​​The Jewish Families of Ostropol
 Researching  Jewish Families in the territories of the Russian Empire and in the small Ukrainian town of Ostropol

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Ostropol Genealogical Sketches and Namesake Chains
Nov 2018 - How I lost the Baal Shem Tov in the Ostropol 1834 Revision List (Zabarka family)

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​​ Quarterly Column - Genealogical Sketches of Ostropol ​​ and Namesake Chains
Column 2 March 2019
Namesake Chains in Ostropol (The Friedman, Leifer, Zabarka Families)
by Deborah G. Glassman, copyright 2019
This page on Namesake Chains is kind of a a self indulgence, but they are fun to construct. You start with someone whose Hebrew name is known and work backwards to the person for whom they were named. 
Namesake Chains are most easily built around combination given-names aka double names. Avrum Itzik / Avraham Yitzhak  is easier to trace than Avraham or Yitzhak. Srul Ber / Yisrael Ber or Yisrael Dov is easier to trace as a combo,  than either name separately. Often when you start tracing what had appeared in America or other land of settlement to be a single name, you find that it had been a double name in the past. If a baby was named with a double name in Russia, then the person they were named for had both parts of that name as well. The exceptions were for those whose  second name was a “warding name” like Khaim or Khaya which meant “life,” or  the names Alter or Zeidel for a boy and Alta or Baba for a girl. Those last two warding nicknames meant Old Man and Grandfather or Old Woman and Grandmother, respectively. You can’t tell looking at the names Khaim and Khaya if the person named for also had those names, or if they were added afterwards to make the name “safe to give a child.”

Russian Jews, in all of the countries in which they settled, generally named for just one person before 1920. That name-honoree was deceased, and an adult who had probably had children. There was also a naming pattern that often can be seen. Custom gave the prerogative of naming a first son and a first daughter to the father, and a second daughter and second son to the mother. If the father had already named a child and then his own father died, that paternal deceased grandfather took precedence. The mother had to wait until the next child to use the name she wanted.

I would like to add new families whose Namesake Chains can be traced, and I need your help to do so. But this first list is of Friedmans and Zabarkas, who were my own relatives in Ostropol.

Namesake Chain Number One
My great-grandmother born in Ostropol was named Ratzi (Friedman) Solomon (1870-1956). She was named for her paternal great-grandmother Ratzi (unknown) Fridman who had been married to Gedaliah “Yos Gedaliah” Avrumovich Fridman of Ostropol, whose dates are given as about 1805/1810- died c.1868/1870 by the family. I have not yet found her in a record. Dead end for now, but the records of people of Guild Merchant Status are becoming more available, and their may be travel records in her own name, as the status applied to the rights of females also. Coming down towards today, I do know people who were named for my great-grandmother Ratzi including a first cousin of mine. To protect folks’ privacy I don’t go down to living people. However, if Ratzi Friedman Solomon had died three weeks before she did in January 1956, I would have been named for her, rather than for my mother’s grandmother.

Namesake Chain Number Two
I was going to track out my great-great-grandfather born in Ostropol who was named Abraham David “Avrum Duvid” Friedman (1852-1931). He and the entire family, knew exactly for whom he had been named,  his maternal grandfather,  and we found that namesake ancestor  in the Ostropol Revision List of 1834. It was Avrum Duvid Zabarka (born 1806 according to the 1834 Revision List, died according to family report in 1840). My 2GGfather had at least four first cousins named for this same ancestor who had been  murdered by a petty official around 1840. One shared, not only the name combination name Avrum-Duvid and the surname Zabarka, but the fate of their common grandfather, when murdered as an old man in the Holocaust in Ostropol. But I wanted to do a namesake chain where I had three generations of folks in Ostropol and the lines don’t march  smoothly back to the first Avrum Duvid Zabarka’s  namesake ancestor. Instead of finding an ancestor with the double name Avrum Duvid, I found a contemporary, just four years younger than my ancestor, with the same given names Avrum-Duvid Khariton. I think it probable that both were named for the same person, but the name does not appear among my 4GGFather’s paternal ancestors, three generations of which are named in the 1834 Revision List, with Avrum Duvid’s great-grandfather having been born by 1712 and having died by 1764.  I can certainly imagine that Avrum Duvid Zabarka’s  mother Zlata Sura, and Avrum Duvid Khariton’s father Moshko Peysakhovich Khariton, were sister and brother and that each named a child for the same ancestor. But even here, if they were naming their babies for a shared predecessor, it was not for a close paternal ancestor. Peysakh Khariton lived past 1816 and so even though he was dead, he was reported in the 1834 Revision List with his father’s name, which was Leyb. Maybe as the 1816 Revision List becomes available for this family or for the whole community, we will be able to see a marriage between the Kharitons and the Zabarkas.

Namesake Chain Number Three
Louis “Mordekhai Leib” Zabar of New York’s “Zabar’s Deli” fame (1900 Ostropol -1950 New York City) entered the US as Mordche Zabarka. He was named for his paternal grandfather Leib “Mordekhai Leib”  Zabarka (born 1828 Ostropol –died c.1895 Miropol), the eldest child of my 4GGParent Avrum Duvid Zabarka, named in the previous paragraph. That Avrum Duvid Zabarka, had been just twelve when his paternal grandfather Mordechai Zabarka (1764-1818) died,  and so Avrum Duvid had to wait ten more years to name for that grandfather. But the children named for  Louis Zabar, founder of a New York landmark can trace this combination name’s name-chain for more than two centuries.

Namesake Chain Number Four
My grandfather’s sister Beatrice “Tauba Baila” (Solomon) Levin, was named for her  mother Ratzi Friedman Solomon's  paternal grandmother Bella “Tauba Baila” (Zabarka) Friedman (1833-1897). Beatrice shared her double Hebrew name with First Cousins and with  Second Cousins – all of whom were named for Beatrice’s great-grandmother Bella. One of my daughters is in turn, partially named for Beatrice. The Bella Zabarka born in 1833, also shared her double name of Tauba Baila with younger cousins, who were nevertheless, NOT NAMED FOR HER, because they were all living at the same time. Who were these women named for?  We also see the name Tauba Baila on one of the surviving stones of the Ostropol cemetery as daughter of Yitzhak Dov. That stone pre-dates Bella Zabarka Friedman’s own death. But we don’t know who either Bella “Tauba Baila” dtr of Avrum Duvid Zabarka  or the woman with the stone Tauba Baila dtr of Yitzhak Dov  [Kaufman?] were named for.

Namesake Chain Number Five
Gedaliah Fridman (1873 -1953) was the brother to my great-grandmother Ratzi (Friedman) Solomon.  Gedaliah and his first cousin Jacob “Gedaliah” Leifer (1885-1966) were named for their shared grandfather Gedaliah “Yosef Gedaliah” Avrumovich Fridman of Ostropol (c1805/1810 –died c.1868-70). I did not know that their namesake grandfather had a double name until 2019 although I have been researching the family since 1972. But the senior Gedaliah is referenced in the patronym of his son in a Voter’s list as Yosef. Russian records about Jews,  use the first name in a double name, when only one is used. The Jewish community used the second given name in a double name when only one is used. Light dawned. It explained why one son and one daughter of the elder man had named  sons Gedaliah and another very traditional son and daughter had not. The families that did not have Gedaliahs were reported as having oldest sons named Yosef, neither of whom had lived to emigrate or to provide additional records outside of Russia. Gedaliah Friedman whose years were c.1805/1810- c1870 was of the hereditary tax status, Guild Merchant or “Kupetz.” There are no Guild Merchants in the 1834 Revision List reported with the double name Yos Gedaliah. There are no Guild Merchants in that list reported with the given name Gedaliah. There is only one possible Yos, who is the right age, born in 1810, and his father was named Avrum. But the last name is not Friedman but Rudshteyn (Rutstein). We know that there were  some significant surname changes in Ostropol between 1834 and 1850s but  we have no evidence currently tying Rudshteyn to Fridman. This is so far, just speculation based on the very useful information of the namesake chain.

Individuals on this page:
Friedman, Avrum Duvid; Friedman, Bella (Zabarka); Fridman, Gedaliah Avrum-Duvidovich; Fridman, Gedaliah “Yos Gedaliah”; Friedman, Ratzi; Khariton, Avrum Duvid; Khariton, Moshko Peysakhovich; Khariton, Peysakh Leybovich; Leifer, Jacob “Gedaliah”;  Levin, Beatrice (Solomon);  Solomon, Ratzi (Friedman); Rudshteyn, Yos Avrumovich born 1810 guild merchant; Tauba Baila bat Yitzhak Dov NO PROVEN SURNAME;  Zabar, Louis;  Zabarka, Avrum Duvid; Zabarka, Avrum David; Zabarka, Bella “Tauba Baila”; Zabarka, Leib “Mordekhai Leib”; Zabarka, Mrs Zlata Sura;

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Write to Deborah Glassman  with any questions about Ostropol research or your family in Ostropol or Volhynia.  I have added dozens of  new articles and new lists about the Jews of Ostropol. Please come back frequently to see the new additions, the new quarterly columns, and artifacts and info! You can use this form, like all of the forms on this website, to tell me what information you would like to order, or what questions or feedback you have.  ​​

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