Patronymic Naming and Cemetery Records - Their Importance in Jewish Genealogy

  • Speaker: Nolan Altman
  • Lecture Date: 03-20-2022


Headstone inscriptions provide one of the most important tools for those researching their Jewish genealogical history, patronymic naming. This presentation will familiarize attendees with the evolution of family surnames and the practice of patronymic naming. Recognizing the components of patronymic naming, participants will learn how to take advantage of these clues to link their family through generations.  Nolan will go through an actual case study using headstone inscriptions and will show participants online resources to help find headstone information worldwide.

The next part of the presentation will show examples of headstones and what one will find if one takes a trip to the cemetery. Nolan will explain the meaning of symbols found on stones. He will explain how to understand the inscriptions, even if one can’t read Hebrew. He will also show many examples of inscription trends, some odd inscriptions, and errors in inscriptions…even well-known ones. With a presentation on cemetery records, you wouldn’t expect to leave laughing, but Nolan guarantees you will.

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