Prague Name Changes 1792-94 #austria-czech

Paul King <samorai@...>

Celia Male's "name changes" in the Prague 1792-94 census appears to me as
variant spellings or mis-spelling, as the case may be, of surnames - in
every instance listed. Thus, I believe that "name changes" is a misnomer.

Perhaps Celia is led in the direction of "name change" because the
"residence change" resulted in the mover having a different spelling of his
surname whereas the permanent resident at the address maintained the same
name with the same spelling. If this is the case, I would be inclined to
seek the reason for the variant surname spelling through scribal/oral error
rather than "name change".

Paul King
Jerusalem <Zimmer-Luedinghausen@...>

Like Paul King I would say these "changes" were not real name changes
but rather "variations" for which there might be several reasons

- spelling mistakes

- in those days people simply didn't bother how to spell their names
(think of Shakepeare who himself gave several variations of his own name
, even this of course was even long before the 1792 census and not in
Prague but in London, but he was someone who obviously did a lot of
writing and still didn't bother how to spell his name)

- mistakes being made by the Prague archive peole transcribing the
original census entries (anybody who has seen these things in its
original knows how difficult they are to read!)

- I am sure there are several other reasons

What is more important I think is that now we know how to find people in
the one or the other list (1792/1794).
By comparing next door neighbours who have not "changed" their names or
only slightly (e.g. Thorsch to Torsch) which you would easily find out
by looking at the index.
But what about Schick in 1792 becoming Schid in 1794. I would not have
found this "change" without comparing neighbours.
This probably also shows that this was not a deliberate name "change".
Why should anyone change his name >from "Schick" (with so many positive
meanings "chic, glamorous, smart, trendy etc) to "Schid", a word to
many German speaking people might have a similiar meaning as the related
English word!
So I rather believe that this Schick was still Schick in 1794. One would
have to look at the original!
There are 4!! "Schids" in the German telephone books and 5248!!

Peter Zimmer