How to handle certain Czech names

+7 votes

A number of Czech names appear in the records as "A recte B". The Czech naming guidelines state that this should not be used in the Last Name at Birth field where only a single name should be put. I have a couple of profiles that make me doubt the universal applicability of this guideline:

  • Single mother's name is given in the birth record as "A recte B". The daughter later migrates to Vienna and marries twice and has 4 children from both husbands. Her maiden name is given as "A recte B" in both marriages and all four birth records of her children.
  • Child is born with father's last name being recorded as "A recte B" and his own last name as well. In all subsequent records he is listed as "A recte B" until he had the "recte B" legally dropped from his name which was recorded on his birth record as an addendum.

While it may be possible for the majority of profiles to discern a single valid LNAB there are a few where this just doesn't seem to fit and I think we need be flexible enough to account for these cases.

in Genealogy Help by Helmut Jungschaffer G2G6 Pilot (617k points)

1 Answer

+3 votes
Best answer
Hello Helmut,

I have some Czech ancestors in my family tree, but haven't dug them out yet. I don't know any Czech, but I would like to understand the topic. Can you please shed some light on what this "A recte B" is all about?
by Ronnie Grindle G2G6 Mach 1 (19.6k points)
selected by Cynthia Jasan
In some areas of Bohemia it was quite common for people to use farm or house names. If a farmer or a craftsman had only a daughter, her husband would move to the farm or the shop his in-laws owned and the family was then still called by the name of the farm or the house the shop was in: Jan Dworzak married Maria Picha and was henceforth called Jan Picha (but sometimes still Dworzak or Dworzak vel (or) Picha or Picha vel Dworzak). Mostly in the 19th century, after having sometimes several generations called Picha, some priest discovered that the family name was originally Dworzak and so records now stated the name as Picha recte (correctly) Dworzak. At that time the Austrian Empire had designated the church as the official record keeper, so what the priest documented was at that time the legal name of the person. I think, based on observations from the church records I have come across, that this was a somewhat haphazard process depending a lot on the recording priest. It seems that many quietly changed the name to whatever suited them or the family and kept it a single name but some were quite legalistic and the double (and sometimes triple) names stuck - to the point where people had to have their name legally changed in order to drop the "recte" part.
Hello Helmut,

this is very valueable information! Is there a place to put it?

I thought I once saw a place for Czech naming convention, but can't find them anymore. Is there one?

Last Name at Birth

  • Females should use the correct naming conventions. This is the name they were given at birth (see below). Czech females will have a birth surname with -ová at the end of their surname (see exceptions). German females will have a birth surname with -in at the end of their surname (see exceptions). This is not to be confused with the Latin -in.
  • Use –ová (Czech) or –in (German) for all names regardless of time period or what's written in the parish record (see exceptions).
  • Use no Latin names even if the records were written in Latin (using –in.) This is not to be confused with German ending -in.
  • Don't use the following as part of the surname. This isn't correct use of the LNAB field. These are describing words about the person:
  1. "recte" or "vlastně" = correctly or in fact
  2. "vulgo" and "vel" = alias or aka (also known as)
  3. "neb" or "nebo" = or
  4. "nini" or "nyní" = now or currently

This is the current entry in "Name Fields for Czech Names"

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