You have most probably heard about our former President Václav Havel - he is one of the best known Czechs of the end of 20th century.
His surname comes from the first name Havel. This name originated in Latin - word gallus from which it originated means a person living in the province of Gallia (Gaul in English). This province covered most of France, Belgium, parts of Germany, Switzerland and northern Italy.
We explained the creative process of surnames in one of the 2012 blog posts and you can read there that surnames were often derived from the first names.
So what are the surnames which has first name Havel as their base?
- Havlice (or Havlica)
- Havlů (or Havlůj)
Wow. There are quite many of such surnames. But the reason is quite clear - there are tens of churches around the Czech Republic which are devoted to St. Gallus (svatý Havel). There were hundreds of boys who were given this first name - and it was necessary to be able to tell them and their families apart. And changing just a few letters in a name would do...
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