Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Italy, Franec and "Portuguese" Communities
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A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from 
Italy, France and "Portuguese" Communities

by Alexander Beider

For about 30 years, Dr. Alexander Beider focused on the origin and evolution of Ashkenazic names and the vernacular language in Eastern Europe. Since 2015, he has drawn his attention to surnames of the Mediterranean region—mostly Sephardic— and has published the second volume of his research: A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Italy, France and “Portuguese” Communities. His first volume is A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Maghreb, Gibraltar, and Malta (2017).

The book identifies nearly 2,000 independent root surnames from which more than 10,000 variant surnames are derived. A typical entry contains four sections: References, Group, Etymology, and Variants
   • The References section identifies the surname and spelling variants (in both Latin and Hebrew characters), where in the region it was used, earliest references, and bibliographic source of the information. There are more than 560 sources from which Dr. Beider draws his conclusions.

    • The Group section includes an identification of the Jewish group to which the first bearers of the name belonged: from the continental Italy, Sicilian, Southern or Northern French, Jews who lived in the Iberian Peninsula before the expulsions of 1490s, “Portuguese” (Catholic-born people who started to profess Judaism, the religion of their ancestors, after their migrations from the Iberian Peninsula during the 16th-18th centuries to countries where the Jewish religion was tolerated) , Ashkenazic, North African.
   • The Etymology section explains the linguistic origin of the name.
   • Finally, the Variant section shows the main variants of the name that exist in the region.

The introductory portion describes the history of surnames in the territory of modern continental Italy, southern France and medieval Northern France, and “Portuguese” communities in such cities as Amsterdam, Hamburg, London, Bordeaux, Bayonne, as well as in the Caribbean Islands and Surinam. The book makes a particular focus on the Jewish migrations to these regions from other countries as well as migrations internal to the area covered.

By the comprehensiveness of the sample of surnames collected and the rigor of their linguistic and historical analysis (similar to that found in previous works by Dr. Beider), this study dwarfs all previous publications dealing with the Jewish surnames from Italy, southern France and the “Portuguese” Jewish centers.

8½" x 11" 882 pp. hardcover $89.00
 

Complete list of names
Sample entry in Dictionary (Modigliano)
Contents
0. Introduction
0.1 Scope and aims of this book. Previous studies 1
0.2 Acknowledgments 9
0.3 Main geographic terms 9
0.4 Cities, regions, and countries covered 10
0.5 Demographic figures 13
0.6 Transcription rules 15
0.6.1 Hebrew 15
0.6.2 Arabic 17
0.6.3 Signs used for general phonetic transcription 18
0.7 Legal status of Jews in the area covered 19
0.8 Legal status of surnames 21
0.9 Main naming patterns in France and Italy in the Middle Ages 21
0.10 Main migrations 23

CHAPTER 1. SURNAMES IN FRANCE 26
1.1 Languedoc 26
1.2 Provence 28
1.3 Avignon area 30
1.4 Northern France 32
1.5 Dauphiné 36
1.6 Savoy 36
1.7 Name Sarfati 38

CHAPTER 2. SURNAMES IN CONTINENTAL ITALY 41
2.1 ITALIANI Jews 41
2.1.1 Rome and the Papal States 41
2.1.2 Kingdom of Naples 44
2.1.3 Tuscany 47
2.2 Ashkenazic Jews 48
2.2.1 General features 48
2.2.2 Duchy of Milan 52
2.2.3 Republic of Venice 54
2.2.4 Duchy of Mantua 55
2.2.5 Trieste and its area 56
2.2.6 Other migrations during the 19th–20th centuries 57
2.3 French Jews 57
2.3.1 General features 57
2.3.2 Piedmont 59
2.4 Sicilian Jews 61
2.4.1 General features 61
2.4.2 Migrants from Sicily to continental Italy 62
2.5 Sephardic migrants 64
2.5.1 Jewish migrants from the Iberian Peninsula 64
2.5.2 Migrants from the Ottoman Empire and Corfu 66
2.6 Jews from North Africa 68
2.7 Communities and geographic origins 71

CHAPTER 3. SURNAMES OF “PORTUGUESE” JEWS 74
3.1 General aspects 74
3.1.1 Main historical aspects 74
3.1.2 Terminology 76
3.1.3 Groups of surnames used by “Portuguese” Jews 79
3.1.4 Aliases 81
3.1.5 Several surnames borne by one person 83
3.1.6 Several surnames borne by one family 88
3.1.7 Geographic mobility 90
3.2 Crypto-Jews of Antwerp 91
3.3 Italy 92
3.3.1 Ferrara and Ancona 92
3.3.2 Republic of Venice 96
3.3.3 Duchy of Savoy 98
3.3.4 Tuscany 99
3.3.5 Genoa 102
3.4 Northern Europe 103
3.4.1 Amsterdam 103
3.4.2 Hamburg and its area 107
3.4.3 London 108
3.5 France 113
3.5.1 CRYPTO-JEWS of Nantes and Rouen 113
3.5.2 Bayonne area and Bordeaux 114
3.5.3 Did NEW CHRISTIANS merge with French Catholics? 118
3.5.4 Non-Iberian Jews in southwestern France 121
3.6 The Americas 123
3.6.1 Dutch colonies 123
3.6.2 British colonies and the United States 125
3.6.3 French and Danish colonies 127
3.7 Surnames of “Portuguese” Jews as a tool for analyzing major aspects of their history 127
3.7.1 Reductionist approaches 127
3.7.2 Non-reductionist approach 131
3.7.3 Non-Jewish ancestry 132
3.7.4 Memory about the Jewish ancestry 135
3.7.5 Difference between Jewish converts in Spain and Portugal 145
3.7.6 Gradual change of the “Portuguese” character of communities 146

CHAPTER 4. VARIANTS OF SURNAMES 149
4.1 Graphic variants 149
4.1.1 Same letters used 149
4.1.2 Diacritics 149
4.1.3 Alternative letters for the same sounds 150
4.2 Variants related to change of language 153
4.2.1 Adapted variants 153
4.2.2 Semantic variants 153
4.2.3 Translated variants (calques) 154
4.2.4 Latin and Latinized forms 155
4.2.5 Hebrew calques and spellings 156
4.3 Phonetic variants 158
4.4 Morphological variants 159
4.4.1 Definition 159
4.4.2 Grammatical variants 159
4.4.3 Forms with or without prepositions 162
4.4.3 Other morphological variants 163

CHAPTER 5. TYPES OF SURNAMES 165
5.1 General characteristics 165
5.1.1 Classification 165
5.1.2 Statistical data 169
5.2 Particular types 171
5.2.1 Surnames indicating Jewish castes 171
5.2.2 Surnames derived from toponyms 173
5.2.3 Surnames derived from given names 175
5.2.4 Migrated surnames 177
5.2.5 Surnames from another local Jewish group 179

CHAPTER 6. LANGUAGES OF SURNAMES 180
6.1 General characteristics 180
6.1.1 Statistical data 180
6.1.2 Dynamics of distribution by language 184
6.2 Particular languages 184
6.2.1 Idioms of France 184
6.2.2 Idioms of Italy 188
6.2.3 Hebrew and Aramaic 193

APPENDIX A. FREQUENCY OF SURNAMES 195

APPENDIX B. DYNAMICS OF SURNAMES IN SOUTHERN FRANCE 198
B.1 Tarascon 198
B.2 Carpentras 200

INDEX TO SURNAMES MENTIONED IN THE INTRODUCTORY PORTION 206

GLOSSARY 207

BIBLIOGRAPHY 209
Works cited 209
Principal sources for surnames 230

HOW TO USE THE DICTIONARY 236
Surnames present inside of the same entry 236
General structure of an entry 237
Base form 238
Reference section 239
Area 239
Spelling(s) 240
Period 240
Additional information 241
Sources 241
Group section 241
Etymology section 242
Type 242
Structure for migrated surnames 243
Structure for restored Iberian Jewish surnames 243
Structure for Iberian Catholic Jewish surnames 244
Structure for surnames derived from toponyms 244
Structure for surnames derived from given names 245
Structure for other types 245
Non-retained etymology section 246
Variant section 247
Surname combination(s) section 248
What to do if you cannot find your surname listed 248

DICTIONARY OF JEWISH SURNAMES FROM ITALY, FRANCE, AND “PORTUGUESE” COMMUNITIES 249

INDEX OF SURNAMES IN THE DICTIONARY PORTION SPELLED IN LATIN CHARACTERS 797
Index of Hebrew spellings in the Dictionary portion 854


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