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Having A Hard Time Tracing Ancestry? Maybe They Changed Their Name

     A common practice of ancestors who changed their name to assimilate into their new country, was to remove some of the letters of a name, sometimes purposely and sometimes through transcription. For example, one of my own ancestors who went by “Epke” was the son of Jacob Lion. I have found an Ancient Greek male name, “EPIKTETOS” which means newly acquired. If you look carefully, you will see that four of the letters removed, form the name “Epke”. I have no idea if this is what my ancestor intended but it is an excellent example of what many Jews did to their names.

Suellen Ocean is the Author of Secret Genealogy.