There has been some question
as to what the actual family surname is.
According to the Ellis Island records, it was
Cubany. The entry in the Kronprinz passenger
manifest is also spelled Cubany. These entries,
however, were penned by clerks and are not
Peter's signature. Peter's son Anthony thought
that the original name was "Cuban."
his Naturalization papers (January 11, 1922),
Peter clearly spelled his surname Chuban.
Eventually, the "a" was changed to an "o,"
possibly when his children began attending
school. The variations probably stem from the
fact that the alphabet being used in Slovakia
(part of the Austria-Hungary Empire) at the time
of Peter's emigration contained 40 letters,
including several with diacritics (accent
marks). That alphabet contained both the
conventional letter "C" and a letter Č with a
hacheck which changes the pronunciation to "ch,"
as in chop. Thus, the original may have been
altered to a form consistent with the Anglo
alphabet by the immigration officials at the
time Peter entered the country. The "y" on the
immigration record is more difficult to explain.
A review of Slovak surnames revealed that
although not especially common, there are some
ending in y.
The y was commonly placed
at the end of words in the Magyar language,
which was predominantly used in official
documents when Hungary controlled the region.
That conclusion is supported by the fact that
Peter and Rose's place of birth is listed as
Turzafalva, Hungary on the Naturalization
"Falva" means village in
Magyar, reflecting the influence of the language
at that time. On the other hand, it simply could
have been a result of an immigration official
mishearing what Peter spoke. There is no
indication that Peter ever included a "y" in his
The Barbarossa passenger
manifest listing Rosa had other spelling
variations. Her last name was entered as "Cubon."
On the same line, her husband was listed as
Peter "Csubony," which also appears to be a
Magyarized, phonetic spelling.
Discussions with relatives located and visited
in Slovakia indicate that the correct Slovak
spelling is "Čuboň," with hachecks over both the
C and n. During his trip (October, 1999) to
Slovakia, Mike learned that the pronounciation
by Slovaks is "Chewbon," with the "n" pronounced
like the first "n" in "onion." Rose's maiden
name, Chudej, is pronounced "Whoday."
Peter's signature from his Naturalization papers
(January 11, 1922)
Name spelled with the Slovak alphabet.
Pronounced Chew bon