Solomon Surname Genealogy
in the Bible was the name of King David’s
successor, noted for his wisdom. It is
the vernacular form of the Hebrew name Shelomo,
a derivative of shalom meaning “peace.”
Solomon of Montpellier was a 13th century Jewish rabbi.
Solomon has for generations been a popular Jewish
name. It can be a Christian surname as
The early spelling of the name was Salomon and this spelling continues
to be found in France and Germany and also in Argentina. Three
Salomon brothers established the Wall Street trading house of Salomon
Brothers (now defunct) in New York in 1910. The Salomon spelling
is said to be Sephardic, the Solomon spelling Ashkenazic.The
Arabic version of the name is Suleiman.
Solomon Resources on
- My Solomon Ancestors
Solomons in Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia.
- Ezekiel Solomon
My Jewish-Canadian grandfather.
- Solomon Bibliography
Solomons of South Africa.
- The Solomon Family
Solomons in England, St. Helena, and South Africa.
England. Solomon in England is very much a Jewish
surname; but there was an English outpost of the name in
Cornwall. The surname there probably derives from Salomon, a 5th
century Cornish warrior prince of legend. He was also baptized
into the Christian faith and revered as such.
Thomas Solomon can be found at St. Columb in Cornwall in the 1660’s and
the name gets more numerous there in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Other Solomons were to be found at Goran and Mevagissey nearby.
Mary Pedlar’s 1955 booklet The
Pedlar Solomon Family of Cornwall described the family that
emigrated to Canada in the 19th century. Perhaps the best-known
Cornish Solomon was Bert Solomon, one of the geatest
rugby players of his era.
Among the early Jewish Solomons was Samuel
Moss Solomon, born in London in 1769, who was a pencilmaker in
Spitalfields. He and his family departed for Australia in 1833
and that was where the later Solomons were to make their mark.
Michael Meyer Solomon was born in 1791, either in Holland or
(it is quite not clear which). He arrived in London as a young
man and prospered as a Leghorn hat manufacturer in Bishopsgate,
prospered so much that he became the first Jew to be admitted to the
freedom of the city of London. Of his eight children, three –
Abraham, Rebecca, and Simeon – achieved some renown as painters. Simeon Solomon
was perhaps the most talented. But he was the one whose life
turned out the worst.
A Solomon stockbroking family in London, said to have been among “the
upper echelons of English Jewish society,” produced Harold Solomon, a
brigadier general in World War One. His wife Flora Solomon (nee
Benenson), perhaps more famous than him, outlived him and raised Peter
Benenson, the founder of Amnesty International.
America. The first Solomons in America were said to
have come from Bodmin in Cornwall and arrived in Virginia in the early
Solomons spread to North Carolina and Georgia. There was a later
side-branch in Georgia, known as the Solomon Brothers, who undertook
train robberies, shootings and thefts until they were finally gunned
down by law enforcement officers in 1913. Daniel Worth’s 55 page
booklet My Solomon Ancestors,
written in 2005, recounted the family history. .
to family tradition, Jacob Solomon was a Dutch Jew who had come to
Lancaster, Pennsylvania sometime in the 1740’s. Myer
migrated from there to Baltimore in 1793 and started a dry goods
business on Market Street. His brothers
Isaac and Levy joined him. A later
Isaac Solomon began a canning factory on Solomon’s
Island off Maryland after the Civil War.
William S. Solomon married Eliza Myers in Zion German church in
1820. Their son William was an early settler in Florida, arriving
in the boom town of Key West around 1850.
Another recipient of Dutch Jews was the port of Charleston in South
Carolina. Joseph Solomon, a merchant, had arrived there from
Amsterdam before the Revolutionary War, Chapman Solomon by 1783.
Chapman’s family later moved to New Orleans and then to Texas.
Solomon was a German Jewish merchant who had arrived in Canada in the
and was a fur trader based on Mackinac island in Michigan.
His son William grew up there and acted as an
interpreter for the Indians of the Upper Lakes; his grandson Lewis Solomon
wrote a narrative of the family history.
South Africa. The line in
England went from
Nathaniel to Saul Solomon. In the early 1790’s
Saul Solomon was on his way from London to India when he became ill and
was put ashore on the island of St. Helena. He became a merchant
there and was friends with Napoleon during his time of exile.
nephew, also named Saul Solomon, grew up in Cape
Town and became an influential
newspaper publisher there. Saul’s
Gladstone wrote a biography of him and Allan Solomon’s 1988 book The Solomons covered the family from
St. Helena times.
Australia. The Solomon
family got off to a bad start in Australia. In
1817 Emanuel was convicted in England of larceny and sentenced
to seven years transportation there. Later,
he prospered as a land developer in
Adelaide, establishing Solomontown near Port Pirie.
His nephew Judah was for a short time the mayor
of Adelaide and Judah’s son Vaiben the Premier of South Australia in
Samuel Solomon was the only person to have served in the Boer War and
War One and Two, where he was a chaplain for the Salvation Army.
The Solomon successes had prompted his father Samuel
Ross and the remainder of the family in England to embark for Australia. They arrived in Sydney on the Enchantress
in 1833. In 2012 hundreds
came together in Melbourne for a great Solomon reunion. It was
estimated that there were 5,000 descendants of Samuel Ross Solomon were
living at that time.
Another early Solomon in Australia was the London criminal Isaac (Ikey)
Solomon, eventually tired and transported to Tasmania in 1831. He
was widely regarded as the model for the character Fagin in Charles
Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist.
New Zealand. Solomon
in New Zealand is a Maori name, first adopted by Tommy Solomon in the
1900’s. Sir Mark Solomon represents the
fourth generation of these Maori Solomons.
If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:
Haym Salomon was a Jewish immigrant
to New York at the time of the Revolutionary War who became the prime
financier of the American side.
Saul Solomon was
a newspaper publisher in the Cape colony in the late 1800’s and one of
its early civic leaders.
Flora Solomon was an activist
for women’s rights in England in the 1930’s.
Russ Solomon founded Tower
records, a worldwide music store empire, which, however, collapsed in
Select Solomons Today
- 4,000 in the UK (most numerous
- 16,000 in America (most numerous in Florida)
- 7,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)
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