I have seem alternative spellings of this name listed as

  • Samovojska
  • Samovojsky
  • Samovosky
  • Samosky

What is the origin or root meaning of this surname?

For reference, the Samosky variant has just a few examples in the US, mostly in the Ohio and Pennsylvania regions. The name may have originated in the US between 1890-1910.

In my case, it is research on a family name, where the roots trace to both

  • Croatia area (female descendent), and
  • Russian area (male descendent, surname in question)

The family language was Russian/Ukraine, but known to be living in Croatia area

  • 1
    Welcome to the site. Are you able to give us general time and location references for the name(s) and variants?
    – GeneJ
    Nov 13, 2012 at 22:33
  • See also the same question and answer(s) from the Russian Language and Usage SE.
    – Jeni
    Nov 14, 2012 at 1:30
  • @GeneJ how else can I present details? Nov 14, 2012 at 4:17
  • 1
    Really interesting names. You have observed the variants in some context yourself; providing the references for the different variants would be helpful. For example, the first variant might have been found in the 19th century naturalization record of someone otherwise said born in country A or a passenger list of someone then traveling from A to B. Another variant might be referenced to a census report dated XXX from country C, or a parish record from place/country D. They might all be variants of just one persons name, given say in different census reports.
    – GeneJ
    Nov 14, 2012 at 5:18

2 Answers 2


It's a Croatian name. Sam = Alone, Samo = Only, Vojska = Army. So there could be different interpretations: Lonely Soldier, Army of One, etc..

  • Nice work, Rusty. Might you have a reference?
    – GeneJ
    Nov 14, 2012 at 0:37
  • 2
    simple Google translation {modern}. Got Croation origin from searching passenger lists. Nov 14, 2012 at 0:58
  • Nice approach, too.
    – GeneJ
    Nov 14, 2012 at 1:00
  • 1
    It could also be a Russian name (the roots are similar); more information on the source/geographic location would make it easier to know. Nov 14, 2012 at 2:41

What @Rusty says is true.

Samovojska is only an army, and we are from Croatia.

The first was being a Samovojski, because that is a plural.

In 1898 somebody made the change to Samovojska (singular) army.

The surname have connection from the age of the Ottoman Empire , when the Turkey/ Ottoman army attacked Europe, and Croatian soldiers defended Europe.

In the part of Croatian land behind the military border with the Ottoman Empire, lives soldiers, only army.

We now live in capital town of Croatia, Zagreb, and town Karlovac where there was previously a big fortress in the military border.

In the history we have a red and white Croatia , and that is today Croatia and Poland, because that we have a national features with red/white little cube, and we don’t have any of connections with Russians.

Croatians and Poles are Catholics and Russians are Orthodox.

  • Hi and welcome to Genealogy.SE. Please add sources to your claims so that others can verify them.
    – lejonet
    Jul 20, 2014 at 16:18

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