The Jewish Genealogy Association 


par Stéphane Lallich

by J.-C. Hérelle-Carcassone

Do you have Comtadine Roots?

The two most widespread names are those of Crémieux and Millaud (and alternatives) with approximately 10 % of the entries for each. Then Monteux, 9%, Cohen, 6,5%, Mossé, 6%, Carcassonne, 5,5%, Bedarrides, 4,0%, makes a total of 51%. Then Cavaillon, Delpuget, Lyon, Valabregue, Digne, Alphandery, Roquemartine, Vidal, Beaucaire, Lisbonne, Naquet, Astruc, Baze, Abram, about 3.5% or 2% each is nearly 90%. Lastly, Lunel, Mayrargues, Laroque, Sassias, Lattès, Rouget, Saint-Paul, Espir, Gard, Samuel, Avigdor, Beziers, Cresque, Petit, Pichaud, Ravel, Sigra, Propha, Perpignan, pour terminer par les Amiras, Anglais, Ascoli, Bordeaux, Canon, Elias, Farisol, Ferrussol, Hus, Italien, Jessi, Livourne, Londres, Lublin, Macip, Meel, Mirahe, Nacamu, Nathan, Pereyre, Polaque, Sadock, Salman, Turin. We will add the name Muscat which was a nickname that was selected as a surname in 1808 by some Millaud.
It is also necessary to mention the names of a certain number of Ashkenazim : German, Cerf, Etranger, Lazare, Levy.
The list above does not take into account the orthographical variations, which one needs to be aware of for surnames and first names, for example:

  • Crémieux = Crémieu = Cremy = Crémuy= Carmy = Carmi ; Deroque = Laroque ; Milhaud = Millaud = Millau = Milliaud ; Monteux = Montélis = Monteaux = Montel ; Rouget = Rogier = Rougier = Roger ; Sampal = Saint Paul.
  • Argenton or Mian or Myriam ; Liotte or Léa ; Asturnin or Esther ; Nène or Régine ; Nanouse or Hana ; Naomy or Noémie ; Grassy ou Gracieuse.
  • Guadalia or Jehoyada ; Josué or Jacassuya ; Joseph or Jassé ; Jonas or Joanan

The name variation sometimes indictate the area Monteux or Montel - Carpentras and Isle, Montélis or Montély - Cavaillon, Monteaux - Avignon. Moulinas explains that, many are the patronyms which indicate a geographical origin supposed at the time of the arrival in the Papal States. Then these names are preceded of the "de" particle, till the French Revolution, as de Millaud, de Monteux, de Carcassonne, de Bédarrides…
Some patronyms are of biblical origin or the translation of a Hebraic name, like Abram, Cohen, or Levi, Mossé, Cresque, Vidal, translation of Hebrew Haïm who means life, or nickname, thus Rouget and Petit. The patronyms Crémieux and Lyon are never preceded by the particle "de", However none the variations of Crémieux appear in the census of the names of the Jews of France to the Middle Ages carried out by Seror The name Espir is in fact a variation of Spire, due to the rabbi Jacob Espir of Prague, selected as rabbi of Avignon in 1741, he married a Crémieux, as did four of his children.

One can specify the places most represented for each name, before the French Revolution:

Cavaillon : Bédarrides, Carcassonne, Cohen, Crémieux, Digne, Lunel, Monteux, Vidal, but also Abram, Allemand, Amiras, Astruc, Baze, Cavaillon, Cresque, Dalpuget, Levy, Millaud, Mossé, Nacamu.

Carpentras : Alphandéry, Baze, Carcassonne, Cavaillon, Cohen, Crémieux, Cresque, Digne, Espir, Laroque, Lattès, Lisbonne, Lunel, Lyon, Mayrargues, Millaud, Monteux, Mossé, Naquet, Roquemartine, Samuel, Sigra, Valabrègue, Vidal.

L'Isle : Abram, Astruc, Beaucaire, Bédarrides, Carcassonne, Cavaillon, Cohen, Crémieux, Cresque, Delpuget, Digne, Lattès, Millaud, Monteux, Vidal.

Avignon : Astruc, Atar, Beziers, Carcassonne, Cassin, Crémieux, David, Delpuget, Espir, Gard, Lange, Lisbonne, Millaud, Monteux, Naquet, Perpignan, Petit, Pichaud, Propha, Ravel, Rouget, Saint-Paul, Sassias, Valabregue, Vidal.

Before jumping into the research, it is a good idea to read about the areas (See the French version of this page for more details).