Wednesday, January 08, 2014

The Ashkenazi Jewish Name Tree

A list of origins for prominent Ashkenazi Jewish names -- an interesting article indeed! My name is not on there (presumably because it is too obscure), but I happen to know that "Schraub" means "screw" in German. As in the hardware sense, not in the prostitution sense. So presumably somebody was in that line of work.

Also interesting that there is a name associated with Jews who descended from Khazars -- Kagan. This, to me, is particularly noteworthy given that the article contends most Jews didn't adopt last names until the 17th century or later. The Khazar empire died out in the 11th century -- some 600 years earlier -- and I wouldn't have thought that any Jews who did trace their lineage to Khazar converts would have maintained that connection as part of their familial history or lineage (such that they'd adopt it as a last name). It's just a shame Justice Kagan has already been seated on the Supreme Court -- she could have been asked about it at her confirmation hearings.

Update: Looks like that Kagan/Khazar thing is likely bogus. Oh well.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

I don't believe the article is correct about the name Kagan - I think that this is a form of the name Kahan/Kohen that has been Russified (since there's no H sound in Russian).