This whole discussion as been most interesting. Since I come from
western Slovak stock around Myjava and Evanjelik (Lutheran) at that, it has
been revealing to hear about the R.C. and Greek Orthodox customs. I think
everyone would be better advised to be more specific as to the time (year
or era), region (small geographic area), religious affiliation, and customs
of the family. I think Vladamir Bohinc could shed some light on this
subject, when he has time.
In my own experience there are numerous examples of Omasta's born in
Slovakia (Myjava) with only a first name and no middle name. Now try and
enplane to someone which Jan Omasta your talking about ! It seems that in
this microcosm of Slovakia this is the norm. In fact when I pursued the
issue of a middle name I got a curt response that only "Catholics" did that
! So, I accepted that for the moment. A week later I am over in Vyskov, in
the Czech Rep. where I have Roman Catholic Omasta relatives and cousin
Miroslav Omasta (no middle name) is having his newborn baby girl baptized.
Again, no middle name. I intervened the day before the baptism pleading
with my cousin Miroslav - "Please give her a middle name if for no other
reason than to aid in her identity in the family genealogy." Since Miroslav
has done volumes in the Omasta research he began to see the light. It
helped a lot that his parents where in the room at the time. Miroslav had
to translate my English to Czech and visa versa. His father saw the logic
to this right away and looked to his wife for concurrence. She had a short
exchange with Miroslav's wife. It all came back to me "Jerry, what should
the middle name be ?" Oh boy, now I've done it, I thought. Well I thought
for a few moments and decided to through out a few choices and see what
they liked. Low and behold they all chose the same one so Michaelka
Omastová was baptized Michaelka Andriana Omastová. Babka Antonie ofie
Butová and Babka Bìla Práilová just loved the way I pronounced it, or
should I say enunciated it.
By the way, it wasn't until my grandmothers (Omasta) 4th child was born
in 1922 that they received a middle name. This is the first generation born
in America. My grandfathers brother, also in the USA only gave his third
child a middle name. Those of us in the 2nd generation born in the USA all
have middle names.
On my maternal German Lutheran side 3 and some 4 first names. Go figure !
So, I would surmise that there are no hard fast rules to this but only some