What's in a Surname: The History of Surnames and How They Help in Family History Research

Alejandro T. Rubinstein
Feb 26, 2019
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Speaker's Introduction
1m 06s
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11m 53s
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Main Sources
6m 44s
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The First Surnames
21m 39s
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Place Names
3m 30s
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Occupational Names
14m 16s
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Announcements / prizes
2m 46s
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Questions / answers
20m 17s

About this webinar

Discover the top 10 surnames, their meaning, idiomatic structure, cognates, and geographical frequency. The list comprises the following surnames: Smith, Jones, Williams, Taylor, Davies, Brown, Wilson, Evans, Thomas, and Johnson.

About the speaker

About the speaker

Born in Mexico City in 1957, (Attorney at Law). He has taught various disciplines related to Law, Finance, Judaic Values, Jewish Historical Geography and Genealogy. Researcher of topics related to Jewish genealogy and onomastics since 1995, he h
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  1. Legacy Family Tree
    5 years ago

    A wonderful topic presented by an excellent speaker. So well organized. Excellent Slides. So knowledgeable. Did not hesitate to answer any question. Would love to hear more from this presenter. Thank you so much for this informative and interesting webinar.

    Alejandro’s knowledge of surnames is amazing.

    Best part was when Alejandro explained meaning of specific surnames that people asked about.

    Bit of an echo (even with my headphones on) so understanding names was a bit difficult. Would have been better if the names discussed had been shown on the screen. Otherwise, AMAZING!

    Enjoyed the presentation and the answers to individual’s questions.

    Thank you.

    Todah Rabah

    Excellent presentation,

    Learned a lot, Thank you

    Excellent topic, presenter and moderator! A well-spent hour and a half! Thank you.

    Excellent. Loved this presentation! So much history.

    Fascinating, like spelling: knowledge of the root, prefix and suffix is a good aid.


    Great topic and interesting discussion; I learned so much!

    Great webinar will have to rewatch it, as missed the start. But it was Fantastic, with lots to learn and understand.


    He was very knowledgeable and the lecture was very information dense, particularly at the beginning.

    He was VERY knowledgeable!

    He was very very knowledgeable.

    I found it to be extremely interesting.

    I learned many new things about the choice and formation of surnames. I was intrigued about the connection between surnames and location. Lots to think about. I loved that additional resources were provided for further research. Thanks.

    I love the webinars they are fantastic. Always learning!

    I will also enjoy the class with the closed captioning. thanks

    I will replay this very interesting webinar to get more info on surnames.

    I would have liked to spend more time interrupting surnames . That was interesting. Also, next time maybe specialize on one topic, such as toponymics. Thank you very knowledge man and presentation.

    I’m just a beginner, and my surnames – so far – are all straight-forward UK ones.

    I’m sorry I missed the beginning, but it is more than worth going back to the replay.

    Interesting to hear about surnames and how we got them.

    Interesting webinar. Thanks!

    Learned a lot about how the surnames were developed.

    Lot of information packed into such a short time.

    My first contact with this kind of information, so much of the terminology was brand new. Had to listen closely, but found the information fascinating.

    I enjoyed the presentation very well.

    Outstanding! Thanks!

    Interesting material to use in my research.

    content was very interesting.

    thank you

    Thank you for answering my question. It was helpful.

    This merits another session – follow up 102. It would also be interesting if Alejandro would start with the audience providing names and working those names

    into his outline of sources of names. Thank you for this session.

    Trying to search paternal side of family. This was a great help, I now have others ways of looking up names

    Very informative, the speaker has a vast knowledge on the subject of surnames.

    Very interesting. Rubinstein is very knowledgeable on the subject of surnames.

    Very knowledgeable but could have used a few more slides to illustrate the points he was making! Excellent response to questions.

    Very knowledgeable lecturer with an extremely valuable topic.

    What an amazing mastering of the topic! Kudos to Alejandro.


    Would love to see a follow up webinar with the same speaker. This topic was fascinating and will prove to be very useful. Thank you

    WOW…. I had no idea about where surnames originated. Fascinating webinar! ??