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A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames 
from the Kingdom of Poland

by Alexander Beider

A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Kingdom of Poland is one of three major works by Dr. Alexander Beider in the realm of Eastern European Jewish surnames. His other works, A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Russian Empire and A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia established Dr. Beider as a leading authority on Eastern European Ashkenazic names.

A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Kingdom of Poland is compilation of more than 32,000 Jewish surnames with origins in that part of the Russian Empire known as the "Kingdom of Poland." The book provides information on (1) where within the Kingdom of Poland the name was prevalent at the turn of the 20th century, (2) all likely etymologies of the name, and (3) spelling variants and derivatives of the name. A soundex index makes it simpler to locate a given surname with its proper Polish spelling. The introductory portion of the book describes the origins and evolution of Polish-Jewish surnames.

The Introductory portion of the book follows Dr. Beider's scholarly style in analyzing the origin and evolution of Jewish surnames from that region. This includes a history of Jewish names in the Kingdom of Poland, basic etymological analysis, spelling and variation of surnames and analysis of surnames in various provinces of eastern Europe. An extensive bibliography is provided.

8½" x 11" 608 pp. hardcover $69.50
 

A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Kingdom of Poland

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Table of Contents 
PART I
Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .x
Introduction. General Problems of Eastern European Jewish Onomastics . . . . . . . . . xi
Where and When Did the Surname First Appear?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi
What Word or Words Are the Basis for the Surname? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .xii
How Was the Surname Created from This Word? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii
Why Was This Surname Chosen?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .xiv
Civil Records as Empirical Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xv
Dangers in Onomastics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xvii
Aims of This Book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xx
How to Use This Dictionary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .xxi
What to Do If You Cannot Find Your Surname Listed. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .xxvii
Alphabets and Their Spellings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxviii
Hebrew and Yiddish. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxviii
Cyrillic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxix
Phonetic Equivalents of Certain Polish Letters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxix
Administrative Subdivisions of the Kingdom of Poland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .xxx
Maps of the Kingdom of Poland. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .xxxii
Map 1. The Partitions of Poland (1772þ1795) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .xxxii
Map 2. The Kingdom of Poland (1815þ1844). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxxiii
Map 3. The Kingdom of Poland at the Beginning of the 20th Century . . . . . . . .xxxiv
Main Localities in the Kingdom of Poland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxxv
Chapter 1. History of Jewish Names in Poland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Names in Jewish Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Names of Polish Jews in Christian Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
Latin and German Sources. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Sephardic Families in Poland. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Partitions of Poland. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Surname Adoption in Galicia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
Surname Adoption in South and New East Prussia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Surname Adoption in the Kingdom of Poland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Surnames in the Civil Records . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Surname Variations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Surname Changes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Pseudonyms. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Chapter 2. The Linguistics of Jewish Surnames. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Languages Used to Form Surnames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Jewish Languages. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Polish Phenomena. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Suffixes Found in Jewish Surnames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Polish Suffixes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
German and Yiddish Suffixes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Chapter 3. Types of Jewish Surnames. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Geographical Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Surnames Derived from Given Names . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Surnames Derived from Toponyms. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Percentage of Surnames by Suffix. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Artificial Surnames Drawn from German or Yiddish. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Artificial Surnames Drawn from Polish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Chapter 4. Jewish Surnames That Coincide with Slavic Christian Surnames. . . . . . . . 42
Surnames Derived from Masculine Given Names . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Occupational Surnames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Surnames Formed Semantically from Polish Words Designating Utensils,
Clothing, Shoes and Other Products or Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Surnames Formed Semantically from Polish Words Designating Plants,
Trees, Food, Beverages, Metals and Minerals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Surnames Based on Personal Characteristics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Surnames That Designate Animals, Birds and Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Surnames Derived from Toponyms. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Surnames That Have Different Meanings for Jews and Christians . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Jewish Surnames Homonymic with Slavic Surnames. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Polish-Christian Surnames Borrowed by Jews. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
German-Sounding Surnames Shared in Poland by Jews and Christians. . . . . . . . . . 48
Chapter 5. Spelling of Polish-Jewish Surnames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
The Main Problem: German Versus Polish. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Particular Scribes and Their Influence. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Historical Changes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Russian as the Official Language. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Independent Poland. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Spelling Used in the Dictionary of Surnames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Appendix A. The Most Common Jewish Surnames in the Kingdom of Poland
At the Beginning of the 20th Century. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Appendix B. Jewish Migrations in the Kingdom of Poland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Migrations Caused by Legal Restrictions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Economic Migrations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Rabbinical and Hasidic Migrations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Works Cited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Dictionaries and Vocabularies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Principal Sources of Surnames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Gazetteers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

PART II
Dictionary of Surnames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

PART III
List of Surnames by the Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .491
How to Use the Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex System. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .493

Tables
0.1 Surnames Whose Source Is a Given Name as Demonstrated by Civil Records . . . . . . .xv
0.2 Surnames Whose Source Is an Occupation Name as Demonstrated by Civil Records . . . xvi
0.3 Surnames Whose Source Is a Place Name as Demonstrated by Civil Records . . . . . .xvii
0.4 Variations of Polish Surnames by Gender and Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .xxii
0.5 German and Polish Letter Combinations That Are Equivalent or Close Phonetically. xxvii
1.1 Frequency of Surnames in Chþciny Civil Records . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
2.1 Language Distribution of Jewish Surnames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
2.2 Morphological Distribution of Jewish Surnames. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22
2.3 Polish Suffixes in Polish-Jewish Surnames. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23
2.4 Palatalization of Polish Consonants. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
2.5 German/Yiddish Suffixes Found in Polish-Jewish Surnames. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30
2.6 Umlaut in Surnames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
3.1 Percentage of Jewish Surnames in Russian Parliament Voter Lists by Type. . . . . . .33
3.2 Distribution of Jewish Surnames Derived from Toponyms in the Kingdom of Poland . . .35
3.3 Distribution of Rural Jews in the Duchy of Warsaw. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
4.1 Jewish Surnames Homonymic with Slavic Surnames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47
4.2 Distribution of Selected Surnames in Warsaw. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49
5.1 Polish Letters and Letter Combinations Interchangeable in Jewish Surnames. . . . . .53
A.1 Most Common Jewish Surnames in the Guberniyas of the Kingdom of Poland . . . . . . .58

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