Jacob Family History
Jacob Name Meaning
Jewish English Welsh German Portuguese French (mainly Alsace and Lorraine) Walloon Breton Dutch Flemish Swedish Danish and Norwegian: derivative via Latin Jacob(us) from the Hebrew personal name Ya‘aqob (Yaakov). In the Bible this is the name of the crafty younger twin brother of Esau (Genesis 226) who took advantage of the latter's hunger and impetuousness to persuade him to part with his birthright ‘for a mess of potage’. The name is traditionally interpreted as coming from Hebrew akev ‘heel’: Jacob is said to have been born holding on to Esau's heel. In English usage the name Jacob is regarded as distinct from the name James but they are of identical origin. In North America the English form of the surname has absorbed cognates from other languages for example Assyrian/Chaldean or Arabic Yaqub Yakub Yacoub or Yacob Slovenian Jakob and Jakop Czech and Slovak Jakub and also their patronymics and other derivatives (see examples at Jacobs and Jacobson ). The name Jacob is also found among Christians in southern India (compare Chacko ) but since South Indians traditionally do not have hereditary surnames the southern Indian name was in most cases registered as such only after immigration of its bearers to the US.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press