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Lefkowitz was a common name among Eastern European Jews. According to Alexander Beider's Dictionary of Surnames from the Russian Empire, it derives from Lev (Leib, Lew, Liv) which was a kinnui, a secular symbol meaning lion that was associated with Judah. The hypocorism, or diminutive form, is Levko (Lewko) or Levik (Lewik). Lefkowitz (Lewkowicz, Levkovitz, Levkovich) is the son of Levko. Lewis, Louis, Lewik, Louik, Lyons and Leon are other forms of the name in common usage today.

A similar name with a different derivation is Levak or Lewak. According to Beider, this name means left-handed person.

There was no concept of unique spelling of Jewish names in Eastern Europe, so there may be instances of confusion as to which source one's name derived from. Because of the similarity between names derived from these two different sources, as in Lewik-Lewak or Levkov-Levakov, names that may have derived from either source are included in the project.

If your surname is Lefkowitz or any of its variants, or Lewak/Levak or variants, you are welcome to join the surname project.



Family Tree DNA learning center:
Family Tree DNA webinars:

ISOGG beginner's guide to genetic genealogy:'_guides_to_genetic_genealogy

A glossary for those unfamiliar with the terminology used by genetic genealogists can be found at:

Some helpful books:  Genetic Genealogy, The Basics and Beyond by Emily D. Aulicino, 2013
                                Legacy:  A Genetic History of the Jewish People by Harry Ostrer, 2012

Some helpful Facebook groups:  Tracing the Tribe

Wikipedia is also a reliable source for information on genetic genealogy