Select Solomon Surname Genealogy

Solomon in the Bible was the name of King Davidís successor, noted for his wisdom.  It is the vernacular form of the Hebrew name Shelomo, a derivative of shalom meaning ďpeace.Ē  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 well.

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.

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Select Solomon Ancestry

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.

Cornwall  A 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.    

Jewish Solomons  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 Germany (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 1700's.  These 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.  .

Baltimore  According to family tradition, Jacob Solomon was a Dutch Jew who had come to Lancaster, Pennsylvania sometime in the 1740's.  Myer Solomon 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 Solomonís 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.

South Carolina  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.

Canada.  Ezekiel Solomon was a German Jewish merchant who had arrived in Canada in the 1750ís 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. 

His nephew, also named Saul Solomon, grew up in Cape Town and became an influential newspaper publisher there. 
Saul's son Gladstone wrote a biography of him and Allan Solomonís 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 Judahís son Vaiben the Premier of South Australia in 1899.  Meanwhile Walter Samuel Solomon was the only person to have served in the Boer War and in World 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 of Solomons 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 early 1900ís.  Sir Mark Solomon represents the fourth generation of these Maori Solomons.

Select Solomon Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Solomon Names

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 2006.

Select Solomons Today
  • 4,000 in the UK (most numerous in London)
  • 16,000 in America (most numerous in Florida) 
  • 7,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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