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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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 ...
user998's user avatar
  • 141
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 — ...
user avatar
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.
Sue S's user avatar
  • 39
11 votes
1 answer
654 views

Finding orphaned grandfather's original surname?

I'm trying to find my Grandfather's original name. He changed it when he became 18, back in 1941. He was an orphan and never told anyone what it was before he changed it. My dad always said Bair was ...
Brenna's user avatar
  • 111
7 votes
1 answer
195 views

What records document how African Americans received their Surname in early New York state?

My understanding is that pre-American revolution New York state had free blacks and slaves, then during the war both sides offered freedom to those that fought. Eventually, in 1799 slavery was ...
CRSouser's user avatar
  • 5,571
12 votes
3 answers
8k views

What is origin of hyphenated or double-barreled surnames?

I found this answer by John Hanna which implies that the practice originated with the British aristocracy or 'upper-bourgeoisie' as @WS2 dubs them. This makes sense on a hereditary-rule/feudalism ...
Patrick M's user avatar
  • 223
7 votes
4 answers
339 views

Finding records prior to 1838 for Malone, Franklin County, NY or St. Lawrence County, NY?

How or where does one find records prior to 1838 for Franklin & St. Lawrence County, NY? Hiram Wheeler Barlow (28 Sep 1820-27 Aug 1876) and his ancestry (parents). It is believed he was born ...
Jay Stone's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
564 views

What is somebody's "real" surname from a set of possible spelling variants?

How do you decide what is somebody's "real" surname? Is there some hierarchy of data sources that you follow or do you just go by preponderance of usage? I'm talking about spelling variants -- not ...
Mike's user avatar
  • 458
6 votes
0 answers
297 views

Finding surname distributions for names in Poland before WW2?

Gen-evolu allows us to see the distribution of family names in Germany both in modern times and during the peak of the third Reich in WW2, before Germany was affected with the ethnic cleansing of its ...
Bregalad's user avatar
  • 1,407
6 votes
1 answer
102 views

What can be gleaned statistically from Surname occurence in Population?

Is there a calculation or test to determine if the occurrence of a surname in a population in a specific geographical area is statistically significant or just a random distribution? For example, in ...
Trevor's user avatar
  • 61
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 ...
user1261710's user avatar
  • 1,123
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 ...
WilliamKF's user avatar
  • 5,307
4 votes
1 answer
107 views

Is name Angloher derived from Anglii from northern Germany?

Is the name Angloher tied to the Anglii from northern Germany? Would this mean that the name would then be a derivative of a Herr of Anglii? Or Angels?
Eric Wolfgang Angloher's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
221 views

Finding original spelling of Polish name Vazuka which was anglicized on arrival to US? [duplicate]

My last name is Vazuka, but it is polish and was anglicized upon arrival to the US. How do you spell it in Polish? How do you pronounce Vazuka in Polish?
user7970's user avatar
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 ...
user1307's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
413 views

Finding original surname of 20th Century Russian immigrant to United States?

My Great Grandfather Abraham moved here from Vilna Russia in early 1900's with his wife Udis Rose and two children, Arthor and Bella. They started in New York City and at some point changed the last ...
Rebecca Gordon's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
563 views

How rare/common is a surname in the US Social Security Death Index?

I would like to know the 'rank' of how common or rare a surname is in the SSDI. For example: Smith is the most common name with 1234567 entries and Sparrell is the 12345th most common name with 123 ...
Duncan's user avatar
  • 3,735
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?
Neocortex's user avatar
  • 141
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?
Kowesnki's user avatar