Questions tagged [surnames]

For questions about the use, distribution, origin and etymology of surnames, also known as family names or last names.

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What is the origin of the surname Reineke? Is it related to the character Reynard the Fox (Reineke Fuchs)?

"Reineke Fuchs" is the German version of "Reynard the Fox," a character from European folklore. "Reineke," or the almost certainly closely related "Reinecke," ...
1 vote
2 answers
264 views

How did the surname Ormond originate?

I'm trying to understand how the surname Ormond originated. It is clustered primarily in South West Wales, Dublin and Angus in Scotland. In Dublin, the surname comes from a place name in East ...
3 votes
1 answer
192 views

Newspaper archive search for person whose last name is also a common word

This may be an unresolvable question, but I am looking for advice on how to search archives for a person with a surname that is also a common word. Specifically, newspaper archives, etc. in which the ...
2 votes
2 answers
309 views

What does an unexpected letter N at the end of a mother's last name on a stone (grave?) that may be for a less than one day old baby mean?

A marker was recently found that has a date on the top line, a first initial followed by the surname on the 2nd line and a woman's married name (same as the surname on line 2) but ends with an 'N'. ...
2 votes
0 answers
89 views

Understanding Surnames On Vital Records From Peru

I'm trying to understand how to create legitimate records from documents written in Spanish from Peru. It seems like two surnames are often used. I have an idea of what the last names are supposed ...
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Connection a "Leves" in PA, USA in 1850 potentially to Levi routes in Alsace-Lorraine

My daughter's GGG grandfather, Thomas Levis, is 26 and located in Penn Forest, Carbon County PA in the 1850 census, but I haven't been able to get back any further. My daughter has half a clotting ...
7 votes
1 answer
156 views

Dead ends on all searches for name

I've been trying to find anything about my great-grandfather Solomon Cheplivourstza--the surname has been spelled several different ways, even on the same document. He died in about 1915 and there is ...
1 vote
1 answer
138 views

What Romanian surnames sound similar to Cashol?

What Romanian surnames sound similar to Cashol and what would their spelling be in the cyrillic alphabet? Specifically from the Buchovnia region.
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Finding original Polish surname of 19th Century immigrant to United States?

My great, great grandfather's American name was Steve Voiten. I know his Polish given name was Stanislaw, but our family records say Woytinkewicz as a last name. I can't find any evidence of that ...
3 votes
1 answer
273 views

Name Changes in New York City during 1830s?

Are there records for people who changed their names in New York City (NYC) in the 1830's? My ancestor was from France and changed his name after arriving in NYC in the 1830's.
2 votes
2 answers
94 views

What surname would be changed to Yaver from Poland or Russia?

I am trying to trace the Yaver family backwards from New York to where they emigrated from Poland. I can't find any passenger lists or immigration paperwork for the surname Yaver (given name Isador or ...
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4 answers
2k views

What is the origin of the surname Griffin?

Different websites give conflicting opinions regarding this surname. What is the origin of Griffin when used as a surname?
2 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the meaning and origin of the German last name Naicker?

The last name Naicker occurs in Germany, possibly in the 19th Century. What is the origin, history and meaning of this name?
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Obtaining documents of Cuthbert and Baird families

The names of my Cuthberts were, George, James, John, Lewis and others of the family. The specific ones that came to Savannah, GA., USA are James, John, Lewis. John Cuthbert came in the Prince of ...
1 vote
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34 views

Seeking change of name documents for Manhattan in 1890s

My Great Grandfather Moritz Stechil, was a widow and married in Manhattan September 13, 1891. However, when my grandfather was born, the last name changed to Steckler. My grandfather’s birth ...
8 votes
3 answers
583 views

How should I handle French-Canadian "dit" names and variant spellings?

This page gives a good explanation of French-Canadian "dit" names. The short version is that: Illiteracy and lack of standardized spelling means that many of my 17th/18th century ancestors have ...
1 vote
3 answers
228 views

Origin of Falez Surname?

My last name is Falez, which is a fairly uncommon surname. The farthest person back in the family tree that I'm aware of was, I'm told, Slovenian or Austrian, which obviously borders Italy and is in ...
0 votes
2 answers
69 views

Interpreting part of Irish baptism entry

the usual practice for Irish baptism entries is that the mother's name is usually accompanied by their maiden name and sometimes their married name [same as fathers]. In the entry #2081 attached for ...
5 votes
1 answer
144 views

Researching family member that immigrated to USA from Poland in 1831

I'm looking for information on the surname Lyskowinski in Poland. I know he came on a ship named Northumber that departed from London, England and arrived in America on Aug. 23, 1852. His place of ...
1 vote
2 answers
213 views

Spelling of surname Kowesnki/Kowenski

Grandmother's maiden name is listed as Kowesnki. I have not been able to find any such surname. Do you have any idea on the correct spelling?
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1 answer
563 views

Download database of last names

Does anybody know if there are downloadable databases of last names per country? E.g. this one: https://www.cbgfamilienamen.nl/nfb/achtergrond.php?actie=help contains 314.000 last names in the ...
0 votes
0 answers
49 views

What is the origin of the surname Fair?

William C Fair born about 1802 in Báb, Hlohovec, Nitriansky, Czechoslovakia. This could be my 3rd great grandfather. It would be nice to be able to confirm at least if Fair was known to be a surname ...
2 votes
2 answers
320 views

Seeking informational resources on “Robinson” family name origin?

I have hit somewhat of a wall in researching the European lines of my Robinson ancestors. I did learn of the possibility (vs. likelihood?) that Robinson is not a Scottish name, but rather originated ...
1 vote
3 answers
111 views

Seeking Canadian immigration record for Pater Vavaruk/Varvarook who came from Romania 1910-1915?

My Grandfather Peter came to Canada from Romania anywhere between 1910-1915 to Quebec by ship. His last name was Vavaruk, Vavruk, or Varvarook. He later ended up with the last name Warll. The ...
2 votes
0 answers
56 views

Finding record of family name change in New York City from 1943 or 1944

During WW II my family changed their name. We all lived in New York City, Manhattan, at the time. The name change was made prior to my parents' application for citizenship. Where might I find a record ...
0 votes
2 answers
193 views

Is person who has lost family last name still considered Direct descendant

My aunt's children, already have children, and these kids no longer have any of my grandparents' last names, as they have inherited the lastname from the husband. Can they still be considered as ...
0 votes
1 answer
123 views

False name on birth certificate

I am using fake names for this question. Jane Jones is the daughter of Julie ___ and Bob Smithers. Julie and Bob were not married. They lied, and Jane’s birth certificate says “Smith.” Jane later ...
1 vote
2 answers
284 views

Checking if surname is common in Czech Republic?

I’m thinking of trying to find relatives in the Czech Republic so I can learn more about my family history. Here in the US, my name is so rare that anyone who shares it is definitely related to me, ...
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30 views

Correct spelling of Polish surname Czizyk or Czisik? [duplicate]

Looking for correct spelling of my grandparants who are from Poland. Came over to America via Ellis Island in 1913. Immigration papers reflect: Grandfathers name: Stanislaw Czizyk or Czisik Arrived ...
14 votes
3 answers
7k views

Correct spelling of Polish surname Dziubenofska?

My Polish grandmothers last name was Dziubenofska, but I know that's not how it is spelt! I'm looking for the proper spelling. Can you help find it for me? She came over to Ellis Island and they ...
2 votes
0 answers
71 views

Manhattan Name Change Records

My great grandfather immigrated to NYC from Lomza Gubernia of Biyalstok Province of Russian EMpire (Poland today) in 1885. We don't know his original name, though the family lore is his name was ...
0 votes
2 answers
63 views

Ormond/Orman Surname Change

I have been tracing my family history (Orman)and have found a switch to my GGG-Grandfather (Orman) from GGGG-Grandfather Ormand.Does anyone know why and when the name was changed?
3 votes
3 answers
770 views

Is surname Ede of Northern European origin and rare in England?

I am trying to identify my British great-grandfather. I have investigated him in Japan and narrowed the candidates down to eight. I then checked those eight candidates in detail; seven of them seem ...
1 vote
0 answers
90 views

Spelling Alternatives for Lithuanian Surnames

I am having trouble with determining the correct surname spelling for my grandfather. On almost every document, including those from Churches, the names have been spelled different. Examples: Mike ...
13 votes
8 answers
3k views

How can I identify all the possible alternatives for a surname

My ancestor Mary Ann Harper is frustratingly elusive as mentioned here. However, Harper is a surname that would lend itself to different spellings in censuses, birth records and the like — ...
3 votes
2 answers
876 views

Is surname Judah/Juddah Jewish?

My 4th great grandfather had the surname Judah. Before coming to the U.S in the early 1800's it was spelled Juddah. I'm trying to understand if this is a true Jewish last name and if someone could ...
8 votes
2 answers
4k views

Proper way to record mother's maiden name in Gramps 5?

It's not clear to me how both surnames should be entered for women who took their husbands surname when they married. On some genealogy websites I often see married women's names displayed in the ...
4 votes
1 answer
123 views

What is the spelling of this hand written name?

The 31 Dec 1814 marriage of Moses Ragan and Miss Polly Walker in Nelson, Kentucky, United States shown here states: Know all men by these presents, that we Moses Ragan & Charles Walker are held ...
17 votes
5 answers
2k views

Name selection practices driven by the Napoleonic Code

The Napoleonic code was a consistent body of law adopted in many parts of the Europe (and other places) that were conquered by Napoleon I. These laws covered, among other things, property rights and ...
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Original spelling of Polish surname is missing

My grandfather immigrated to Canada from Poland in 1909 with his parents. Our original surname's spelling was changed upon arrival in Canada. Since then it has been "Kerunsky" and no one kept record....
7 votes
4 answers
207 views

Including Names That Changed in Online Trees

Say I have a person legally born (for example) as Harry William Smith, but he was known by everyone since his teenage years as Buddy. His father passed away when he was young and his mother remarried ...
1 vote
2 answers
888 views

Using née to indicate more than one previous surname for same person?

Can you use the term née twice when referring to someone married three times. For example, "My mother Jill Smith, née Brown, née White ..."
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3 answers
7k views

What is the meaning and origin of the surname Lambert?

What is the meaning of this name? What was the history behind it? Which country does it originated firstly? What ethnicity people will have this name?
1 vote
2 answers
982 views

What is the origin of the Maltese/Gozitan surname "Apap"?

I have many Apap's from Gozo (Malta's sister island) on my family tree and I know that the surname goes back a long way, to the 16th century at least. I haven't trace my Maltese line this far yet and ...
5 votes
1 answer
460 views

Conflicting names of ancestor's parents from different records?

Winnifred Lydia O'Brien 1896–1979 BIRTH 30 OCT 1896 • Stroud, Gloucestershire, England DEATH 28 NOV 1979 • New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada I believe I have found my great-grandmother in ...
1 vote
1 answer
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What kind of name is Awakum?

My Russian grandfather was born in the late 1890's in the state of Wolynia, the county of Kovel, and the town of Lechiny. His father was called "Awakum". Does anyone know what kind of name that is ...
0 votes
2 answers
136 views

Correct spelling of Austrian surname Wasmanski?

My family has always always spelled our last name Wasmanski. On my grandfathers Declaration on Intention it is spelled Waksmunski. He was from Austria. I have seen so many different spellings of the ...
3 votes
2 answers
4k views

What is the origin of the surname 'Dubé'?

I been tracking down my family history before they settled in North America. I was very fortunate to be able to track down my mother's side. But with my father's side I was not so fortunate. We know ...
4 votes
0 answers
53 views

Name changes in Canada in the 1920s?

My great-grandfather died in WW1 and then my great-grandmother remarried and had more children with her second husband. This would have been 1920s rural Saskatchewan. All of the children took one last ...
2 votes
1 answer
54 views

Finding original surname of Anton Orsik who immigrated to United States from Russia (Lithuania)?

My father in-law Anton Orsik was born in Vilna, Russia 1898, His father was Feodor Orsik, or that is the spelling of the name on the marriage certificate in New York after his immigration in 1913. I ...