Jewish Surnames

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Jewish Surnames

Postby misbris » 04 Oct 2007, 20:19

I didn't want to hijack another strand, so I am starting a new one. I was absolutely fascinated by the information from Riccardo. I have a few questions.

Does that mean the original family with that name was Jewish?
Did they take the name of the town they moved to or the place they came from?
What if there was more than one Jewish family and they were not related?
At what time in history did this take place?


ricbru wrote:
GFenza89 wrote:i go to school with a Palermo hahah. His name is alex


Last name Palermo, as all italian last names stating a village, town or city, is jewish,
I hope it helps
bye Riccardo



Sorry to ask so many questions, but this is really interesting.
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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby peggymckee » 05 Oct 2007, 00:38

Hi!

I've been told many times that one family surname, Marchi, is Jewish. I have no idea on what basis this statement is made--except perhaps that the spelling is similar to (Le) Marche, a region of Italy. As far as I know, all the family is/was Catholic.

I'm interested in this topic also. All the best, Peggy M
Surnames: Bertellotti - Ridolfi - Marchi
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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby NOLA » 06 Oct 2007, 14:06

Professor Gaetano Cipolla of St. John's University in NY wrote on Sicilian Jewish surnames. One very common one was Ferro. It seems that before the expulsion of Jews from Sicily after 1492, many Jews were iron workers and made products used in trade. The Spanish viceroy at the time was not happy to carry out this expulsion order, because he knew it would have an economic impact on the island. Many Jews converted, and many of their descendents have this surname.
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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby daveferro » 13 Oct 2007, 06:24

The surname Ferro must be ancient, coming from the Latin Ferrum and could mean anyone working at an iron mine or near onem as wekk as iron workers.

Our family name was originally Ferri in Italy and some relatives in Rochester NY still use it. There is a Ferro river in Sicily.

Riccardo, are you certain that this is the case for all families that have surnames from places? Some could have been Jewish at one time and converted, perhaps not by choice.

We have many Genovas, Napolis Catanzaros etc. here and I wondered if the names were mixed up on arrival if they were asked their names and they said the hometowns or departure ports instead.

After seeing manifests and passports though, the names were written down so the interviewer did not have to ask (except for confirmation). There is the problem of reading some script, esp. that last letter.

If the ship manifest was filled out by an Italian, there would be somewhat better accuracy as far as names and places. It would depend on the ship line.

I did read somewhere that towns and names with Xs were from people who escaped across the Adriatic when the Turks invaded Albania after 1453.The Italian alphabet does not have j, k, w, x. or y so any words with these are of foreign origin.

Another story was that a king or duke in the middle ages settled 20,000 Muslims 50 miles from Rome just to spite the Pope.

Dave
Ferro (from Ferri), Capriotti(TE); De(i)Marzio, Nervina(o), Colucci, Gatto, Testa(CB); Basile(BA) ; Bianchi(AQ); Augello, Bissi, Iacono(AG); Pisano(), Impaglia () Friends looking also: Vivenzio (SA); LoPiccolo(PA)-seems to be Lopicolo originally
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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby Cathynap » 28 Oct 2007, 02:01

daveferro wrote:We have many Genovas, Napolis Catanzaros etc. here and I wondered if the names were mixed up on arrival if they were asked their names and they said the hometowns or departure ports instead. Dave

Dave The names Napoli, Napolitano (I had to add that one! :wink: ) and Catanzaro definitely existed in Italy. I too have noticed a lot of surnames that are the same as locations. For what it is worth, my Dad spoke to the Italian Consulate in Chicago in the 70's or 80's and they told him the Napolitano name was assigned to Jews in Naples too.
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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby daveferro » 28 Oct 2007, 05:20

Cathy,

That's very interesting, since all the people we know, of course, are Catholic and probably their ancestors in Italy were too, at least as far as it is known the immediate members.

Does this mean that they were converts, or some took the names later or perhaps married into the families?

This requires more research, though the fact that your father asked the Italian Consulate and they confirmed it.

Being an ancient people, Jews were in most countries from long ago. I wonder if other countries (Poland, Russia) did the same and there are citizens with names of towns, provinces etc. also. I'll have to ask some friends, or look up their names in a map search.

Thanks,

Dave
Ferro (from Ferri), Capriotti(TE); De(i)Marzio, Nervina(o), Colucci, Gatto, Testa(CB); Basile(BA) ; Bianchi(AQ); Augello, Bissi, Iacono(AG); Pisano(), Impaglia () Friends looking also: Vivenzio (SA); LoPiccolo(PA)-seems to be Lopicolo originally
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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby misbris » 28 Oct 2007, 15:57

I'm going to send a pm to Riccardo to ask him to look at this thread. As I said before, I find this topic fascinating.

MJ
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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby nazca » 07 Dec 2007, 08:34

Hi,
the last name in middle-age usually was the place where they came from(for example : Leonardo da Vinci). Jewish family take the name of the town when they was convert (forced) to Roman Catholicism.
There are other reasons: childrens orphan or abandoned (forsaken)
Have you never seen the movie "The Godfather II" ? in that movie the protagonist "Vito" for a mistake in Ellis Island was called and registered "Corleone" the town where they came from....

Vincenzo
I'm searching lost relatives and descendant of my greatgrandfather Vincenzo Genualdi (or Gennaldi or Genuardi) and my greatgrandmother Concetta Davola (their sons: Angela, Carmela, Antonio, Bartolomeo, Ernesto, Simone, Riccardo, Maria) went in Chicago,Ill., and New Orleans, in 1880-1920 from Sicily. Other family related : Jacobucci or Jacopucci (from Central Italy).
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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby warriorrabbit » 23 Dec 2007, 01:03

Hi,

My mother also told me recently that many Italian Jews took the name of the place where they lived/converted. It's not uncommon, when you consider that many German Jews (occupations, characteristics) and African American slaves (early presidents) did the same thing, or at least similar. Long ago my grandmother did some research on her family, and came up with the info that they were Jews who converted during the Inquisition (from Habib to Rodriguez) in Portugal, fled to Macedonia, then somehow ended up as Lusitanos in Italy (Lusitano means Portuguese). Of course we've been Catholic for a couple hundred years now, but we're thinking of doing one of those DNA tests (there's one that tests for Jewish genes) just to see if her research was right.

Also, I recently saw this article at bestofsicily.com that you might find interesting.[url=http://www.bestofsicily.com/mag/art201.htm]
http://www.bestofsicily.com/mag/art201.htm[/url]
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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby misbris » 23 Dec 2007, 02:34

Thanks for that link. It was very interesting.

Mary Jo
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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby peggymckee » 23 Dec 2007, 14:55

From Sicilian Peoples: The Jews of Sicily by Vincenzo Salerno
See link in post above.
In the Middle Ages the term "Jew" referred not simply to those whose religion was Judaism but to those descended from Jews whose origin was Semitic and rooted in the Middle East --in other words, the ancient Hebrews and Israelites.


What a fascinating article. Peg
Surnames: Bertellotti - Ridolfi - Marchi
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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby PeterTimber » 26 Dec 2007, 22:07

A very comprehensive website for Jews in Italy which I found to be excellent is www.jewishgen.org/infofiles/italy/italian.htm. =peter=
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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby Aether » 30 Dec 2007, 05:04

Dear Peter,
This is a great site. Are you, or somebody else working on Jewish surnames in Brasil?
In particular on the Northeast states : Pernambuco & Ceara? I am interested on the Dutch families settling there after escaping the Inquisition.
Some names remain in a different form , such as Guedes and others.
This is not my field, I assume that in BR plants & trees, etc. as surnames are of Jewish origin (Oliveira, Nogueira, Pereira the most used)

My main interest is on Dutch/Delft tiles. The rest is sugar on the cake!
Any sources you know of?
Thanks, Aether :)
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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby PeterTimber » 30 Dec 2007, 14:45

Dear Aether I do not know about Jewish settlers in Brazil off hand as I will have to get body and soul togther and research same in order to direct you to those areas where you can research. Happy New year. =Peter=
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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby Aether » 30 Dec 2007, 16:22

Thanks Peter and a most Happy New Year! There is no rush on that, but I am sure it will be interesting!
The tiles are very beautiful (see Olinda, PE)

Aether :)
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Amici piu' di prima da lontano".
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