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Jewish Names That Represent History

January 15, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 163

The Jewish immigration to Argentina has a long history. The community traces its history in the country to crypto-Jews (Marranos) from Spain and Portugal, who escaped the Inquisition in the 16th Century. Then, in the 19th Century, they came to the country; first from the Europe and later from North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean. Some of the early immigrants were traders and manufacturers, and their representatives. The next to come were small-sized groups from countries like Morocco and other regions of the Russian Empire. Immigration records indicate that in the year 1862, immigrants set up the first Jewish community in Buenos Aires. As time passed by, most of these Jews assimilated with the Christian population.

A study of the Jewish genealogy will reveal that most of the earliest Jews in Argentina were farmers who developed communities during the end of the 19th Century. Today, as much as 90 per cent of the community in this country lives in Buenos Aires. The rest of the community is spread in the interiors of the country like Rosario, Cordoba and Santa Fe. The Jewish community in Argentina comprises about 85 per cent of Ashkenazi Jews and 15 per cent of Sephardi Jews. Argentina passenger records indicate that the people who emigrated from Eastern Europe introduced Yiddish culture and socialist ideas. They also got along with them a deep sense of the Jewish identity. All these factors influenced the origins of the Jewish genealogy.

A study of the community names indicates that most of the surnames originated as nicknames denoting the precedence of the first person who used it. Names ending with 'sky', 'ski' and 'er' come from the Polish or Russian regions. In fact, 'ski' is termed as Polish, as it was used in Poland. Similarly, 'sky' was used in the translations from the Russian language. A study of Jewish genealogy throws some pointers to the possibility of 'Tarnapolsky' originating from Tarnopol and 'Warszawski' coming from Warsaw. Again, 'Berliner' is from Berlin and 'Vengrover' is from Vengrova, as per a study of Jewish surnames meanings. On slightly different lines, some names could be adjectives in different languages. For example, the surname Bloch could be coming from the word 'Wloch', that means 'Italian' in Polish language. An interesting observation that can be made here about Jewish Surnames origin is that the surnames indirectly indicate something about the origins of a lineage. For example, only outside Poland, a Polish person would be called 'Polish'. Thus, the surname 'Warszawski' could well be an indication of its origin outside of Warsaw and used to refer to a person who came from Warsaw. Jewish surnames meaning reveal a lot about the history and the origin of the community.

There are quite a few websites which explain the origins of Jewish names and their meanings. They also make an effort to reunite Jewish families and provide useful resources such as immigration records, passenger lists, and records of Jewish burials, marriages and obituaries. To know more, go online and look for Jewish genealogy.

Dany Grinstein is the author of this article on Jewish Genealogy. Find more information on Jewish surnames meaning here.

Source: EzineArticles
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