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Subject: Re: Grandpa is from Bulgaria, surname that probably changed over time looking for people to help me with "Cildam" surname.
Author: Jim Young   (guest)
Date: July 30, 2013 at 12:30:37 PM
Reply to: Re: Grandpa is from Bulgaria, surname that probably changed over time looking for people to help me with "Cildam" surname. by Iznogud
I agree with Iznogud - almost certainly Turkish, though I can find no explanation.
The post-Ottoman Turkish authorities were paranoid about minorities having non-Turkish names and forced them, eg, Kurds of Eastern Turkey and Arabs of South-East Turkey, to adapt Turkish names.
I'm guessing that your Bulgarian ancestor applied for Turkish citizenship and one condition of acceptance was a change of name. If this is so it there may be a record in Turkey giving the original name in a petition for citizenship. It might be worth your while searching for a Turkish genealogical society to enquire if such records exist.
Incidentally, in modern-day Bulgaria, members of the Muslim minority are being forced to adopt names of Christian origin.
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