The Marinič and Marinics Names

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When we first started to analyze the Marinics name, it soon became very confusing. We were most likely a big part of the problem because we did not understand the Slovak language and the differences between Slovak and Hungarian names.

We were always told our surname was originally MARINICH (pronounced Ma-RIN-ich). The name was supposedly changed to MARINICS by Michal (Mike) after he arrived in the United States.  From that point forward, the family name was pronounced ‘Ma-RIN-ics’ or 'MAIR-in-ics'. The later, for some reason, was used by one of Mike's sons.

There are numerous Slovaks listed on ship logs with the surnames Marinič, Marinic and Marinics. Not one, at the point, is confirmed to be a relative with the exception of Michal’s sister, Elizabetha Marinič. Early on, we believed that every Marinics residing in the United States was a relative. Why? Because all of our inquiries and Internet searches, at that time, came back as known relatives.

Now, we are not sure. Common sense tells us that other relatives may have immigrated to the U.S. and/or other countries and our family has most likely lost contact with them. Since we have found Marinič cousins in Slovakia, Kropinak cousins in Canada and Bakos cousins in Connecticut, why can’t we have Marinič-Marinics relatives in other areas of the world?

The spelling MARINITS is another form of our name. We believe this to be the Hungarian version. This raises the question was Palus Marinits originally Hungarian or was it because the Hungarians dictated the use of Hungarian names? We assume the later to be correct.

In addition, research at Ellis Island, U.S.A. has uncovered an Alena Z. Marinic married Adam Pan Z. Vartemberka in 1552. The Royal Vartemberka family was known to reside in the area. So the name has existed for hundreds of years. Was Alena a relative? We most likely will never know.

The Slovak alphabet is the same as the English version. The difference is how the Slovak letters sound when formed into words. The Slovak language uses diacritics, to change the sound of letters in their alphabet. Because the English language does not use diacritics, the diacritical mark over the "c" was lost when Michal came to the United States thus creating Marinic spelling. Michal continued to pronounce his name as Ma-RIN-ich until he decided an "s" should be added.

Therefore, we believe the correct Slovak spelling of our name is Marinič with the diacritical mark (č) over the letter “c”. This spelling, we believe to be correct because our cousins living in Slovakia list their name as Marinič. Secondly, the diacritical mark changes the pronunciation by adding the “ch” sound to the end which would be articulated as Ma-RIN-ich like we were originally told.

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