BENEDICT


Jacob married Pepi, daughter of Löbl, and had at least one son, Jacob (1747)1, who adopted the surname BENEDICT2 in Lichtenstadt.


Research Notes

1. In the Familiant record, Jacob Benedict's father's name is recorded as also being Jacob. Since Ashkenazi Jews were not named after living relatives, the typical reason for such an occurence is that the father died during the pregnancy of the son, who was then named for the recently deceased father. However, while this did occasionally occur, it was not common and suggests that there may be another possible explanation for the duplicate names. My hypothesis is that the father had the name Jacob but that his son had a different birth name, likely Veith, and then assumed his father's name later, after the father had died.
    A possible example of this scenario can be seen through the Familiant record of Abraham Schwalb in Lichtenstadt (reproduced on this page). It lists his name as "Abraham sonst Joachim" (Abraham, also known as Joachim) and his father's name as Joachim Jonas. It also records him as having a son named Joachim born in 1797, presumably named after the deceased grandfather. Thus, we may presume that, by 1797, Joachim Jonas was deceased. However, in that same year, in the marriage index, Abraham is listed with the name Joachim Schwalb (this is confirmed by the marriage permission number 624, which matches that shown in the Familiant record). Putting it together, we see that Abraham Schwalb went by his father's name Joachim, during the period in which his father was deceased.
    Jacob Benedict was born about 1747 and his father was probably at least around 25 years old at his birth (on average, if he were the first born). Thus, it is probable that his father, if he was from Lichtenstadt, would show up as a young child in the 1724 census there. Furthermore, since Jacob Benedict was a Familiant (had protection status) in Lichtenstadt, but was born after the Familiant laws had already been in place for some time (since 1726), it is probable that he received his protection status in Lichtenstadt from his father (i.e., that is father was also a Familiant in Lichtenstadt). These two together suggest that Jacob, the father, was probably not only a young child in the 1724 census of Lichtenstadt, but also a son of low birth order (since this was the order for hereditary Familiant status). As a likely candidate, the census lists a Veith Bendet (patronymic), married to Rechele, settled in 1715, and having children: Wolf (8 years old), Jacob (6), Selckel (3), and Rößel (1). This Jacob, 2nd born son, born about 1718, is hypothesized to be Jacob, the older. His son, then, may have been named Veith, after the grandfather, with the later adopted surname Benedict derived from the great-grandfather's given name Bendet.    It must be noted, however, that, at this point, no record has been found that confirms that the younger Jacob went by a different name in earlier times. Two key records which could possibly shed light on this mystery are the marriage permission applications for Jacob's two marriages (not yet found). The later one (1801) might include additional information about Jacob while the earlier one (1768), if confidently identified, could provide the best opportunity to determine whether his birth name was, in fact, Jacob. Since this record was from the pre-surname period, his name would likely be in patronymic form and, in the case that Jacob was actually his birth name, would have the improbable (though not impossible, as previously described) appearance of Jacob Jacob. More likely, the first name would be something else (perhaps Veith) and, thus, provide the desired information.

2. This surname is often spelled "Benedikt" (with a "k" rather than a "c") in Bohemian records. However, the oldest known record for this family in which the surname is listed (the 1793 census record for Jacob Benedict) lists the surname with the spelling "Benedict". The two spellings appear to be interchangeable.

3. Birth records of Jakob's grandchildren (children of Gerschmann "Gerson" Benedikt and Wilhemina), Peppi Benedikt (1834) and Jakob Benedikt (1839), list Gerson's mother as Judith nee Lederer from Lichtenstadt house No. 20. In the Familiant records, Wolf Lederer, son of Joachim and Antonia Moises, is listed for house No. 20. With an estimated birth year of 1750 (he died in 1827 at the age of 77), he appears to be of the same generation as Judith and was likely her brother. Furthermore, the only other Lederer listed in the Familiant records, Eliacim Lederer, is also listed with the same parent names, had an estimated birth year of 1747 (died in 1804 at age 57), and so was likely another sibling.

4. It is unknown if there was a connection between Jacob Benedict, described above, and Herz Benedict, whose family also resided in Lichtenstadt. At this point, it is believed that there was not, since Herz's paternal line can be definitively traced back to Lobositz, while Jacob's paternal line is hypothesized to have gone back further in Lichtenstadt.

Acknowledgments

Many thanks to Paul King for his assistance in researching this family.