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Surname variations and changes: Iluk vs. Ilev / Iliv
Posted by: RWF (ID *****3421) Date: January 20, 2012 at 18:01:50
  of 12152

While searching LDS microfilm records for my maternal grandmother's family from Doroshivtsi, I discovered something curious about the spelling of the surname. Initially, my search was focused on the "Iluk" surname, using other possible variants as well. That proved to be futile, as there was no such family in the metrical records with that surname.

I then checked for my great-uncle's birth record, knowing exactly when he was born. I located it, but the surname was spelled "Ilev" (written in the Latin alphabet). I then searched for my great-grandfather's birth record, finding his surname recorded as "Iliv" (written in the Cyrillic alphabet). A further check of those born in the same house number revealed that the surname was spelled "Ilev" or "Iliv", depending upon the time period. This also applied to relatives from other households in the village.

The surname first appeared as "Illuk" on the Hamburg passenger list in May 1897 (the family emigrated six months after my great-uncle was born). There has always been speculation in our family regarding variations in spelling the surname, but the discussion always centered on whether it was Iluk vs. Eluk, Iliuk vs. Eliuk, one "L" or two.

I realize that transcription errors were sometimes made and certain sounds were were written differently, depending upon whether the native language of the transcriber was German, Polish, Romanian, Ukrainian or English. However, "ev"/"iv" and "uk" sound substantially different.

Perhaps there is a logical or plausible explanation of which I'm unaware. Does anyone care to speculate on how this may have come about? Any thoughts on why this change would have persisted once the family arrived in Canada? Were Bukovinian immigrants required to carry passports or other Austrian-issued identification in order to travel during this period (1897)?

Any feedback would be welcome!


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