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JOSEF 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 is a patronymic surname based on a male ancestor's personal name, in this case of biblical origin. Joseph/Josef, whose name is explained in Genesis 30.24 as meaning "may God add [another son to me]", was the child of Jacob and Rachel. Several forms of the Hebrew personal name Joseph are documented in the Middle Ages in Europe, among them Josce in 1189, Joce and Joceus in 1204, Josses in 1247, Joselin in 1270, Josse and Josson in 1276, Joslin in the 13th century, Jocelot in 1306, Josoletus in 1344, and Josel in the 15th century.

Josef is documented as a Jewish family name in Germany in the late 17th century.
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Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
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