Saturday, April 7, 2012

Czech Surnames Statistics

There are hundreds of thousands of them. Really. According to the newest statistics published by the Ministry of Interior, there are 370 878 unique surnames in use in the Czech Republic. Not all of them are of Czech origin, many of them were brought to Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia in last few decades as people from other countries were moving in (yes, also these surnames are covered by those statistics).

Ministry of Interior publishes the surnames and names statistics every year. These statistics are available on its website, There are xls and csv tables which are available for download. Those tables are not too well-arranged, but a group of statistics fans created a website which provides much better overview.

The website was already mentioned on this blog, but I think it's worth mentioning it again. The statistic tables were transformed into a maps. These maps show you where the families with the chosen surname are living today. How it works? 

There are tens of so called "authorized municipalities" which are responsible for larger area. The surname statistics are published for these authorized municipalities, so it's possible to divide the country into smaller pieces and show where the people with one surname are living. You won't get exact village, but you get at least an idea where to search for relatives, ancestors etc. 

This can be, of course, used in case of less common surnames - there are thousands of Novák's, Dvořák's or Novotný's in the Czech Republic, but if your family has, for example, surname Machník (greetings to Stephen in Canada :o)), you'll clearly see what are the possibilities of the family origins. Let's see it in practice. 

You have to type the surname you are searching for into the search area (in red circle). 

After typing the surname, press Enter or click on Vyhledat (Search) button. 

You'll get a map where the density of your surname is shown - the darker the color, the more often is the surname in that area (there are more people with this surname compared to the total number of inhabitants of that "authorized area"). There is a list of the "authorized municipalities" on the left where you see number of people having the surname in the area and density (Každý x-tý) of the surname. Machník surname is present 12 times in Strakonice area and every 7643rd man has this surname.

Příjmení: Machník, počet výskytů 57 v celé ČR. = Surname Machník, 57 occurences in whole Czech Republic.
When you move the mouse pointer above the area, it will show you its name and number of people having the chosen surname. 

It's easy to use so don't hesitate to try it!


  1. Tried it - no hits on my surname.

    Charles Vaclav, Florida USA

    1. You have to use diacritics on that website. Your surname was originally "Václav" for sure.

  2. Hello
    You have a great blog, thank you for putting all this together.

    Would you be willing to answer 2 name questions, please?

    1. The oldest written American English spelling of our Czech name (from 1882) is BURIJANEK. What is the likely correct Czech spelling with Diacritics?
    2. Any thoughts on the meaning of the name? (family legend suggests is is a diminutive for male sheep (little ram)

    Thank you for any help you can give

    Shelley Buranek

    1. Hello Shelley, I know the answer comes quite late, but it's here...

      1. Most probably Buriánek or Burijánek.
      2. The surname is derived from first name Burian. St. John Burian was a saint living in 4th century. He and his brother Paul denied to sacrifice to the Roman god Jupiter and were beheaded in 362 AD.

  3. Thank you for this blog. I have gotten 13 hits on my family's surname, all in the Frydek-Mistek region, where my Great Grandmother was born!

    Is there a way to attempt to contact them? Perhaps an online phone book?

  4. Thanks! I tried this for my great grandfather (Vaclav Kostelak) and found nothing and for my great grandmother (Anna Krizek) and found two Krizeks residing in Praha. I am having a very difficult time finding any information on the last name Kostelak. Any info on this name would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi, try Kostelák and Křížek - copy and past the names with diacritics to the website.

  5. Thank you for this information. I found many for my maiden name( Bartl) which is of Austrian/German origin, but very few for my great-great- grandmother's surname, Czerwenka.

    1. Bartl is my mother's maiden name - where were your Bartls from? For Czerwenka, current form is Červenka.

  6. Perhaps some of you have already found what you are looking for but I wanted to share a link to an online Czech phone book that I use to find the spelling (including diacritical marks) of Czech surnames:
    All you need to do is type a surname in the 1st box after "CO:" and then click on "Vyhledat." For example, in English our surname is Privratsky. I was looking on the surname statistic map for Privratsky but found nothing. I used the phone book to find the Czech spelling is Přívratský, which works on the statistics map!