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  • Are you a Katz family descendant with an oral tradition of being a Cohen?
  • Are you a Cohen Match (Cohen Modal Haplotype - 12 Marker Match) on FamilyTreeDNA?
  • Or do you just have Katz ancestors and wish to explore with us how all Katz descendants are related (or not)?
  • Whatever the case, we welcome anyone who wants to explore his or her Katz Jewish ancestry, and work with us to rebuild the puzzle of our common ancestry.

  • Believe It or Not: World's Oldest Surname According to Ripley's Believe it Or Not, Katz is the world's oldest surname ("K"ohen "TZ"edek / Rightious Priest).


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Q. I was told that Katz is the oldest surname and that the source for this fact is one of your publications. Is this true and is it in one of your books?

A. Yes it is true. We printed this fact 1-15-1925 and in Ripley's first hard cover book - Ripley's Believe It or Not!

THE OLDEST SURNAME IN WORLD IS KATZ (INITIALS OF THE TWO WORDS KOHEN TSEDEK). EVERY KATZ IS A PRIEST DESCENDING IN AN UNBROKEN LINE FROM AARON THE BROTHER OF MOSES 1300 B.C. BOOK

1. Thank you for visiting us here at Ripley's Believe It or Not! (Group Administrator Note: According to Sam Katz, the correct spelling is actually KAhanim TZadik - KATZ.US website)

Ancestry.com Etiology of Katz Surname Katz - Jewish (Ashkenazic): acronym from the Hebrew phrase kohen tsedek (priest of righteousness) Jewish Encyclopedia Information on Kaz/Katz Surname Kaz - A frequent Jewish family name, spelled also Katz, and found in similar forms, such as Katzer.

It is an abbreviation formed from the initials of the name Kohen Tzedeq, and has been used since the seventeenth century, or perhaps somewhat earlier, as an epithet of the descendants of Aaron.

The collocation is most likely derived from Melchizedek (king of righteousness), who is called the priest (kohen) of the most high God (Genesis xiv. 18), or perhaps from Psalm cxxxii. 9: Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness (tzedeq).

If the reading is correct, this abbreviation occurs on a tombstone, dated 1536, in the cemetery of Prague (Hock, Die Familien Prag's, p. 175);

it is found also on a tombstone of the year 1618 in Frankfort-on-the-Main (M. Horowitz, Die Inschriften des Alten Friedhofes der Israelitischen Gemeinde zu Frankfurt-a.-M. 1901, p. 63), in the books of the Soncino family of Prague of the seventeenth century (Zunz, Z. G. p. 262), and in one of the prefaces to Shabbethai ben Meir ha-Kohen's notes on the ?oshen Mishp