Re: GAYER and WAGMAN, a "profitable" romance
- From: MBernet@xxxxxxx
- Date: 15 May 2008 08:19:31 -0700
Come to the
28th IAJGS International Conference
on Jewish Genealogy
Chicago August 17-22, 2008 www.chicago2008.org
<< have no idea of the meaning of the name. However, there is a GAYER family
part of my WAGMAN family. Oren-Leib GAYER was born and died in Poland; he is
buried in Ludmir. I have no dates, but Oren-Leib married Sheva WAGMAN in 1899 in
==That's interesting. Many surnames were derived from trades and professions. A
Medinegeher was a man who wandered the countryside, to sell goods, to buy scraps,
or to earn a living from acting as deal maker: horses, cattle, houses, stores,
bones or hides, in essence a walking small-ads page. That was sometimes
abbreviated as a Geher/Geyer, whence the name.
Professions ran in families. The least of jobs and the least of assets were
treasured and handed down to sons for generation after generation, or to
sons-in-law. Oren Leib's families may have had the name because they were
Medinegeyers, leaving home before dawn on Sunday or Monday, returning home Friday
afternoon, just in time for Shabbat, often during the week sleeping under a hedge.
The Wagmans probably owned a cart (Wagen = waggon), or rented one, and did their
wandering with a cart. Obviously quite a cut, socially and economically. above a
simple Geher/Geyer. How lucky the peddler-groom to meet such a well-to-do daughter
of the waggoner's family. Obviously he would have impressed his future
father-in-law with his charms or skills or piety. Perhaps his family had advanced
over the generations and young Mr. Gayer was already making enough to rent a cart
from Mr. Wagman. (Perhaps, also, Wagman was an official weighmaster).
Most likely, none of this is true. Perhaps further research in half a dozen
languages may confirm my guess, probably not. For me, one of the joys in genealogy
is exploring how my ancestors may have lived, putting clues together, getting a
sense of how they lived and interacted. If I can visit the old home or school or
synagogue, walk around what's left of the old village, visit a local museum, bring
home photocopies and a zillion digital images, read whatever I can on the times
and thr region, I'll come away with a fulfilling sense of pride, concern,
admiration: these were my folk and this is how they lived.
That's love. Thry come alive for me after 200 years. Yes, these are my folk. I
have restored their memory, I sense their gratitude and admiration.
That's why I find genealogy so adictive.
Michael Bernet, New York
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