Where Does “Moskona” Come From?

January 3, 2011

I just received this information, provided by Olga Moskonas Lawrence. She in turn got it from Mathilde Tagger in Jerusalem, Israel.

MOSKONA was a well-known Jewish surname in Bulgaria. It derives from MOSKO a typical Bulgarian/Slavic diminutive of the Jewish given name Moshe/Moses/Moise and NA= the Bulgarian article 'the" which place is at the end of the word.

The final 's' at the end of the name was added under Greek influence..


MOSKONA surname very probably belongs to the surnames borne by Romaniote Jews.

Romaniotes are the descendants of the Jews who were expelled from the Holy Land by the Romans after the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in 70 and reached Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece. They were called so because they lived in the eastern ROMAN Empire. 

UPDATE: January 19, 2011

Olga’s sister, Gabi, provided this additional info about her side of the family:

There are quite a few Moskonas holed up in the Ionian village of Xafdata on  the island of Kefalonia in Greece. This I confirmed when I took a trip to the island after having heard stories about where my forefathers originally came from. Some of the Moskonas branched off and went to live in the village of Mesoxori on the Dodecanese island of Karpathos. My father's forefathers i.e. my great-grandfather migrated to Braila Romania (he did not want to become a monk) from the island of Kefalonia in the mid-19th century as the Danube Delta was expanding with import/export trade.

Unboubtedly they must at one time come down from the Balkans as Matilda the genealogist from Jerusalem explained in an e-mail to my sister Olga.  I am baptized Greek Orthodox but so amazed and PROUD to know that our line really originates from Romaniote Jews!