The surnames common for Christian and Mohamedians Meskhetians

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Natela Melikidze


The historical environment conditioned cohabitation of the people bearing the same surnames but confessing the different religions. The difference was in the fact that Christians rcntinued living ounder their usual surnames and as for Mohamedains became bearers of particle “oghli-oghlu”. The policy of Turkey did not imply keeping old historical rules and traditions of the occupied people, neither keeping their old inherited surnames. Turks themselves did not have surnames, but only names till the 30-ies of the XX century. Part of the mahmadian meskhs kept for themselves their origin and never forgot about it but another part denied their Georgian roots.

Besides to the statistical papers and historical researches, the so called “folk historiography” also kept some information about the so called “ex-Georgians”; people knew that once all meskhetians – Christians and Muslims – were Georgians by nationality and were Christians. From fN. Vachnadze’ book we learn that the inhabitants of Khertvisi confirmed that Christian or Mahmadian, all were Meskhetians taking their roots, their surnames from the same ancestors.  Many people remembered the historical events after which the part of Meskhetians became Muslims and lost their Georgian surnames. The names of divided people still are remembered in Aspindza municipality villages:iaGmurieni, yadieni, yukieni, bozvieni(,bozo),molieni (<mola), reSidieni, yianurieni - iaghmurieni, chadieni, chukieni, bozvieni(,bozo), molieni (<mola), reshidieni, chianurieni – these names remainesd alive due to the toponyms – reSidienT Kana – “ field of Reshidieni and others.

The surnames which Christian and Mahmadian Georgians have in common are evidenced in our time as well in Aspindza municipality (with exception of Devrishovs, who changed their surname in this century taking the name of Pope as their surname became Tevdorashvili). These surnames are: Beridze, Gvirdgishvili, Zazadze, Lekishvili, Meliqidze, Nadiradze, Tsitlanadze and Djvaridze.

Anthroponym surname the name of surname the human name branch-name
Published: Jan 9, 2021

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Linguistics, Onomastics