Origin of "Forkapa"
Does anyone have a clue where the surname Forkapa originated? My grandfather and his brother came over from Croatia in 1914. I've seen the name listed in directories in Porec, but I don’t know the language. Any help would be very appreciated.
Tags:  Forkapa
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This one's a mystery. I thought it might be one of those Italian or Friulian names, with spelling adapted, that are found in areas like Istria, where Porec is located, but I've found nothing like it in Italian sources.
I've checked in Serbo-Croat, and Slovenian dictionaries - nothing. Or in Italian, or even (long shot) Turkish.
It could be a place name, but I can't find a place with this name, or similar.
What next?
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I did see a posting in roots.com from a "Frank Forkapa" in Germany looking for family history. He was told it might be related to the sebian name "Sarenkapa"
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There is a Serbo-Croat word, Saren (Šaren), which an online dictionary translates as "multicoloured". So "multicoloured cap"? If that were the meaning - emphasis on "IF" - then it would raise the possibility of the kapa in Forkapa meaning "cap". Then, how to explain FOR-?
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Could it be a pronunciation change to "For" instead of "Saren"
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It would be quite a stretch.
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I think I might have figured it out Jim. I was on a Serbian chat line and the people kept asking me why I spell my name wrong...It should be Vorkapa ; the V sounding as F as in "For".
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Aah!
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The online Serbo-Croat dictionaries recognise no word vorkapa or vor. There is also a Serbian surname, Vorkapic (Vorkapich), "son of Vorkapa"?
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Ya I heard that one also, which they said it was an old german name. I thought was a little strange. I had a post from the Serbian Geological Society stating very doubtful it was of german descent because a Forkapa is listed in [www.jasenovac-info.com]it is the victim list of Jewish and Serbian victims in Jasenovac.
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I've seen that name and it was a Serbian and Christian(?) forename. I think it would be a waste of time trying to identify it as a Jewish name. One man's opinion.
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Hi Jim,
Check this out and let me know waht you think.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Low_Franconian http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Frisianhttp://www.koeblergerhard.de/germanistischewoerterbuecher/altfriesischeswoerterbuch/afries-F.pdfpage 34: for-kâp-ia* 10, afries., sw. V. (2): nhd. verkaufen; ne. sell (V.); ÜG.: lat. vÐndereL 2; Q.: W, R, E, Jur, L 2; E.: s. for- (1), kâp-ia; W.: nfries. forkeapjen, V.,verkaufen; L.: Hh 55a, Rh 1113afor-kâp-inge 1, afries., st. F. (æ): nhd. Verkauf; ne. sale; Hw.: vgl. mnd.vorkôpinge, mnl. vercopinge; Q.: AA 65 (1513); E.: s. for-kâp-ia, *-inge; L.: AA 65
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I have to say I'm dubious. Forkapia, Forkapinge certainly look similar, but we'd have to account for the presence of East Frisian vocabulary in the Balkans. Also as this is Old Frisian, and I believe South Slav surnames don't date back to the Middle Ages, there would be a chronological problem.
However, I've learned that ideas that are dismissed out of hand can come back and bite. There are German surnames in the Balkans, usually with adapted spellings, so - who knows?
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Hi Jim,
Some new info. I spoke to a guy on a web site in Latvia who used the word forkapa in a blog. I asked him what it meant and this was his reply:
I believe this word ("Forkap") comes more from Russian language, and it means that hook attached behind the car, where you can attach trailer or caravan to.
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I just noticed this while looking for an old posting. Sorry for the late reply.
My Russian dictionary doesn't have the word "forkap", and English to Russian doesn't yield such a word for "hook". I've been racking my brain to think of a word we normally use for that device, without any luck.
If this thread remains open I'll do a bit more scouting round the Slavic languages.
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I'm trying Jim....
I did speak to my Uncle and he had said my grandfathers, great or great great grandfather came from a town outside Paris.
Thanks for your help.
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I was not at all trying the Jewish path. At Jesenovac they murdered serbs, jews,roma and muslims for racial and religious reasons. I think what the person was stating is that it was not of German ancestery due to the fact a Forkapa was on the list of people who died.
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Thank you.
I did pay some one to research the name and they came up with a German ancestry "Kappel" or something like that which I thought was a little strange. I am in the process of writing a letter to a few people I found in Porec with my last name and see if they know anything.
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That's a good idea, though often people will be in possession of some explanation of their name that's just folk etymology. An example: I once met someone surnamed Rusling who believed his
ancestors were cattle rustlers. He could not be convinced otherwise.
Like you I don't find the "Kappel" idea very convincing, but you never know. There is a Croat word kapa, meaning "cap", but I don't find that information very helpful either.
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I heard one story of the part Kapa "cap" as in the head dress due to the family being involved with the Russian Orthodox Church. Rumor has it not too ong ago the "church members" visited the US asking some of the older famliy members about missing church artifacts. Don't know if it's true or not. Thank you for all your help.
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