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30425Re: [S-R] Surname Change 1910

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  • Michael Mojher
    Sep 2, 2011
      On my trips to Slovakia I discovered that the use of a “surname” can be circumstantial.
      In the area of my ancestral village in order to tell people with the same given and surname the devised this system. Branches of the family were identified. Each branch was given a name. My Mojher/Mojcher family in Hromos had three; Adama, Palody and Zid. When people spoke of one of these shared name people they would use one of these surname substitutes. I found that these names were even used in church records and land documents. This is an oral tradition and not written down any where. Only when I was asked for my family branch name did I learn that it existed.
      When doing research in another village I learned of the use of a “village surname”. In this case a family stopped using their original surname and started using the village surname. This would make for some confusing genealogy searching. Those who used the village surname were not even related to one another. And a surname that was used disappears, yet the people live on.

      From: Janet Kozlay
      Sent: Friday, September 02, 2011 11:08 AM
      To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [S-R] Surname Change 1910


      I know of no other country aside from Hungary where people changed their
      names seemingly at the drop of a hat. Sometimes a name change is indicated
      in the church records by the inclusion of an alias, but you cannot count on
      this. A man might be known by one name in his home village and a different
      one in the neighboring village, and there is no real record of this. People
      just "know." The tendency to change names goes way back, but I think it was
      especially prominent in the 19th century. Late in the century the country
      actively encouraged people to take on Hungarian names, but they did so
      commonly even earlier. I have noted especially that Jewish and Slovak names
      tended to be changed to Hungarian ones, probably because they found it to
      their advantage socially and economically. In my own research I discovered
      to my amazement that our family name, Kozlay, had earlier been Kecskes (a
      Hungarian name), and before that had been Kozik (a Slovak name). These
      changes took place in the early 19th century and appeared to take place when
      the family moved from a Slovak-speaking village to a Hungarian-speaking
      village. There was never any official record of these changes-they just did
      it. However, later in the 19th century there began an official registration
      of name changes. Radix (www.bogardi.com) used to list these, but I don't see
      any way to access them on the website now. Maybe I've just forgotten and
      someone else knows.

      Janet

      From: mailto:SLOVAK-ROOTS%40yahoogroups.com [mailto:mailto:SLOVAK-ROOTS%40yahoogroups.com] On
      Behalf Of Milan
      Sent: Friday, September 02, 2011 12:29 PM
      To: mailto:SLOVAK-ROOTS%40yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [S-R] Surname Change 1910

      I am aware that during this time period Hungarians were trying to make
      Hungary for Hungarians with their "modernization" program. They named all
      towns with Hungarian names and even people adopted Hungarian names.

      Has anyone found evidence of a surname change around 1910?

      How common was this penomenon?

      What evidence of name change am I looking for?

      How will I know that the Terek family of 1911 is the same as the Potocky
      family of 1910?

      Is there a statement of name change document I should be looking for? Where
      would I find it?

      What did it cost to change a surname?

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