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Zurga, Žurga, Zarga

Zurga, Žurga, Zarga

Posted: 1387322954000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Zurga, Žurga, Zarga, Zarraga, Sarraga

Zurga, Žurga, Zarga

Names can be traced back to name Zarraga.
Family name Zarraga is of Jewish - Sephardic medieval tradition.

It's roots are in Marocco (Town Dar Ben Zarga),

With coming to Iberian penisula , name was written mostly as Zarraga (also Saragga/Sarraga/Saraga - region Laredo, Spain).

On March 31, 1492 - The Edict of Expulsion of the Jews was signed by Ferdinand and Isabella. Spanish inquisition expelled Jews from Spain and Portugal.

In other parts of Europe name transcription addopted to new homeland in the way to preserve original vocal pronunciation : Sirge, Sierge (Germany), England (Zurga), Zarga (Hungary), Zurga, Surga, Shurga (Bosnia), Žurga (Slovenia). (In Hungary this surname is still there today , but is not from that region by it's origin.There was strong jewish community in Hungary , but today much is forgotten , because holokaust wiped out people and much of heitage. (For example name Varga (today in Hungary and Slovenia) comes from sephardic name Vargas.) In Croatia name Žurga spread from town Čabar near Slovenian border.. Unlike Croatia , where was much hatered toward Jews from croatian Ustaši (deportation of Banja Luka and other Bosnian Jews to Jasenovac nazi camp), there were places also in Europe , where Jews could settle in peacefully, but usually in communities , where there were no synagogues and were not chased. During turbulent time in Bosnia (18/19 ct. pravoslav pressure on Jewish well organised communities), families found new home in Slovenia, America,...

With time, names blended in with local names of certain region, especially under pressure of political unrest.

With time ancertry was forgotten also.

Sephardic Jews, those who originated in Spain, first began using hereditary surnames in the 1500s. The Arab and Spanish cultures were the two major influences on Sephardic surnames. Spain was under Moorish Moslem rule from the 700s to the 1200s, and Jewish family names developed under the influence of Arab custom. After the Arabs were driven out of Spain, Jews made their Arabic-sounding names sound more like Spanish.
After the Inquisition (at the end of the 15th century and throughout the 16th ) Sephardic Jews immigrated from Iberian peninsula to other countries, and their surnames came to fit the language and culture of their new homelands: Greece, Italy, Holland, France, England, Germany, Hungary, Bosnia …Throughout the medieval period in Europe, the Sephards were treated as elites among Jews. They had education and often great wealth. They traditionally had big families.
From the arrival of twenty-three Jews in the New World in 1654 (book: A New Promised Land: A History of Jews in America), the biggest number of Jews immigrated to America in so called Century of immigration :1820 – 1924.
Under the threat of nazi pressure Jews also immigrated from European counties to America (South America, US), Australia, ...
During WWII from about nine million Jews who had resided in Europe before the Holocaust, approximately two-thirds were killed.

To research ancestry also DNA testing is available today.
It shows specific y chromosome to person with sephardic heritage.

Re: Zurga, Žurga, Zarga

Posted: 1387327244000
Classification: Query
.Hungarian word varga means cobbler


Name Meaning Hungarian: occupational name from Hungarian varga ‘cobbler’, ‘shoemaker’. BG It is also found as a Slovenian surname in easternmost Slovenia.Czech and Slovak: nickname for a miserable or complaining person, from vargat ‘lament’, ‘moan’, ‘complain’.Slovak and Ukrainian: descriptive nickname from varga ‘lip’. Compare Polish Warga. DM.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

Vargas, Varga

Posted: 1387349900000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Vargas, Varga

Vargas – common Sephardic/Jewish name, originating from Spain and Porugal.

Meaning :
A locational from a town called Vargas, Spain
B In different areas of Spain word can mean a hut, and in other parts, a hillside.

In immigration usually was written Varga.

The records of Jewish Hungary database archive enlists name Varga:
Jewish community in Hungary was back in time quite strong and families had numerous members.. Large numbers of Jews moved to the growing cities in the 15th century; the first "historical communities" were formed at that time (Buda, Esztergom, Sopron, Tata, Óbuda). Budapest has some 20 synagogues. The 19th-century Dohány Synagogue in Budapest is the largest in Europe (second largest in the world) and was recently renovated.
Leading private banks in Hungary were of Jewish origin: :

Thank You for adding info. for varga as occupational name in Hungary.
When the name is found in other countries outside those of its origin, it may not be possible to tell whether it is Hungarian or Iberian.

Re: Vargas, Varga

Posted: 1387363308000
Classification: Query
It may likely be that the Jewish population in Hungary which uses the name VARGA adapted it in Hungary, a practice which was common, as you can see from the writings of Alexander Beider Phd (in Jewish studies) in his book, A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames

The great majority of European Jews took their surnames from the end of the eighteenth century to the middle of the nineteenth, when state legislation required the adoption of hereditary names. The first law was promulgated in 1787 by Emperor Joseph II and was applied to all Jews of the Habsburg Empire, most of whom lived in Galicia. Jews were free to choose their names subject to approval of Austrian officials. If a Jew had not chosen a name, one was assigned. The choice depended only on an Austrian official’s imagination.

Almost all names were based on German words. Many referred to occupations, and others designated personal qualities. The most populous category, however, consisted of artificial names drawn directly from various lexical layers of the German language and unrelated to characteristics of their first bearers. Among these were names of flora and fauna, metals and stones, natural phenomena, food, and household utensils. In many names of that group one can distinguish unmistakable ornamental elements: they are drawn from words that have positive associations. This is particularly true of names derived from adjectives: Ehrlich, Rechtschaffen, and Redlich (honest); Freundlich (friendly); Frisch (fresh); Fröhlich (happy); Geduldig (patient); Glücklich (lucky); Herzlich (warmhearted); Lieblich (charming); Superfein (top-quality); and Tugendhaft (virtuous). For other names, the semantics is neutral. Derogatory names exist as well, though their proportion is small. Among the examples are Deligtisch (criminal), Geschwür (ulcer), Kaker (crapper), Harn (urine), Niemand (nobody), Affengesicht (monkey’s face), Bleichfrosch (pale frog), Schmutzbank (dirty bench), and Wanzreich (rich in bugs, or realm of bugs).

The derogatory names at the end of his list are interesting as this occurred in many countries among many ethnic groups and is thought by many to to a form of protest used when civil authorities required people to take surnames


Re: Vargas, Varga

Posted: 1387590961000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1387600286000
Surnames: Varga, Varga

Hello, Mr. Robert. You are doing quite a research about surnames.
I have noticed You are a very active member on this website.
Nice work.

This thread was dedicated to other surname at the begining.

If You wish to explore more about Vargas or Varga name, please open another thtead. Thank You.

Replying Your letter:

You have presented Ashkenazi Jewish names.

There are differences between Sephardic (Spanish/Middle Eastern) and Ashkenazic (German/Eastern European) Jews. Historically, Sephardic Jews have been more integrated into the local non-Jewish culture than Ashkenazic

Vargas – common Sephardic/Jewish name, (town Vargas, Spain).
Noble family with it's own coat of arms.
In immigration usually was written Varga.

Regarding Jews in Hungary::

From archive newspaper in year 1944: “The Fueggetlenseg, official organ of the Hungarian government, states that the authorities have started taking over Jewish leather firms valued at fifty million pengos, about ten million dollars. “

Commonly used term for shoemaker in Hungary is cipész.
Varga is an ancient term, not used in contemporary Hungarian and means " leatherworker" or leather repairman; someone who works with leather.
As such, varga also was in use to refer to saddle makers.

Varga is also a village in Baranya county, Hungary. Known for the leather factory that was owned by the family of the same name.,_Hungary
Even today some Vargas families own leather manufacturing industry.(Brazil, Mexico, USA).

("Benjamin Varga (1805-1889) also was in saddle trade. Heaving been saddlemaker in Hungary, he and his four sons (John, Alexander, Joseph and Paul) made family business flourished, and in 1954 the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce saluted the Ben Varga Saddlery as one of the few century-old businesses in the city." )


Already in 1251, King Bela IV gave Jews legal rights and welcomed Jewish immigration.

First big wave of Jews in Hungary were Sephardic Jews after expulsion from Spain in 1492.” Sephardim were an important portion if not a majority of the Jews in Hungary and Transylvania under Turkish rule, dealing in local and international trade and paying taxes in return for their rights; their religious and scholarly life flourished. But at the end of Turkish domination in 1686 and 1690, respectively, most preferred to return to the Ottoman Empire. The remaining few were gradually assimilated among waves of Ashkenazic immigration from Bohemia, Austria, and Galicia.”

German sounding names that You have posted are Ashkenazi, that came with second large wave of immigration.

It could be, that in medieval time Sephardi Vargas were trading with leather and the name stuck with leather. Sephards had big families, so name could spread fast. At the time that Ashkenazi Jews arrived, Sephardic Jews already adopted Hungarian language and gradually assimilated.
Maybe Hungarian linguist/historian could help with etymological/historical roots
of word varga in Hungary, since term is ancient and not in common use.
Tracking surname in local Hungarian files some centuries back, also would show some transparency.
Varga family tree researchers from Hungary.

Surname Varga is today very common in Hungary.

If family name Varga is Sephardim by origin, coming from Iberian Vargas, DNA test should show Y chromosome.

If name was adopted as an occupational, local Hungarian surname, testing should display results.

Answer is in genetics.

Just to add: The Y chromosome is passed down exclusively from father to son.
However, women interested in this type of genetic testing are invited to recruit a male relative to have the test done.

“Males can test their Y-DNA to determine the origin of their paternal line, including the possibility of Jewish and Cohanim ancestry. Note that the Y-DNA strictly checks the paternal line, with no influence from any females along that line. Females do not receive the Y-DNA, and therefore females cannot be tested for the paternal line. If you are a female and would like to know about your paternal line, you would need to have a brother or a male relative from that line to be tested.” SOURCE:

There is a link to Jewish WWII victims in Hungary with name Varga (more than 100 enlisted):
Total number of Shoah victims when You type in Varga, is 363. So name obviously was chased as Jewish. Also spanish and biblical first names indicate jewish ancestry.
At Jasenovac (concentration camp,Croatia) , 75 Varga victims:

For more information contact European Assotiation for Jewish Studies., prof. dr. Peter Varga (University of Budapest).

Eastern European Jews began to immigrate to the United States in large numbers after 1880.
Between 1880 snd 1924, over 2 million Jews from Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Romania came to America.

Re: Vargas, Varga

Posted: 1416192181000
Classification: Query
amazing research !!! Thank you to all !
This is a great website to research Sephardic names and history many languages .
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