22739Re: [S-R] Surname help
- Jun 4, 2009Paul,
The use of an "alias" name occurs in Slovak records.
Mathias is Latin for Matthew. Female names always end with "ova" in Slovakia. To have it become Mathias in America seems to indicated the change was made here. Mathias happens to be the given name of her father, as you saw. How alias names were chosen I have not discovered.
What is an Alias?
Alias or aka or nickname appears sometimes with individuals, mostly male, in church records and other documents. The main reason for someone to have an alias appears to be the need of community to tell apart several families with the same surname. Alias was always given to a person or family by the community there were living in. However, there are also instances, where someone was alone with his surname, but still had an alias. He probably brought it from another place when he married into a new community or was it given to him for some other reasons. Very often it is not possible to explain the meaning of an alias.
In my recent research I came across a Roman Catholic parish of Kysucke Nove Mesto, where there were very many aliases used. I found this so interesting that I transcribed some of them. From the research point of view this parish is also interesting because it is very hard to figure out, when one name is an alias and the other is a regular surname and vice versa. Several aliases namely gradually changed into regular surnames. Names and aliases are written as found in the Church records from 1880 till 1895.
There is a thread at Ancestry.com on Slovak alias names. If you care to read that discussion go to - http://boards.ancestry.com/localities.ceeurope.slovakia.general/1749.1/mb.ashx
From: Paul Sabol
Sent: Thursday, June 04, 2009 4:50 PM
Subject: [S-R] Surname help
I need some assistance with surnames in Slovakia. I'm almost 100% certain my g-g-grandmother was Maria Fecso who married Andrej Sabol back in the old country (Sosujfalu). Her father was Mathias Fecso according to the local parish register.
Two of their sons, John and Andrew (Americanized spelling) immigrated to America in 1885. Fast forward to 1914 and Andrew dies in Yonkers, NY. On the death certificate it lists his mother's maiden name as Maria Mathias.
Did the Slovak culture do anything weird with female surnames where Maria might have been born a Fecso but carried her father's name as her maiden name?
If I didn't explain it well let me know and I'll try again.
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