Bohemia/ Czech naming

+6 votes
Majel Roddenberry's great gramma was Mary KOCHOVA. Mary's dad was John (Janos) KOCH.  So, is Mary's LNAB KOCHOVA and "other last name" KOCH or is her LNAB Koch and other last name KOCHOVA ?
in Policy and Style by Eddie King G2G6 Pilot (599k points)

3 Answers

+4 votes
Um, none of the above? Kochova is not a separate name: it's a feminized version of Koch. But that's only in Slavic languages/administrations. If dad was recorded as János, that's Hungarian, and Hungarian doesn't do genders; they'd all be Koch. So I'm confused: where does Kochova appear, and is it really Janos? Bohemia doesn't exactly overlap with Hungary in any measurable part of the space-time continuum. Where precisely are these people from?

If you decide that the feminized version needs to be recorded, perhaps check what the Scandinavian projects on WikiTree do for places/times that used patronymics rather than surnames. How do they handle the different names for sisters versus brothers (daughters versus sons)?
by J Palotay G2G6 Mach 6 (61.6k points)

Marriage license

 Name: Mary Kochova Gender: Female Marriage Date: 25 Aug 1873 Marriage Place: Cuyahoga, Ohio, USA Spouse: Joseph Heinrick Film Number: 000877917 Source Information Ohio, County Marriage Records, 

Actual image - number 5

Census her dad is John Koch

: John Koch Age in 1870: 41 Birth Year: abt 1829 Birthplace: Nassau Dwelling Number: 439 Home in 1870: Cleveland Ward 5, Cuyahoga, Ohio Race: White Gender: Male Occupation: R R Car Carpenter Father of Foreign Birth: Y Mother of Foreign Birth: Y Male Citizen over 21: Y Inferred Spouse: Christina Koch Inferred Children: Mary Koch Kate Koch Lizzie Koch Anna Koch Christina Koch Eleanor Koch Household Members: Name Age John Koch 41 Christina Koch 40 Mary Koch 17 Kate Koch 13 Lizzie Koch 11 Anna Koch 7 Christina Koch 5 Eleanor Koch 2 Source Citation Year: 1870; Census Place: Cleveland Ward 5, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Roll: M593_1189; Page: 476B


Many documents about the family say Bohemia. One says Austria and I found a Will written in Czech ? Image number 4.
Documents for her husband use first names Joseph, Josef and Vaclav .

Surnames Hendrech , Heinrich  and Hendricks .

And yes, they are absolutely the same man.
+5 votes
Eddie, I see from your comments that you are using a record from Cuyahoga, Ohio as the source from spelling for the name. From personal experience with the same locations records, and even another marriage record, I would do further research for that name. They had my great grandmothers name messed up and that caused a brick wall for a long time for me until I had a researcher from the country she immigrated from find her real LNAB. I no longer trust the spellings of those who immigrated to Cuyahoga, Ohio in the county records, they have been known to get it wrong.
by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)
+3 votes
Koch is a German name, suggesting that her family is of German Bohemian background. That in itself doesn't help, though, as there are numerous examples of German names ending up with Czech speaking families and vice versa. Whether to use Koch or Kochová as LNAB would depend on knowing whether the family at the time she was born was considered German or Czech. That she married into a Czech speaking family doesn't mean much for her birth name as there was plenty of intermarrying going on in Bohemia and also after immigration in the US. To be sure you'd need the baptismal/birth record but in the absence of that I would probably go with Kochová as that seems the only name with records available. (In my own family, almost exclusively German speaking, there is a tiny twig off the main branch that's spelled Jungšafer because one of the guys married a Czech gal and moved to a Czech speaking village.)

BTW, are you sure about "Janos"? the Czech form would be just Jan.
by Helmut Jungschaffer G2G6 Pilot (544k points)
But I only find Koch in American census records and in Cleveland Ohio directories and voter lists. It could have been mutated by "Ellis Island"

Bohemia and Slovakia appear on documents most often.

Curiously, there are records of women surnamed KOCHOVA  - Jews in "Czechoslovakia" who survived the WW2 Concentration camps.

Just some thoughts to your observations:

  • Up to the end of WWII about 1/3 of the population of what is today the Czech Republic was considered German. At the 1910 census Bohemia, Moravia, and Czech Silesia had 9,962,000 inhabitants, 3,252,000 of them were German. (,, I think it is less of a stretch to assume a Bohemian German background when a Czech immigrant has a German name than to blame an Ellis Island effect. Especially since other Czechs who were still speaking Czech used the German name albeit with the Czech female ending.
  • Like in most European countries Jewish history in Bohemia is pretty complex. One of the truly tragic aspects of it is that many Jews in Bohemia considered themselves German and spoke and wrote in German (Sigmund Freud, Gustav Mahler, Franz Kafka, to name just a few). It does not come as a surprise to me that people who somehow managed to survive the concentration camps did everything possible to blend in with the culture they lived in, anything but reminders of a German past, especially since the 3 million Germans had just been expropriated and kicked out of the country.

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