AARONSON

This Jewish surname of AARONSON was originally from the Hebrew given name of AHARON, borne by the brother of Moses, who was the high priest of the Israelites. The traditional derivation is from the Hebrew 'har-on' meaning mountain of strength, but it is more probably of Egyptian origin. In some cases the name was also a Gentile given name, and so not all occurrences of the surname and its derivations are Jewish. When traditional Jews were forced to take family names by the local bureaucracy, it was an obligation imposed from outside traditional society, and people often took the names playfully and let their imaginations run wild by choosing names which corresponded to nothing real in their world. No one alive today can remember the times when Jews took or were given family names (for most Ashkenazim this was the end of the 18th century or the beginning of the 19th) although many remember names being changed after emigration to other countries, such as the United States and Israel in recent years. The name is also spelt Aron, Aaron, Agronski, Aarons and Areles. (AARON 13th-15th century BC) was the biblical and elder brother of Moses. He was spokesman for Moses to the Egyptian pharoah in his attempts to lead their people out of Egypt, and performed various miracles with his rod. He and his sons were ordained as priests after the construction of the Ark, and Aaron was confirmed as hereditary high-priest by the miracle of his rod blossoming into an almond tree. He is said to have died at the age of 123. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe. Early records of the name mention Judaeus Aron, who was recorded in County Yorkshire in 1273, and Adam Aron was the vicar of Bacton, County Norfolk in 1420. Mary, daughter of Thomas Aronson was baptised at St. Dionis Backchurch, London in 1658.

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