Naming Conventions: Eastern European Ancestors

Started by Erica Howton on Thursday, January 6, 2011
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1/6/2011 at 8:10 AM

Quite selfishly I need to understand better how to input data for my ancestors from Eastern Europe (Jewish and non Jewish; countries of origin include Poland, countries of the former USSR, the former Czechoslavakia, Hungary, etc.)

1. What is the historical period break out / change? For instance, English conventions changed a couple of times: with the adoption of surnames (ca 1200s); with the adoption of middle names (ca 1700s). But my understanding is that this may be different in different countries.

2. What are the rules for baptismal names / Yiddish names?

3. What are the naming patterns? (a sub paragraph, I know, but would be helpful for me: for instance, if the convention is that "families may have used Leopardo as the first name for multiple generations" that is helpful to me).

4. What were the "usual" ways names were anglicized in the United States? (another subparagraph)

5. How do these Americans names now differ, if at all, from names in Europe?

6. What is the best way to display names from different languages and alphabets?

7. Appropriate citation data welcome.

Available fields:

First Name
Middle Name
Last Name
Maiden Name
Display Name
Nickname [to be relabeled 'also known as']
Birth name [to be added; use in "about me" in the meantime]
Prefix [to be added; use in "about me" in the meantime]

1/6/2011 at 9:41 AM

Анна Павловна Романова р. 18 январь 1795 ум. 1 март 1865
Материал из Родовод.
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Полное дерево
Поколенная росписьРод Романовы
Пол женщина
Полное имя
от рождения Анна Павловна Романова
♂ # Павел I Петрович Романов [Романовы] р. 20 сентябрь 1754 ум. 12 март 1801

♀ # София Доротея Августа Луиза(Мария Федоровна) Вюртембергская [Вюртембергские] р. 25 октябрь 1759 ум. 5 ноябрь 1828

Вики-страница wikipedia:ru:Анна Павловна

18 январь 1795 рождение: Санкт-Петербург, Россия

после 18 январь 1795 титул: Великая княжна

18 январь 1816 титул: принцесса Оранская

21 февраль 1816 брак: Saint-Pétersbourg, Russie, ♂ # Вильям II ( Вильям Фредерик Георг Людовик) Оранж-Нассау [Нассау] р. 6 декабрь 1792 ум. 17 март 1849

17 февраль 1817 рождение ребёнка: Брюссель, Бельгия, ♂ # Вильям III (Вильям Александр Пауль Фредерик Людевик) Оранж-Нассау [Нассау] р. 17 февраль 1817 ум. 23 ноябрь 1890

2 август 1818 рождение ребёнка: Нидерланды, дворец Соестдийк, ♂ # Александр (Вильям Александр Фредерик Константин Николас Михаил) Оранж-Нассау [Нассау] р. 2 август 1818 ум. 2 февраль 1848

13 июнь 1820 рождение ребёнка: Нидерланды, дворец Соестдийк, ♂ # Генрих (Вильям Фредерик Генрих) Оранж-Нассау [Нассау] р. 13 июнь 1820 ум. 13 январь 1879

21 май 1822 рождение ребёнка: Брюссель, Бельгия, ♂ w Эрнст (Вильям Александр Вредерик Эрнст Казимир) Оранж-Нассау [Нассау] р. 21 май 1822 ум. 22 октябрь 1822

8 апрель 1824 рождение ребёнка: Гаага, Нидерланды, ♀ # София (Вильгельмина Мария София Луиза) Оранж-Нассау [Нассау] р. 8 апрель 1824 ум. 23 март 1897

7 октябрь 1840 титул: Королева Нидерландов

1 март 1865 смерть: Гаага, Недерланды

[править] Источники
1.↑ - wikipedia:ru:Анна Павловна;;

1/6/2011 at 9:42 AM

Anna Pavlova of Russia if you couldn't read that !

1/6/2011 at 9:43 AM

Oh boy.

I wouldn't have the least idea how to use that.

What can we come up with for English speakers? I certainly can copy & paste from Cyrillic, but would need some English entry in order to do so.

1/6/2011 at 9:45 AM

with Google translate you can read everything !

1/6/2011 at 9:58 AM

My Ukrainian grandmother wouldn't have known!

Seriously -- what I'm looking for is how I would enter her birth name in the original Ukrainian, which is how it would be reflected in any documents I ever find (I know, lots of luck with that). So I would need something like:

Клара Switotz / Clara Switotz (it's not giving me a good last name)

1/6/2011 at 11:27 AM

I am an administrator on Rodovid. When an Ukrain publishes on the Dutch section I do the same as you do, using Google Translate. Perhaps it is not good enough, but better we don't have !
Rodovid is owned by a group of Ukrain IT workers. Perhaps you can ask tem to translate to english. This is the owner, you may refer to me, one of his administrators form the english, german and dutch localization. (Yaroslav Boychuk)

Private User
1/6/2011 at 11:30 AM

What I do for Eastern European profiles thats are equally important to the West is use their Cyrillic name in the name fields and put the English or Spanish equivalent in the display name.

First: Клара
Last: Світотз
Display: Clara Switotz

1/6/2011 at 12:26 PM

OK that looks good, Victar, Thanks!

Is Світотз correct?

Fred, that's terrific info -- we need to hook up with Rodovid then. :)

Private User
1/6/2011 at 12:43 PM

It would be but I think Switotz is wrong.

1/7/2011 at 10:23 AM

I think it is too. Also I need to find out what it is in Russian, German and Yiddish.

1/7/2011 at 10:52 AM

Nina Golod, a Geni member, recently pointed out an excellent resource for searching for European ancestors created by Dr. Stephen Morse.

If you check his website I think you can contact him and explain the particular parameters you require and if it doesn't exist he might help guide you to create a custom search option to fill your needs. Dr. Steve Morse's profile and website is on the "Geni specialists project" page.


2 -



1/7/2011 at 10:53 AM

Cool, thank you! I'm going to get my cousins on that case.

Private User
1/7/2011 at 11:15 AM

Yeah... his website is broken.

Private User
1/7/2011 at 11:31 AM

@Erica, in German, SW word-initial becomes SCHW. Schwitotz isn't a known name but there are similar combinations like Schwitz, Schwetz, Schweiz, Schwartz, etc., of Ashkenazic origin. Švec, the origin of Schwetz, in Czech means "shoemaker".

1/7/2011 at 5:45 PM

It was pronounced "sweet-ass" (no wonder they changed it). And could very well have been of German origin, but I suspect Polish, actually. There is a similar name in Bulgarian, spelled (sometimes) Switatz or Switach (soft shhhh ending sound).

1/7/2011 at 5:47 PM

And perhaps means "reed" I heard once.

Private User
1/8/2011 at 8:50 AM

In Bulgaria, the earliest traceable records for most people (not including royalty) date back to a time when the country was under Ottoman rule so most names in documents are Turkish-influenced. What I mean by that is: for example, Kiro Petrov (patronymic name; son of Petar) is born and recorded by his Bulgarian name by the local pastor, but to the Turkish administration he is Kiru Petroolu (basically the same: Kiro, Son of Petar).

Bulgarian naming conventions were First Name - Patronymic Name - (Name after his profession or place of origin) e.g.:

Kaloyan - Ivanov [son of Ivan] - Avdjiata [the hunter] OR Mihalkovski [from Mihalkovo]

Later the latter became proper surnames, e.g. Advjiev, Mihalkov...

in the early 1900s Bulgaria adopted the surname system: Name - Patronymic name - Surname, but before that we could have:
1. Ivan Petrov [grandfather]
2. Petar Ivanov [son]
3. Ivan Petrov [grandson]
so sometimes there could be quite a confusion over generations.
Another big problem is that women were not included in family genealogies or official records.

Hope that helps.

By the way, Иванов used to be transcribed Iwanoff, Ivanoff, Ivanov...

Private User
1/8/2011 at 9:16 AM

Well definitely a better transcription of the name would be either Svitac or Svitats.

Private User
1/8/2011 at 9:18 AM

Світотз would be Svitotz in Ukrainian (the i gives me the impression it's Ukrainian).

Private User
1/8/2011 at 9:20 AM

Switotz is more a European transliteration... I think it would be correct for transliteration into German or Polish.

Private User
1/8/2011 at 9:35 AM

Right. If it's Polish, which seems the case, than Switacz or Switocz would be best.

Private User
1/8/2011 at 9:40 AM

Świtacz in Polish.

Private User
1/8/2011 at 9:45 AM

Which seems to be related to the polish świtać, meaning "to dawn, daybreak".

Private User
1/8/2011 at 10:47 AM

Світач is its equivalent in Ukrainian.

1/8/2011 at 12:41 PM

Very useful! My cousins won't have a leg to stand on!! :)

I am really thinking it's Polish in origination. Was Odessa traded back and forth between countries? My grandmother's census records sometimes say Russia, a couple of times Poland.

1/8/2011 at 7:44 PM

I asked my cousins and one said something interesting:

"My mother told me her grandfather was a trunk, as in steam trunk maker in Odessa. Suitash meant "trunk." There's a russian tea company called swi-tach-nee, with a picture of a elephant holding a steamer trunk (get it). never was sure of spelling."

Beginning to sound kind of fak-ish as a name, isn't it. Hmmmm.

Private User
1/8/2011 at 7:55 PM

Hahaha, that's hilarious.

Private User
1/8/2011 at 8:43 PM

I'm a little puzzled by this story though. In Russian, there isn't the play on words with the word trunk. Хобот слона /hobot slona/ means elephant's trunk and steamer trunk is пароходный кофр /parohodniy kofr/.

Private User
1/8/2011 at 8:43 PM

Neither of which sound like Світач.

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