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GOLDSTAIN Origin of surname


Surnames derive from one of many different origins. Sometimes there may be more than one explanation for the same name. This family name derives from an occupation (also connected with raw material, finished product or implements associated with that trade). Goldstain is a Yiddish variant of Goldstein.

Literally "gold stone" in German, Goldstein means "touchstone", a tool used by goldsmiths to test the quality of the precious metal. Gold is mentioned throughout the Bible. The earliest biblical descriptions of the productions of gold- and silver-smiths, and the names of the craftsmen Bezalel Ben Uri and Aholiab Ben Ahisamach, are given in Exodus 31.2,6. In some cases the family name is a matronymic surname, derived from a female ancestor's personal name Golda. Golda, a Yiddish equivalent of the English Goldie, became a widespread Jewish female personal name from which some family names were developed. In the 20th century Goldstain is documented as a Jewish family name during World War II with Gaston Goldstain who was deported from France to the German death camp at Auschwitz in June 1942.
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Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
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