> When I think of it it really does remind me of the
> possesive case which only later became lengthened [ the final "-a" in
> -ová ]. Could anyone of you enlighten me on this? Is it really a
> remnant of possessive case or not?
Actually, a true possessive used to be the form with short -a (e.g. "Zdenka Braunerova" is one of the more known examples). It signalled the world that Miss Braunerova was still unmarried and as such bore his father's family name. As soon as a girl married, she adopted a new family name, this time however with a long "a" in -ova'. (Z. B. did never do it, that's why she entered history as "-ova", not "-ová" [-ova'].) The long suffix seems to feel more like an adjective than possessive. This maiden/married distinction in feminine surnames gradually fell out of use with the long (adjectival) form prevailing throughout today.