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Sat May 26, 2018, 02:59 PM

Please help me with this imponderable.

I'm trying to find any records of my paternal grandfather who was born in Panevezys, Kaunas, Lithuania, a small town.

His birth (non-Hebrew) name was Vulf Kez. The records say he was born in March 20, 1877.

Here's my question: two other Vulf Kezes were also born in that small village, one on May 24 and December 7, 1877 the same year.

Why on Earth would you name three different boys the same first and last names in a small town in Lithuania? I doubt it was because they were called by their middle names. What were the parents thinking? And I would guess that the parents were all related (let's say three brothers). Who does that???

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply Please help me with this imponderable. (Original post)
no_hypocrisy May 2018 OP
shraby May 2018 #1
hlthe2b May 2018 #2
cyclonefence May 2018 #3
drray23 May 2018 #4
no_hypocrisy May 2018 #5
catrose May 2018 #6
saidsimplesimon May 2018 #7
left-of-center2012 May 2018 #8
no_hypocrisy May 2018 #10
GeoWilliam750 May 2018 #9
dflprincess May 2018 #11
wishstar Jun 2018 #12

Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sat May 26, 2018, 03:03 PM

1. Three different sets of parents liked the name?

Or maybe they were honoring a family member who had recently died.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sat May 26, 2018, 03:04 PM

2. Why would George Foreman name five of his sons, George? n/t

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sat May 26, 2018, 03:22 PM

3. Was there a local celebrity

they might be honoring? I mean with the Vulf, not the Kezes. Is Vulf a common Lithuanian name, like the variants of "John" or "Mary?"
My husband's grandmother was from Lithuania. Her name was Emma Dunder, just in case we're related.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sat May 26, 2018, 03:29 PM

4. Maybe a stupid question but

In old records (at least in france) , there would be records for birth and also baptism. It could be the same person. I assume you checked that.


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Response to drray23 (Reply #4)

Sat May 26, 2018, 03:39 PM

5. Two different sources show three different sets of parents.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sat May 26, 2018, 03:58 PM

6. Because you mentioned it wasn't his Hebrew name

Iím thinking Vulf would be a common and beloved deceased family member, in accordance with Jewish tradition.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sat May 26, 2018, 04:06 PM

7. Orthodox Catholics,

do they keep records, like the Romans? If so, this is a no brainer, imho. Good fortune in your quest

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sat May 26, 2018, 05:53 PM

8. To clarify for me ...

Vulf is the first name,
Kezes is the family name?

I have a cousin with the exact same name I have.
We were named for a relative who lived about a 100 years previous to us.

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Reply #8)

Sat May 26, 2018, 07:55 PM

10. Kez is the last name.

My g/f's Hebrew name was Velvel (for Wolf).

Maybe the families called the Vulf kids by their Hebrew names so nobody got mixed up.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sat May 26, 2018, 06:53 PM

9. Often in 19th century Europe and before

There was - to modern eyes - astonishingly little variety of names, and sometimes it seemed that there was only about 10 given names from which to choose, and only a handful of last names. Thus, as a genealogist, one thinks, "Hooray!, an unusual name that will make it much easier to research", only to find that every family had six sons, and everyone named their sons the same things for five generations, and never left the small town. Sometimes it is also amazing how closely related one can be to oneself....

My guess in this case is that there were three brothers, all sons of a man named Vulf. If, as you seem to suggest, this is an Ashkenazi family, typically children are/were not named for a living relative, and that the three brothers all named their next born son after their father. A prominent - and long lived - grandfather would also be a possibility.

There is a family tree on Ancestry.com that suggests exactly this, with Grandfather Vulf dying in 1875. Anyway, even if this is somewhat different, it gives an interesting indication of who your paternal grandfather's grandfather might have been.

I am a bit surprised that there are any records at all given the upheaval in that area over the last 150 years.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sun May 27, 2018, 10:01 PM

11. One set of my great-great grandparents had 12 children

Three of the boys, Joe, Jim, and John each had 8-12 kids each. And each had a daughter named Elizabeth (just to add to the confursion, they also had a sister named Elizabeth and John married an Elizabeth) and each had a sons named James and Joseph. This resulted in the cousins being known as Lizzie-Joe, Lizzie-Jim, and Lizzie-John; same for the boys Jimmy-Joe, Jimmy-John, Jimmy-Jim (seriously, at least it wasn't his legal name), etc.

Some of the sisters of Joe, Jim, and John also had Elizabeths, Jims, Joes & Johns but at least those kids all had different last names and they showed more variety with the girls' names (though Lucy was also very popular).

By the time my great-great grandfather died, he had 65 grandchildren. That's a lot of kids to name, but you'd think they could have been a bit more original rather than using the same names again and again.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sat Jun 2, 2018, 09:08 PM

12. My Italian ancestors used same names repeatedly and if a child died young, next child got same name

In my research of Italian records, I found not only cousins with same names but in several generations in my grandparents' families they gave two brothers the same name when one died at a very young age and next boy was given that name again.

They loved the name Maria so much that my Grandpa's 5 sisters all have the first name of Maria with a different middle name, and all of Grandpa's many female cousins were also named Maria. After they came to America, they all used their middle name rather than Maria.

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