Austria-Czech SIG #Austria-Czech Bridging past 18th century surname changes #austria-czech

Michael Gordy <michaelgordy@...>

In early June, Jan Hellman shared with us information
on Kocman's recent Judaica Bohemiae articles on tax
listings for Jews in Moravian towns around 1669-71.
For those of us working on Moravia, these articles are
quite extraordinary.

When I looked at the list for my own favorite little
town -- Straznice (near Hodonin),-- I got quite a
surprise. The list was long, roughly 40 heads of
household. At least half of the people listed had
surnames in the modern sense (as opposed to a name
like "Davidt Moyses," which I imagine is probably
"David son of Moses"). But the surnames had hardly
any overlap at all with the surnames found in
Straznice in the early 19th century. We know the 19th
century Straznice surnames quite well >from a variety
of sources.

Two possibilities strike me:
(1) the 17th century families moved out and were
replaced by an entirely new set of families, or
(2) the existing families changed surnames with the
reforms of the mid 18th century.

At least by the 19th century, the Straznice Jewish
community was extraordinarily stable -- one sees the
same surnames over and over for 100 years. If this
was true earlier on, then (2) is more likely than (1).

And so I come to my questions: First, can anyone shed
more evidence on which story is most likely to be
true? Second, if changing of surnames was widespread
in 18th century Moravia, then are there any data
sources that would help us bridge the gap between the
old names and the new? Ideally, we would have surname
adoption records that would show both the old name and
the new name for a family.

-- Michael Gordy
Hyderabad, India

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