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Introduction to Kasejovice, Czech Republic

The Bayer/Buyer family lived in Kasejovice, southwestern Bohemia, south of Pilsen, where there had been Jewish families from the 1500s. A word about Jewish names: hereditary surnames as we know them today were not in common use by Ashkenazic Jews prior to 1787. People used a given name followed by a place name or their father's name (as in David ben Gurion, David son of Gurion), or other variations. In an attempt to assimilate the Jewish population, and gain administrative control, in 1787 the Austro-Hungarian Emperor Josef decreed that all Jews would assume legal surnames. 

The early records of Kasejovice (see The Jews of Kasejovice below) show a number of Jewish families, including, in 1719, a Lobl Samuel, Marek Samuel, and Herman Samuel, merchants. In 1785, the Jewish census of Kasejovice lists a Josef Samohel (Samuel), who, according to edict, took the surname Bayer. It would appear that this Josef Samuel was our ancestor Samuel Bayer. However, it is not completely clear, given the varied ways that earlier Jews named themselves, whether the Samuels of 1719 were related. The Bayers were shopkeepers (piece goods) in Kasejovice. The Bayer family occupied cottage #2 next to the Jewish school. A Samuel Bayer, perhaps the son of Josef Samuel/Bayer, married Theresa Feldman. A Markus Feldmann is listed in the FAMILIANT BOOK of Region Prachensky, villages of Prachatice, Protivin, Precin, Rozmital, Lnare (same listing as Bayers). This was the list of Jewish males authorized to marry. Other related families found in early documentation of Kasejovice include the L√∂wys, Feldmans, Freuds, Rosenfelds. 

A brief vignette posted to the BohMor mailing list by Celia Male about Kasejovice: "We get a glimpse into the extent of festivities in this era in this account: On Good Friday 10 April 1799, a Judenball was held in Kassejowitz {Hugo Gold: Juden und Judengemeinde, Bohmens, Brunn-Prag 1934 p. 263]. This was Purim ball [not a wedding] with music and dance. To hold it on Good Friday was strictly forbidden [Hofdekret 5 March 1796/Verordnung 15 Feb 1799]. Jakob BASCH of House XVII, the householder, pleaded ignorance. Others who were indicted inc. Isak FREUND, Ezekiel ORENSTIL, Gabriel NEUMANN and the Rabbi [three day's house arrest!]. The five musicians were arrested for 12 hours. Even the poor district police commissioner was threatened with the loss of his job if he forgot to report a similar breach again!"

Linked toKasejovice CZ (Kassejowitz, Prachensky, Bohemia)
AlbumsBios and Histories, Jewish Communities of Bohemia: Kasejovice

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