Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:27 am
Post subject: Changed Surname
I have noticed that, for some of my ancestors, their surname appears to have been changed. For example, my great-great grandfather's name is listed as "Wojciech Hańbowicz (born Hańba)". But, based on the records I have found, not all of my relatives have these dual surnames listed. There are two things that I have learned may or may not have something to do with the change: First, I believe that the "owicz" ending means "son of". Second, the word "hanba" does not have a nice definition; per my handy-dandy dictionary, it means "disgrace".
Was the changing of names common among our ancestors in Poland? Any ideas as to the motivation? Oh, and how in the heck did a person get stuck with the last name of "Disgrace" ??? Thanks in advance!
Please look at these links to learn more about role of suffixes and surname evolution over the ages. In generally it doesn't mean that your ancestros have changed surname intentionally. You should remember that a priest filled the books in his own way. With high % of illiterate it was like piece of cake for him. Also for people from "low-life" (socage period) surnames didn't matter.
Unfortunately materials in Polish but google translator should handle it.
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