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The Origin and Meaning of the Rudy Surname

Summary

Using genealogical, historical and Y-DNA testing, a hypothesis was developed for the origin and meaning for the surname associated with Janos (John) Rudy, which was present in Papin, Slovakia in the early 20th Century.

Roman Catholic church records for Janos’s line indicated that the surname was changed from Rudi to Rudy about 1865.  Review of church records on FamilySearch.org identified a substantial amount of Rudi surnames distributed throughout 18th Century Europe with a strong concentration in Germanic countries.

The Rudi surname does not appear to be widely prevalent in Slovakia today.  European history chronicles a migration of Germanic peoples to “Upper Hungary” (i.e., Slovakia) during the early 1200’s to the early 1300s.  A male Rudy descendant of Janos Rudy completed Y-DNA testing which depicted the movement over time of all male Rudi ancestors from their origins in Africa to Central Europe.

The Y-DNA testing service (i.e., Family Tree DNA) also allowed matching of other test takers with commonly shared ancestors through their database that supported the migration of a Rudi ancestor from Germanic territories to Slovakia.

Old High German vocabulary used during the surname convention period also identified a match with “rudi” which likely suggests that the individual was named due to a reddish complexion.  As a result, the following working hypothesis was developed:  Janos’ ancestors migrated from Central Europe to territory now considered eastern Germany sometime between the start of the Common Era and 1,000 CE.

While in eastern Germany territories, this line selected Rudi as their surname – and eventually migrated to Košice/Kassa, Slovakia as part of the “Saxon/Zipser Germans”.  Over time, the Rudi line subsequently assimilated with the Slovak population and began a migration northeast eventually landing in Papin, Slovakia.
 

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The Rudy Surname (4.75 MB)

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