Menk names search tool

Menk names search tool

Because of my interest in the Jewish history of Danzig, I have been contributing as a volunteer in a project to index Danzig marriage records. Among other things, this involves recognizing the surnames of Jewish brides and grooms written on documents in longhand German script. With some practice, this becomes fairly routine but sometimes you come up with a speculative spelling is not a commonly known name.

At these times, it is helpful to consult a comprehensive resource called A Dictionary of German-Jewish Surnames by Lars Menk. Many times, that weird name whose spelling you are not quite sure of turns out indeed to be among the more than 20,000 names in the directory. 

Menk's Dictionary includes extensive information for each surname entry, including geographical distribution, which would be helpful for my use. It is a costly reference book and I do not have a copy. However, the publisher provides a complete list of just the surnames available as a download. 

I took advantage of that and created a quick and handy tool for searching the Menk names list. You can quickly confirm that a spelling of a name is or isn't in the directory. You can also do complex searches like "Starts With" or "Contains" if you recognize part of the name but not all of it. 

The Menk Names search tool is available here on Family History Machine.