This page was last
updated : 990919.

File size is : 7 k.
© Copyright 1999 : L. Lapikás, Muiden, The Netherlands.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher. An exemption is made for genealogical publications provided that adequate reference is being made.
Please refer to the data found in this file as:
L. Lapikás, Genealogy Lapikás, 8.1, Muiden, 1999.

2. I N T R O D U C T I O N

All presently known living people by the name Lapikas, Lapekas and Lapekes descend from Matthias and Katharine Lapikas, who were living at the end of the eighteenth century in Namestovo, a small village near the present border of Slovakia and Poland, at the foot of the Tatra Mountains. The village is a medieval Christian (Roman Catholic) establishment and has been a larger town in the past centuries. After World War I it became Czecho-Slovakian, whence the Hungarian inhabitants emigrated to North-Hungary. Presently it belongs to the republic of Slovakia. Namestovo was ruined in World War II due to severe fightings in the Tatra Mountains.

Since the birth, marriage and death registration (at that time carried out by the local Roman Catholic Church) of this village starts to my knowledge as late as 1757 it will not be easy to find earlier records. However, at present the first book of records of Namestovo has not yet been worked through completely. It depends on the relative social status of the family at that time whether or not more can be found in other sources which must certainly exist. In the Netherlands e.g. one can find a lot in the records of courts of law, notaries, financial authorities, etc. Since this status is not yet established this question must remain unanswered.

The family stays for three generations in Namestovo, then it splits into three branches : one with descendants in Slovakia and the USA, next a Hungarian-Rumanian branch also with descendants in Canada and Germany, and finally a branch with descendants in Germany, the Netherlands and the USA. Some persons could not yet be fitted into the scheme, whereas the whereabouts of others are completely unknown.

The name "Lapikas" is written in various variants depending on the language it is recorded in. In the records of Namestovo, which were kept in Latin, German, Hungarian one finds "Lapikas(s)", "Lapikasz" and even "Lapikascsik". The Hungarian writing is "Lapikás", in other languages "Lapikas" has become common. Originally the emphasis is on the last syllable, but it has shifted to the first at least in the Dutch case. The American pronunciation happens to be with the emphasis on the second syllable. The recently discovered Slovakian branch writes its name as "Lapikás", female descendants in Slovakia may write "Lapikasova". Some of the USA branches have changed their name to "Lapekas" and "Lapekes". The change from "Lapekas" to "Lapekes" was reported to be due to the fact that "Lapekas" was unpolitely pronounced in the USA as "Lapek - ass". Whether recently discovered people in the USA by the name "Lapukas" also belong to the family is at present yet unknown.

The origin of the name poses an interesting question. Native Hungarians assure that it is not typically Hungarian and as far as I am allowed to judge it is neither typically Slovakian. It seems quite sure that it is a rare name in both languages with the obvious consequence that all people by this name must very probably belong to our family. The most plausible explanation of the origin of the name - suggested by two sources - is "l a p i s c a s a" which is Latin for "stone house". The geographical situation of Namestovo makes it probable that houses of stone (rock) could have been built there. Whether this was an exemption at that time and thus could have been a reason for adopting "lapis casa" as a family name is an open question to me. One also has to face the possibility that the name was originally in the local language but has changed to its Latin equivalent, since the official language in the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy was Latin for 300 years. It may very well be that the name existed already much earlier than the date (1776) of the presently known first record. Several other suggestions about the origin of the name have been put forward recently. Ramona Lapekas-de Cajigas suggests that it could be related to that of Gaspar Pika, who was sent by the Thurzo's to Slovakia to establish settlements there. Judith Lapikás-Jobbagy suggest a connection with Italian stonecarvers ("lapicide lombardi") that worked all over Europe and also in Hungary during the 15th and 16th century. The name could then again be originates from "lapis" with some Hungarian suffix "ks".

The original religion of the family is that of the region : Roman-Catholic. It has gradually been lost in the younger (European) generations, although some of the American branches still call themselves Catholic.

A coat of arms is unknown. Whether one has existed depends largely on the social status mentioned above, and on the question whether the early members have officiated in civilian, clerical or military organizations. The coat of arms shown on the front page is entirely of my own imagination. I designed it after my visit to Namestovo. The mountains on it represent the Tatra, the building the "stone house" and the water the small lake in Namestovo.

Chapter 3 gives a survey of the structure and notation of the Genealogy and a guide for the use of the index. Chapter 4 contains the Genealogy and a schematical family tree. Further - as yet incomplete - information on the descendants of female family members has been collected in chapter 5 or is included in the Genealogy in chapter 4. An index on family names is given in chapter 6.

Back to the Contents Goto next chapter