Jewish Genealogy Series: Given Names, Here and There

By Rachel Silverman Author’s Note: This series focuses on Jewish genealogy in Eastern Europe and North America, and is intended to offer advice for researching families of Ashkenazi heritage. The information provided will not necessarily apply to Sephardi or Mizrahi genealogy. If you’ve read my blog post about the finer points of wildcard searching, then…

Why Do Spanish Ancestors Have so Many Last Names?

By Nydia Hanna The surnames in Spanish families are tied to traditions of land, wealth, social status and religion. For a Spanish person, their whole name, including two surnames, correctly identifies them and their parents. This identity is deeply rooted in the histories of their ancestors and the names they carried. Spaniards believe that the…

last names, genealogy

Last Names

By Roccie Hill The Origin of Last Names If you have ever had to search on a genealogical website for someone with only one name (as with many historic tribal cultures), you will know that giving people first and last names was a huge step forward.  Last names, or surnames/family names, are universal today, but…