This is an addendum to my Hirschel Lewin post. I had intended to include this tangent in that post, but it deserves its own one.
In examining Rabbi Elazar Fleckeles's Ahavas David I was surprised to see that on his title page he wrote his name אלעזר ן' דוד, see:
I then noticed that he did this in all his books. Writing the name like that implies Elazar ibn David (or Aben David, see this post). Such a convention is commonly found among Jews of Sephardic descent, but not Ashkenazim. It seemed evident that Rabbi Fleckeles was being . . . fancy? Affectatious? Still, it was interesting.
It also reminded me that a number of years ago I made what was to me a shocking discovery. I learned that Isaac Leeser's surname as he wrote it in Hebrew was ן' אליעזר, get it? Leeser = Eliezer, or more precisely "ibn Eliezer." Eliezer wasn't his father, but a grandfather or even an older ancestor. As you can see below (in the title page of a siddur he published in 1848) his name was יצחק בן אורי ן' אליעזר.
When I realized this, I instantly thought "Aha! Isaac Leeser was descended from Sephardim, then." Which was theoretically possible, as there were Sephardic communities in Hamburg and Amsterdam, and he served as Hazzan and de facto rabbi in an American Sephardic congregation. But what a slender reed for such an assumption! In fact, I think he was just being fancy, just like Rabbi Fleckeles probably was.
Here is a rare miniature portrait of Leeser, painted by James Peale in 1840: