This is a surname of Czech origin. Recorded in over forty spelllings including Vlach (Czech), Wloch (Polish), Wallach (Jewish), Walch, Wloch, Ploch, Bloch (German), Olasz (Hungarian), Volokhov (Russian), Bloch (France) and in England the rare Block, as well as many diminutives and patronymics including Vlasek, Vlasaneek, Vlahovic, Vlahos, Vlajkovic and others. It derives from a medieval word vlach meaning a foreigner, and is cognate with such words as welsch, originally German, and anglicised to welsh or walsh. In England welsh was a term given by the invading Anglo-Saxons of the pre 6th century a.d., to the Olde English who fled into what was then known as Cambria, and later as Wales. Vlach was first applied in medieval times by the Czechs to refugee Italians and Rumanians, who were (are) also known as Walchians. It is unclear when or where the surname was first recorded, as church registers for many parts of Europe particularly those under former Communist control have been destroyed. From those available we have recordings such as Johan Vlach at Kobylnice, Brno, Czech Republic, on August 27th 1746, and Simon Vlahovic at Tinjan, Slovenia, on April 4th 1914.
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