For those of you tied into the Cojocari tree you will notice that there are three variations on the spelling.
There is Cojocar (with no "i" on the end), Cojocari (with an "i" on the end) and Cojacari (with an "a" in the middle instead of an "o" and also an "i" on the end). How did it get that way?
The family name refers to someone who deals with leather and furs and makes heavy coats and vests called "cojoc".
If you search out in the world you will find spellings such as Cojocar, Cojacari, Cojocari, Cojocaru and Cojocariu and I am sure there are more. If your branch of the family descends from Timofti and Elisaveta Cojocari how did their descendants come to use the Cojocar, Cojacari and Cojocari variations? Put simply, they were trying to avoid confusion.
Four Siblings Came to Canada
When four of Timofti's nine children immigrated from Romania to Canada they all settled in Saskatchewan around the town of Kayville. There were three brothers Nicolai "Nick", Ion "John", Constantine "Costan" and their sister Rachela. At that time they were all using the same spelling as their father, "Cojocari".
These four siblings raised a lot of children between them, about thirty-eight although not all survived to adulthood. Hopefully someone reading this will explain why but they began choosing the same names that other siblings were also naming their children. This was bound to cause trouble eventually.
- four Ann/Anna/Annettes
- three Georges
- three Johns
- two Dans (three really as there was another Dan who died as a child)
- two Veras
- two Marys
- two Peters (although one died as an infant)
- two Freds
- two Wesleys
- two Elis
- As well as a Molly and a Millie
I'm sure that while all the kids were young people would refer to them as, for example, "Nick's Dan" or "Dan of Nick". Once these kids began turning into adults and needed to sign their names for important matters the problem of who is whom came up more and more. One can imagine that names in newspapers, on bill-collector's lips or whispers overheard in corners could have caused some innocent confusion or unwarranted damage to reputations too.
Even though most of the children didn't have any middle names they began using their fathers first initial as a middle initial. This made it clearer to understand for example, who Dan N. Cojocari (son of Nick) was versus Dan J. Cojocari (son of John).
The Cojocar/Cojocari Split
Costan Cojocari was the first to abandon farming in Saskatchewan and moved his family to Detroit in 1924. When the Great Depression struck the farming life in Saskatchewan collapsed and the Cojocari families like so many others in the region moved out east on hearing the promise of work in Windsor and Detroit. After a few years some of the Cojocari returned to Saskatchewan while the majority stayed. The Cojocari who moved back west changed the spelling of their name to simply "Cojocar" the family in the east kept the original "Cojocari" spelling. This was done as one more way to help clear the confusion.
The Rise of the Cojacari Line
Finally, George Cojocari in the east, son of Costan, must have grown tired with the total number of Georges having grown to six between the Cojocar and Cojocari families. He opts to become "Cojacari" (note the "A").
The youngest of Costan's children Joan follows her older brother George's lead and also begins using the "Cojacari" (with the "A") spelling. I don't know what prompted this, perhaps having a cousin named Joanne. Maybe if you are reading this and you know, you can fill me in?