Carpatho-Rusyn Given Names
Traditional Patterns of Naming Carpatho-Rusyn Children

The October 1995 issue of The Orthodox Herald contained a fascinating discussion of the traditional methods used by Carpatho-Rusyns in naming their children. This type of information can be very useful to the genealogist. For example, if you already know the children's names, that information can provide important clues as to the likely names of the grandparents! Naming patterns can also be useful to the genealogist in determining the birth order of the children or even in determining whether there were other children.


In much of Europe, the tradition was to name a child based on the saint commemorated on the date a child was born. This was typical in Poland and Russia. However, Carpatho-Rusyns had a different tradition. The eldest son was generally named after the father. The second son was named after the grandfather on the father's side. The third son was named after the grandfather on the mother's side.


Daughters were generally named in a different manner. The eldest would be named Mary, the second Anna, and the third would be Helen. Children that were born later would be named after other relatives. As a result, the same given names (i.e., first names) would be used generation after generation in a family line.

A useful information source

Many issues of the The Orthodox Herald, P.O. Box 9, Hunlock Creek, PA 18621, have information on Carpatho-Rusyn heritage. This monthly publication is only $7 per year or $10 for two years.

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Last modified: May 26, 2003