Hungarian and Jewish (from Hungary): status name from vajda ‘leader’, ‘governor’, a word of Slavic origin. The Hungarian name is especially common in Transylvania, where, before the creation of the independent Hungarian principality, the term had denoted the highest ranking administrative and military leader. In medieval times various Romanian village leaders, as well as the leaders of gypsy caravans, were also called vajda. As a Jewish name it was ornamental or a name taken by a rabbi.[1]


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The term voivode comes from two roots. is related to warring, while means 'leading' in Old Slavic, together meaning 'war leader' or 'warlord'. The Latin translation is for the principal commander of a military force, serving as a deputy for the monarch. In early Slavic, vojevoda meant the , the military leader in battle. The term has also spread to non-Slavic languages, like Romanian, Hungarian and Albanian, in areas with Slavic influence.


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During the Byzantine Empire it referred to military commanders mainly of Slavic-speaking populations, especially in the Balkans, the Bulgarian Empire being the first permanently established Slavic state in the region. The title originally occurs in the work of the 10th-century Byzantine emperor Constantine VII in his De Administrando Imperio, in reference to Hungarian military leaders.[1]

The title was used in medieval: Bohemia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldavia, Poland, Rügen, Russian Empire, Ukraine, Serbia, Transylvania and Wallachia. In the Late Middle Ages the voivode, Latin translation is for the principal commander of a military force, deputising for the monarch gradually became the title of territorial governors in Poland, Hungary and the Czech lands and in the Balkans.[2]

During the Ottoman administration of Greece, the Ottoman Voivode of Athens resided in the ancient Gymnasium of Hadrian.

The Serbian Autonomous Province of Vojvodina descends from the Serbian Vojvodina, with Stevan Šupljikac as Vojvoda or Duke, that became later Voivodeship of Serbia and Banat of Temeschwar.

Vajda's in America

Most Vajda's in America immigrated between 1880-1920 and settled in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio around industrial centers.


  1. Vajda Name Meaning and History
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