Uncommon Czech Surnames

Discussion in 'Culture' started by sapienta, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. sapienta

    sapienta New Member

    Hello everyone!

    My great grandparents came from Bohemia to the U.S in the late 1800s. My last name is Kruta, and I've been told that it means turkey. I was also told that it is not a common surname. Can anyone provide any info concerning this?
  2. Ladis

    Ladis Well-Known Member

    329 men in CR has the surname Krůta according to the central register of citizens ;) (you can change the view to first names/surnames, males/females, and sort by alphabet or count using the top menu).

    My surname (Zima = winter or cold) is used by 1 500 men :)

    EDIT: I don't know, whether you are a male or female :oops:. Krůtová (we morph female surnames in the czech language) is used by 308 females :)
  3. sapienta

    sapienta New Member

    Wow! Thanks for the info. That's not a lot of people who share my surname. Also I was a little curious about the surname Zeman, which was my great grandmother's name. I saw on a site for the history of surnames that is Spanish in origin (Zamora). I know that this surname is a lot more common in the CR.
  4. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    There are more possibilities for Kruta:

    Kruta (9 men), Krutová (14 women)
    Krutý (19 men in the CR), Krutá (21 women) - means cruel

    Zeman means yeoman, laird, franklin (derived from země = country)

    Zeman (8883 men in the CR), Zemanová (9343 women)
  5. sapienta

    sapienta New Member

    Thank you very much for responding. I don't know which is worse....turkey or cruel LOL!
  6. iluvuma1

    iluvuma1 Well-Known Member

    My grandmother's family was Votava... According to this registry, there are 1500 with this name. Is there a way to see where this family is most centrally located?
  7. Ladis

    Ladis Well-Known Member

  8. poulsen

    poulsen Member

    Great link! Thanks for the post. I need some help though. When my dad's family came to Texas from what we believe is the Prague area they had to shorten their name to Fojt. What is the most likely spelling of what it might have been prior to their arrival? We believe it was something like Fojtovich but the spelling may be wrong and I can't find any info on Fojtovich. Any help is appreciated.
  9. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

    It might be Fojtovič - and the reason for shortening the name might be the Czech letter č (the pronunciation would be the same as in Fojtovich).
  10. poulsen

    poulsen Member

    Thanks for the reply, that's exactly the kind of information I was looking for. So is Fojtovič considered an uncommon Czech surname?
  11. Vrana

    Vrana New Member

    My father is Czech, but I don't see him anymore. When I was younger, I visited my father's side of the family in the Czech Republic. I wan't to see them again, but I'll have to remember what village they're in :) Does anyone know anything about the surname Vrana?
  12. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

    According to the central register of Czech citizens, in 1999 there were 148 men named Vrana and 3177 men with the surname Vrána (it means a crow in English) living in the CR, so it will be rather difficult to find the right family without knowing any other details (approximate location at least).
  13. Vrana

    Vrana New Member

    Thanks Jana. Yes, I will have to find out more information. But I look forward to seeing them again.
  14. John Rihacek

    John Rihacek Active Member

    My last name is Rihacek and my grandfather came from the small border
    town of Kuzelov on the Moravian-Slovak border area. In New Jersey I have a fair number of Hungarian friends, and have wondered if Riha
    by itself without the cek dimunitive is actually a Hungarian name. I have
    googled the name Rihacek, and there are not many listings in the Czech
    Republic as compared to Austria and Germany. Most of the Rihacek
    listings in USA are direct blood relatives--five of seven Rihacek children emigrated to the USA and Canada in the 1880's along with some cousins from a nearby village to Kuzelov.
  15. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

    No wonder, as the original Czech spelling was Řiháček, a surname derived from a Czech first name Řehoř - Gregorius (cf. many other Czech surnames Řehák, Řehan, Říha...).
  16. gypzy

    gypzy Well-Known Member


    I'm starting to think that the last names I'm searching for may not be Czech in origin, but rather general Slavic. The two names I'm looking for are Kallis and Selinger. These are the spellings I was told about. I played around with surname pages on ancestory.com. Kallis is derived from Kallistos, which is Greek for best or beautiful, that is so me 8) ! Yes, it's hard to be humble when your as perfect as me......lol :lol: ! Anyhew, another spelling Kalis, Kalis w/ the "sh" symbol, Kalish Americanized version of the previous ex. these variations are Polish, Czech and Hungarian. They came from the first name Kalista, which came from the Late Latin Calixtus meaning the cup holding the wine representing the blood of Jesus. This was a popular chosen name amongst the Bohemian Hussite clan the Calastites. I haven't gotten to the Selinger name yet. When looking for info on either name I come across Russia, Poland, Yugoslavia, Prussia, Bohemia, for Selinger. All over the world for Kallis. No Kallis' in the states during the 1840 census. There was a few Kallis' in the states during the 1880 census. The state w/ the most Kallis' was Illinois, 9-15 families. As I've stated in other posts both my ggg grandparents were from Nosalov. Is there anyone out there who can tell me where these names may have originated, and if my family may have spelled it different in "the old country".

    Dekuji Moc
  17. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    "Selinger" is not of Slavic origin. It is Germanic. Maybe of English(!) origin (derived from St. Leger; spelling variations: St.Leger, Leger, Legere, Sallinger, Sellinger, St. Ledger and many more) or of German origin (a variant of Söllinger, a habitational name from any of several places named Söllingen, particularly one near Karlsruhe). In Central Europe, there it was used mostly in German and Jewish population.
  18. Ceit

    Ceit Well-Known Member

    The Oxford Dictionary of English Surnames lists "Callis" as from Calais and "Selinger" (under Salinger) as from Saint Léger-aux-Bois (Seine-Inférieure) or Saint-Léger (La Manche), like wer mentioned. But is it really likely that Central Europeans in the early- to mid-19th century would have English surnames? How 'bout this:

    Duden Familiennamen lists "Kalisch" as 1) from the place name Kalisz in Poland 2) descriptive name from Lower Sorbian kali´s, Polish kali´c and Czech kalit meaning something like "disturbing the water"?? Sorry those diacritics didn't come out right :oops: This name was given to somebody who settled in a marshy area.
    Also from Duden, "Selinger" is an extension of "Seling", which may be 1) a variant of "Selig" a) from Middle High German meaning good, happy, lucky etc. b) a translation used by Jews of the Hebrew name Baruch 2) from the place name Sehlingen in Lower Saxony.

    I don't know about Kallistos and Calixtus as sources for modern surnames. Sounds like false etymology to me.
  19. stepan

    stepan Well-Known Member

    I just joined this board. I too am of Czech descent. My family is from the Praha area and we emmigrated tot he US in 1952 whe I was a preschooler.

    I see the names listed - "Turkey" in Czech is "Krocan" (sp?), so in the first post "Kruta" does not mean turkey.

    I hope to be a part of this board. I live in Northern VA - I do get to the Czech Embassy for events there. It is a very nie place and they have films, foods, beer, all kinds of neat things. You can get on their e-mail list by checking their Website: http://www.mzv.cz/wwwo/?zu=washington or see the events posted there.
  20. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

    Turkey in Czech can be either krocan (male) or krůta (female)...

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