Saturday, December 12, 2015

Mianna: or, don't just scan the page for a given name!


My ancestor Anna Šperka was the second wife of Mathias Brosch.

His first wife was also named Anna.

They were married in the Místek parish on 16 January 1725. Her father was the late Joannes Gach from upper Hodonovice.

She died 2 June 1737 at age 36. This gives her an approximate birthdate of 1701.

I guessed that she was born in Hodonovice, the village of her father.

When I checked the parish records, I scanned the pages for an entry for an "Anna" born sometime between 1700-1701 to a Joannes Gach. I found nobody.

So then I broadened the search to include 1699-1702 and still no "Anna" born to any Joannes Gach.

Then I searched for any Gach's. I found several Gach's, and also several born to Joannes Gach of Hodonovice.

The person I was looking for wasn't Georgius who was born in 1699 to Joannes Gach and Anna.

It also wasn't Magdalena born in 1702 to Joannes Gach and Anna.

When I looked through the 1700-1701 years, I noticed an entry for, "Mianna" born to Joannes Gach and Anna in Hodonowitz.

This is not a common surname. As you can see above the Mianna, there is a Marianna. I wondered if this was perhaps a diminutive form of Marianna? If so, why does an internet search lead to nearly no results for any given name of "Mianna" except modern day creations of Myanna?

I feel 95% confident that this is actually the Anna I am looking for, and that the parish priest writing this down accidentally wrote Mianna instead. Or maybe when they asked for her name, she said, "mý Anna," aka, "My Anna."



1 comment:

  1. I always enjoy your posts. A couple of notes:

    I suppose in the second last paragraph you mean "not a common given name"?

    I tend to your first theory, that the priest meant 'Marianna'. I would think he would have insisted on a saint's name.

    Third, it appears to say filio (son) not filia above the name. Of course, I can only see a small fragment.

    I know from my own research how exhausting and time consuming this type of work is. At least this priest printed very legibly. I appreciate all the insights you've provided me.

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