I am initiating a surname study focusing on descendents of the name Papež. This name was typically anglicized to Papes, Papesh, Papish, and Popish. In German language records, the name is typically written as Papesch. While the focus is Slovenia, there were similar names in Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Italy, Serbia, Montenegro, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Russia.
Underway is a Y-chromosome DNA study hosted by Relative Genetics at: http://relativegenetics.com/genomics/search/projectprospect....
All families with similar surnames regardless of country/area of origin are encouraged to join. The purpose is to gain an understanding of how ancestors with these similar surnames may be related before paper records existed. In many Slavic languages (including Slovenian), the word Papež means 'Pope' and was presumably applied to a person who resembled the head of the church.
Similar surnames which may or may not be related are Papas or Pappas from Greece, Popich or Popic from Croatia/Serbia, and Papst, Papsh or Pabst from Germany.
My ancestor, Janez Papež, arrived in 1899 in Colorado from the Suha Krajina region of Slovenia (then part of the Austrian Empire). This area is southeast of the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, near Žužemberk and Novo Mesto and included the parishes of Hinje and Ambrus.