4784Re: [S-R] Use of 2 Surnames?
- Oct 15, 2001The explanation given by Adrian is consistent with what I have learned with
a slight twist. Villages were subdivided into smaller areas called "dvors".
Each dvor consisted of a small cluster of houses usually sharing a common
courtyard. The houses within the dvors were usually inhabited by families
who were closely related to each other such as siblings or cousins. The
dvors, over a period of time acquired a name, my guess it was the surname of
the family that built the first house in the dvor.
Thus, in Liptovska Luzna where my father was born, there were probably 50 or
more dvors, there was, for example, a Banas dvor, a Valusiak dvor, a Zajac
dvor, a Huba dvor etc. One of my father's materal great-parents was born
Jozef Zajac. When Jozef became an adult, for whatever reason, he built a
house on an empty spot that was available in the Banas dvor. First he was
identified as Jozef Zajac from the Banas dvor. Later Zajac was dropped and
he became known as Jozef Banas. His first (older) children were baptised as
Zajac, his later children and all of his grandchildren were baptised as
Banas. On my grandmother's baptismal certificate her father was named as
Jozef Zajac-Banas. When she married 17 years later, her name was recorded
as Anna Banas. with no mention of the Zajac surname, even though her father
was born a Zajac.
Thus, the family eventually acquired the surname which was identified with
the area (dvor) in which they lived. This would be consistent with Adrian's
explanation of the family adopting the name of the property that the family
aquired although the property was not necessarily always property inherited
from a female ancestor. The property could have been acquired by other
means... although my guess was that Adrian's explanation of inheritance from
a female ancestor was a very common explantion.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Andrea Vangor" <drav@...>
Sent: Saturday, October 13, 2001 9:43 PM
Subject: Re: [S-R] Use of 2 Surnames?
> I have seen this type of thing in my own family. There it indicated a
> process of surname adoption from a female ancestor. This occurred in some
> cases when a woman inherited property and it was passed down to her
> Another possibility is that the man in question was adopted, or his mother
> remarried, or some such thing. I would research his own family tree and
> what you find in the previous generation or two. In my family, it was the
> grandchildren and later descendants who adopted their grandmother's
> I have also seen cases where a man married a widow and adopted the surname
> of her first husband.
> I have not done a great deal of research on this question of surname
> adoption, but believe that it may be an outcome of the peasant system,
> officially abolished in 1848 but lingering on in local customs. Under the
> peasant system, a family did not own property outright, but had a sort of
> title to the use of land based on custom and status. If it was the Vangor
> farm, for example, and a daughter inherited part of the rights to it, then
> her husband's children would take the Vangor surname if they were living
> there and working the property.
> Keep track of the house numbers in the villages where your people lived --
> these were usually recorded in church documents in the latter part of the
> 19th century. It may explain some of these mysteries to know who was
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <AFe9963285@...>
> To: <SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com>
> Sent: Saturday, October 13, 2001 6:20 PM
> Subject: [S-R] Use of 2 Surnames?
> > I have the following situation: all events recorded in R.C. registers of
> > Vranov Nad Top'lou. The people involved lived in Hencovce (Henczocz).
> > Capitalization of names is mine - not in registers. What is the
> > of PALENCSIK?
> > On 21 November, 1866 Michael TOMASOV aged 35 widower married Anna SIMKO
> > aged 18 single person
> > On 31 August, 1869 a son John was bapt. Parents are recorded as Mich.
> > and Anna SIMKO
> > On 29 October, 1871 a son Michael was bapt. Parents are recorded as
> > TOMASOV and Anna SIMKO
> > On 1 January, 1874 a daughter Maria was bapt. Parents are recorded as
> > PALENSIK TOMAS and Anna SIMKO
> > On 26 June, 1882 a son John was bapt. Parents are recorded as TOMAS
> > Mihaly and SIMKO Anna
> > On 4 June, 1885 a daughter Helen was bapt. Parents are recorded as TOMAS
> > PALENCSIK Mihaly and SIMKO Anna
> > On 15 September, 1885 the daughter Helen was buried. Parents are
> > TOMAS PALENCSIK Mihaly and SIMKO Anna.
> > On 21 April, 1886 the wife Anna SIMKO was buried, aged 39. Her husbamd
> > recorded as TOMAS PALENCSIK Mihaly.
> > I do need to re-check the registers for additional events, but back to
> > original question. Is PALENCSIK being used to differentiate villagers of
> > same first and last name, a mother's maiden name? Perhaps something
> > with the switch to using Hungarian to keep the registers. Adding
> > info., there are at least two other TOMAS males appearing in the
> > the 1870's with either a "middle" name PALENCSIK or the note TOMASOV
> > PALENTSIK.
> > Apologies for being long winded, but any thoughts or suggestions would
> > most appreciated.
> > Adrian Fenton
> > Wexford, PA
> > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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