- Beste Bernarda,
Thanks for responding. Actually I correspond with Michel Dalstra.
I strongly suspect Hieronymy/Jeronimus (HBD) and his father were Jewish.
Although HBD obviously wasn't too concerned about being Jewish because he
married Liefke. I don't think he could have been Lutheran or Reformed. If he
wasn't Jewish, he would be a Catholic. Polish nationalism is strongly
connected with Catholicism. Plus if he had been Reformed or from any other
denominations, there would have been church records for them and HBD's
children. The lack of birth, marriage, and death records for HBD's father and
mother fits nicely with what Lieko Helmus mentioned. In reality HBD's
children probably weren't practicing members of any religion.
It was extremely common for Jews to use patronymic and even metronymic names,
particularly Eastern European Jews. Most European Jews used patronymic names
until they were required by law to take an official surname. In the case of
Austrian and German Jews, even when they took a legal surname, they often
changed the spelling of a patronymic name into a non-patronymic surname that
looked or sounded similar (Horst Naumann's 'Das Grosse Buch der Familiennamen
A Polish friend of mine who is a historian strongly felt that the surname
Dopkewitz is a version of Dobkiewicz (-wicz means 'son of'). Dobkiewicz is a
patronymic name for Dobk- (the short version of Dobrislav or Dobrgniew, Dobr-
means 'good', -slav means 'glory, praise'). You are correct that there is a
possibility that it's an origin/place name from Dobkowice, Dabkowice etc. In
this case, Dobko-wice, dabko-wice, Dapko-wice all mean 'place of the oak(s)'.
I have seen Poles with the surname Dobkowitz which clearly is an origin name
from the town of Dobkowice, Dabkowice etc. You are also correct Balthemewitz
does mean 'son of Bartholomeus'. Bartholomeus in turn is an Aramaic name,
i.e., Hebrew, meaning 'son of Tomali'. Both of Jeronimus's first and middle
names are Aramaic/Hebrew.
Poeske is an interesting name. I don't have a clue what Poeske could mean,
other than it's the diminutive or short form for something. Perhaps someone
What I meant to say in regard to Surgeon's, was that it was not uncommon for
a Jew to become a Surgeon (as the history of medicine and surgery show). Not
that Surgeon's are predominantly Jewish.
Taking into consideration the following:
1) Immigrated from Poland during the 1600s (persecution of Jews in Poland).
2) Dopkewitz is possibly a patronymic name (Baltemewitz too).
3) Hieronymy is Aramaic name, i.e. Biblical/Hebrew.
4) Barthomaleus is Aramaic, i.e. Biblical/Hebrew, for 'son of Tomali'.
5) Not uncommon for Jews to be Surgeons.
6) Hieronymy's son's weren't baptized/christened.
7) No records for HBD or his father (Jews usually didn't record vital data
with local officials, usually only at their local synagogue.
8) Supposedly there was a Jewish congregation in Franekar in the 1600's (also
one near Beesterzwaag but at a later date).
Does anyone else know anything else about Jews in Friesland?
By the way, I know you have some German in your family. If you are interested
I own Horst Naumann's 'Das Grosse Buch der Familiennamen, Alter, Herkunft,
Bedeutung'. Feel free to inquire about your German surnames (including Baltic
Please forgive that I don't speak Nederlands or Frysk.
Have a nice weekend,