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Our 2,765 members have registered
2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

The Machula One-Name Study goals are:

  •  To determine whether the worldwide Machula families are related, and if so, to group them into their appropriate branches.
  •  If possible, to construct an overall Machula family tree, linking families by genetic similarity if no paper trail exists.
  •  To discover when and why the patronymic suffix was dropped from the name of some families.
  •  To help any Machulas who are interested in researching their own family history.

Variant names

Many people with Machula variant surnames lived in areas with frequent border changes, and assimilated into German, Slavic, or Lithuanian culture. Therefore, most of the Machula variants are phonetically similar, but spelled in different languages: Maczula and Maczullatis (Polish), Matschulatis and Matschulat (German), and Maciulaitis (Lithuanian). My own ancestors are listed as Matschulatis and Maczullatis (plus deviants) on East Prussian parish records from the mid-18th to late 19th century. However, the ship's manifest when they immigrated to the USA says Maczula. They later anglicized the name to Machula.

Name origin

Machula is probably a Sudovian (Yotvingian), Old Prussian, or possibly Lithuanian surname. These are all Baltic languages, but the former two are long extinct. Lithuanian is the closest living relative.

The ending -atis or -itis is a Baltic patronymic suffix meaning 'son of.' The meaning of the surname Machula, with its original suffix attached, i.e. Maczullatis or Matschulatis, is probably 'son of Matthew.' Therefore, it is possible the surname had multiple original forebears who were not related.

Historical occurrences of the name

Tibor de Machula (1912-1982) -€“a cellist born in Hungary.

Name frequency

Machula is a relatively rare surname. Among almost 270,000 surnames in the UK in 2002, there were no Machulas (although at least one family has immigrated since then, based on BMD records).

A 1990 US Census study of over 7 million people, consisting of almost 90,000 surnames, has no Machulas.

A more extensive study was conducted for the 2000 US Census, of almost 270 million people and over 6 million surnames. However, among the downloadable list of the top 150,000 surnames - €“those with 100 or more members - €“Machula is not listed.

I have not yet found reliable surname indexes for other countries.

Distribution of the name

Many Machulas emigrated to other countries, both within Europe, and to North America and beyond. I have found a few Machulas in each of the following countries: Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, the UK, Ukraine, and the USA.


So far, I have collected several records of Machulas from Canada, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, and the USA.


The Machula Surname DNA Project is hosted at Family Tree DNA.