There are two possible origins for this apparently Greek surname. the first is as a developed form of the ancient German pre 10th Century "konrad", which translates literally as "the brave tribe", and whose variant spelling forms are found in every European country, ranging from Corra or Korra to Koenen and Coenrats, plus the relative genitive suffix. The second is from the Hungarian/Polish "Karas", a nickname for a fish merchant, the word originally described a fresh-water fish. Greek surnames are overwhelmingly patronymic, the usual ending being "opoulos", but other forms include: "ides, akas", and "emos", all meaning "son of". As in Italy, the problem for the etymologist is that hereditary surnames did not become "locked" until the 19th or 20th Centuries. Furthermore, recordings are erratic, compulsory recordings did not become law until 1888. The name is also found in Yugoslavia, Stefan Karadzjitj being a christening witness in Srbija, on November 6th 1787, whilst in Germany, Michael Karad is recorded in Bromberg Stadt, on January 23rd 1831. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Demetrios Karadamos, which was dated January 1st 1858, recorded at Magnisias, Lavkos, Greece, during the reign of King George 1 of Greece, 1863 - 1907. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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