Estonia, Petseri County, New Surname Register Cards (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Estonia, Petseri County Surname Register Cards, 1921-1923 .
Title in the Language of the Records
Eesti, Petserimaa Uus Perekonnanimi Registreeri kaardid
What is in the Collection?
This collection will include records from 1921 to 1923.
This is a collection of new surname register cards for residents of Narva and Petseri counties who didn’t have Estonian names. Name cards are organized alphabetically by the new surnames. These records are written in German, and Russian and Estonia.
During the first period of the Independent Republic (1918-1940), over 210,000 people acquired their own surnames. New names replaced those that were insulting (Kõnts "Filth", Sopaauk "Muckhole"), weird (Kollikivi "Ghost-stone", Pudrunahk "Porridgeskin"), foreign (Apfelbaum, Vassiljev), of mixed origins (Jahimann, Karubach) or undesirable on other grounds.
Those of non-Estonian origin had to renounce to their original German, Russian, or other language names and take Estonian names instead. In order to change their names, they had to apply for a name change and then register the new one.
Between 1920 and 1934, only 820 names were spontaneously Estonianised. Estonianisation of names effectively began in 1935, in which year there were approximately 34,000 name changes; by 1940, there had been about 200,000. Some of the new surnames were translations or equivalents of the old names, but others were simply chosen for their attractive sound, meaning, or association.
For an alphabetical list of records currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.
In several instances in the history of Estonia, the government requested people to change their foreign language names to an Estonian name (referred to as the Estonianisation of names). Estonianising foreign-sounding family names was initiated in 1921, although the results were rather modest at first. The situation changed after Konstantin Päts established his authoritarian regime in 1934 and the process acquired a political dimension. Getting an Estonian name became the main cornerstone of demonstrating a person’s national unity.
This collection of name change cards is reliable for genealogical purposes as it was performed in front of a government official authority.
To Browse this Collection
|You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Estonia, Petseri County Surname Register Cards, 1921-1923.|
Population register cards usually contain the following information:
- Name and surname
- Place of residence
- New name and surname
How Do I Search the Collection?
To search the collection image by image select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page:
⇒Select the appropriate "Record type"
⇒Select the appropriate "Surnames" which will take you to the images.
Search the collection by image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.
This collection is organized alphabetically by new surname; therefore, by knowing that name it could be easy to locate your ancestor in this collection. It is usually possible to research Estonian family history confidently back to the period of the assigning of surnames and, with luck and patience, beyond this date using family reconstruction techniques based upon the parish registers and revision lists.
For Help Reading These Records
These records are in German, Russian or Estonian. For help with reading the records, see the following resources:
|FHL Place Estonia, Petseri items or FHL Keyword Estonia, Petseri items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog.|
- Estonica - Encyclopedia about Estonia - Personal Names
- Bluebird Research-Estonianisation of names
- Bluebird Research-Taking of Estonian surnames
Related Wiki Articles
How You Can Contribute
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Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.
Citing this Collection
Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.
- "Estonia, Petseri County, Surname Register Cards 1921-1923." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing District Financial Office. National Historical Archive, Tartu.