Re: [S-R] Ruthenian/Ukrainian Surnames
- RUTHENIAN/UKRAINIAN SURNAMES
Earliest surnames were taken from birds, animals and occupations. There are
4 main types of Ruthenian/Ukrainian surnames: those taken from (1) first
names, (2) place names, (3) occupations and/or social status, and (4)
personal characteristics. Names written in Cyrillic alphabet cannot be
directly translated into Polish or English; therefore, these are only
-ak, -chak, -chuk, and -uk, with the most popular being -enko, -chuk
and -uk. All mean "son of." They are used with Christian names, surnames,
and occupational names. For example, "Petrenko" is the "son of Petro
(Peter)." Peter's wife would be known as "Petrykha," and a matronymic
surname would be "Petryshyn," "son of Peter's wife."
Surnames deriving from place names are of two kinds:
(1) the place where an ancestor came from or was residing, and
(2) the ethnic, national, or tribal origin of an ancestor. For example,
"Zabolotnyj" is "one who lived beyond the marsh." "Wolyniak" probably came
from the Volyn (Volhynia) region. "Tataryn" had a Tatar ancestor. "Boychuk"
is from the "Boyko," an ancient Slavic tribe of Trans-Carpathia. Ukrainian
nobility took their surnames from their estates or the localities they
administered and added -cky, -sky, -skij, -skyj, and -zky (much like the
Polish nobility who added -cki and -ski.) Adjectival surnames use the
sufixes -ck-, -sk- and -zk-, and have the endings -yj or -ij for the
masculine and -a or -ia for the feminine. Occupations and the social status
of people greatly influenced surnames. Therefore, Ukrainian (Ruthenian)
surnames may give a clue to the occupation of one of your early ancestors;
for example, "Tkach" (the weaver), "Kravets" (the tailor), "Pekar" (the
baker) and "Spivak" ) the singer.
Other surname endings
are -ar, -is, -iy, -ka, -kar, -man, -nik, -nyk, -sur, -un, -yk, and -ylo.
The most typical Ukrainian surname ending is -enko, which is not found in
any other ethnic group, and is commonly found in central and eastern
From: Evelyn Marsh
Sent: Saturday, December 18, 2010 12:07 PM
Subject: RE: [S-R] Re: Ivanco vs. Ivanko
Curt, Michael & others,
Thanks for the information - my great grandfather was Juraj Palecsko born
(abt 1822) in Hromos, Slovakia - but I can't find much info on his father &
mother - I will now look at other areas - grandmother Anna Palecsko (b 1871,
Hromos) was Greek Catholic and, growing up I thought she must be Russian
because of the funny letters in her newspaper - I believe now she was Rusyn.
I understand that the 'ko' ending is common in Rusyn. No one remembers that
name in Hromos today. He married Anna Elias-Pistey in 1867 in Hromos. If
anyone comes across that name, please let me know.
Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2010 08:56:04 -0800
Subject: Re: [S-R] Re: Ivanco vs. Ivanko
Thanks for the lesson.
It shows how well how political borders may be fluid. But a ethnic homeland
does not recognize them. So when doing genealogy research one may have to
expand the area of the search beyond modern boundaries. And it is certainly
worth while doing some reading of history of the area you are searching.
Sent: Friday, December 17, 2010 8:33 PM
Subject: [S-R] Re: Ivanco vs. Ivanko
Wow, I guess there are really differing perceptions of history when it comes
to the Rusyns. Karpatska Rus, as the Rusyns call it, was never part of
Slovakia. This part of old Hungary was placed in Czecho-Slovakia as an
independent entity in the treaty of Trianon in 1918 and was governed by
Gregory Zatkovich until the second world war. It was retaken by Hungary in
the Vienna accords, though declared its independence in 1939. It refused to
be placed back into Czechoslovakia and was then forcibly joined to the
Ukraine in 1945 with a promise of autonomy that was quickly forgotten.
While the old Rusyn villages in the northeast Slovakia were historic centers
of Rusyn life, the largest concentrations of people in Slovakia who identify
as Rusyns today are in the cities of Presov, Kosice, and Bratislava. That's
why you find so many Rusyn names there now, and where the three Greek
Catholic bishops reside.
The Ivanko surname is far more common in Karpatska region and Lemko Poland
than it is in Slovakia. Getting a handle on the Rusyn names and their
distribution requires searching all three Polish, Ukrainian, and Slovak
--- In mailto:SLOVAK-ROOTS%40yahoogroups.com, "Michael Mojher"
>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> My guide to the name being Rusyn or not was to see which orkes it was
> located in. Since the Rusyn tend to in the far northern eastern orkes I
> searched for those. I was looking for â€œcluesâ€� and nothing definitive.
> This exercise shows that history may change the political boundaries, but
> it cannot erase the ethnic or social ones as easily. Unfortunately, we
> have to lives with the consequences of those political boundaries. Lands
> which were once in Czechoslovakia are now in the Ukraine because Slovakia
> was an â€œallyâ€� of Germany in WW II. And giving up a piece of Slovakia
> was the price to pay. Now all of those previous Slovak villages and
> records are so much more difficult to access.
> As with any endeavor, we can only use the â€œtoolsâ€� available to achieve
> our goal. If all goes well each â€œtoolâ€� does its job. What is important
> is to have a very good â€œToolboxâ€�. Thanks Bill.
> From: CurtB
> Sent: Friday, December 17, 2010 6:37 PM
> To: mailto:SLOVAK-ROOTS%40yahoogroups.com
> Subject: [S-R] Re: Ivanco vs Ivanko
> What makes everyone believe that the name is Rusyn is that the girl is
> publicly announced as if the name were spelled EVANKO, even though written
> Evancho in English. So getting back into Slovak or Rusyn is tricky, and
> has to be done more by pronunciation that by English spelling. Also when
> dealing with Rusyn names, remember that you also have to look in the
> Ukrainian telephone directories. The Slovak population database of 1995 is
> biased against Rusyn names since it excludes the vast Rusyn area that
> today is in the Ukraine, but was part of Czecho-Slovakia before WWII.
> --- In mailto:SLOVAK-ROOTS%40yahoogroups.com, "Michael Mojher" <mgmojher@>
> > Curt,
> > There certainly are more Ivanko listings. Twelve of the 15 listings were
> > for double worded surnames. Certainly, the number of listings for Ivanko
> > is greater than all of them. But, the Ivanco listing were in places that
> > were much more Rusyn than those of Ivanko. And that was a question
> > asked, was Evancho a Rusyn name.
> > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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