Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Surname changes shown on one surname

March poll about surnames on Patreon was won by an option to show surname changes on one surname. I have chosen surname Švejda which provides number of different possibilities how to write it.

Surname Švejda is said to have two possible different origins - it could come from the word Švéd which means Swede or Swedish, or it could originate from a personal characteristic - švejda meant someone who was big and/or clumsy.

There are different ways how to write this surname which is caused by the different ways how to write down letters as explained in one of the older blog posts. Here is an overview of those changes:

  • Š to SCH or SS
  • V to W
  • J to Y, G or I

This means the surname could have been written as Schwejda, Schweida, Schwegda, Sswegda, Ssweyda etc. And here are some examples from the parish books and from different time periods:


Pawel Sswegda (Pavel Švejda)


Wenc. Sswegda viduus (Václav Švejda, widower)


Franz Schweida Inman (František Švejda, farmhand)


Joseph Schweyda Inmann (Josef Švejda, farmhand)


Jozef Swejda podruh (Josef Švejda, farmhand, his own signature)


Josefa, svobodná mžl. dcera Josefa Švejdy, podruha v Sedlištích (Josefa, unmarried legitimate daughter of Josef Švejda, farmhand in Sedliště)

The last example shows declension used in the Czech language - Švejda transforms to Švejdy (as of Švejda's).

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  1. Your explanation and examples are great. Maybe you could do one showing the symbols over the letters and how that changes.