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Alias Names

  • 27 December 2020 3:18 AM
    Reply # 9452728 on 9144935
    Petro Z

    Hi Sharon,

    I can add two more reasons might be  fleeing the country with changed name: fleeing the creditors - landowners, including church (some churches were big landowners), pub/shop keepers or old-style credit unions.

    And there were a lot of young men. We were young too, so can recall how some of our buddies got trouble with authorities. So some Rysin young men decided it's better to escape across the "big water" and get job and freedom than get troubles from local gendarmes.  

  • 13 August 2020 2:30 PM
    Reply # 9163042 on 9144935
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Here's a great example I found when I was visiting.

    Michael Dzuba married Maria Tarkulich who then became Maria Dzuba.

    Peter Tarkulich, married Maria Dzuba who then became Maria Tarkulich

    On top of that, it was customary to name the firstborn male after the father, secondborn after father's father and thirdborn after mother's father.

    So it was quite ordinary for the son, father, grandfather and greatgrandfather to all have the same name.   

    To make matters worse, the women had customary name such as Maria, Helen, Anna, Suzanne.   This went on for at least two centuries that I know of in Eastern Slovakia.

    Suffixes were not used.  Neither were middle names.

    So you cannot make assumptions when examining the church books.   An alias is often a fancy name for a nickname.   My nickname is "Bill", but in the record books, it's always "William".   My mother insisted I use my middle name in documents to not be confused with my uncle of the same name.

  • 05 August 2020 11:36 AM
    Reply # 9146197 on 9144935

    Thanks Sharon!

  • 05 August 2020 12:44 AM
    Reply # 9145094 on 9144935


      Thanks for posting. I know of several instances of aliases. One, I find very peculiar, was that if there were multiple families with  same surname in village, they would take on another name. Another reason might be  fleeing the country so as not to serve the military and while doing so changing there name. I read also that a family may take on the name of the landowner. All of which makes for a double challenge for us doing research.

  • 04 August 2020 10:44 PM
    Message # 9144935

    Like many others researching our Rusyn ancestors, I have encountered alias names.   In some instances, I have been lucky, and the church record actually states the original and alias name in the same record. (e.g. John Andrusz alias Micsak)  In others, the surname has just changed, but all the other information in the record (husband, house number, etc) can only lead to the conclusion that an alias surname has been taken .  (It seems this is done after marriage?  At least that is the case for  all the instances I have observed.)     My two questions are:  1) Does anyone know if this was a practice restricted to Rusyns, or was it common among other Slavic or ethnic groups in the Carpathian region?    And 2),  Is there any logical reason (legal or otherwise), why this was done.?  If it for legal reasons (such as inheritance, are there any records of the laws at that time that would be helpful to read for a better understanding?)   Thanks!

    Mike W

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