For those who wonder if a surname may have been adopted from a family
member's Christian name:
I have been trying to discover if the surname Samko, adopted by a family
named Szabo in the Rankovce area around 1800-1830, derived from one Samuel
Szabo. I had to check out all the Szabos in the area, and had just about
convinced myself that all the Szabos who became "alias Samko/Szamko" were
Samuel's provable or likely descendants, beginning with his own children.
So I was really pleased to find a death record for his daughter-in-law, Anna
Vangor, who married his son Andreas Szabo in 1793. It says,
1829, November 23, Csakany, provida persona Anna Vangor, relicta Samuelis,
rectius [?] Andrea Szamko, anno propre 60.
So evidently the surname Samko was taken to mean Samuel, as I had thought.
The way these records are written, a widow is identified as the relict of
Schupp, or Juhasz, or whatever the husband's surname was. My ancestress,
who brought the surname Vangor into the Samko family and created even more
confusion for the amateur genealogist here, was the relict of Mr. Samuel,
properly called Andreas Szamko.
Samuel Szabo lived to be quite an old man, dying at age 84 in 1814, and
seems to have been well regarded. His children start to be called Szamko,
later Samko, around 1797, when he was approaching 70.
Anyway, I share this because it may throw a little light on the mysteries of