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Macedonian Republic Genealogy Forum
Originally, Ristich was not a family name, but a patronymic. When written in Serbo-Croatian with Latin letters it is spelled Ristić. However, when a Ristić moves to an English speaking country he has 2 choices. He can either spell it Ristic and have the English speakers pronounce it Ristik or else add an h to the name in order to give English speakers an idea of correct pronunciation.
Under Ottoman rule Turks and Christians alike identified themselves with their proper name and a patronymic. Thus, in the case of my father, his name was Teodosije Ristić, indicating that his father's name was Rista or, in Macedonian dialect, Riste. Rista/Riste is a Serbian/Macedonian corruption of Greek name Hristos, or Christos, i.e. Christ, a name as common among Greeks and, by extension, among Orthodox Serbs, Macedonians and Bulgarians, who pronounce it Hristo, as Jesus is among Spanish speaking peoples.
Had the traditional way of naming continued my name would not have been Ristich, but a patronymic based on my father's name. However, when Serbs liberated Macedonia from Ottoman rule in 1912 they introduced the Western way of naming. The name of every head of the family was fixed forever and his patronymic became the family name. Since there were many fathers named Rista/Riste, a lot of Ristich families sprung up, not related among themselves. If you are looking for your relatives you would have to trace your grandfather's ancestry back to the first decade of the 20th century and then locate the descendants of the common progenitor Rista or Riste.
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