The Lewis Family Tree Project


  • To prevent confusion between various parts of a name I have used the following definitions:
    Given and second names are in lower case. e.g. Jacob
    Patronymics and grand patronymics in lower case and in single quotes. (patronymics and grand patronymics separated by a hypnen with a space on either side). e.g. 'Isaac - Abraham'
    Surnames are in uppercase. If the surname is "double barrelled" or "hyphenated" in modern parlance, the two parts are separated by a hyphen but without spaces. e.g. MONTAGUE-SMYTHE
    Spanish and Portuguese Surnames which are "double barrelled" do NOT have a hyphen between the two parts.
    My great, great, grandmother would therefore appear as: Rachel 'Moses - Jacob' PEREIRA MENDOZA
    and my original name would appear as: Lynn 'Abraham - Lewis' ROSEFLOFSKY

  • Women are always recorded with their maiden names and NOT their married names. If their maiden names are unknown the name is left blank. If the name is unknown I sometimes add, as in the case of another second marriage, a title (suffix) "second wife of Abraham ROSELOFSKY (nee....?)". If the married name is used and accepted by other researchers as a maiden name, then that person's parentage becomes untraceable. They would also be erroneously considered as a possible cousin of their spouse.

  • I began recording marriages of our Dutch ancestors using "Trouwem in Mokum - Jewish Marriage in Amsterdam 1598-1811" by Verdooner & Snel. The authors have standardised spellings of both given and family names and I have tried to followed this pattern in the case of old records.
    Ysak, Itzik, Yitzhac are recorded as Isaac.
    Shlomo, Salom, Salomon are recorded as Solomon.
    ALVAREZ, HENRIQUEZ or RODRIGUEZ are recorded as ALVARES, HENRIQUES or RODRIGUES respectively. These surnames are all derived from patronymics, "es" or "ez" added to a given name; e.g. Henrique Alvarez would be the son of Alvaro.

    In the case of more recent records where specific spellings are used these have been recorded as such.
    Sara in the old Dutch records has been recorded as Sarah (pron. Serah in English or Saara in Hebrew) but the record of a Sara in a modern record has been recorded as Sara (pron. Saara).
    Lea in the old Dutch records has been recorded as Leah (pron Leyah in English or Leeah in Hebrew) but the record of a Lea in a modern record has been recorded as Lea (pron. Lee).

    For a full list of spelling variations click here.

  • Given names using transliteration from Hebrew, such as Ribca or Rivkah have been recorded as Rebecca.

  • Patronymics (fathers' given names) are shown in single quotation marks and have been added even when not officially recorded as such. This allows us to distinguish between indiviuals with the same name in the same generation as well as for ease of tracing parentage. It also makes it clear when a man has a middle name which may or may not be the same as his father's first name.
    e.g. Mozes 'Salomon' HARING is the son of Salomon HARING.

  • Due to the numbers of similar names in large families I have started using "grand patronymics".
    e.g. Mozes 'Salomon - Abraham' HARING is the son of Salomon 'Abraham - Isaac' HARING and the grandson of Abraham 'Isaac - Jacob' HARING.

  • In some cases, where a wife's maiden name is unknown, the surname of her husband follows her given name in lower case:
    e.g. _, Ada Lopez-Salzedo is the wife of LOPES SALZEDO, Leslie.

  • The surname prefixes de, der, van, van der, etc. are added after the given name as opposed to before the surname thus avoiding too many names beginning with V or D:
    Esther van der BOKKE is shown as BOKKE, Esther van der.

    While on this point, I've also avoided using "van" "de" or "ben" where it is intended to indicate "son of" as it can be confused with the actual surname. e.g. Hartog van Barend van HOORN
    I prefer to show as Hartog 'Barend' van HOORN
    but for recording in the index this would be HOORN, Hartog 'Barend' van

  • Alternative given names are shown in parentheses:-
    e.g. Sarah (Sally).

  • Nicknames or names used by individuals other than their registered names, have been shown in double quotes:
    e.g. "Tiny" POLAK.

  • I have not generally included obvious diminutives as nicknames nor "also known as" (A.K.A.):-
    Ben = Benjamin
    Bill = William
    Sam = Samuel
    Bob = Robert.

  • I intended showing the parents of brides or grooms of a marriage, even though they are not genetically connected blood relatives, to identify multiple marriages between families. There are several cases of two or more siblings from one family marrying two or more siblings from another. This would add another 15,000 names to the records. However it is a laborious job extracting those names from my data base, a job that would have to be repeated for every update. Anyone wanting further details is welcome to contact me and I'll try to provide any information that I can.


    Many records show a number of surnames for an individual depending on where or how they were used:

    Given name
    Ancestral patronymic
    Occupational surname
    Abbreviated surname
    Tribal surname

    Similarly given names are often shown with a number of variations:
    Solomon / Salomon / Zalman / Shlomo appear to be quite straightforward.
    However the name "Levie / Levy / Levi / Levij / Leib" could be a given name, a surname or a conditional name as a member of the "Tribe of Levy" which is often shown as "a'Levy" or "HaLevy".

NAMING SUMMARY (a complex worst case scenerio).
Given name or forename
Alternative spelling
Second or middle name
Alternative name
Patronimic & grand-patronymic
Surname or family name
Ancestral patronymic
Occupational surname
Abbreviated surname
Tribal surname
'Jacob - Moses'

Abraham Avram Isaac (Alfred) "Curly" 'Jacob - Moses' HARING/ABRAHAMS/VOORZANGER/ROTTERDAM/ R''D LEVIE


    Before the Napoleonic era may Ashkenazi Jewish families did not have official surname. Sometimes they would use a patronymic (their fathers' given name) such as Abraham or Abrahams, a name relating to their trade or profession; Sandler or Schneider (Tailor) or a name indicating their place of origin (toponymic); Regensburg or van Praag. In 1812 the Napoleonic authorities decreed that a given name and a surname was mandatory. Some registered the names that they had been using while others adopted a new name, very often based on the the examples shown above.
    In some cases where, a surname has had to be adopted, unusual names, some of which can be referred to as ornamental names, have been used: Chocoladd, Hond, Pineapple and Morgenstern. Of course, some of these could also be derived from occupations, e.g. maker or seller of chocolate.


    These may appear to be confusing if Spanish convention, as I understand it, is maintained. A child will bear his father's surname followed by his mother's surname.
  • Mozes son of Joseph PEREIRA and Abigail MENDOZA will appear as Mozes PEREIRA MENDOZA.
  • Mozes PEREIRA MENDOZA, should he marry, for example, Sarah LOPES SALZEDO, would record his son's name as Gabriel PEREIRA LOPES or possibly Gabriel PEREIRA SALZEDO .
  • Effectively the surname can change with every generation.
  • In some cases a child would be given the full name of a grandparent. This makes tracing his parents' surnames difficult, even impossible. There are instances where an individual decided to use the name of the more prestigious family.
  • Further to this, it has been pointed out to me that in the Palache Family, there are instances of a husband taking the name of his wife's family, either because it was a more prestigious name or possibly because he did not have a recognised surname. (see family name adoptions).
  • It would appear that when families left Spain and Portugal, in accordance with local laws and conventions in the the rest of Europe. they kept a single continuing surname giving rise to the vast number of LOPES SALZEDO and NUNES NABARRO records.
  • Certain branches of these families elected to drop one or the other of the double barrelled surnames and so simply became either LOPES or SALZEDO, NUNES or NABARRO, PEREIRA or MENDOZA.


    The intoduction to Jewish Marriages in Amsterdam 1598-1811 by Verdooner & Snel gives details of how different names for the same individual were used in their private lives, in business and in the synagogue.


    It is sometimes useful to try to estimate some of the unknown dates in order to keep generations in perspective. Ground rules are that you have at least one factual date from which to work:
  • 1) A man marries at age 25.
  • 2) A woman marries at age 21.
  • 3) Marriage takes place 1 year before the birth of the oldest child.
  • 4) Further children are born every two years thereafter.

    At least two more dates can be therefore be calculated from one of the above.

  • I include the prefix "Est" (estimated) before those dates that I calculate on this basis as opposed to "c" (circa) or "Abt" (about). Continentals use "ca" for "circa" but my programme replaces "c" and "ca" with "cal" (calculated) which is the same as estimated so I avoid using "c".

    "Bef" (before) and "Aft" (after) are also generally acceptable.

  • If on a marriage record one of the parents is recorded as deceased, death can be recorded as "Bef" the marriage date.
  • A child can be assumed to have been born "Aft" the marriage date. Full stops (periods) are not used after these abbreviations.

  • Census dates: In many cases the census gives the ages of individuals in years (except in the case if infants under one year old when their ages are shown in months). Some records show the estimated year of birth e.g. for the 1881 U.K. census the age may be shown as 10 years followed by <1871>. I have used the same system by adding the estimated year of birth even where it has not been shown on the record. There may be an error of minus one year - if the census takes place in April 1881 and the age is given as 10 years, the individual could have been born between April 1870 and April 1871.

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