TICHIAS This name puzzled me for a long time until I found a directory entry for a fruit importer named Tomasso Tichiaz. Was this the same surname? If so it appeared that there was an Italian connection, though the surname did not look Italian.
I managed to trace Tomasso elsewhere and found that he was born in “Austria”, c. 1825, settled in Hull between 1852 and 1861, and had an Irish wife named Kate (his second wife?). He also had a son born “Austria” c. 1852, named Carlo.

The Hull Register of births marriages and deaths has records of the name Tichiaz from 1875 to 1916, and of Tichias from 1920 onwards. Was this the same family?

More information was found online at a family history website –
where the marriage at Costrena, Croatia, of Antonius Tichiaz and Catharina Maranic is noted; as is the birth in 1830 of their son “Matthiae Tikjac”. So we learn that Tichiaz is likely to be an Italian spelling of a Croatian surname. As pronounced by an Italian Tichiaz would sound like teak yachts, and Croatian pronunciation of Tikjac would very similar, perhaps with emphasis on different syllables.
Costrena, or Kostrena, is today a suburb of Rijeka (Italian name, Fiume) on the Dalmatian coast. Interestingly, in the census of 1891 Tomasso Tichiaz gives his birthplace as “Austria Costrena”, while Carlo in one census gave his birthplace as “Fumie” in Austria. Fiume/Rijeka is not in Austria but it was in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and for purposes of national identification its inhabitants would have been classified as Austrian.
Why the Italian given names? Italian, Venetian dialect, was one of the languages of the Dalmatian coast, and may have been the first language of our Tichiaz family. In the old Austrian Empire different ethnic groups lived side by side and it might be necessary to know more than one language, and one’s name might change according to the milieu in which one found oneself.

So what is the meaning of the probably Slavic Tikjac? all I can say is that it is not in the Croat dictionary, or the Slovene. I thought it might identify someone from a place called Tikja, but I haven’t been able to find any such place name.


9 thoughts on “

  1. Janine

    I have just finished reading through your (very interesting) notes on the name “Tichiaz.” I have for sometime been trying to do some research as this is my maiden name. My great grandfather was Carlo Tichiaz which I have traced back through family birth certificates and letters. I was born in England in Derby but have been living in the United States most of my life. My grandfather (son of Carlo and Annie Elizabeth) was named Gilbert. Annie Elizabeth remarried at some point to Herbert Cogswell. My grandfather assumed the Cogswell name even though the name was not changed through legal channels. My father kept the name of Tichiaz as is it is on his birth certificate while his three brothers (Gilbert, Leonard and Douglas) continued to use “Cogswell” as did their children and their children’s children. I have one brother (David Tichiaz) also residing in the US,

    1. jemmyhope Post author

      Thanks for this, Janine. The wife of the Carlo I mention was called (I believe) Harriet, née Neale. Is this the same Carlo?
      I don’t suppose you have any information on the meaning of the name?

    2. Marie

      Hi, I came across this article after finding my grandfathers birth certificate….Leonard Dorset Tichiaz…known to me as Grandad Cogswell. My grandfather kept the name Cogswell and did indeed pass this on to his one son Leonard who went on to have myself Marie and brother Paul. Thank you Janine for the clarification of why we carry the surname Cogswell when in fact it should be Tichiaz. We were told a more romantic story….a story whereby an Austrian immigrant fears his for his life at a time where Jews were being persecuted and due to the Jewish sounding name Tichiaz, he thought the best option would be to change his name Cogswell to sound more ‘English’. Did your grandfather go by the name Bill?

  2. Jayne Wallace

    Hi my maiden name was tichiaz, my father, uncle 3 aunts and grandparents lived in and around Doncaster

  3. jemmyhope Post author

    Another Tichiaz notice.

    Hilary B
    July 26, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    I came across an entry in the 1912 street directory at Hull History centre today for T G Tichiaz as the Relieving Officer at 6 Posterngate

  4. Charles Alan Tichias

    My name is Charles Alan Tichias, my Grandfather was Thomas George Tichias (I believe he was Tichiaz and changes the name about 1900). I would be interested to contact any other Tichias.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s