains 3 Elis and 3 Elizabeths two generations later.  My great-grandmother's brother Louis was killed in battle during WW I.  There are a half--dozen children named  Louis or (oddly) Lewis and Lois in the next generations. 

Lee Jaffe


Sherri Bobish
 


Lee,

Not odd at all.  Lewis was a common Americanization of spelling of the name Louis.  I've seen many Louis' morphing into Lewis' as they grew up in America in the early decades of the 1900's. 

Regards,

Sherri Bobish


EdrieAnne Broughton
 

The Louis/Lewis name fluidity is not just confined to Jewish populations.  My GGgrandfather was born 1828 in the middle of Pennsylvania, 2 generations from Alsace ancestry.  This is an area where German language hung on long after Louis was born.  His profession was a farmer who made custom cabinetry.  When he dealt with English speakers he was Lewis and when his customer was a German speaker he was Louis.  He was fluent in both languages.  The wives in this line weren't fluent in English until 1900 when the sons married out of the community.  I have documents where he uses Louis and Lewis interchangably.
 
EdrieAnne Broughton
Vacaville, California


Adam Turner
 

Re #1, the naming of males after female ancestors and vice versa: has anyone researched the frequency of this over time? My intuition is that it's probably much more of a 20th-century thing, but I have nothing more than anecdata to support this guess.

My grandmother, born in New York in 1922, was named for her uncle who had died young in 1920. Her uncle was named Herman Jacob in English and Chaim Yaakov in Hebrew, after his own grandfather; my grandmother was given the names Janet Hermine in English and Chaya in Hebrew. But by then, of course, our family was almost fully Americanized, and my grandmother's parents had likely become a lot less traditional than they had been when they came to the US as children around 1900 - both of them worked, they were not very religiously observant, etc. I am pretty skeptical that my grandmother would have been named in this way if she had been born in Podolia gubernia in 1852 rather than in New York in 1922.

Adam Turner


Steven Usdansky
 

Would it be acceptable for males to be named after females, and females after males?

My sister was named after my great-grandfather's brother

--
Steven Usdansky
usdanskys@...
researching Usdansky, Turetzky, Sinienski, Sigler, Namenwirth