Jewish Surnames

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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby daveferro » 20 Mar 2008, 07:37

Hello,

While reading Vicki Golberg's bio of Margaret Bourke-White for information about her work in Italy during WWII, the author relates Bourke-White's Jewish origins on her father's side.

She says that in the 15th century, "when the Poles handed out last names to Jews, one of Joseph White's ancestors had been a miller. The clerk who knocked on his door found him covered with flour and dubbed him Weiss (white)." In 1851, another ancestor changed it to White.

Only problem is that Weiss is a German word, bialy being the Polish word for white (as in bialystok) and Bourke-White wrote a book about Germany called "Dear Fatherland."

I have an 1934 atlas that has historical maps, one of which shows Poland to 1667, then after ther first, second and third partition in 1795, when most of it was divided between the neighboring countries. Perhaps their area was part of the German realm or changed back and forth.

One of my uncles was Polish and my cousins ask about the history. Our cluster priest is also Polish and I intend to ask him about that and Jewish names in Poland.

This atlas, by the way, does not have highways, but railroad lines. It was confusing at first because the routes did not match the roads I knew between Auburn and say, Skaneateles. The numbers next to them refer to the many rail lines in each state.

The article about Sicily was great. My grandfather name in Siculiana was Bissi. Any info on the origins of that name?

Until later,

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 JamesBianco » 20 Mar 2008, 08:07

nazca wrote: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


[align=justify]Given that the manifest would have been recorded in Italy, and that papers idenitfying the child would have been required (and used to fill out the record) the chance of this happening is nearly impossible, like so much of The Godfather series, that scene is pure fiction.[/align]

I am not conviced that every family in Italy with a surname taken (apparently) from a town or place is of Jewish origin. There were so many other possible scenarios, common all over Europe where an individual takes a surname based on his nativity or occupation. It is probably true that many Jews who converted and remained in Italy took their new surnames this way, but it is somewhat unrealistic to say this is the case in the majority of these situations.

:D
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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby PeterTimber » 20 Mar 2008, 14:05

The surname Bissi with the double ss is not listed in the Italian surname dictionary while the spelling Bisi, Bisio, Biggi, Bigio and Bigi are variaitons of the base name BIXIO. There are further alterations of the name as well.

Currently in Sicily, there are 9 listed in Ragusa and Agrigento province with two listed in Siculiana 92010 (AG)(www.paginebianche.it). The Bises and Bisi- Mantovani surnames are Italian Jewish names and since Jewish names are extinct in Sicily; being a a Spanish possession Sicily was subjected to the inquisiton and banishment of Arabs and jews, one is tempted to consider the Bissi surname having Jewish or Arab roots. There is no immediate information in this regard but perhaps fruther research may uncover connections. =Peter=
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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby daveferro » 21 Mar 2008, 06:17

James is probably correct that not all, or even a majority, of Italians with place names were of Jewish descent. Ancient names often referred to the occupation or geographical location. The Ferro (or Ferri) ancestors probably lived or worked in an iron mine, or worked with it.

On the other hand, in a book about the town, the author says that one of the prominent families in Herculaneum was called Balba. the name meaning "stutterer." So physical attributes figure in, however unflattering

What got me about the Bourke-White story was why names had to be imposed, considering they already had Hebrew surnames that could have been translated into Polish or German, etc. One of my friends family came from Holland and you can guess the translation of Geldmacher.

Peter, since the Agrigento area was settled by Greeks, what would be the influence? I note the word bisi means "pea." There are several Bissis in Agrigento, with first names of my grandmother and aunt (Francesca) and my great uncle (Stefano), the latter being a professor and author.

What does the Greek name Akragas mean? I should ask Athena about this, considering her ancestors.


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 PeterTimber » 21 Mar 2008, 13:42

With Arab domination of Sicily and Southern Italy, Sicily became settled by both Arabs and Jews; Jews being swept along by Arab expansion from Alexandria and points east mainly as adminstrators for the Caliphs newly conquered lands. The inquisition caused many non catholics to convert to that religion and remained in Sicily while others fled to northern Italy, northern europe and the Americas. The surname distri bution in the www.familysearch.org under ancestor search reflects this movement of persdons similarly named Bissi with variations as previously indicated. =Peter=
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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby PeterTimber » 21 Mar 2008, 13:58

.....you also might wish to review the website containing the complete compilation ofGreek names for Akragas at www.lgpn.ox.oc.uk

=Peter=
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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby PeterTimber » 21 Mar 2008, 14:34

Better yet!! Go to www.search.ox.ac.uk and type in Akragas for complete dissection. =Peter=
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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby PeterTimber » 21 Mar 2008, 14:37

Type in the url manually. =peter=
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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby obiinc » 16 Apr 2008, 22:25

I have a friend who lives in Israel who told me that the surname "Marano" comes from the name given to Jews who emigrated to Spain during the 12th and 13th centuries. This was my maiden name and he wondered if there could be any Jewish heritage in my family. Anyone have any info on that?
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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby warriorrabbit » 17 Apr 2008, 16:12

Hi,

I ran across this article a while ago when I was looking for info on Jews in Sicily, esp. Messina (as that's where one part of my family is from, and apparently we were Jewish prior to the Inquisition).

I don't know about the name Marano, specifically, but I have seen both Marano and Marino in the index for Messina, and wondered if Marano could be a variant.

Anyhow, this is page 5 of a 6-page article, and it does mention Marino as a Jewish name, which makes me think that if the two names are related, then it's likely that Marano is also a Jewish surname.

http://www.dieli.net/SicilyPage/JewishS ... sina5.html

It really wouldn't surprise me if Marino/Marano were related names, but I'm no expert.

T.
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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby PeterTimber » 18 Apr 2008, 00:23

I be.lieve Marano is a designation of Jews who converted to Catholicism as a result of the Inquisiton. Go to google under title Marano definiton. =Peter=
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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby daveferro » 24 Apr 2008, 09:38

Peter,

Neither of the websites for the Greek names of Akragas worked...yahoo says site not found.

Did not get notification of your replies; sometimes they accidentally go into the spam folder.

I am going to e-mail and call some of my friends with Jewish heritage to see what they know.

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 PeterTimber » 24 Apr 2008, 11:00

Dear David if you type in the url manually as I suggested you would not have a problem...type in WWW.SEARCH.OX.AC.UK and then type in the word AKRAGAS in the search box you will obtain the information. =Peter=
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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby PeterTimber » 24 Apr 2008, 11:01

Dear David if you type in the url manually as I suggested you would not have a problem...type in WWW.SEARCH.OX.AC.UK and then type in the word AKRAGAS in the search box you will obtain the information. =Peter=
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Re: Jewish Surnames

Postby liviomoreno » 25 Apr 2008, 05:00

PeterTimber wrote:Dear David if you type in the url manually as I suggested you would not have a problem...type in WWW.SEARCH.OX.AC.UK and then type in the word AKRAGAS in the search box you will obtain the information. =Peter=

Dear Peter,
I have tried to type the address manually and it does not exist.
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