Mordecai and Marcus

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Secret Alias
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Mordecai and Marcus

Post by Secret Alias »

I have been studying Jews in the 17th and 18th century and have noticed a pattern where people with the name 'Mordecai' (מרדכי‏) changed their name to Mark (Marcus). Anyone who's last name is Marx has had ancestors who made this change. I have an ancestor whose gravestone reads "Moses (משה בר מרדכי‏) Marx" essentially. What I find curious of course is that the Samaritans interchanged Mark and Moses because of gematria. What is the underlying relationship between Mordecai and Marcus? They don't really sound the same. There are some similar letters but the similarity is not exact. Seems to have taken place in large numbers in the late eighteenth century.
StephenGoranson
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Re: Mordecai and Marcus

Post by StephenGoranson »

Maybe there was also the option of Marcuse (maybe like Herbert Marcuse?)? If they were in Italy Marcus may be more of an assimilation (to Latin)?
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Secret Alias
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Re: Mordecai and Marcus

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Sure it's possible even likely. What I find odd is the frequency of Marx for Mordecai and no others. I saw it suggested somewhere that granting of citizenship using 'Marcus Aurelius' was the model in the Rhineland. But I forget where I came across this. It seems to coincide with Napoleon. Even saw 'Napoleon' in related birth certificates as 'middle names.' Just a curious phenomenon.

In general Jews had their own naming conventions - X son of Y and then the European family name convention eventually gets established but where a given name of the 'head of the family' eventually comes to define the lineage henceforth. It's tied with European assimilation (and thus Napoleon) but done in a very curious and haphazard manner.
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Secret Alias
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Re: Mordecai and Marcus

Post by Secret Alias »

Here's an early pre-Napoleonic one from France or Lorraine:

Le 2 septembre 1766, Marcks Moyse, Juif demeurant à « Montloch », et sa femme Sarah Israël reconnaissent devoir 300 livres (dont 215 livres pour le prix de deux chevaux et deux vaches et 85 livres en argent comptant) à Samuel Cahen de Kédange. Ils promettent de rembourser ces sommes d ici la Saint-Martin (novembre). Max Moïse signe en hébreu : « Mordekhai, fils de Moshe de mémoire bénie, Mundlich ». (Notariat de Metzervisse). Marx Moyse, père d Israël Marx a donc dû quitter Monneren pour Montenach entre 1763 et 1766.
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