If I have the Hebrew names of some of my relatives and the places they were originally from, can I find out information about the family?

Is there a way to find the country a family originally was from if I have the family Hebrew names?

  • Sue,

    Typically one finds the origin of a family by finding them on immigration forms, or naturalization application documents.  I don't believe that Hebrew names (first, last?) have a geographical component, but you might find on sites like Jewishgen.org (registration required) people who are searching the same surname and see if that narrows down the area of origin.

  • I have been using Jewishgen with questions giving them the Hebrew name, the four variations from ships' manifests of the spelling of their last name, the places listed on different papers where they left from according to the ship's manifests, and nationalization papers all showing me nothing.

    I reached a brick wall with them. Listening and watching their talks on genealogical subjects has not helped. This is the reason I am reaching out to your site as it has helped me in the past.

  • Have you looked at Alexander Beider's "A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Russian Empire"?  He also has "A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia", "A Dictionary of Ashkenazic Given Names: Their Origins, Structure, Pronunciations, and Migrations", "Handbook of Ashkenazic Given Names and Their Variants".  Amazon books has a number of such books by a variety of authors.

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