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Village Surnames

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  • Michael Mojher
    I have just returned from a month in Slovakia. While there, at the request of a Slovak-Roots member, I went to the village of Kamenica to try and discover some
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 4, 2007
      I have just returned from a month in Slovakia.
      While there, at the request of a Slovak-Roots member, I went to the village of Kamenica to try and discover some information on a grandmother who had immigrated from there.
      While doing interviews I found out that a "village surname" was used by the people living there. This "village surname" was used instead of their real surname.
      The grandmother I had gone to investigate had used the "village surname" in America. I was told that often emigrants from this village would use the "village surname" instead of their real one when they went to America.
      I talked with people who had the "village surname". Two of them told me what their real surname was. They admitted that very few people in the village knew their real surname. They admitted that if someone came to the village looking for them by their real surname they would more than likely be told no one by that name lives here.
      This obviously make for a very difficult situation for anyone trying to search for relatives of the true surname.
      From my previous trip a fairly long thread was done on my discovery of "DO" names used in Slovakia on Slovak-Roots a couple of months back.
      Now I have a new predicament for us; "village surnames". Has anyone during their searches come up against such a thing? Does anyone know common a practice it is? Is it possible to identify a "village surname" with a particular village?
      The ramifications are important if this was a common practice. It may mean that the surname many of us identify with is not our families true surname. It makes doing our genealogy much more difficult; because the "village surname" could have been used by any family in the village. We think we are finding relatives, when in fact they have no relationship to us what so ever.
      I hope our professionals in Slovakia can shed some light on this subject.
      Michael Mojher

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