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Gross Genealogy and Gross Family History Information

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About the Gross surname

Came from Europe before the 2nd world war. Eugene Gross (Hungarian Jeno, the o with elongated accent marks), told son Stephen that at one time the family name was Nagy, also meaning "big". the Hungarian version was spelled Grosz with a single stroke accent mark on the o. In Yiddish big is spelled Grois, but most Jewish names spell it Gross in the United States. Most Jewish families did not have last names, they used the Semitic form of son of ----, but the Austrian government demanded Jews use German names. In Hungary, the story goes, the village was divided into four parts: Big, small, black, white so we have Gross, Klein, Schwarz, Weiss as common last names. There were so many Kohns and Kohens that the civilian authorities made fun and called the Jews Katz (cat) or Kahn (boat) all denoting the rabbinical status of Kohen. --Stephen