General comment about given and family names used in the Mielec Family Tree:
Due to the many, many ways that people spelled names over the years, I use a method where anyone born before WWII (and sometimes after) is recorded with their “standard/most common Hebrew names”. It makes it a LOT easier to match people whose names could be spelled many different ways.
So what do I mean by “standard/most common Hebrew names”? For the most part, I use the reference guides by Dr. Alexander Beider:
- For given names, I generally use Handbook of Ashkenazic Given Names and Their Variants (Avotaynu, 2009)
- For family names, I generally use A Dictionary Of Jewish Surnames From Galicia (Avotaynu, 2004)
However I have taken some liberties in modifying the listings in Beider’s books based on 20+ years of researching Jews from Mielec.
For given names, I put what Beider generally considers the standard Hebrew name first, then followed by all spellings found in parentheses. For example, if a person’s name was “Anna”, I record this as “Chana (Anna)” because “Chana” is the standard Hebrew name for Anna. If the standard Hebrew name is not clear, I will put a question mark like this: “Esther? (Etel)”. I do not do this generally for people born after 1945 .
For family names, I always list the family name from birth, and use the most common spelling found in the Mielec powiat. If the family spelled it differently, I put it in an “Alias/AKA” category. For example, the family name “FISCH” is used for all names with similar spellings such as “FISH”, “FISCHMAN”, “FISHER”. “FISCHER”, etc…
Sometimes I am wrong and have grouped names together that are different. It is not a perfect science. And it is quite possible that you will disagree with what I use for “standard/most common Hebrew names”. I can only say that this is only used to manage a massive 15,000+ person family tree and not to disrespect any particular spelling of a family’s name.