I asked a Jewish friend if she had known any Arabs named David. “No”, she said, “too much of a king of the Jews name.” Good point. There are Christian Arabs but David is not a common name although it is mentioned in a list of masculine Arabic names as Da’ud or Dawud meaning “beloved” or in the naming of a son after the Prophet David whom I assume they mean King David. I can think of five Davids in my immediate extended family, either first or middle names. Most of us know a David. Yes, it is a common name and who knows how many Davids were named because it was a beautiful name? But who knows how many Davids were named because it was a continued pattern, whether conscious or not to retain Jewish identity? Similar sounding surnames David, Davidson, Dovid, Davids, Davi, Davis, Daves, Davin, Davins, Davala, Daviu, Davies, Daud, Daud Ibn, Davila, Davilla and Davision. One French ancestor of mine is “David des Marets”. Marets sounds and looks like “Marais” (swamp), the name of the old Jewish Quarter on the Left Bank in Paris. And similar to Marais is Lake Mariout, also spelled Maryut or Mariut, near Alexandria Egypt where there was an ancient Essene community on the shores of this lake and an area where thousands of Jews lived. Be open-minded to various spellings and go with the way a name sounds.
Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy – A How-to for Tracing Ancient Jewish Ancestry, Secret Genealogy II – Uncovering the Jewish Roots of Our Christian Ancestors and Secret Genealogy III – From Jewish Anglo-Saxon Tribes to New France Acadians. Available here:
Secret Genealogy II: http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-II-Christian-Ancestors/dp/1484053222
Secret Genealogy III: http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-III-Jewish-Anglo-Saxon-Acadians/dp/148407579X
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