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13532Re: [S-R] Hungarianized Surnames

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  • Andrea Vangor
    Oct 31, 2005
      If you are lucky, as I was, you may find old church records that give
      people's everyday nicknames.

      Alki, Borka, Hanc~a, Miso, Ondo, Giri, etc. Lovely.

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "nurse_ildiko" <nurse_ildiko@...>
      To: <SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, October 31, 2005 7:54 PM
      Subject: Re: [S-R] Hungarianized Surnames

      > Janet,
      > This is all very interesting! My maiden name is Kecskes. Thanks for
      > the info.
      > Ildiko Scott
      > --- In SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com, "Janet Kozlay" <kozlay@c...>
      > wrote:
      >> I, too, have been fascinated by the practice of name changing both
      > because
      >> there are some prominent examples in history and because I
      > discovered some
      >> pretty startling ones in my own family name. In my case I have
      > traced the
      >> name from KOZLIK to KOZIK to KECSKES to KOZLAY. The family
      > originated in
      >> Upper Hungary, with a very Slavic name, and changed as they moved
      > further
      >> and further south and "became" Hungarian. These changes all took
      > place prior
      >> to 1850. (Kecskes is a translation of the Slavic word for "goat"
      > (Koz) to
      >> its Hungarian equivalent.) Slovak names were not the only ones to be
      >> "Hungarianized." Jewish, German, and Croatian names were also often
      > changed
      >> to more Hungarian ones, both in Hungary and in the U.S. It was
      > clearly an
      >> advantage in the 19th century to have a Hungarian name in Hungary,
      > and often
      >> was an advantage in the U.S., especially mid-century.
      >> However, I agree that some apparent name changes only reflect
      > spelling
      >> differences or the language in which the church records were
      > written, as
      >> pointed out both by "johnqadam" and by Bill Tarkulich. I, too,
      > question
      >> whether anyone was ever called Michael, or Johannes, despite their
      >> appearance in the records. As for Kristoffy/Kristofik, there are
      > old Latin
      >> records of Christoffi and Christoffi, which surely represent the
      > same name,
      >> if not the same family. Nor do I think you can make more than an
      > educated
      >> guess about what language a family spoke on the basis of how a name
      > was
      >> spelled in the records. There were so many ethnic groups living
      > together,
      >> they were almost forced to be multilingual unless they came from a
      > very
      >> small, ethnically "pure" village. We have evidence that among
      > related
      >> families in Upper Hungary, some spoke Slovak, some German, and some
      >> Hungarian, though all shared the same family name.
      >> Janet
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