Recorded in over forty spellings, this surname is residential and of Czech origin. In its various forms it is recorded in throughout Eastern Europe. These spellings which include Novak, the most popular name in the Czech republic, Novotna, Novotne, Novotni, Novotny, and many others as shown below, all derive from the Czech word "novy" meaning new, a nickname generally given to a newcomer or stranger. To this base form has in many cases been added national or regional patronymics such as the Polish 'owicz' or the simpler 'ak' plus in many cases the suffix 'ski' (male) or 'ska' (female), which curiously also implys somebody who came from somewhere else. The Czech equivalent of the Polish is the ending in 'cek', whilst the Rumanian examples are 'escu' and 'esco'. A secondary possible origin is that the name could be occupational and denote a shoemaker. This is probably a development in a transferred sense of somebody who walked. The name spelling forms include Novic (Croatia), Nowik (Poland), Noweak (Germany), with the patronymics Novacek, Novkovic, Nowaczyk, Novichenko, Nowakowski, and Nowakinski. Early examples of the surname include the marriage of Vaclav Novak and Marena Fejfarova on November 26th 1662, at Dasice, Pardubice, Czechoslovakia; and the christening of Dorota Novotna at Trebic, Czech republic, on February 21st 1666. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jakub Novak, which was dated June 24th 1655, a christening witness, at Semcice, Mlade Boleslaw, Czechoslovakia. This was during the reign of Emperor Ferdinand 111, of the Holy Roman (German) Empire, 1637 - 1657.
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