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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Finding out if a surname is Jewish

Cindy asked
My maiden name is Martz and I have been trying to find out if that name is Jewish. Could you help me with that please?

OLIVE TREE ANSWER: Dear Cindy. I don't suggest trying to determine if a name is Jewish without actually tracing the family back in time. In other words, follow established genealogy research methods by starting with yourself and continuing back through each generation.

Along the way, at some point you should find evidence of Jewish background IF it exists! For instance in a census you may find a notation that the family is Jewish. Or you may find it in a marriage, death or birth record.

Just start searching and see what turns up!

1 comment:

  1. How true! I have MINK ancestors and have found many Jewish MINKs but mine are Swedish and chose MINK as an alias for the Patronymic Palsson name.

    My maiden name is MYERS and MYERS or MEYERS can often be Jewish but my ancestors are Pennsylvania Germans. MYERS has many ethnicities.

    I also serve as administrator for the MILLER surname message board and mailing list at RootsWeb and MILLER is another surname with many origins.