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Home: Surnames: Finfrock Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Funfrock name change to Finefrock
Posted by: John H. Finefrock Date: November 07, 2000 at 11:10:45
In Reply to: Re: Funfrock name change to Finefrock by Lou Herbert of 202

I think that the family's idea was that the name menat five coats or dresses, but Joe Dugan, a Professor of Old French at UC Berkeley, heard my name and told me that it was probably five rocks, and that the words were quite old and probably pre-French. When I was in Sarreguermines in France a few years ago, my wife spotted 5 large rocks at the confluence of the Saar and B (sounds like a bad word) rivers near the mill and the locks, about three feet by twelve feet long, flat on the top, as though one could dry dock canal boats on them.
Johannes von dem funf rocks, i.e. Sarrguermines, might be it, since people may not have had last names before 1500, about when he went off to university at Gottigen. Our relatives in France, though, thought it meant five coats. I think the name got changed to Finfrock or Finefrock when Americans couldn't deal with an umlat, and because finif in Yiddish means five, this may also help explain why the name has two dominant pronunications: Finifrock and Fineyfrock. Alsace had a large Jewish population then, and does so now, too. The ship's manifest shows the name as Funfrock
when they arrived here, at least the first group, in 1750.


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