Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [surnames]

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

15
votes
7answers
1k views

Tracking family names and migration patterns using GIS?

I posted a question, Using web mapping and geocoding to track genealogical data, over at Geographic Information Systems SE awhile ago, so I was quite excited when I saw the proposal for this site. I ...
15
votes
5answers
908 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
6k views

Determining correct spelling of Polish last name?

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 ...
13
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the standard method for recording married names?

Suppose Mary A marries John B and then (after his death or divorce) she marries James C. Rightly or wrongly my impression is that conventional practice in GEDCOM based programs is to record only ...
12
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
11
votes
8answers
1k 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 — ...
11
votes
3answers
149 views

Polish spelling variants for “Yechezkel Fleker”

I am trying to locate any records about my grand father. His name in "Yechezkel Fleker" or in hebrew "יחזקאל פלקר" and I am trying to search some polish archives for information about him. I am not ...
11
votes
1answer
315 views

Did Edward Buten change his name from Edward Bulen?

For several years I have hit a dead end with one branch of my family tree. My Great Grandfather Edward Buten married by Great Grandmother Elizabeth Mary Ann Dunnington in 1893 at the Islington ...
11
votes
1answer
540 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
224 views

What might 'i' separating parts of someone's name mean?

I've found two names in my family that I'm trying to parse out Husband: Jordi Flos i Margalef Wife: Antonia Bassols i Sunyol Their daughter: Rosa Flos What does the i something in the two parents` ...
8
votes
1answer
232 views

What's the best way two people that share a surname can determine they're not closely related?

My girlfriend and I both share the same last name and our families claim they are both from the same Korean surname "clan". This is a huge sticking point for her father. I know so far with certainty ...
8
votes
1answer
121 views

Kollenborn in Romanshorn, Switzerland

It seems that my mother's family, Kollenborn, came from Romanshorn, Switzerland, near the German border and the Bodensee/Lake Constance (Konstanz). I have found Kollenborn to be an extremely rare ...
8
votes
2answers
192 views

Encoding Surnames with Gender Variations (Greek, Czech, Russian, etc) in Gramps?

Background: In some cultures, such as Greek, Bulgarian, Russian, Slovak, Czech, etc. surnames change form depending on the gender of the bearer. For example, ...in Slovakia and Czech Republic alike,...
8
votes
1answer
246 views

Updating Surname Chart of Male-Line descendants in form of tree?

I have an old Family Tree or Chart that dates back many centuries. It is a Surname Chart of Male-Line descendants in the form of a tree. It flows from the bottom upward and the trunk of the tree is ...
7
votes
2answers
463 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
557 views

Spelling Polish name pronounced Ko lo jay?

For sure it starts with K. Pronounced Ko lo jay. There is a d on last syllable is similar to dij. Maybe Kolodij?
7
votes
4answers
248 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
122 views

Family name which sounds like сипа?

I wonder if this family name, "сипа" or "sipa", does exist in any slavic language (or maybe jewish). The ortography might be different and not exactly the same as I wrote it. The only thing I know for ...
7
votes
2answers
439 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
116 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
140 views

Benefits of joining the Guild of One-Name Studies?

For years I have been conducting an informal (and/or obsessive) one-name study. There are only 150 or so people who bear our surname globally, all but a handful of those in England. I have many ...
6
votes
2answers
298 views

What does a phrase like “dit St Pierre” mean, when it follows a surname?

What does a phrase like "dit St Pierre" mean, when it follows a surname? For example: Marie-Anne Romure dit St Pierre
6
votes
1answer
153 views

Original Spelling(s) of Polish surname anglicized as Shemynski?

The English spelling of my maternal grandmother's maiden name was "Shemynski". I would like to know the original/alternate spelling(s) to look for in Polish records, with the appropriate language ...
6
votes
2answers
183 views

How should I document a surname change from the mid- to late 1700s (US)?

I have a gg grandfather that had a different surname than his father, FIVEASH for the son, FISH for the father. This was in Virginia mid to late 1700s. How could I learn if this surname had been ...
6
votes
1answer
169 views

Age of surnames in German region?

browsing through stories likes these, I was just wondering if there are books or websites or other kind of sources that make it possible to see when a certain surname appears the very first time in a ...
6
votes
3answers
129 views

MacFamilyTree: underlining the preferred first name

I recently switched to MacFamilyTree (8.0.10) and a) would like to know whether it is possible to have one first name underlined (or somehow highlighted) in the program, like: John S̲e̲b̲a̲s̲t̲i̲a̲n̲ ...
6
votes
1answer
93 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
86 views

Origin of surname Шцмоняк

My paternal grandfather is the oldest person I know anything about who had the name. He was born in Rosiska (the obituaries disagree about whether that is in Czechoslovakia or Ukraine). He passed away ...
6
votes
1answer
228 views

Searching databases for ancestors with aliases?

I have a probable ancestor about whom I know very little, except for the fact that he used an alias and he is mentioned in his father-in-law's will. The two names are quite common - something along ...
6
votes
0answers
145 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
240 views

Jacob Fisher and Sarah Hodges (married in 1773 in Sharon, MA) - who were their childen?

Page 27 of the Sharon, Massachusetts Vital Records show Jacob Fisher and his wife Sarah had a son Jacob born 30 Apr 1776: Jacob, s. of Jacob and Sarah, Apr. 30, 1776 Page 94 of those records show a ...
5
votes
4answers
117 views

If widow remarries, do English records ca 1820 show maiden name?

In England, if a widow remarries, is the marriage record more likely to show her maiden name, or the married name from her previous marriage (circa 1820)?. From what I understand, in Scotland, a widow ...
5
votes
2answers
301 views

Would the Polish surname Jurkiewicz have been different in Russia?

Elias (Alexander) Jurkiewicz was living in Bilyi Kamin', Ukraine when his first children were born. Family lore says Elias came from Russia and worked there as a shoemaker for the Czar (we haven't ...
5
votes
2answers
141 views

What variants in spelling and pronunciation might there be for Polish surname Chorzelewski?

What variants in spelling and pronunciation might there be for the Polish surname Chorzelewski? The name could be Chorelewski also. My grandmothers maiden name was Chorzelewski here in the US. ...
5
votes
2answers
308 views

What is the root meaning of the surname “Samovojska”?

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
354 views

Creating a list of surnames from a specific municipality in Germany (Baden)?

I am looking to make a list of current day surnames where my ancestors lived in the 19th century to aid in translating and spelling out names in old baptism and marriage records. I know that the ...
5
votes
3answers
195 views

What is the meaning and origin of the surname Nesselrothees?

I am having trouble finding anything out about the surname Nesselrothees. My great grandmother was registered under the surname in 1840 England. Her father was Alexander Dorow Nesselrothees. He was ...
5
votes
1answer
124 views

What was surname of Susan/Susanna, wife of Edward McDowell, from Devon area in abt 1800?

There is an old story in my mother's family of my great-great-great-grandmother Susan having come from a wealthy family but been 'cut off with an angry shilling' when she married the family coachman, ...
5
votes
1answer
85 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there such a thing as Ashkenazi Jewish surnames?

What makes me ask this question is this answer by @ezra to http://genealogy.stackexchange.com/questions/12159/spelling-of-surname-kowesnki-kowenski. The answer claims the name "Kowenski" is Jewish, ...
4
votes
2answers
168 views

Determining parents of 19th Century Swiss ancestor?

I started getting into genealogy thanks to Ancestry.com and I have run into a brick wall. I am looking for the parents of Christopher Stukey (born somewhere between 1843 and 1848 in Switzerland) his ...
4
votes
1answer
74 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?
4
votes
2answers
69 views

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

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?
4
votes
1answer
94 views

Determining average number of people that have same surname as random person?

This website gives the approximate number of people with a particular surname in all countries: http://forebears.io/surnames It spits a number, for example "1500 people", but the problem is that I ...
4
votes
1answer
140 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.
4
votes
1answer
399 views

Was it common for German women to use their maiden names in the early 19th century?

I have a German third great grandmother who appears to have used her maiden name at times as well as her married name. She appears with her husband in 1824 in Armstrong County, PA on a communicant ...
4
votes
1answer
124 views

Rule of Thumb for when Anglo-American surnames became standardized?

There are good Q&A's on this site about how to identify alternative versions of a given surname, but I have a different question more related to this and this. I know that when I'm looking at ...
3
votes
3answers
91k views

What does the word “née” mean when following a woman's name?

For the first time today I have seen the word née following a woman's name. It's often in parenthesis and precedes what appears to be another surname. I'm guessing it's a way of signifying a woman's ...
3
votes
3answers
315 views

How can a name be corrected in the 1940 census?

A next door neighbor in the 1940 census is listed with a wrong surname. Is it possible to have that corrected?
3
votes
3answers
203 views

Tracing genealogy of people with particular Polish surname?

I am trying to trace the genealogy of one or more people with the surname "Wozniack." I believe that it is Polish name and that these people are of Polish descent Where in Poland are people with ...