I was browsing the surname database and noticed the name Zuraw. I'm pretty sure that, while spelled differently than my surname (I'm not comfortable posting my surname on here), this is pronounced the same. I was wondering if my surname could be related (pm me if you need to know my surname). My paternal ancestors emigrated from what was Russia at the time (I think it would be Ukraine now), and their surname was originally Zurawel (not sure of spelling, pronounced zur-uh-vel), but it got changed at Ellis Island. Would this name be related to the name Zuraw? What would the -el suffix signify? My family is Jewish, if that helps any.Any information you could give me would be great. Thank you!
Tags:  Zuraw
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From what I found - yes, "Zurawel" (Żurawel?) is related to "Zuraw" (Żuraw?). It seems to be transcription of "журавель" which is Belarusian word with the same meaning as Polish "żuraw" (crane).
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The -el ending is a common diminutive in Yiddish versions of names, e.g., Yankel (for Jacob), Yossel (for Joseph). I'm not sure, however, that it would be attached to a Polish language nickname.
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