Our member Peter STEIN, from Basel, built a table of correspondance between different given names qualifying the same person, based on numerous references which are given uin the two last columns of this table.
The fact of these multiple given names for an individual is a serious challenge for the genealogist .
Let us consider these examples, given by Peter Stein :
1st example : Leb Guggenheim, son of Jacob leaves Lengnau in Switzerland ad settles at Metz as a banker. There he chooses the name of Lion. When called to read the Thora in the synagogue, he is named Jehuda.
This is easy to understand if one remembers Jacob' benediction . (Gen. 49/9) which has been explained at length in the section Jewish names.
It can also be noticed that names sometimes change from one generation to the next one in order to assimilate with the surrounding society. For instance, among the ancestors of Peter Stein :
2nd example : Elieser Weil moves from Stühlingen near the Swiss border to Bade at Kippenheim near Offenburg. His offspring is called Lazarus and will be the father-in-law of my great-grandfather Marx Stein. My grandfather at Diersburg is given the name Ludwig, that he changes into Louis at Basel. But at the synagogue, his given name is Elieser.
Martin Eylat (cf. infra) writes, p. 22
« But the strongest tendency during the post-talmudic period was the general and deliberate choice of local given names in order to improve the social relations with the surrounding society. This leads to adopting two names, one for the relations with the external world, usually known as KINOUY and the other one SCHEM HAKODESCH – the holy name – to be used at the synagogue and in all documents written in Hebrew »
These synonyms have long attracted interest for different reasons :
a) The Conrector of Frankfurt am Main Gymnasium , Johann Jacob Schudt (ref. Schudt) published in 1517 « Jüdische Merckwürdigkeiten » (Jewish oddities). On page 113, there is a paragraph on the judeo-germanic language where he remarks that Akiba becomes Kife, Ascher becomes Anschel, Immanuel becomes Maennle, and Isac Eissik.
b) The criminal lawyer Friedrich Christian Benedict Avé-Lallemant (ref. Avé) published in 1858 an essay « Das deutsch Gaunertum in seiner sozialpolitischen, literarischen und linguistischen Ausbildung zu seinem heutigen Bestande, Verlag Ralph Suchier, Wiesbaden, 1858 insbes. zweiter Teil, S. 43ff Die Gaunersprache » (the German underworld in its socio-political, literary, and linguistic development until its present state, Ralph Suchier publisher, Wiesbaden 1858, second part, the slang). On pages 59/60, he summarizes the synonyms of Jewish given names.
c) In 1980 Salomon Picard publishes a Répertoire des contrats de mariage au XVIIIe siècle.(Catalogue of the wedding contracts in the 18th century). In the introduction he gives a list of given name equivalences (ref. Picard).
Several authors have worked on Jewish family names. Since many of these family names are derived from given names, these publications too are useful to search synonyms of given names Let us quote :
d) Dreifuss, Erwin Manuel, Familiennamen der Juden unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Verhältnisse in Baden/D zu Anfang des 19. Jahrhunderts, [ Familiy names of Jews, especially in Bade at the beginning of the 19th century], 1927.
e) Eylat, Martin (Epstein), Noms de familles juives en Alsace [Jewish Family names in Alsace], 1982
f) Guggenheimer, Eva H. und Heinrich, Etymologisches Lexikon der Jüdischen Familiennamen, [Etymological lexicon of Jewish family names], 1996
g) Peter Stein himself established the register
of graves in the Jewish cemeteriy of Endingen-Lengnau. For this
purpose, it was necessary to compare the inscriptions on the tombs with the
registries of Jews in the villages of Endingen and Lengnau. In the annexed table,
the registry of Endingen is referenced as E I with the page number, and the
one of Lengnau as LI with
the page number.
h) Complementary information has been found in the works of Naftali Bar Giora Bamberger about the cemeteries of Gailingen and Schmieheim.
Finally, let us quote a choice of works about the Yddish language, which yield more information :
i) Guggenheim, Florence, Surbtaler Jiddisch, Endingen und Lengnau mit Jiddischen Sprachproben aus Elsass und Baden, Begleittexte und zwei Sprechplatten des Phonogrammarchivs der Universität Zürich, [ The Yddish of the Surbtal region, of Endingen and of Lengnau with samples of the Yddish of Alsace and Bade, accompanying texts and two recordings from the oral archives of Zürich University]1966
j) Landmann, Salcia, Jiddisch [Yddish]
k) Zivy, Arthur, Elsässer Jiddisch, [The Alsatian Yddish ]1960
l) Maajan-die Quelle, Journal of the Swiss Jewish Genealogical Society, Schweizerische Vereinigung für Jüdische Genealogie
m) A.A. Fraenckel, Mémoire Juive en Alsace, Contrats de mariages juifs au XVIIIe siècle, [Jewish memory in Alsace, Jewish marriage contracts in the XVIIIth century.](éd. du Cédrat, Strasbourg 1997)
n) Paul Assal : Zwischen den Welten, die sich verneinen -Juden im Elsass, in Alemannisches Judentum, Spuren einer verlorenen Kultur, [Between worlds which deny each other, Jews in Alsace, in Alemanic judaism, remnants of a lost culture]. Manfred Bosch, pub., Eggingen 2001, p. 24 ss
o) Dr. Zunz, Namen der Juden, Eine geschichtliche Untersuchung,[The names of Jews. An historical analysis] Leipzig 1837
The solutions found are
sometimes ambiguous. A few examples quoted by Peter Stein :
- Marx is generally used for Mordechai, Mardochée. But on the tomb of my great-grandfather Marx Stein it is written Meir Seif, the synagogal name also used by my father Max Stein.
- Seligman is replaced by :
Baruch in Eylat (p.82), Salomon Bollag at Endingen (register p. 267= Seligman, tomb 3-22= Salomon) and also in Picard), Reuben in Picard.
It is more difficult to find these equivalences for feminine given names. It is beneficial to use the lists of choices of family names of 1808 by Pierre Katz (see publications) as well as Rosanne and Daniel Leeson's work, Index de mémoire juive en Alsace, which contains a very useful index by given names (see publications).
In the Table, the first three columns yield the given names in alphabetical order, in Hebrew, German or Dialect and variants of these names ; the fourth column gives the names in French and the two last ones provide references, in order to check the information.