What’s In A Name

What’s In A Name

Jan 27
What’s In A Name

The surname Riklis is not a common name, in the United States, about one in ten million people have this as their surname and it ranks past the 600,000th most common surname. Riklis does appear more common in some countries, especially Israel, where there is a significant Jewish population bearing this surname. A few records for Riklis exist documenting emigration from other countries, however the majority of the immigrants bearing this surname have settled in Israel since the turn of the century.

Tracing back original immigration records, the surname Riklis has it’s origin in Lithuania, and a substantial minority population in Russia. This surname has no specific meaning, however hails from the Jewish population of Lithuania and most ancestors bearing this name can trace their history back to this ethnic minority population.

A sizable Jewish population, including some family members bearing the Riklis surname, have lived in Lithuania for centuries. Documents demonstrate evidence of a Jewish minority since the 8th century and these tribes are thought to be refugees from Babylonia and Palestine. Around the 12th century many families were driven to Lithuania due to the Crusades in an attempt to avoid the persecution that had struck Jews in Europe.

In 1495, many Jews were forced into exile causing a significant diaspora in Lithuanian Jewish history, and this may have been the reason the Riklis family left Lithuania, though it is impossible to verify this because of the lack of records at this time. Many Lithuanian Jews relocated to Poland and Crimea.

During World War II, over 90% of Lithuanian Jews were killed, likely including many members and ancestors of the Riklis clan. Survivors of the Holocaust left Lithuanian en masse due to Soviet occupation and much of the RIklis family choose to settle in Israel and the United States. The vast majority of the Riklis clan speak Yiddish and are second and third generation Israelites, however a significant aging population of this family still retain evidence of their origin in their mother tongue of Russian or Lithuanian. The Riklis surname is evidence of an influential and strong Lithuanian background.

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