Thursday, March 15, 2012

English Jewish surnames revisited

As I have mentioned previously, some of the names of my (English) forebears would seem to indicate Jewish origins, and I would like to make a few general comments on the topic of Jewish immigration and surnames in the English-speaking world.

It's difficult to find good information on the history of Jewish assimilation in England. Jewish leaders naturally see the preservation of their religious and cultural heritage as paramount and often speak disparagingly of those who, over the centuries, intermarried with Christians and adopted Christianity or drifted away from religion altogether. And many who write on Jewish history take a similar line: Jewish culture and tradition are what they are interested in.

The stigma associated with assimilation is understandable, as it was only a strong sense of community that kept Jewish beliefs and customs alive in a world which lacked a Jewish homeland. But, as a consequence of the focus on synagogues and on communities which maintained their religious heritage, I suspect that the standard histories of Jews in England underestimate the real number of immigrants with Jewish origins, in particular those descended from Jews from the Iberian peninsula. There were particularly significant migrations during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Many people are interested not so much in Jewish religion and culture as in their own family histories, or, for that matter, in the ethnic history of their country. They see assimilated Jews not in terms of their ancestral religion or culture but rather as individuals who contributed to the broader culture of the country in which they chose to live.

New methods of genetic analysis* are revolutionizing the way we trace our ancestors. For the present, however, most of us rely on traditional records and, where records do not exist, on names and the clues that names can give of ethnic or geographic origins.

Unfortunately, Jewish naming practices make it very difficult for researchers. In many parts of Europe, Jews maintained their traditional practice of assigning patronymics and were slow to adopt the practice of giving permanent family names. For this and other reasons (such as the lack of a homeland, persecution and discrimination), Jews have been more inclined to adopt new or modified surnames than most other peoples.

Of course, in English-speaking countries, certain surnames - often German or Hebraic – are well-known as indicating Jewish origins. [A fairly good list is here.] But Jewish immigrants often modified foreign-sounding names or chose English surnames, and some names were favored over others.

I have compiled a list of surnames based on my own (limited) knowledge and research. I emphasize that these names do not necessarily indicate Jewish origins, and some are more strongly indicative than others. I have excluded Biblical (Hebrew), Polish and most German and other obviously non-English names and intend to refine the list over time, deleting names with only tenuous claims to be here and adding others. Comments and suggestions, either via this site or to my email address**, are welcome.

Adams, Albert, Allen, Alexander, Alpert, Ames, Angel, Ansell, Archer, Arnold, Asher, Asherson, Ashton, Astley, Avery, Baker, Ball, Banks, Barber, Barden, Bardon, Barnard, Barnett, Baron, Barret, Barrett, Barron, Barrow, Bart, Barton, Bass, Batt, Beck, Becker, Beer, Belcher, Bell, Bellman, Belman, Belmont, Benedict, Bennet, Bennett, Bernard, Berry, Bickel, Bickell, Bickle, Bird, Blond, Bloomfield, Black, Blackman, Block, Blue, Booker, Bookman, Brand, Brice, Brill, Brilliant, Briscoe, Brock, Brody, Brooks, Brower, Brown, Bush, Byrd, Cain, Carpenter, Carter, Chandler, Chaplin, Chester, Cline, Cobb, Cole, Coleman, Cook, Cooke, Cooper, Cope, Copeland, Cove, Cripps, Crouch, Davidson, Davies, Davis, Diamond, Dove, Eastman, Ellis, Falk, Finch, Fine, Firestone, Fish, Fisher, Frank, Freedman, Freeman, Fox, Froman, Gardner, Garfield, Garland, Glass, Gold, Golden, Golding, Goldsmith, Good, Goodman, Goodwin, Gordon, Gould, Gray, Green, Greenfield, Grey, Gross, Halpern, Hancock, Harding, Harman, Harris***, Harrison, Hart, Hartman, Harvey, Heller, Hickman, Hill, Hiller, Hitchcock, Holden, Holder, Holt, Holton, Hook, Horn, Horne, Horton, Hyams, Hyatt, Hyman, Ivory, Jewel, Jewell, Jones (from Jonas or Jonah), Kane, Kay, Kaye, Kennard, King, Kline, Lambert, Landon, Landis, Lane, Lang, Langley, Langman, Lawrence, Lawson, Lee, Leigh, Leonard, Leslie, Lester, Levin, Levine, Lewis, Lincoln, Little, Long, Lott, Low, Lowe, Lowy, Lucas, Lyons, Lytton, Mack, Mann, Marchant, Marcus, Marks, Marshall, Mason, Maurice, Maxwell, May, Mayman, Merchant, Michael, Michell, Miller, Millman, Mitchell, Montague, Morris, Moss, Moyse, Myer, Myers, Nelson, New, Newman, Newmark, Nichol, Nicholl, Nicholls, Nichols, Norman, Palmer, Park, Parker, Parrish, Parsons, Pearl, Pearlman, Peck, Perkins, Perry, Pepper, Phillip, Phillips, Pine, Pinner, Pittman, Platt, Polk, Pollard, Pollock, Pool, Poole, Porter, Posner, Powers, Price, Priest, Prince, Rae, Raine, Randall, Ray, Raye, Raymond, Reed, Rees, Reid, Rest, Rice, Rich, Robbins, Robert, Roberts, Robertson, Robin, Robins, Robinson, Rose, Rosefield, Ross, Rothman, Rothwell, Sacks, Salmon, Salman, Sams, Sand, Sanders, Sandler, Sands, Saunders, Saville, Saxon, Selwyn, Sherman, Short, Silk, Sills, Silver, Simmonds****, Simmons, Simon, Sims, Sinclair, Singer, Singleton, Sloman, Smith, Snell (from the German name Schnell), Snider, Snyder, Sommer, Sommers, Speed (from the German name Schnell), Spelling, Sperling, Spurling, Stanley, Sterling, Stone, Sugar, Summers, Sumner, Swan, Swann, Swanson, Taft (from Tugendhaft), Tate, Taylor, Temple, Trilling, Uren, Waddell, Walker, Wall, Walter, Walters, Ward, Wardle, Watt, Webber, White, Wiley, Winters, Wise, Wolf, Worley, Yates, Young.

[And here is a list of names I am currently considering, some of which will be transfered to the main list in due course: Benson, Blacker, Bland, Bonnett, Bowman, Brack, Bracks, Bray, Brayer, Briar, Brier, Buckle, Burns, Cantwell, Carr, Clifton, Coe, Colman, Cosgrove, Crane, Crawford, Davenport, Dillon, Douglas, Eliot, Elliot, Ellman, Epps, Evans, Fay, Faye, Ford, Foreman, Forman, Harlow, Harrold, Hayman, Hodges, Honeyman, Hooker, Hubbard, Jackson, Jane, Jamison, Judd, Kerr, Knight, Levett, Levitt, Lewin, Lipset, Mack, Marlow, Martel, Martell, Martin, Merton, Morrison, Mosely, Newcomb, Paul, Paulson, Pember (from Pemper?), Peters, Quin, Quinn, Roderick, Rodgers, Rogers, Rogerson, Russell, Sailor, Sayer, Sayers, Saylor, Sefton, Sharp, Sharpe, Shaw, Sheldon, Sherwood, Shore, Simkin, Simpkins, Somers, Sturgeon, Tolkin, Tucker, Turner, Waterman, Watson, Welch, Wheeler, Watts, Winston.

I am also looking at names based on places – towns, cities, regions or countries (like Amsterdam or Holland) – or nationalities (like German or French).]



* I suspect that DNA analysis is going to present an unwelcome and challenging picture for those who wish to maintain a simple concept of Jewish ethnicity. Of course, it is well known that the population groups which have formed the Jewish people over the centuries have been geographically divided and genetically diverse, so it will come as no surprise if there are no clear genetic markers for Jewish ethnicity. What DNA analysis will do, however, is to indicate how particular populations have maintained continuity or merged with neighbouring populations.

** engmar3 at gmail dot com.

*** It is difficult to know whether to include here such common English names as 'Harris' which in the majority of cases is not Jewish, but which has been adopted by Jews. Preliminary Y-DNA results may be of interest. Y-DNA results for Harris (based on 465 samples) reflect standard Western European/Scandinavian patterns (haplogroups R1b1 and I1), though there are also instances of haplotypes characteristic of Eastern European, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and African populations. But even names which are more identifiably Jewish (e.g. Silver) are often associated with the R1b1 haplogroup.

**** Note an interesting surname change in the late nineteenth century from Raby to Simmonds.

47 comments:

  1. I found the name Palmer in the Jewish section of a cemetary in Newport Beach, CA. First name's Henry and Molly, born in 1913

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    1. Interesting. It's definitely a name that was favored by Jewish immigrants.

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  2. I have an ancestor named Rebecca Rothchild (b 1720) who was an English Jew. She married a Christian named William Collier. They were both disowned by their families when they married and eventually went to America. I cannot find anything out about her family. I do not believe she is related to the famous banking family. Do you happen to have any information which could help shed some light on this surname in England? I am beginning to wonder if that was really her name or if there are some details I am missing. There seems to be no record of her family anywhere.

    Thanks

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    1. I can't really help, but I was intrigued by Susan Weinberg's little piece on some people with the name Raichel (variants Reichel and Rajchel) who changed their name to Rothchild.

      She writes: "My US relatives changed their name from Raichel to Rothchild and it is quite likely that a parallel transition occurred with family in England and Scotland."

      http://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/dunilovichi/raichel-singer-new.html

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    2. Thank you. I will check out that link.

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    3. The Rothchild name itself is a Germanic modification and means red shield. It was changed to diminish anti-Semitic problems.

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    4. The broad outline of the story of Mayer Amschel Rothschild and the financial dynasty which he initiated seems to be clear enough, even if there is some confusion about details and about when and how this particular family adopted the name. Wikipedia claims that the surname is common in Germany, 'and the vast majority of the bearers of this name are unrelated to this family.'

      A distinction is also drawn between 'the German surnames "Rothschild" and "Rothchild" ' and the 'Protestant surname "Rothchilds" from the United Kingdom'. (This is under the entry for 'Rothschild family'. There is also a note under 'Rothschild' along the same lines though here "Rothchilds" is characterized as 'Scottish/Irish'.)

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  3. My father's family "sterling" emigrated to Canada in 1898 from Lithuania. A cousin searched Jewish cemetery's in Lithuania and found "Sterling" grave markers. Of course, no records found.

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    1. Your information adds to the case for transferring 'Sterling' from the supplementary to the main list. Thanks.

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  4. Would you have any insight on the Holder name?
    My mother-in-law was born a Holder in Cheltenham,and knows very little about he father's family. She does know that his family had immigrated from Germany either just before or around the time her father was born and they changed their name from "Holden" to "Holder".
    Because of the small scraps of family lore and the seemingly pointless change of name, it has made us believe that perhaps that side of the family was Jewish and would like any help or information that you might be able to impart.
    Many thanks.

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    1. Thanks for contributing. I don't have any special knowledge about the names Holden and Holder. They are sometimes indicative of Jewish origins and sometimes not, but your speculations sound plausible to me.

      I would tend to agree that the move from Germany to England around that time (coupled with the change of name and the very lack of knowledge of her father's family on the part of your mother-in-law) does suggest Jewish origins.

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  5. We have a large Jewish family with the surname "Baker" that doesn't appear in either of your lists. It was originally "Pecker", which I believe is a modification of "Becker". The name was changed as my grandfather and father as they entered the U.S. via Ellis Island.

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    1. Thanks for that. I have now added Baker to the main list.

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    2. My maiden name is Baker-my dad's DNA recently came back as J1e (which apparently belongs to 40% of Ashkenazi Jews), and I've heard mumblings that the family may have been Jewish; they were mainly from NC, AR, MO and TN. My email address is susiksammons@gmail.com, and I'd love to hear from ANYONE who may have some insight to possible Jewish heritage for the Bakers who emigrated from England to the south. I've also heard from some people another possible variation of the name is Baqir.

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  6. Any info on the surname "Barrow" being jewish? I have been attempting to look into this with very limited results. Thanks.

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    1. It seems that Baruch was sometimes changed to Barrow.

      Here is one instance. Moses Baruch (a London merchant, born in Barbados) was known as Moses Barrow. His sister and son were also called Barrow. His grandfather, Moses Baruch Louzada was born in Spain in 1629 and died in London in 1699. He was also known as Moses Barrow. http://www.geni.com/people/Moses-Baruch-Barrow/6000000011736575318

      Barrow was certainly a Jewish name in Barbados. There are gravestones in the Jewish cemetery in Bridgetown, Barbados for Bella Barrow, Hayyim Barrow and Simon Barrow. http://cdm.reed.edu/cdm4/results.php?CISOOP1=all&CISOFIELD1=geneal&CISOBOX1=Barrow+Family&c=exact&CISOROOT=/jewishatl

      Isaac Barrow, the 17th century mathematician, may have had Jewish origins, though he was a Christian. His father was a draper (commonly a Jewish trade), and his grandfather was called Isaac also.

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    2. Thank you!

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  7. My grandfather, Loren Ben Baker, used various aliases-Smith, Rogers and the like. He was very secretive, and our DNA comes back with Spanish/Italian/Portuguese hints-I find it interesting that his middle name was Ben, and his sisters' middle names were Bell and Shell (I've heard that -ell can be indicative of Jewish ancestry). What are your thoughts on this? I've been wondering about crypto Judaism lately.

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    1. Susi

      I find it amazing that these traditions were able to persist within families more or less secretly, sometimes for hundreds of years. Sephardi (Spanish and Portuguese) Jews were, as I understand it, more inclined to conform to the customs of those around them than Ashkenazi Jews, and this often included converting to Catholicism while maintaining Jewish religious practices within the home.

      As siblings would normally share the same original surname, I am unsure whether those middle names you speak of were family (maiden) names or perhaps shortened forms of given names like Bella (very Jewish) and Shelly. But, since the German word Schell can mean bell, could it be that Schell was a surname in your family, changed to Shell by one sister and to Bell by the other?

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    2. Hi Mark, we tested my dad on ftDNA (37 markers) finally. Before we only had autosomal results, so it was nice to just get his straight Y DNA. He came back as J1 (though it appears he's P58), and we've been clustered with a group which apparently had 'fairly recent' middle eastern roots, between 400-500 years old, in Southeast England. We've also been linked via DNA to the Crouch and Corder families of Baltimore on the Baker DNA project. A lot of my dad's matches are Crouches or Corders, so I am assuming there is some intermarrying that went on there. I did have ftDNA's Jewish expert look at our results, and he did not see Jewish ancestry, but I am beginning to wonder. I have heard the Crouches and Corders are believed to have Jewish ancestry. I'm just at a loss-pretty much every British DNA project I've joined has us as 'ungrouped'. Either way, our roots are middle eastern, most likely from Saudi Arabia/Jordan/Yemen I believe. We do not have any German matches, but our links strongly hint at the Mediterranean-we have one Portuguese and one Argentinian match that I'm aware of, and I believe some Italian as well. It's so weird though, on the Baker DNA project we're linked to, out of approx 34 clusters, only two are J1 I believe. Do you have any thoughts about this? And no, as far as I can tell, Schell was not a family surname.

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    3. My first thought, Susi, is that I need to learn some more about the science behind all this. It's pretty clear that the data are difficult to interpret.

      A couple of quick comments, however. The organization's Jewish expert, you say, did not see Jewish ancestry. But how does one define Jewish ancestry? I did a post recently on new research which seems to further complicate the picture. And it seems probable that most people of European descent have ancestors who practised Judaism; some have more than others, that's all.

      The other thought relates to the personal (as distinct from historical) significance of deep ancestry work (based on Y-DNA or mitochondrial DNA) for individuals like you or me. The further back you go, the less closely related the ancestor is. And we are only talking about one (arbitrary) line of descent out of so many – all of which make equal contributions to making us who we are from a genetic point of view.

      So it seems to me that the whole genome is what matters most on a personal level and our degree of relatedness to others – shared (more recent) ancestors, in other words.

      I'm yet to get very involved in the genetic side of things, but my brother and a cousin have made a start. (We were having something like your 'ungrouped' problem last time I checked.)

      Good luck with your further researches.

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    4. An interesting, if controversial, story about a large "crypto-Jewish" population among American citizens of the state of New Mexico of Mexican ancestry (say that three times fast).

      It's an interesting story but complicated by the interweaving of several different strands of apochryphal and dubious historical narratives.

      In short, the story (which first made media rounds about 7 years ago) grew out of reports that there was a suspiciously high frequency of BRCA genetic defects (best known for dramatically increasing the risk if breast cancer in those that have it) among New Mexicans purportedly descended from Spanish/Mexican colonists. New Mexico was originally part of Mexico, and these are people who claim descent from the Mexican nationals who were living there at the time the area was ceded to the US.

      BRCA defects are rare in all populations, but occur at a significantly higher frequency amongst Ashkenazi Jews, and so the thought was perhaps these New Mexicans were descended from "conversos", aka "crypto-Jews"; the descendants of Inquisition era Jewish converts to Catholicism.

      Sounds plausible at first reading, if inconclusive. The problem however is that the BRCA genetic defect in question is a phenomenon of the Ashkenazi population, and the conversos were Sephardic. Interestingly, Sephardic Jews are also prone to certain BRCA defects, but not the same ones that plague the Ashkenazi population or the supposed conversos of New Mexico.

      Another problem is that claims of descent from the original Spanish colonists of New Mexico are often dubious, in the same way the claims of many Anglo Americans to be part Native-American often owe more to romantic apochryphal family histories and political correctness than anything else.

      New Mexico was settled mostly by Americans of Anglo origin, even at the time it was part of Mexico. Moreover, most Mexican nationals returned to Mexico after the Mexican-War. The number of people today in New Mexico actually descended from Mexican-War era Mexican nationals must be quite small indeed, and even if the percentage of conversos among the settlers was relatively high, as some claim, it would still be a vanishingly small percentage.

      If they are indeed the descendants of conversos, they are far more likely to be descended from conversos who made their way to New Mexico sometime after the war.

      But again there would be the problem that the conversos were not Ashkenazi.

      In short, if indeed there actually are higher incidence of BRCA genetic defects among New Mexicans of Spanish origin, it is probably best explained by a completely independent founder effect. There are at least two other populations believed to have higher incidents of BRCA abnormalities due to independent founder effects (i.e. not related to Ashkenazi ancestry); these being French Canadians in Montreal and certain parts of the Netherlands.

      A founder effect, by the way, is the term for a higher than normal frequency of a genetic characteristic in a population owing to the fact that it was present amongst the founders of the population.

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  8. tate=father yiddish http://kehillatisrael.net/docs/yiddish/yiddish.htm#t

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion and the link. I have now added Tate to my main list.

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  9. Hi, I'm Jewish and my surname is Brown. I know of another Jewish family with that surname and have read of others, but it's not common in my country, South Africa. I suspect it was changed from German Braun or taken up directly in the UK.

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I've now added 'Brown' to the list.

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    2. I'm surprised you wouldn't have already had "Brown" on the list, since you seem to have been interested in this subject for so long. It is quite well known that Jewish surnames often involve ames of colors, previous metals, or both. Typical examples include Black, Brown, Green, Red, White (often in German or Dutch variants such as Schwartz, Braun, Grun, Roth, Weiss, etc.). Common suffixes include stone, stein, berg, glass, wald, smith, etc.

      I agree with your basic premise, if understand it correctly; the number of people with some Jewish ancestry is undoubtedly underestimated. Given the long history of sustained and intense persecution and discrimination against Jews throughout Europe, the inventive to jettison one's Jewish identity altogether has undoubtedly been high and doubtless happened far more often than many realize. There is probably a significant percentage of the non-Jewish populations of many European countries that have some Jewish ancestors.

      That said however, I find the vast majority of the names in your list to have no strong connection to Jewish roots whatsoever, other than the trivially true fact that in any country where Jews chose to not merely conceal their ethnicity but abandon it all together, obviously any native surname was fair game for adopting the least obviously Jewish the better. In other words, you might as well list all British surnames.

      Once you go beyond the relatively short list of surnames involving colors, precious metals, and combinations thereof, the names on your list would undoubtedly prove very poor predictors of Jewish ancestry indeed.

      The problem with mass market DNA tests (or even rigorously scholarly genetic research) is that it ultimately requires making a decision on how to interpret often ambiguous results. Even the best intentioned and scrupulous researchers have their own conscious and unconscious biases and these influence what assumptions, statistical methods and algorithms are employed and how the subsequent results are interpreted.

      All too often if you ask 5 genetic researchers their interpretation of a group of samples you will get 12 opinions, each based in sound methodology - but mutually exclusive interpretations can't all be correct.

      For example, there is a well known Greek geneticist blogger who, though certainly qualified to offer a scholarly analysis of genetic markers in populations, has a rather obvious bias towards seeing his ethnic group as minimally mixed with others. He consistently looks at the same data others have published and comes to very different conclusions which are more favorable to his preferred vision Greeks and other Mediterranean populations.

      One of the more obvious examples of bias likely influencing interpretations of results is actually in studies involving Jewish populations. Jewish and Israeli geneticists consistently find less genetic diversity and European admixture and greater similarity between different Jewish populations in their studies of Jewish genetics than their non-Jewish colleagues.

      The difference can be quite dramatic; the former usually determine Jewish populations to be "much more like each other than the surrounding non-Jewish population" and often estimate "European admixture" to be at around only 30%, whereas the latter have looked at the same data and determined Ashkenazi Jews to have something on the order of only 20% "non-European admixture".

      Obviously, something biases (likely of the unconscious variety) are significantly impacting the interpretation of results.

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    3. Joe G.

      I have had doubts about the list myself, but I am not making any grand claims for it. It seems to me that it serves a useful purpose if it brings together most of the English or Anglo-sounding names which have been popular with Jewish immigrants – that is, if it manages to capture most of the most popular choices and very few of the least popular. (Some deletions may be in order.)

      Part of the problem is with very common names which, as you point out, would not generally be good predictors of Jewish ancestry. However the fact that the list has not been expanding exponentially as I revise it suggests to me that it does (in a rough way) identify a relatively stable core of names.


      Your comments on bias in the interpretation of genetic findings were particularly interesting. I had noticed instances of this myself.

      It is certainly the case that many are seeking comfort or security in nationalism, and this often involves – as it has in the past – the sorts of myths which require distortions of history and distortions of science to maintain themselves.

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  10. All very interesting stuff Mark.

    As the above commenter mentioned, crypto -Jewish names often involve colors. In Italy (mainly the south which was ruled by Spain, resulting in many "conversos" and migrations due to expulsion) the name Russo (meaning red) is highly suggestive of Jewish ancestry. Verdi (meaning Green) is also possible.*(Note if an Argentinian match comes up for someone researching DNA lineage it is highly likely it is through a Southern Italian lineage - Argentina has up to 50% Italian heritage in it's population).
    Also, beyond stones/metals (as mentioned above) simple "symbol" names (often symbols from the Old Testament) like "Dove" (Italian = Polomba), Olive (Italian/Portuguese=Oliviera), Bird (German=Vogel) Star (Italian=Stella) are strongly indicative of Jewish Ancestry.
    Dying was also a typically Jewish trade - so DiPinto and Tinto (Italian ="paint" and "tint") are examples of a typically Jewish mercantile "trade names".

    The English translations of all of these names come up on your list unsurprisingly to me.

    Two of my Italian family names are Abramo (from Abraham) and Di Franco (from Frank - which is also in your English translation list - ***funny if both Benjamin Franklin and John Adams had crypto Jewish ancesty - notice Ben's first name!).

    The curious thing about these two Italian families is they were both Christian by the time they intermarried. Something tells me that even if they weren't "secretly" practicing or fully aware of their Jewish history, many times crypto-Jewish families gravitated toward each other (in all cultures) - due to traditions unwittingly kept and of course attraction due to physical/familial resemblances.

    Thank You for your research.

    Mark

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    1. I appreciate your input. The symbol category is an interesting one. I will add "Dove" to the list.

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    2. surname abrab means descendant of abram tribe = abram tribe descended from shem tribe [tribal crest is lion]

      abraham is mixed tribe [tribal crest is winged lion]
      mixed tribe - part shem [lion tribe] and part ham [eagle tribe] hence winged lion
      its where the joke pigs might fly originasted from as ham come from pigs and hams tribal crest is a flying sanimal/eagle

      bazzep

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    3. in my post above i was responding to person that had a family surnamne - abramo which they thought meant abraham, when replying to this is misspelt it abrab, i meant to say the surname abramo means descendant of abram tribe

      abram tribe = abram tribe descended from shem tribe [tribal crest is lion]

      abraham tribe = [tribal crest is winged lion]
      abraham tribe was a mix of 2 tribes - part shem [lion tribe] and part ham [eagle tribe] hence abraham tribes crest was a winged lion

      the joke pigs might fly is a very old joke and it is based on the ham tribe [eagle tribe], u see ham come from pigs and the ham tribesl crest was a flying anima, hence the joke pigs might fly.


      bazzep

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  11. My husband's Jewish family immigrated to USA from Moldova. Last name is Chester. Never found any other Jewish Chesters. My husband's grandfather Abraham Chester lost his parents and no records were kept.. Maybe wrong spelling?

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    1. Thanks for contributing. My father's best friend was a Chester, but I know little about his background. The name features prominently in various sources on Jewish surnames and is I think particularly common in Argentina.

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  12. Hi Mark! Searching Ellis Island Immigration records , I found a family with Hebrew listed as their 'ethnicity'. This family includes, Jacob Goodwin, Solomon Goodwin, Harry Goodwin, Millie, and Annie Goodwin, with Lizzie Goodwin as their mother. I was not able to locate the father. In 1910 they came over from LONDON, England on the Caronia to U.S. Also Hezekiah Goodwi, Reuben Goodwin, Abraham Goodwin and Moses Goodwin in Kittery County, Me. Found burial records of Bernard Joseph Goodwin buried at West London Syngogue/Hoop Lane Cemetary. His brother William Goodwin and Millicent Goodwin (his wife) listed as jewish. I have located Goodwin jews in California, Virginia, Iowa, Arkansas, and all along the east coast. Richard Goodwin was a Jew and Pres. JFK's Speech-writer. he is Doris Kearns Goodwin's husband. Doris knows a jewish baseball player by the name of Goodwin George "Goody" ( I think his last name is Beals?) anyway, Ginnifer Goodwin is jewish and grew up in a jewish home. I believe that the name Goodwin is to be considered on the jewish list. There were many in England, also Scotland and Wales. Scotland was very welcoming at one time to the jewish people. Many people changed their names to avoid persecution, this may be one of those, with strong evidence to support this claim, I have many others that I have found in Canada. Thanks Jean

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    1. Jean, your information certainly justifies having the surname Goodwin on the list and is also of general interest. Thank you.

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    2. the good in goodwin means jude.

      jude - jood - good - good
      [jood] - [good]

      i know jude is pronounced different than good but thatswhat it means, its due to mass migration and the intergrating into other counties with different language anbd also due to countries language evoling over time and knew names and mass migration tacking place during those language evolution periods.[hope that makes sense]

      an exaple rappo is the same name as raffo [centuries ago this would have been spelt rappo but pronounced raffo]


      bazzep@hotmail.co.uk

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  13. ben'jam'in -
    jam'es

    lev'i arab versions law'i and lew'i -
    lew'is law'ler lev'i'son

    dan -
    danson

    jud'ah -
    jud hude jood, god, good, godwin, goodwin

    david -
    david's dav'is david'son


    is'ac -
    ac'ley ak'er'man ak'ton

    issa'car -
    car carr carson

    shem -
    shem sham shaw

    ham -
    ham, may'er ham'il hamm'ond, hsamm'ing hamm'ing'ton way'ton way'man

    adam -
    adam's mead


    illuminati secret, bible code =

    arab shia somali jew christian greek

    mead made' [madee] amad adam adam ?
    noe' [noee] neo or ano ? noa noa ?
    yacub ? ? yacob jacob akob
    jusef ? ? yosef josef josef
    sham sham shaw? shem shem ?
    ham ham haw? ham ham ?
    lawi lawi ? levi/levy levi ?
    dawid ? ? dawid/david david
    kileab ? ? kileab daniel's ?




    this is where names such as below come from -

    mount haw [wrongly written in modern eng as hor]

    plain of shawon [written in mod eng as shoron]

    terror group - al shaw bab [wrongly pron and written as al shabab]
    al shaw bab = translates as - the descendant of shaw tribe
    [the] [shaw] [of]


    terror group - bo ko haw am [wrongly pron and written as bokohoram]
    bo ko haw am = translates as - i is descendant of haw tribe
    [of] [is] [haw] [i/im/me]

    bazzep

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    1. in my post above my comments on bible code and other things dont make sense because the site posted my comments differently than how i typed it into the sites comment box, the site respaced it, so it came out wrong and didnt make sense, so i will try again, see below -

      illuminati secret/bible code = different religions have different names for biblical figures but they are i code, spooky eh, see below for examples

      christians and jews say noa
      arab's say noe' [pron nowee]
      shia say ano or neo


      christians and jew say adam
      arabs say mead [pron meed]
      shia say made' [pron madee]
      somalians say amad


      christians and jews say shem [noas 2nd son]
      arabs and shia say sham
      i think somailans say shaw


      christians, jews, arabs and shia say ham [noas 1st son]
      i think somalians say haw


      mount haw and sea of hawmus refer to haw tribe what chraitians, jews, arabs and shia call ham tribe


      surname info as follows -
      some surnames are based on tribes names and biblical figuires so when figuering out these surnames u have to take into consideration the difference in different tribes and religions names for tribes and biblical figures for example -

      christians say jacob
      jews say yacob
      arabs say yacub


      christians say josef
      jews say yosef
      arabs say yusef


      christians and jews say levi and levy
      arabs say lawi


      christians say david
      jews say david and dawid
      arabs say dawid, daweed, daood


      christians say daniel [one of king davids sons]
      arabs and jews say kileab


      surmame daniel's is an old european surname meaning the descent of daniel as in from the house of david via daniels line but original middle east version would be kileab, such as bin kileab or bin killy etc


      hope the above posts correctly this time and u understand what i mean

      bazzep

      yacub ? ? yacob jacob akob
      jusef ? ? yosef josef josef
      sham sham shaw? shem shem ?
      ham ham haw? ham ham ?
      lawi lawi ? levi/levy levi ?
      dawid ? ? dawid/david david
      kileab ? ? kileab daniel's ?

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  14. there are all these web sites claiming what is or isnt a jewish surname but to know this u need to know what a jew is, who they r descendened from, who was first circumsised, why they circumsized etc,
    circumsized people cant answer simple questions that relate to this, for example greeks say they r not jews, jews say they not not greeks, jews claim the first person to be circumsized was isac and that all circumnsized people r from him but this would make greeks jews, also many greeks have greek surnames that predate isac.... confusing eh, if jews and greeks dont know the answer to a sinple question then this makes it difficult toi prove that some surnames are of jewish origin, such as surnames that r derived from tribe names.

    i looked on israeli website, they dont seem to know what a jew is either
    theres an old joke - which came first the chicken or the egg, maybe it should be which came first the jews or the greeks.


    bazzep

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  15. I have the surname, Moyse as one of my ancestor's surnames, as well as Leverington and Maccabbee. Does anyone have any insight into these names?
    Thanks
    Danielle

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    1. Hi Danielle. There are (English) Moyses amongst my ancestors. There's no indication that the ones we know about were Jewish but it was probably originally a Jewish name as Moïse is French for Moses.

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  16. Thanks for writing this article, I found it very interesting.
    While researching some of my English ancestors I found that one of them had a Hebrew given name (Hezekiah), another one further back had an arguably Hebrew or an Old English name, Shushana and that the majority of them had non-religious given names, which I thought was curious given that they were listed as Church of England. I wonder whether you might have any insight on the surnames Tubb and Ayling?
    Many thanks,
    Dee

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    1. Hi Dee. I've had a quick look but can't find anything useful on Tubb or Ayling (though I did come across a couple of Jewish Tubbs, and one Ayling). The names seem to be predominantly not Jewish. On the first name question, Old Testament names were very popular in certain periods amongst Christians, especially I think among Nonconformists. It's possible some of these people had Jewish origins.

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  17. I am wondering about the last name Cope. I know that my dad's Cope family (seven brothers) came from England on one of the "Mayflowers." How can you get genetically tested to find out this info for sure? I know a leader in France is Jewish, and his last name is Cope. I have very curly hair...I have wondered whether we are Jewish!

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    1. If you are interested specifically in your Cope ancestors a Y-DNA test (with Family Tree DNA?) might be a good place to start because it takes you back through the male line. If you are a female you would need to have your father or brother take it. But autosomal DNA tests give a better general picture of your ancestry. Ancestry.com is good for this, I think.

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