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26041RE: [S-R] SURNAMES-Wachtenheim-Szolyva/Svaliava

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  • Nancy Hayes
    Apr 1, 2010
      My Szolyva grandmother Mariska (Mary) Vikuk Kristen was totally thrilled when she heard in 1988 that I was researching the family history. A few of her sons/daughters thought, 'what a waste of time. The past is the past.' Well, whenever I came across a relative with that attitude, little did they know that their comment/s made me dig even deeper! I've discovered that geneaology is a hobby that a person either loves or hates. I love it as I've always wanted to know 'where I came from' and especially where my first ancestor came from (and now that the DNA testing is available, that's right up my alley of interests).

      On my Italian side, I came across two different branches of Peruccas and Origliassos; each in the same family branch said that they weren't related to the other branch, yet none of them had ever done any research. I got the same response from one of the Perucca relatives whom I knew just had to be related to me, and thankfully he did something about it when he received my inquiry letter back in 1991. He had the town council do the research for him on his branch of the Perucca family; it took a year, but one day in the mail I received the whole family tree of his Perucca branch which proved that he and I were definitely related; I'm from the other Perucca branch, yet both branches have the same common ancestor back to the 1700s in Italy.

      So when the same surname family says they aren't related to others who have their same surname, I really don't believe it unless it's been proven right or wrong.


      -----Original Message-----
      From: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of helene cincebeaux
      Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2010 6:53 AM
      To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [S-R] SURNAMES-Wachtenheim-Szolyva/Svaliava

      Hi Daniel,

      I found a curious thing in Slovakia. My experience over the years was that people weren't that much interested in their ancestors, and didn't go back further than their grandparents. Beyond that they didn't seem to consider that someone with a similar surname might be related. "We're not related they would tell me," even when it was a very unusual name.

      In the villages people couldn't understand my interest in genealogy, I loved this comment, "Why do want to know about them, they are all dead!"

      This is changing, in no small part due to the Americans and Canadians who want to know more about their heritage and personal history. I love the requests I get from Slovaks who have seen the Slovak Pride data base and want help finding family in America.

      Have gotten e mails from Germany, Brazil, Israel, Argentina, Australia and other countries.

      Another sidelight - Megan Smolenyak has done DNA testings of many people with roots in Osturna. She found many of the Smolenyaks had similar DNA but a few were totally unrelated and that makes you wonder if they were adopted when many died of cholera or what.

      Find this a most fascinating subject with no easy answers. A great topic for discussion.


      From: "jump4toys@..." <jump4toys@...>
      To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thu, April 1, 2010 1:31:03 AM
      Subject: Re: [S-R] SURNAMES-Wachtenheim-Szolyva/Svaliava

      Hi folks..
      I have a question. My father is from an area of the Carpathian Mountains
      which was Czechoslvakia then and now is the Ukraine in a town called
      Szolyva/Svalyava/ Svaliava.

      while he had the surname of Wachtenheim, there was another WAchtenheim in
      the town who he said was not a relative.
      So I was wondering, at what point would the people of that area received
      their surnames? I heard that years before they would be called David son of
      Isaac...and later would take on surnames which reflected their profession
      or family ties or location????
      Can you someone give me a bit of a lead on the taking on of surnames?
      My thought is if people took on the same surnames, such as different
      families taking on Wachtenheim, then that would be true they wouldn't be
      related. But with such an unusual name, I'm curious.

      Also...there was a story in our family that our family name before
      Wachtenheim (which I believe means Watcher of the House), was TishenShankel, which
      we were told means Table and Chair, or Table and Bench (furniture makers?).

      Would appreciate any info.
      Also, are there any records on surnames being given to different towns or

      Daniel WAchtenheim

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