Unusual middle name "Schewa"?


I have here an entry in a Jewish birth registry from Bohemia with a Johanna Kafka (last one on the left side, entry No. 244) even in two versions: http://www.badatelna.eu/fond/1073/reprodukce/?zaznamId=160&reproId=1408337 and http://www.badatelna.eu/fond/1073/reprodukce/?zaznamId=159&reproId=1408146

Below her name there is a quoted middle name (using the |: … :| quotes which are used in various contexts) which I cannot decipher or seems unusual to me. Is it Schewa? I speak Czech and German and I have never heard of such a name.

Cropped picture of first/middle name

Cropped picture of first/middle name from duplicate


Posted 2020-03-10T20:03:08.683

Reputation: 427

2JewishGen's given names database is giving a 503 error, hence comment rather than answer: it may be her Yiddish name. (Various users of Behind the Name indicate that Schewa is a German Yiddish variant of Shevye, from Hebrew Sheva', compare Elisheva and Batsheva.) – JPmiaou – 2020-03-12T16:14:03.580

After realizing that this is a Jewish baptismal record I also find @JPmiaou's interpretation that it is of Hebrew origin quite plausible. – nebulon42 – 2020-03-12T19:28:45.060

BTW, looks like I came across it being used as a first name: http://www.badatelna.eu/fond/1073/reprodukce/?zaznamId=174&reproId=155548 (first entry on page)

– phk – 2020-03-13T20:03:55.003

@JPmiaou Do you want to write an answer I can accept? – phk – 2020-04-19T17:32:10.397



It seems likely that it's her Yiddish name.

Various users of Behind the Name indicate that Schewa is a German Yiddish variant of Shevye, from Hebrew Sheva', compare Elisheva and Batsheva.

(JewishGen's "Given Names Data Base" is once again giving a 503 Service Unavailable when I try to search it, but in the brief window when it was working, it failed to cough up anything for "Schewa", so Behind the Name it is.)


Posted 2020-03-10T20:03:08.683

Reputation: 920


This may be a family's "dit" name or "Beiname", an aka ("also known as"). I've seen such surnames put between the pipe and colon pairs. There are other instances of the practise on the linked record images.

Doubled surnames are often found where multiple families with the same surname need to be distinguished. These names sometimes evolve over generations, splitting further or switching positions, so keeping track of them is important.


Posted 2020-03-10T20:03:08.683

Reputation: 7 701

Sounds plausible but I guess it does not apply in this case. Two pages prior you got e.g. "Lea" which again sounds more like a middle or nick name. Also it wasn't used for her siblings from what I've seen, e.g.: http://www.badatelna.eu/fond/1073/reprodukce/?zaznamId=159&reproId=1408148 http://www.badatelna.eu/fond/1073/reprodukce/?zaznamId=160&reproId=1408339 (entry 258)

– phk – 2020-03-11T18:02:29.730