Is there a shared nickname or other reason I keep finding Rosina for Theresia and vice versa?

+2 votes
The "Rose-" name family gets confusing all by itself (starting with the fact that half of them aren't "rose-", but "horse-" in origin), but my spouse's ancestors in northwestern Hungary keep adding Theresia to the mix. I have lists of baptisms with everything the same (parents, address, occupation, godparents) except that the mother is Rosina in seven of them and Theresia in one of them, or vice versa. I also have a case where marriage and other records give the exact name, address, and occupation of Rosina's parents, but the register only has a baptism for Theresia with those parents.

Is there a German diminutive of Rosina and Theresia that could be leading to the repeated name switcheroos? In Hungarian, there's Rozi and Rézi, respectively, but they're fairly distinct, and fail to adequately explain my findings. (These are villages settled in the 1700s by German-speaking Lutherans, but by the mid-1800s, I can't judge which language they used at home.)
in Genealogy Help by J Palotay G2G6 Mach 9 (90.7k points)

2 Answers

+2 votes

Na, I think in German there would be the same difference as in Hungarian.

Rosina derives from Rosa (i.e., the Latin name for the flower we know as rose), and so Rosa might be used as a short form. According to German Wikipedia, in Bavaria (and by extension areas further to the southeast, such as Hungary) short forms for Therese were "Resi, Resl, Reserl, Resa" - and here the "e" sound is quite distinct from the "o" sound in Rosa (probably the same distinction you noted in Hungarian).

by Living Geschwind G2G6 Mach 9 (90.1k points)
My Austrian great grandfather’s second wife was Theresia, but she was called Resi.
My great-grandmother Teréz employed a maid Teréz; I knew the former as Dédi and the latter as Rézi néni. (It took me a few decades to make the connection that they had the same name.)

So if it's not a nickname in common, why do I keep encountering Rosina = Theresia? Has anyone else seen examples of this?

Were these people socially prominent in the parish, or where they common folk with whom the minister might not have been very familiar?

The reason I ask is that, while Rézi and Rozi (or their German equivalents) do not sound alike, they probably look quite similar when written in cursive. So I can imagine the minister, when he was writing down whom he had baptised into the church book at the end of the month (or however frequently he did it) and consulted his notes, he may have misread one for the other if he was not familar with the persons as such.

I have definitely come across this with my own common-folk German ancestors - in one egregious case, a baptismal record showed the mother to be the long-deceased first wife of the father rather than the current second wife, even though that same minister had also officiated at the burial of the first wife and the subsequent remarriage.
They were innkeepers and butchers: the minister probably knew them by name, but could not really be expected to remember their entire family trees. (Some of the women ended up married to cantor-teachers, meaning the minister could be expected to know them pretty well, but none of the Rosina/Theresia flip-flops are directly in those families.)

These are all from the bishop's/archive copies of the register ('cause that's what's available online), so miscopying is definitely a possibility, but I don't know if the originals would've used nicknames? The ones from nearby congregations that ended up on the Hungarian side (meaning the original registers are online) use full names. Even in That Dratted Handwriting, "Therese" doesn't look much at all like "Rosine"...

Hmm, in looking through Rajka's registers to see how they wrote Rosina, I discovered that they mostly _didn't_: I can't find a single example. So maybe there's an element of hyper-local name fashion influencing things?
+3 votes
I have also come across this name alteration on two occasions now in the areas of Steiermark in Austria and mainly from the early 1700s. I have record for a woman marrying with her name clearly noted as Rosina and then subsequent birth records indicating her name as the Mother then becoming "Theresia". These have not been situations where there has been another marriage to another woman as the parents names have also been on record with later birth records, as being the same from the original marriage. I have also had early birth records indicating "Theresia" as mother then some years later further children being born and her name is recorded as Rosina and then again some years later her name is once again recorded as "Theresia". It would be very interesting to get a better understanding of this....?
by Mario Grinwis G2G Crew (590 points)

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