While working on the Patorai/Patoraj/Patoray family, I discovered that sometimes John Patorai and sometimes his wife, Anna Szurgent, were called “recte” (right or correctly) Mikulik. Mikulik is a surname found in the village of Udol, Slovakia, but I am at a loss as to explain why each was given that alias at different times even though both were listed in the same record.
A picture or two or three is worth a thousand words, so here is the mystery.
First, we have the marriage record for John Patoraj and Anna Szurgent, who married in Udol on 22 November 1836.
1836 Marriage Record
Column 1 – Joa Paterej, gc, Col Ujak, Anna Szurgent, gc
Translation: John Patoraj, Greek Catholic, Parish Ujak, Anna Szurgent, Greek Catholic
Column 3 gives John’s parents as Andreas Patorej, Greek Catholic, Ujak, Maria Joanoskova. Anna’s parents are John Szurgent, Greek Catholic, Anna Gmitritisin, Greek Catholic.
Next, we have the baptisms of their children. The second column is the important one in these records:
1. Maria, 5 March 1839
gc Col Ujak
Translation: Parents – Joannes (John) Pateraj, Greek Catholic, Parish Ujak, Anna Szurgent
2. Anna, 24 August 1842 (first column = dto or ditto). Again, note column 2:
gc Col Ujak
Translation: Parents – Joannes (John) Pateray
Greek Catholic, Parish Ujak, Anna Mikulik
Okay, pause here. Did Anna Szurgent die and John married again to Anna Mikulik? Well, there is no burial record for Anna Szurgent, nor is there a marriage record for John Patoraj. Remember, this is an extremely uncommon surname even in this tiny Udol village. Let’s go on:
3. John, 18 March 1849
John’s 1849 Baptism
Again, look at column 2 –
nos et Szur
Translation: Parents are Janos (John) Mikulik and Anna Szurgent!
The question here is who, if either of these people is the Mikulik and why do they have this alias???
Next in the family is Michael, but in between these two births, the Hungarians took over the local government and the records changed overnight from Latin to the Cyrillic alphabet.
4. Michael 11 June 1851
Cyrillic Alphabet Entry, 1851
Column 3 is Michael and column 4 has the parents – Patoraj John and Szurgent Anna.
5. Peter, 3 (month?) 1856
Cyrillic Alphabet Entry
The far right columns are the ones to look at with this entry, as they have the parents’ names and the village and house number (Ujak 38).
Parents are John Patoraj and Anna Szurgent, based on the fact that the letter that looks like our N is a P in the Cyrillic alphabet and our S is a C in Cyrillic.
6. Susannah, 18 December 1859
Thankfully, the Hungarians were gone and the priests reverted to Latin entries in the church register:
Parents are John Patoraj, Greek Catholic, Parish Ujak and Anna Szurgent, Greek Catholic and the family had moved to Ujak house #1.
That wasn’t the end of the alias situation because when son John married in 1873, Mikulik was again mentioned:
1873 Marriage Record
Joan, (father Joannis Patoray recte Mikulik Col. Ujak filius
Translation: John, John Patoray correctly Mikulis, Parish Ujak, son
The Patorajs lived in house #1. John married Anna Fecsisin, daughter of Peter of Ujak, but no house number recorded.
A couple of baptismal records for John’s and Anna’s children also mention the Patoraj/Mikulik alias.
Anna Szurgent Patoray died 20 July 1873 during a cholera epidemic and was buried the next day.
Burial Record for Anna Szurgent Patorey, 1873
No burial record has yet been found for John Patoraj/Mikulik. It will take some searching because the records again switch from Latin to Hungarian and baptisms, marriages and burials are not in consecutive years.
The question remains – why did either of them use the Mikulik alias and was the Mikulik name attached to Anna or John? Anna was apparently not a widow when she married John in 1836. Village records only begin in 1828 so there are no records found for their parents that would indicate why Mikulik was being used as an alternate surname.
Readers, any thoughts on the matter would be most appreciated.