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ViewMate Posting VM 52183

Submitted by Robyn Dryen

Information Picture Question
Category: Translation - Yiddish
Approval Date: 12/4/2016 6:22 PM
Family Surname: SOLOMONS
Country: Australia
Town: Sydney
Date of Image: 1823
Click the picture to enlarge

These signatures appear on a legal document in Australia in 1823. The man went by the name of Solomon SOLOMONS in Australia. I am wondering if this signature gives any clues as to his original name.
Is it Yiddish or Hebrew lettering?

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On  Response 
12/6/2016 3:42 AM Some of it resembles Hebrew letters but I'm not sure they make up a comprehensible name. I can't make the one on the right (which is the beginning of the name), and the third from the right could be either one letter, "he", (for H) or "resh" and "samech" together, (for R and S). But I'm almost sure that the second from the right is a "shin" (for SH) and the ending (on the left), seems to be "kof" (for K) and "samech" (for S), therefore you have Something-sh-something-ks.
12/6/2016 5:21 AM Wasn't Solomon Solomons a convict sent from England to Australia? I seem to remember his name from somewhere (I'm Australian).

In any event, the letters here are not correctly written Hebrew letters (Yiddish uses Hebrew letters). Perhaps he learned a little Hebrew when he was young and was trying here to write his Hebrew signature out of a very vague memory.

Solomon in Hebrew would be written as סולומון or translated back to Shlomo, written שלמה. (If the Hebrew I wrote here comes out as gibberish, use an online translation tool to see Shlomo in Hebrew letters.) The second letter from the right may be an attempt to write the Hebrew letter shin, but if he was writing Shlomo in Hebrew shin would be the first letter, not the second one. Hard to say if this is really an attempt to write his name in Hebrew.

But there is also another question: Why would he sign in Hebrew and not in English on a legal document in Australia? Are you sure this is even an attempt at Hebrew/Yiddish? The clumsy characters that are unrecognizable as letters with large spaces between them suggest that maybe he wasn't literate at all in Hebrew or English, and was simply rendering some rough characters that he had learned.

Hope that helps, and sorry I can't be more definitive!

12/6/2016 7:40 AM it would seem that he wasn't able to sign his name, at least not in english, but instead he "made his mark", as noted or witnessed below, which was probably quite common in those days.

of the 4 characters, the rightmost one does not resemble any hebrew letter, the next one resembles a "shin" and the leftmost two might be a "khaf", and a "quf" or a "khaf sofit". if they are hebrew letters, then the little circles would make sense, almost. ("quf" isn't usually dotted, whereas "khaf sofit" wouldn't be found in an acronym, since it's only used at the end of a word.) one possibility is that he signed his initials as "SH(lomo) C(ohen) K(odesh)", if you have any indication that he was a cohen.

the rightmost character is the most interesting. it looks like a tally of three lines with a stroke through it. some christians would use the trinity as part of their "mark" (apparently christopher columbus among them), so this might be his way of showing that he wasn't a christian.

or it could be anything else.

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