Today is Charles’ Name Day!

Today is Charles’ Name Day!


Pictured above are Charles’ grandfather Karel Novacek, uncle Karel Novacek and grandmother Maria Novacek at home in Tasov. 

name day  noun

  1. the feast day of the saint after whom a person is named
  2. the day on which a person is christened

“Antonín, my father, was born on June 2, 1896, in a village called Tasov, located in southern Moravia. His father, Karel (Charles in English; I was named in his honor), was a farmer and owner of a small beer brewery in the district town Velké Meziřičí.”

—Charles Novacek, Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Czech Resistance 

Today, November 4, is my late husband Charles’ name day. He was born Karel Novacek on May 11, 1928 in the village of Ožďany, in the district of Rimavska Sobota, region of Gemer, in the country of Czechoslovakia.

Czechoslovakia was a sovereign state that existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until its peaceful dissolution into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in January 1993.

Charles was named after his Moravian-born paternal grandfather Karel Novacek. Had Charles’ grandfather been Slovakian-born his name would have likely been spelled Karol. He changed his name to the Spanish Carlos when he moved to Venezuela in 1950 and then to the English Charles when he moved to the USA in 1956.

The popularity of the name Karel was popular in Europe due to the fame of Charles the Great (742-814), commonly known as Charlemagne, a Frankish king who ruled over most of Europe.

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