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Name Origins: AHASUERUS

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Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

AHASUERUS (m): “In the Old Testament, a great ruler of Persia, and husband of Esther, probably identical with Xerxes I. He is mentioned in Ezra, iv.6, and throughout the Book of Esther” (Clarence L. Barnhart, William D. Halsey, et al., eds.) THE NEW CENTURY CYCLOPEDIA OF NAMES, 3 vols. (1954), 1:63). A discussion of the name in Isaac Landman, ed., THE UNIVERSAL JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA, 10 vols. (New York: The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, Inc., 1939-1943), 1:137, notes that the Biblical Ahasuerus is most often identified with Xerxes I (KSHAYARSHA in Persian), but commentators as early as the Roman/Jewish historian have favored Artaxerxes I, while others have identified him with Cambyses, Darius I, or Artaxerxes II or III; see also 5:168-70 (under Esther). Nathaniel and Keziah (Blackman) (Cross) Ferris of Greenwich, Conn., named a son Ahasuerus Ferris in 1750; he was living in Genoa, Cayuga Co., N.Y., as late as 1820, and had a large progeny. In 1855 King Ahasuerus Chillson and Cynthia Eaton of Springfield, Vermont, were made heirs of Largan Lockwood, also of Springfield (Vermont Genealogy 9 [2004]: 17, #360, citing Vermont Legislature, Acts and Resolves of 1855, orig. p. 220, #148). The 1850 census lists three men with the exact spelling Ahasuerus: Ahasuerus Capen (b. about 1806) in Winthrop, Maine; Ahasuerus James (b. about 1828) of Nanticoke Hundred, Delaware; and Ahasuerus Yates (b. about 1845) of Milton, Indiana. There were very likely others.

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