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Kimberly Powell

Is My Surname Jewish?

By September 12, 2009

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Many of the names that people think "sound" Jewish are, in fact, simple German, Russian or Polish surnames. The point? You generally can't identify Jewish ancestry by a surname alone. Actually, there are really only three surnames (and their variations) that are generally specifically Jewish in nature: Cohen, Levy and Israel. Yet, even variations of these common Jewish-specific surnames may not be Jewish. The surnames Cohan and even Cohen, for example, could indeed be Jewish in origin; but could also be an Irish surname, derived from O'Cadham (descendant of Cadhan).

While few names are specifically Jewish, there are certain surnames that are more commonly found among Jews:

  • Names ending in -berg (Weinberg, Goldberg)
  • Names endin in -stein (Einstein, Hofstein)
  • Names ending in -witz (Rabinowitz, Horowitz)
  • Names ending in -baum (Metzenbaum, Himelbaum)
  • Names ending in -thal (Blumenthal, Eichenthal)
  • Names ending in -ler (Adler, Winkler)
  • Names ending in -feld (Seinfeld, Berkenfeld)
  • Names ending in -blum (Weissblum, Rosenblum)
  • Names having to do with wealth (Goldberg, Silverstein)
  • Names derived from Hebrew words (Mizrachi, from mizrakhi, meaning "eastern, or easterner")

Estee Reider, in Jewish World Review, also points out that some Jewish surnames may originate from professions that are exclusive to Jews. The surname Shamash, and its variations such as Klausner, Templer and Shuldiner, means shamash, a synagogue sexton. Chazanian, Chazanski and Chasanov all derive from chazan, a cantor.

Another common origin for Jewish surnames are "house names," referring to a distinctive sign attached to a house in the days before street numbers and addresses (a practice in use primarily in Germany, by both Gentiles and Jews). The most famous of these Jewish house names is Rothschild, or "red shield," for a house distinguished by a red sign.

As I said before, you can't assume that any of these name are Jewish, no matter how Jewish they may sound to you, or how many Jews you know with that name. The third most common Jewish surname in America (after Cohen and Levy) is Miller, which is also obviously a very common surname for Gentiles as well.

More in-depth discussions of Jewish surnames can be found at Jewish Names from Judaism 101, History of German Jewish Surnames: Is My Surname Jewish? by Esther Bauer, PhD, and The Names of the Jews by Joachim Mugdan at JewishGen.

March 29, 2010 at 8:17 pm
(1) miss rose says:

Goldberg etc… are nothing to do with wealth per se. These names are to do with Jews having been banned from trading and/or practicing in their professions of choice, and thus being forced to trade physical, not-so-tracebable things in their respective home countries, way back when. Analogous (or close) to a very well known example whereby Cromwell only let Jews back into England to lend money, as per it being forbidden for Christians.

Unless you’re trying to reinforce some horrible stereotypes. Which really don’t need reinforcing. And especially as you claim to know something about geneology.

March 29, 2010 at 8:43 pm
(2) ~Kimberly says:

I in no way mean to imply that the surname refers to someone who was wealthy – by “wealth” I was referring to the surname’s origin. In the case of Goldberg, it derives from the German gold ‘gold’ + berg ‘mountain’, ‘hill.’ I appreciate your additional explanation!

April 3, 2010 at 2:47 am
(3) juli says:

My paternal grandmother’s maiden name was Kefferstein.She was an immigrant from Germany before W W II . Does anybody know if that is or was a traditional jewish name ?

April 4, 2010 at 11:52 pm
(4) Dawn Becker says:

My father is a born-again Christian so when I married a nice Jewish boy and had my children raised Jewish, I was bashed for a long time. However, recently something came up that my grandmother may have been Jewish but her parents converted to save themselves from persecution, she gets angry at the thought of it. She was born in 1922 and her name is Helen Myrtle Jacobs. Could she have been Jewish?

April 4, 2010 at 11:55 pm
(5) Dawn Marie says:

There is a some controversy in our family concerning the possibility of my grandmother being Jewish. She proclaims herself to be a Christian German born in 1922. Her name is Helen Myrtle Jacobs. Could it be possible that she was Jewish?

Or is the name deceiving?


August 1, 2010 at 3:29 pm
(6) carl says:

My wifes grandfather was named Goldsmith is this a jewish surname,her Granmothers surname was Allen?
Cheers Carl

September 1, 2010 at 10:40 am
(7) LOVE says:

I believe that if you’re Jewish where the names are concerned you would know. I believe that you would always somehow experience favour in all aspects of your life. At our place of worship in my island, there is such a great prayer for the peace for the city of Jerusalem and for her people the Jews. Our hearts have grown so fond of the Jews and in our prayer for her peace, we experience such abundance of Blessings, there is NO LACK OF ANYTHING!!!. It is so intense when we pray for her, there is such great weeping in the building for her wounds and how for so long we as Christians have failed to perform our duty ie to stand in the gap for her safety and peace. But great is our God, His faithfulness endures forever. While we were still in slumber mode He has always been there for His people. For in their time of despair, He rises up against her enemies. The punishment He inflicts upon them in the form of natural disasters is beyond our comprehension. Professionals will blame these on climate change and scientific reasons, but this is the last days and i am sure in my heart that it is the hand of the Adonai Avir Yakov’(mighty God of Jacob). No one knows what the future holds but i for one knows who holds the future. My God, My Father and My Friend. The King of the Universe, Adonai Elohai Yisrael, who left His throne to die, to save us from the snares of the enemy, the God of the Jews, He holds the future. He was, even before time began, He spoke and things came to be!!!! So take heart friends, do not be worry, you will know if you have Jewish blood in you, you will experience a great sense of boldness and great great favour in where your family, education & work are concerned as my family and i stand in the gap with, by and for you. The God of your Fathers, Abraham, Isaac & Jacob with whom He made covenant with, is faithful to the end. He will protect you, provide for you and He will bless you with abundant Peace. Hope and Trust in Him only, for whoever touches you touches the apple of His eye. We weep with you for your wounds and rejoice with you in your successes!! Shalom Yerushalayim! and Blessed be her people the Jews!!!

October 2, 2010 at 11:08 pm
(8) Terri says:

Not sure I agree with Love that if you’re Jewish where the names are concerned you would know. Too many names are common amongst Jews and Gentiles and too many times people changed their religion to survive. Too many names took on the sound of the country / region they moved too. Names were translated into that language and countries sound.

Personally I think many of us think we are something other than we even know.

If I married a man from Spain and moved there and had a dozen little ones and raised them in Spain , speaking Spanish, living a Spaniards lifestyle…And when they grow up and have kids, and their kids have kids 100-200 years later no one would even know that their great great great grandmother was American. What makes you think you know if your great great great great grandmother moved to another locale with her new husband and started a “new” life there or not?

Many Many many many Years ago in Italy when there was a terrible recession many citizens moved to South America, Brazil…and other Spanish speaking countries. Were they Spanish no…did they “become’ Spanish??? Genetically no, of course not, but when they had children and they had children and so on…did they speak Italian …no. Did they remember their great great great grandparents ways? No they were living the life of Spaniards….and there they remain.

And so it has been since time began. Normans moved to England and their names lost their French sound and became Anglicized. And there they have lived in England for generations and generations calling themselves Brits!

What do we really know unless our families have kept meticulous histories?

February 28, 2011 at 10:02 pm
(9) Josie says:

Hi,I was told that some Spanish names are Jewish,would you know if that is true?Thank you Josie

March 26, 2011 at 8:54 am
(10) Dr. S.A. Visotsky says:

You have to be careful to understand the goym, as they cannot understand what we are discussing here. Being Jewish, is not a religion. It is a culture. We have our own language, our own alphabet, we read and write right to left, our own customs, and our own book of worship known to others as the Old Testament. You cannot convert, and say you are a Jew now. You can say, you worship the faith, but you are by no means a Jew, that’s a DNA issue. That’s like an Asian saying they wish to convert to be an African. We Jews are non-caucasian, stemming from a gene pool that centered in/around Egypt. That’s Northern Africa if you need to check a map. We are a minority that receives no special treatment, no box to tick on any form (which usually includes every ethnicity know), and don’t want your sympathy. Pick your battles.

April 15, 2011 at 1:41 am
(11) Kevin says:

Dr. S.A, as you said it is a gene pool. So how would you find out if this gene is in you?

April 26, 2011 at 4:13 am
(12) Samson says:

What if names ending in – sky, like kowalsky, rockatansky, etc ?

May 26, 2011 at 12:53 pm
(13) Tamar says:

Dr. S.A. Visotsky, your comments remind me of the exclusive nature of Judaism. It is a culture as you say AND a religion as well, but mostly a way of life. But even if you adopt the culture and follow every Jewish rule, you will never become a Jew according to the orthodox or conservative people in the Jewish community. You have to have Jewish DNA, which has be preserved by marrying a fellow Jew. I’m not sure the Jewish community understands the message this is sending out to the rest of the world. It basically says that anybody other than Jewish is not good enough. I think most goym understand very well what is being discussed here, they would like to know if they have Jewish ancestry and from what I read here, most would be proud to have it. That is a positive thing..

May 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm
(14) Brooke says:

There are some religious nuts on this site! Holy Mackeral!

August 3, 2011 at 10:13 pm
(15) Shemaya says:

DNA? There is no “Jewish DNA” but however, if there are families identifiable/ verifiable you can trace that family. There are supposedly those of priestly families (Not always traceable) Kohan, Cohen, (equivalent to kaf-heh-nun) or Levy (from Lamed-waw-yod) and variants. But Judaism is a religion, not a race. And many names that sound Jewish can be German Catholic as I found out growing up in the Cincinnati area. My original last name was Phillips and although there are Jewish Phillipses like Jewish Phillipses who helped in the Revolutionary War and are buried in the Charleston and Savannah area. I was raised Baptist and became Jew by choice. Then I found out later MY own Phillips branch was possibly Jewish anyway and can be traced to SC. It is not a clear cut thing to go by names. Are you Jewish? BE Jewish whatever your name is. That’s how you tell for sure. We all do this “you don’t look Jewish/ name doesn’t sound Jewish” and it can be disconcerting. I’ve changed my name. I try to eliminate the guessing.

August 15, 2011 at 11:14 pm
(16) Max says:

To Dr. Vitosky,
I have very serious doubts that you are a Dr. in any field. I, on the other hand, am an anthropologist, and I can tell you definitively that there is no “Jewish DNA”. There are DNA sequences with Semitic indicators (Semitic meaning Middle Eastern), but absolutely NO genetic indicators specific to Jewish heritage. Your entire post made NO sense and completely failed to address the question asked. The question was “Is my surname Jewish?”. Your completely inappropriate rant about Jewish genetic exclusivity has NO place in this forum. The people who find their way to this topic simply want to know if they might have Jewish ancestry. YOU NEED TO GROW UP AND STOP EMBARRASSING JEWS. You are the reason, you are the excuse, other groups use for holding prejudice against us.

October 8, 2011 at 5:25 am
(17) Tony says:

Seems you cannot talk about Jews without someone getting into a fit about it or someone antagonizing someone else.

November 13, 2011 at 1:32 pm
(18) Mac says:

I agree, Tony. And in response to Miss Rose, this thread, written by herself and other Jews reinforces negative stereotypes than the outside community does, in my opinion. Arabic and Farsi also written right to left and the Indian caste system is another prime example of marriage by blood (or “DNA” as these goofballs say). There is nothing exclusively unique about any of the arguments on this thread other than a common theme of hubirs.

December 11, 2011 at 5:56 am
(19) Dr. S A Visotsky says:

To Max,
You are misguided my friend, and my comments were not a rant.I am an academic, be sure of that. I have spent the majority of my adult life in Public Service, with a focus on International Security and Economic Policy, Law & Public Policy Administration, & Public Diplomacy, serving 5 Administrations. Every school boy knows what the word “Semitic” means, we are not intellectually challenged, and my post made perfect sense.I am an ethnic Jew, it is my ethnicity. In keeping with your Anthropological line of reasoning, we can agree that ethnicity is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, consisting of a common language, a common culture (including a shared religion) and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy. Biological anthropology, or physical anthropology, focuses on the study of human population using an evolutionary framework, as well as “trying” to explain geographical human variation and race. If trying is an exact a science as it has progressed, it’s a coin toss at worst. In the 1980s, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Jews are indeed a race, for purposes of discrimination, full stop. Race is a genetic distinction, and refers to people with shared ancestry and shared genetic traits. 3) If there is no basis to my commentary, why is it that you are not considered a Jew, if your mother is not Jewish? I do not practice the Jewish faith. According to you then, I am not a Jew? You better call the World Jewish Congress, and the Jewish Diplomatic Corp and inform them then, and I suppose I better surrender my passport as well, nu?The Jewish faith, as a religion, is one small aspect of many, which make up the Jewish Culture, full stop.

December 19, 2011 at 7:48 am
(20) Syd says:

Many German Catholic surnames that sound Jewish actually are. This is a result of the persecution suffered and the desire to escape. Upon retreat, many Jews sought to replace one way of life by substituting their religeon with a more socially acceptable faith.

Jewish DNA is indeed identifiable. I believe the cost is not prohibitive should one choose this route.


December 30, 2011 at 7:58 pm
(21) Mary Mekko says:

Dr. SA Visotsky, are related to the famous Russian singer of the 1970′s who challenged the Soviet Communist system through his songs?

It’s interesting that you worked in Public Relations through five administrations, but you neglect to say what you really did. Were you a clerk? A secretary?

It’s interesting also that you consider a ruling of the US Supreme Court to be the last word in a question of genetics, when they are not scientists nor do they claim to be. Persecution based on religion is one thing – but in the current US politic morass it’s better to claim victimhood based on “race”, so that’s why US Jews had themselves declared a “race” by the highest (arbitrary) authority in the land. What’s a few bribes to get what you want, nu?

The court justices simply felt that the religious group called “Jews” deserved to be treated as a separate “minority” although they are classified as “white” on U.S. gov’t documents. There is no checkbox yet on census forms for “Jew” or “Semite”, and there won’t be, since it implies a form of begging for assistance based on skin color. The Israelis are already receiving billions from the US taxpayers automatically and don’t need to beg, anyway. If the Jews truly wish to be a separate and distinct race, there would be a mandatory category added to the standard list. Since Jews come in all colors and from all backgrounds, this would be a tough “race” category to prove. It’s a ragbag case much like “Latino”, since Latino can be anything, racially. Everyone knows this, but we nonLatinos kowtow and give scholarships to the “oppressed Latinos”. I know many “half-Latinos” (usually the mother an immigrant) who as college kids check off “Latino”, although the kid is pale-white-Irish or German, just to get affirmative action and scholarships over their half-brethren, the “whites”.

Obviously the categories that our great and marvelous U.S. Supreme court has decided upon are NOT related to blood.

January 28, 2012 at 5:38 am
(22) Denise Brown says:

@Dawn Marie. It is most likely your grandmother is Jewish. Jacobs is a *very* common Jewish surname. There were and are many Jews who convert to Christianity and other religions. Her family may have had Jewish roots, but perhaps, they did become Christians to avoid mistreatment and persecution. That is a very common choice.

March 16, 2012 at 5:12 pm
(23) Ed says:

My name is Miller and I’m not a Jew. The name Miller is supposedly the third or fourth most common of all the U.S. names, (after Smith and either Jones or Johnson) The two most common sources of Miller are English and German and both referring to a flour grinder. The German (and probably the English) version being a variation of Mueller. Anyway I have no desire, nor would I be especially proud, to be Jewish. Especially after following the events in Israel-Palestine over the last several decades.
The worth of an individual is not about from whom he came from, other than maybe his direct descendents/parents. Its about what he/she makes of their life through one’s own actions.

March 30, 2012 at 11:33 am
(24) Emily says:

What about Bemrose? I’ve heard of many Jewish people with the last names containing “rose” or “rosen” but i’m not sure, I don’t want to sound racist or anything, I just don’t know diddly squat about my family history, so I was curious about where Bemrose originates.

May 5, 2012 at 3:11 pm
(25) Clarissa says:

I have the documents showing I’m descended from Irish Jews, Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants. So what does that make me? A typical citizen of the United States of America! I embrace all religions, including those based on nature. My father created a beautiful place in the woods behind our house, with places to sit and pray. When I’m there I know that God is there, and it doesn’t really matter what you call Him or what name you use for the building where you worship.

May 30, 2012 at 9:59 pm
(26) Rachel Sagar says:

In England, most of the people with German surnames are Jewish, though that may be less the case now than it was in the last few generations. So I’ve tended to assume anyone with a German surname is Jewish and have to remember that in America that’s not the case.

I seem to remember that in genetic studies the group that came out closest to Jews genetically, apart from Arab groups, were Southern Italians!

It’s ridiculous to say that people can’t convert to Judaism because several famous Jewish Biblical matriarchs were converts to Judaism and their children and subsequent generations were definitely counted as Jewish. God didn’t create people Jewish – they formed as a cultural entity and then largely intermarried, though there has been a huge amount of marrying out in Northern Europe – how else would you get so many Jews with red hair and very pale skin and freckles and showing strong evidence of intermariage in their genes?

June 25, 2012 at 8:42 pm
(27) Sam says:

Very interesting site. My interest lies in a life-long quest to unearth whether I have Jewish ancestry or whether my interest in Judaism and the culture of Jewish life is just that, – an almost obsessive interest! I am from the Laver family with roots in Somerset UK on one side and southern Irish catholics on the other. I have read that Laver is of Jewish roots and is possibly a derivation of Levi. Not sure whether the bronze temple laver is in anyway responsible for the surname. So many conflicting views – is anyone aware of the true facts. Love reading all your comments. Wonderful! Thank you.

July 28, 2012 at 12:37 am
(28) Cristal Smith says:

Hello everyone. I’m trying to discover if my mothers parents which both had the last name Cantu ( no relation LOL!) was a Jewish name. My sister did some research and she found the town of Cantu in Italy and said she found a blog the the original people of Cantu were Jewish. After the Spanish Inquisition, some migrated to Mexico and Texas. She even found some pages that said the last name Cantu came from the name Cantor. Can someone make some suggestions. I would greatly appreciate it.

August 5, 2012 at 8:57 pm
(29) brittany-anna says:

Ed you definitely not JEWISH!!! Your last name miller probably derived from mule stubborn and hard…far far away from the ways and plan of GOD. The Jewish people are a people of FAITH..beginning with Abraham, who was the father of FAITH, …to say you are not proud of Israel and the Jewish people is to harden your heart, and close your eyes to the truth, and the blessings of GOD!!!! No matter what this great nation is based and born from the very breathe of GOD -HaShem. Study up ED, jewishness happens in both, the spiritual and the natural.

August 16, 2012 at 6:08 pm
(30) Meira says:

Being one of the few Jews in my school growing up, I was often asked questions about Jewish thought, culture and history that I felt that I should know the answers to. I asked my more devout cousin about the religion/culture question and he described said “We are a Nation.” Yes you can be born Jewish, and Yes you can convert.
The Torah says that Judaism is a gift from the father but you must also believe it yourself. It is not a trap but a mantle.
To those of you wondering if you have Jewish ancestry. You probably do. We are a very life affirming people and we get around.
Are you Jewish? No, You Aren’t! Not unless your mother (or father) was Jewish (and you were raised Jewish) or YOU believe in the Torah and have converted.
If you believe in the Divinity of Jesus or you pray to saints instead of directly to god or you think a priest has a closer connection with god than you, you aren’t Jewish.

September 12, 2012 at 8:17 pm
(31) Cindylou says:

My maternal family names are Levins and Salmon. Common Gentile names and common assimilation versions of Levi and Solomon. The names alone aren’t much help. However the story of us being Jewish has been passed down the generations and interestingly down the maternal line. Years ago I was invited to Shabbat at a Friends house and was asked to light the candles. I covered my eyes whilst my hostess prayed and I had a very powerful sense of having done this before, that my ancestors had done this before me. We don’t have enough data to ever know for sure but I go with what God whispered to me that Friday night.

September 14, 2012 at 7:08 pm
(32) Sam says:

Cindylou, I read your post with interest. I have had similar sensations. Several years ago I took private lessons in Hebrew and started to educate myself in the beliefs, history and culture of Judaism. I have always felt that strong pull. Sadly it appears there is no way of knowing what my ancestors were, however I will always feel strong connection with my Jewish brothers and sisters. Your experience was beautiful and very special. Best wishes.

October 13, 2012 at 7:10 pm
(33) Yankel Miller says:

Two complete gentiles meet on the train from Pinsk to Minsk. One’s name is Yankel Miller, the other is Moishe Cohen. They both take out their totally goyishe meals, Gefilte fish (which has nothing to do with Jews, its actually a regular Hungarian dish) and Tscholent (Polish). After saying the blessing in Hebrew (a language originally from the Phonecians) they shake hands (a Russian way of greeting) and say to each other “Sholom Aleichem” (which is Yiddish – an old German dialect).

Hope you enjoyed, Yankel (Goy) Miller

October 15, 2012 at 12:17 am
(34) Dennis Hankinson says:

I am curious about how widespread in “Amerika” the settlement was from the 1813 Bavarian Jewish emigration. According to a web-based genealogy or two the Bavarian side of my family arrived here at that time, though the evidence of Jewishness is scant.

November 5, 2012 at 1:07 pm
(35) Portia says:

DNA tests on the Lemba tribe of central Zimbabwe and northern South Africa show that they are of Jewish or Semitic origin, the BBC reported.

The tribe’s customs are similar to Jewish ones, including male circumcision, ritual animal slaughter, abstaining from eating pork and wearing skull caps. And their oral tradition claims they are descended from seven male Jews who left Israel 2,500 years ago and married African women, according to the BBC.

Their prized religious artifact is a replica of the Biblical Ark of the Covenant known as the ngoma lungundu, meaning “the drum that thunders,” the BBC reported. Their sacred prayer language is a mixture of Hebrew and Arabic.

The Lemba also have 12 tribes, including a priestly clan that has a genetic element found in Jewish priests or Cohanim, according to the report.

Many of the Lemba in Zimbabwe are Christians, while some are Muslims.

Professor Tudor Parfitt of the University of London has spent 20 years researching the Lemba, and lived with them for six months.

“Many people say that the story is far-fetched, but the oral traditions of the Lemba have been backed up by science,” Parfitt told the BBC.

November 23, 2012 at 6:44 pm
(36) Donna says:

Hi, im from Jamaica and my mother name is Levine i was told that my great grandfather was a jew came to Jamaica via Portugal 2 jewish brothers married 2 sisters which were jamaicans they where several jews that came to the island they built four synagogue on the island i think there’s still one standing,anyone with more info on this? thanks.

December 2, 2012 at 7:35 am
(37) Telvia says:

My ancestry is spaniards who change surname and religion in order to stay in Spain in 1492 ( during Isabel la Católica reign). My surname in Monteza and is in a list in the Noah Gordon’s The Last Jew novel. But my interest arise due to a anomality in our blood. We have a inverted diferential in our linfocitos and neutrofilos. A doctor told my brother that this is something of arab people. Now I am confused, but want to know for medical reasons. I don’t know what our original surname was.

January 13, 2013 at 9:52 pm
(38) Mike says:

My maternal Grandfather was Jewish and called Solomon Lewis. He married an Irish girl, and mum was raised as an Anglican as was my Father. Mum, (aged 94) won`t talk about these people I never knew, since her father walked out and her mother left her with an aunt.

In passing, the R5 broadcaster Adrian Goldberg refers to himself as a lapsed Catholic, as I understand the Jewish religion is passed down through the maternal side.

February 16, 2013 at 10:53 pm
(39) Mari says:

Is Aeriansz a Jewish last name? I was looking back into my Dutch background and found that name.

February 27, 2013 at 10:41 pm
(40) Skeptic says:

@ Portia … I’m generally very skeptical about what these corporate-financed entertainment channels broadcast under the “News” label, but I’m genuinely surprised that smart educated people like yourself (and my own brother, I might add) accept everything that they feed you so willingly and unquestionably :-( It’s wrong and it’s alarming. The media, if not questioned, can be a dangerous weapon used for every kind of propaganda :-( Given all this technology and learning opportunities that are available now-a-days ( and i’m saying this with consideration to the fact that whoever participates in this forum at minimum has access to the internet!!), it is a crime to be ignorant, not a blessing! :-(
… What I think about fanatically religious people won’t fit here! ;-) I came here to learn about the origins of names because Language and People in general interest me… needless to say I didn’t learn much about the names. (except for the very first post – thank you!)

February 28, 2013 at 5:58 pm
(41) Sue says:

I have been researching my family tree in France and have come across two names which I have been told are Jewish names. They are Betbeder and Masure.

They don’t fit any of the classic ‘rules’ of Jewish names but neither of them are particularly French….

Does anyone know?

March 9, 2013 at 4:23 pm
(42) Remnant says:

I found out at my mom’s funeral that my mom was an Austrian_Jew.My brother knew because he is older, and heard the arguments about Hitler. They lived in fear during those times, as “sinful men” seem to always want to destroy what they don’t understand. My Grandfather hid his identity for fear that “he” (Hitler) would win the war and destroy the family.
My brother almost died too when he was 8, and the maternal side argued he “must be circumsized! So he was.
Stranger yet my paternal side came from Calabria Italy, which was a jewish stronghold, my dad looked Jewish in his older years.
So Mom’s family his her heritage out of fear..and my Italian side may have had some in their line.
And I married a german with a very Jewish sounding name.
God my Father knows..He sent Yeshua to die for me..whether I am Jewish or gentile or both…He loves me and knows my name!

March 19, 2013 at 9:45 pm
(43) gary jackson says:

I was told sellers was Jewish. Not sure tho.that is my grandfathers last name and believe. He came from that part of the country. I have been to Israel. And love it there and love the people. There.God has his hands on Israel. He is Jesus. Christ the son of the living. God.going back there next year.

March 24, 2013 at 9:12 am
(44) Hedy says:

Dear Dawn Becker: I love that you raised your children Jewish and am sad your grandmother is angry of the thought of her heritage and ancestry. Yes, millions of Jews converted to save themselves. What a horrible world it was then. My opinion. Anyone who realizes and is aware of their Jewish Heritage which is a beautiful way of life, should convert back. Those are my feelings.

April 9, 2013 at 11:07 pm
(45) Dors Feline weight says:

At this moment I am going away to do my breakfast,
after having my breakfast coming yet again to read further news.

April 15, 2013 at 3:47 pm
(46) SHARON says:

My late father used to say “everybody has got some jew in them – they just don’t know it”. -

April 18, 2013 at 1:16 am
(47) Egalitarian says:

During WW2 my father worked for a branch of the British government which assisted European Jews to establish a new identity, obtain a British passport, and to try to resume a normal life. Many chose to take an everyday English surname such as Clark, Brown, or Green and add an ‘e’ as a code for fellow Jews. These names are still around – Clarke, Browne, Greene and other examples. Even if the present owners are not Jews they may well discover that they have some Jewish ancestry.

April 23, 2013 at 4:51 pm
(48) Daniel says:

Is Frug /Fróg – a Jewish last name ?
Frug / Fróg o (or u) z kreską /u/ boot [ʉ] between palatal or palatalized consonants.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_alphabet Frog -Frug-Fróg.Frug/Fróg surname in the Polish spelling written through at open” u” or “ó” is closed off in the process with surname, differently written Phroog/Frug/Fróg/Frog/-w was English, French, Фруг/-po Russian פרוג in a Hebrew manner surname Frug-w Latin written as the majority of west tongues not of which Slav, Frug/Fróg – written in Polish is going in languages as English, French on Frog – Frug-Fróg.

April 27, 2013 at 1:36 pm
(49) serviced offices says:

Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out
a lot. I hope to give something back and help
others like you aided me.

April 28, 2013 at 8:53 am
(50) David Schroeder says:

Growing up in Teaneck, New Jersey in the 1950s, we used to recieve phone calls enquiring about the Rabbi with surname Schroeder, presiding at the Synagogue a block from our house, since our surname was also Schroeder. Eventually our mom put a note on the phone table with the Rabbi’s phone number for reference.

A half century later I took a Y-DNA test, and was surprised to find our North German, Lutheran, paternal ancestor was in haplogroup E (E1b1b1a1b), which is concentrated in the South Balkans, Mediterranean, and Middle East, especially Northeast Africa. Y haplogroup E is also the second largest founding lineage for Jewish males after Y haplogroup J. Further research suggested that our paternal lineage may have originated from a Sephardic individual from the Catalonian region of Spain with surname Cordova, whose descendants Christianized, and eventually settled in Northern Germany near Hamburg.

May 23, 2013 at 5:25 pm
(51) carrie says:

I’m researching my mother’s family on her father’s side. The last name was originally Moise changed to Moses by my grandfather. He was born in Canada and claimed to be French. Well his mother was French but everything I’ve found on his father’s last name points to Jewish. What I’d like to know is there anyone out there reading this that knows any French or Jewish people with the last name of Moses or Moise? There is absolutely no history on his family that I can find beyond my great grandfather and we’ve been searching for years. It’s like they don’t want to be found. Any Moses’s out there?

May 28, 2013 at 8:21 am
(52) Mircea says:

Please help me, with an opinion. My father’s grandpa was names Kadar Mihaly. He was born in Transilvania (that in Hungary) by 1865-1870. My father told me that he knew from his parents that Kadar Mihaly was hungarian. He even gave me details that he was romano-catholic. But after I searched on the internet I found that Kadar was a hungarian name, bUt even a jewish name (adoption or variant of Kader). I’m intrigued now that he might be jewish. But all the circumstances goes gor the hungarian variant. This Kadar Mihaly married with my father’s grandma which was romanian. If he would be a jew in the 19th century could he be catholic and marry a non-jew partener (In hungary the jews were emancipated only in december 1867). My father’s mother (Kadar’s daughter) was in Transilvania in 1944 when the hungarian authorities deported all the jews from that town. She lived until 1964 and there was no suspicion around her or some one of their family to have jewish heritage when the hungarians and the nazis deportet the jewish community. I have this questions only because on the internet I found that Kadar was a name adopted by some hungarian jews. But beeing a jew is something particular, we would have heared something about the jews in the family, only my fear about the name origin. Please an advice.

June 20, 2013 at 8:22 am
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June 28, 2013 at 10:54 am
(54) Donald Ellzey jr. says:

there are only two kinds of people, beleivers and non beleivers. trust the LORD,HE THAT IS ‘I AM’ knows your bloodline. Why do you think our tribes were scattered, across the caucus? mountains and beyond? remnants!

June 30, 2013 at 3:09 am
(55) belinda says:

Shalom to all,

Does anybody here know of Flink, from leonardus flink is a jewish background, my family says it is, my grandma never talked about it becose of the WW 2.
Thanks en YHVH bless you :-D

July 11, 2013 at 8:23 pm
(56) Daniel says:

About Jewish DNA..I agree that there is no clear cut Jewish DNA, however..my Y DNA Haplogroup is also identical with and tied to Ashkenazi Jewish Males. See geographic.com and have your ancestor migratory route and DNA Y markers verified. the program has over 600 thousand individual identified so far. They also encourage members of the same group to give their family history which is posted and shared with members of the same Haplogroup..

August 4, 2013 at 1:18 am
(57) baseball bats youth guide weight height baseball bats youth sizes baseball batter baseball batter box dimensions baseball batter charged pitcher baseball batter gloves baseball batter images baseball batter order calculator baseball batter pictures baseba says:

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August 30, 2013 at 8:03 pm
(58) Astorix says:

I just found out this morning that my great great grandmother’s name was Machotz. My great grandmother was Odesky or Ottesky; they were from Poland/Prussia they both lived in heavily Jewish areas. Also my grandfather was Wolfe, short, dark haired, dark eyed and from Bavaria also in a heavily Jewish area.

I know that Wolf is Jewish and I wonder if Wolfe was the Anglo version of that name. There seems to be many misspellings, changes, deliberate marrying out and hiding ancestry.

My ancestors immigrated during the wave of antisemitism of the 1800′s and I wonder if the spelling was changed. Also my grandfather passed away from a fast acting aggressive form of prostrate cancer than my mother said ran in the Wolfes. The family came over and became lawyers, judges and watch makers and moved around lots.
None of my family would ever talk about their background. the records ends at Machotz and Ottesky and does not go further in Europe.

My mother won’t answer any questions and I’ve been uncomfortable broaching the subject.

Is anybody familiar with Machotz, Ottesky, Odesky and Wolfe as Jewish names?

September 23, 2013 at 2:00 am
(59) Sandra Becker says:

I took the FamilyTreeDNA test called Family Finder. It also has a function that gives origins of that DNA. Supposedly 8.09 % +/- 2.64 % is middle eastern which includes Jewish, Moabite, etc. This percentage, if from one direct ancestor who was, probably, Jewish then it would have to be from the generation of my great-great grandparents. The ancestors of my GGGrandparents were Irish, English, French, Swiss, German, Scottish, Norman and Welsh. Is there a source where I can find populations of Jews in these coutries around 1830? Unless of course many of my earlier ancestors could have had Jewish ancestry and that when I was born the small percentages they contributed equalled the 8.09 +/- percentage? Surprised, but not displeased because I relish the diversity it gives me.

October 7, 2013 at 7:03 pm
(60) Samir Shmuel Halabi says:

If as some of you have stated there is no DNA why were 6,000,000 Jews slaughtered by the slimy German Nazi barbarian stinking pieces of human excrement in World war two. My DNA was tested and proved Levantine Jewish, as where the majority of Ashkenazi Jews in many cases separated from their so called Mizrahi brethren and sisters for the best part of two millenia, in comparing the DNA from the Gentiles either in Northern, Eastern Sothern or Westen Europe, or Middle-Eastern Arabs,
no matches were found, however there were definite macthes among the Mizrahi, and Ashkenazi-Sephardic Jews.
The German-Nazis who carried out Eugenic testing in the 1930s-40s in 2nd World war, new nothing about the DNA testing, as they were only concerned with who was and wasn’t Jewish by going back to the grandparents of a person and possibly in some cases to the Great-Grand-parents but that’s all they knew.

October 16, 2013 at 4:49 pm
(61) Brian Marshall says:

Hi, My mother was a Bemrose, and when I looked at the 1901 UK census there were only about 150 Bemroses in the whole country, (lots more now !). There were even less in the 19th century. It has been suggested to me that the name is an Anglised version of Ben Rose, an obviously Jewish name. Has anyone out there researched this name and confirmed the Jewish origin ?

December 19, 2013 at 8:41 am
(62) Nian says:

I am South African. I was given up for adoption at birth. My biological mother’s maiden name was Bredenkamp. Mom’s father’s Bredenkamp acestors came from germany.Mom’s mother was of Irish decent, O’Brien. My Bredenkamp grandfather had dark hair and darker olive colour.My mother grew up protestant. Mother’s 3rd marriage in later years of her life before her death was to a jew and she coverted to judaism. Mother believed that she was jewish. And to be honest, looking at pics of her as a child growing up and later years it will not surprise me. She was beautifll with dark hair, tan skin. My daughter, 18 said she suspects we have italian ancestry but I feeI the same spiritual connection my mom felt to the jewish people. I almost expect it to be true, even if distant. In sa we were classified white. My biological father was Erasmus. Is there any way for me to do dna test to trace my ancestors? Thanks.

December 21, 2013 at 11:25 pm
(63) Wolfi says:

I am German, I can trace my ancestry back over 1000 years, in what is now the BRD, but my family name ends in “stein”. I quite often encounter (outside Germany) people who ask me if I am a Jew, which I find extremely annoying.

January 1, 2014 at 5:38 pm
(64) Anna Halitsky says:

I have always wondered about my mother’s maiden name: Szabat (Ukrainian/Polish spelling) but pronounced Shabat. A Jew commented that it sounded very Jewish but I can’t find it as a name in the Jewish ancestry. Can anybody help. My grandfather and family were expropriated to Ukraine from Poland around WW2. Anna

January 26, 2014 at 3:44 pm
(65) Alexander Gentile says:

My last name is Gentile….. 0-o

February 27, 2014 at 6:48 pm
(66) Dawn Becker says:

Thank you to all who responded to my request about my background.

To this day, the discussion about my grandmother’s name still causes family animosity.

My family professes to be Italian Catholic because my grandfather’s name was Scaccia.

My grandmother just passed away and I learned that her mother’s name was Myrtle Chapman Jacobs. My grandmother’s sister’s name was Mildred Irit Jacobs and my grandmother was Helen Myrtle Jacobs so it would seem that she was most likely Jewish and her family converted to avoid persecution. However, nobody in the family wants to discuss the matter. My grandmother had claimed to be German but nothing about her had a German look.

Dawn Becker


March 15, 2014 at 11:10 am
(67) irene says:

Sounds like a lot of you need to check out Jew Gen. If you have a jewish ancestory you’ll likely find it. Remember back at the turn of the century 1900′s, they would add to birth certificates if you were jewish.

May 17, 2014 at 4:49 pm
(68) BARONESS says:

To Kevin…There is a DNA test! I recently tested with 23andme.com and discovered I am about 25% Ashkenazi Jewish. My Uncle then did the test (my father’s brother) and he is about 50%. We are assuming this all came from my paternal grandfather and that he was close to 100%!

Do the test if you can…it is really fascinating!

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