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When did Poles adopt surnames?


Koach 16 | 128  
20 Mar 2007 /  #1
Hi,

I was wondering: When did most Polish people adopt last names? Thanks!
Iremal  
20 Mar 2007 /  #2
When did Poles adopt surnames ???? As a Pole Born and raised in Canada ,correct me if I am wrong, but I believe it was in the Middle Ages when Poles were "knighted" so to speak, by adding the "ski" to the common name they were , at the time known for, some word that was distinctive to a trait or personality or job
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163  
20 Mar 2007 /  #3
I believe it was in the Middle Ages

But many peasants didn't have surnames until 19th century.
OP Koach 16 | 128  
20 Mar 2007 /  #4
I see. Thanks. How did churches record people without surnames?
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163  
20 Mar 2007 /  #5
How did churches record people without surnames?

No idea.
Sedzia  
20 Mar 2007 /  #6
People with last names ending in wicz had the highest royalty.... :)
sledz 23 | 2,250  
20 Mar 2007 /  #7
sledzwicz..from the Baltic
krysia 23 | 3,057  
20 Mar 2007 /  #8
Krysiawicz...from Baltic also
sledz 23 | 2,250  
20 Mar 2007 /  #9
Maybe there related?

I King Sledzwicz is on a bottle of Wodka too!
Polak  
22 Mar 2007 /  #10
It's not true about "wicz" and "ski" and royalty. Actually, as Maciej Malinowski said there's no difference and I think we can trust him, because his knowledge about Polish is just amazing.
BubbaWoo 33 | 3,510  
22 Mar 2007 /  #11
bubbawoowicz :)

but on a slightly more serious note... i am intrigued that many peasants didn't have surnames until 19th century... really...?

G... can you tell us more...?
peterweg 37 | 2,321  
22 Mar 2007 /  #12
I find that odd. The first Census in Austrian Empire - southern Poland had all the surnames listed for each family. That was 1797.
Tarzana8 3 | 27  
8 Apr 2007 /  #13
Peter, where is that census available?
witek 1 | 587  
8 Apr 2007 /  #14
surnames ending in "cz" do not come from the Baltic, they orginate from east, such as Russia , Lithuania :)

Poland and most of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, surnames first appeared during the late Middle Ages.

help.com/wiki/Family_name/Slavic_countries
Peter 3 | 247  
8 Apr 2007 /  #15
I find that odd. The first Census in Austrian Empire - southern Poland had all the surnames listed for each family. That was 1797.

I have copies of the birth records for the Sokal parish dating back to approx. 1781 and earlier which gives my family's surname and others in the town,
shewolf 5 | 1,077  
8 Apr 2007 /  #16
surnames ending in "cz" do not come from the Baltic, they orginate from east, such as Russia , Lithuania

Does this mean they migrated recently or long ago?
witek 1 | 587  
8 Apr 2007 /  #17
surname endings in Poland

---------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------

-ski
-cki
-dzki

35,6%

---------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------

-ak 11,6%

---------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------

-ek 8,6%

---------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------

-ik
-yk
7,3%

---------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------

-ka 3,2%

---------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------

-owicz
-ewicz

2,3%

---------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------

remaining or others 31,4%
daffy 23 | 1,508  
8 Apr 2007 /  #18
aj

is anoter ending
Eurola 4 | 1,906  
8 Apr 2007 /  #19
there is also

ej

Thanks Witek. I fit in the 8.6%. :)
witek 1 | 587  
8 Apr 2007 /  #20
robot man,

"aj" ending or others like ukrainain "uk" ending falls under the remaining or others category which represents 31.40% of the surnames:)
daffy 23 | 1,508  
8 Apr 2007 /  #21
robot man. :)

"aj" ending or others like ukrainain "uk" ending falls under the remaining or others category which represents 31.40% of the surnames

im sure it does. merely adding to your list is all.

we gonna have a problem? :) hehe
Peter 3 | 247  
8 Apr 2007 /  #22
2.3% ? Bloody hell.

According to a 1990 surname survey there were only 52 persons in Poland with my surname.
aladdin 2 | 9  
2 Jun 2007 /  #23
well, i don't know about suffixes like ski and wiecz...

but when it comes to "czyk" it is clear that names ending with this suffix were names of noble families.

this came about during the reign of Kazimierz IV, one of the Jagiellonian kinds of Poland who acceded to the throne in about 1447, I believe. It was Kazimierz who responded to the appeal of people living along the Baltic who were unhappy with the Knights of the Teutonic Order, the overlords in that area. In response, Kazimierz declared Prussia to be a part of the Polish domain, and a 13 year war ensued. In the absence of a standing army, Kazimierz had to do a LOT of haggling with local nobility and others, particularly in the western region of Poland, to raise sufficient officers and troops to conduct the war.

This was a period when the nobility succeeded in securing fairly important rights and privileges, in return for their support for this war effort.

At any rate, it was a peculiarity of this royal dynasty that, at about this time, they began to use the suffix "czyk" at the end of their name, as in Kazimierz Jagiellonczyk.

This practice was then imitated by members of the royal entourage, and it then spread to supporters of the king among the nobility.

So Polish family names ending in "czyk" ultimately date back to this period, when the adoption of the suffix "czyk" signified a noble family which was loyal to the king...
Basia07  
3 Jun 2007 /  #24
I've been using microfilm records compiled by the Mormon Church to research family in Poland. Because Births, Baptisms, Marriages & Deaths were recorded in a central parish (parafia) & in olden days everyone knew everone else, surnames were not necessary. Eventually, villagers became jnown by their profession-Jan Piekarski (Jan the baker), or the place from which they came-Jan Budny (Jan from the village of Budne) or by some physical feature-Jan Krotki (Jan short).
ewenczyk  
1 Aug 2007 /  #25
To Alladin: I would like to quote your message on the origins of czyk on a geneaology list i am on. Do i have your permission?

Les Ewenczyk
New orleans, La USA
piratefish@yahoo
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
2 Aug 2007 /  #26
Polish surnames started in the Middle Ages, they were usually derivated from nicknames or some other characteristics (like father's name), but they weren't hereditary (many of them were given from the father onto the son, but the process wasn't the only possible way or creating surnames). The obligation of inheriting father's surname was introduced only in the 19th century.
Tatarewicz 2 | 11  
24 Nov 2007 /  #27
My understanding (from relatives) is that the wicz's were middle class types: competent and prosperous farmers, businessmen, trades people. The ski's were the nobility. And any other endings were the peasantry. Jews seemed fond of substituting a y for the i.

Remember reading in my Polish (second language) university class that a "royal" representative roamed the countryside to assign and register surnames, based on vocation, geography or some other characteristic, to single name hut dwellers, no doubt for tax collection purposes.

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