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What does it mean for surname to be included in Herb PRUS III? Napierkowski.

janina2016 1 | 6
27 Jul 2016 #1
What does it mean for surname (Napierkowski) to be included in Herb PRUS III? Does anyone know any background regarding Parzych (by paternal great grandmother was Anna (née Parzych) Napiorkowska, who fled to the U.S. along with her two sons in late 1930s to avoid WWII)?

Finally, is there any difference as to being Polish than Prussian, or does it depends on "who was governing" at the time (my father taught me about what he knew most of Polish history - the glory days of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and its relative strength in Europe for some time; I always thought that's why Germany & Russia, the latter more recently, want to gain control over this once great empire of Europe doesn't ever get the change to exist again, or maybe I'm being too proud of being Polish)?

Any help is greatly appreciated! (I apologize for the lengthiness as I don't expect anyone to read this whole post if they do not wish to!)


P.S. This would also REALLY help my almost 80 year old father, the patriarch and the last male of the family of all generations (there's about to be 4 - see below if interested), believe it or not. He has been to Europe but never to Poland and it has been his life dream for us to go there (my mother's career - she's finally retiring this year as a hospital chemist at age 75 yrs old - has made it incredibly difficult for them to travel to wherever they would like to go specifically; thus, they visited the places in Europe that they were sent; before my father married my mother he spent a military career fighting against North Korea and lived in a few other Asian countries for a while for related purposes; and, last but not least, my father has put the happiness of everyone in the entire extended family before his own, mainly this dream of rediscovering his roots and visiting his family's homeland, so I would like to return the favor especially since he & my mother celebrated their 50th anniversary last year).

P.S.S. Anna Napiorkowska (that's how her name was addressed on the envelopes of the letters she received in Poland; died shortly within a few years after arriving in the U.S. (just after my father was born; she survived her husband, Piotr, my paternal great-grandfather, by 2 decades; I believe his father was Marjan/Marcin/Marceli?); Anna gained her citizenship status within a year & spoke English fluently; her son, my paternal grandfather John (or Jan/Janeh) spoke 5 languages in total; I don't know very much about her (long story to why my paternal grandfather couldn't tell me much) but from what I've heard I'm VERY proud of my ancestry, as well as my Polish heritage (I've been told I was the favorite grandchild out of seven by my father, although I didn't think that was fair to my one sibling (who passed in 1989) and my cousins, and I'm sure this had something to do with me looking more like this part of my family than anyone & that I was literally the "baby" of both sides of my family until my own daughter was born 23 yrs ago (she's currently pregnant but is the youngest where I'm now the 2nd youngest, which will change once her child is born in early September). My daughter, though, is half-British (and a little Spaniard), so I'm the last one who is not a "mutt" as we say in the U.S. (my father married my Prussian/German mother so that's my other half, but I would say that's closer to being "pure" in the U.S. than my cousins' mixture with British, which they greatly favor as well as my daughter; all in all, there are not many - at least where I live in the U.S. - that have both sides from a similar part of Europe as I do & look like I was born in Poland/Prussia according to everyone who has ever commented to me about this during my entire life...more often than not those remarks were unsolicited so I know I do 'stand out' look-wise a bit). One last thing, my daughter wants to name her daughter by combining my paternal great-grandmother and maternal grandmother names - Anna and Stacia (née Korzun), respectively, to create Annastacia (my daughter married a man who is half-French, half-British, so my grandchild will be the typical U.S. "mutt," although I thoroughly dislike using this common U.S. term, she will indeed represent most of Europe; she even will have an Italian last name as my son-in-law is adopted but he found his biological parents, which certified the French/British ancestry).
Veles - | 201
27 Jul 2016 #2
The surname connection with Prus III basically means, that family of Napierkowski, Napiórkowski and Napiorkowski (both cases) have used Prus III as the crest of their family. In Poland we had heraldic families, meaning that plenty of families (not necessarily connected by blood) shared the same coat of arms, or slightly modified, and Prus III was linked to 125 families.

I am not sure what do you mean by differences between Poland and Prussia. It is basically the same difference that was between Poland and Austria. And about what time period you talk about? Times of partitions of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth? Back then there was no Germany, but various German lands - Prussia was one of them.
OP janina2016 1 | 6
27 Jul 2016 #3
Thank you so much Veles for your reply. You have been extremely helpful. The people who knew the most about my family history (both sets of grandparents that moved here from Poland) stated to me when I was young (just before they passed) that they can trace my maternal ancestors to the 7th century in Silesia, which I know theoretically is in Poland, and my paternal ones to 9th century in Poland. I believe Prussia came after the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and/or Kingdom of Poland (I'm still learning) when other countries got territorial so I'm not sure why I mentioned it except to say I was told I was 'pure' Polish until there was some possible German/Dutch mix via intermarriage when that happened (also, it's possible that I have some Scottish from when there was a heavy migration to Poland in the 16th century). In any event, I will be having a DNA ancestry test to confirm soon, which as I stated before would be something my father would especially like to see before he passes (he's almost 80 & he thinks his time is coming soon but I'm hopeful he has a lot more time). My father has been the patriarch and only male of the last part of our family branch for over 26 years (I'm the official last 'pure' one with surname & even though I'm a female I'm including my surname on my headstone; hopefully I'll be buried in my family's mausoleum where my only sibling is & my parents will be).

Veles - | 201
28 Jul 2016 #4
There was no Poland in 7th century. :) Nowadays Silesia (or majority of it) is part of Poland, just as Mazovia, Pomerania etc.

Napiórkowscy (plural) is definitely connected with Napierkowscy family. Probably some slight modifications in pronunciation occured. So, according to one website, Napiórkowscy came from Prussia. There is plenty of material written about it in Polish language, I may translate it tomorrow or today but at night. Nevertheless, according to what is written there they have roots in Prussia, but Baltic, not Germanic.

Here is the link to English version of material about Coat of Arms.

There is family name involved below Prus III variant. However, about family itself only in Polish is available.
OP janina2016 1 | 6
9 Aug 2016 #5
THANK YOU SO MUCH VELES (sorry for the caps but I didn't know how to express my appreciation enough)! I can not tell you enough how much my 1st generation father (who lost his whole family at a young age in the U.S.) and I am the only surviving descendant of our Napierkowski (or the singluar version, Napiórkowska, that my my great-grandmother used still while living in Poland & probably tried to keep in the U.S. but with my grandfather being brought over with her when they immigrated it probably ended up being recorded as Napierkowski; everything was in handwriting & phonetically interpreted; I always figured too that maybe the matriarch of a family or a single female last name reverted to ending in an "a" where the male or neutral ended in an "i"...I'm probably wrong so please feel free to correct me as that was my best guess when asked why my name doesn't end in an "a" as certain actresses, for example, which was very often). Also, please accept my sincerest apology for the lengthiness of this post (especially the rambling). I just got discharged from the hospital after being there for over a week for a very lifesaving operation (I'm doing extremely well and I'm going to be better than okay as my quality of life will better than it was before; just right now it's affecting how I convey things as they operation included part of the lower part of my brain). I wouldn't blame you at all if this as too much for you to read (I still thank you for even looking at it).

As far as the Baltic roots my father that definitely makes since. My father always told me that he was certain we were Slavic, maybe part Czechoslovakian. The village of Napierki (when I guess we might have hailed even though it just seems like this small area consists of crossroads of major highways & one or two local other words, not residential at all - from what I've seen in any photos of Polish-based publications regarding the area - but I understand things evolve the way they need to) is located near or in Olsztyn, so northeast Poland. I always wondered if we were part Swedish (due to my Swedish friends who have similar somewhat slanted eyes but that might be from the Mongol Invasion of Europe or that there was one specifically in Poland 3x; my eyes are hazel brown but my mom's entire side are blue & my father's side are a mixture of light blue to solid green (not hazel green) to hazel, & light brown; I feel like I can relate to how Prince George inherited his eye color and I'm at peace with my eye color in general; besides brown being dominate it seems to be even more so in my case especially since only 5% of my extended family have brown eyes where at least 70% have blue (to give an idea of the extremes). Plus, my Polish grandparents that have somewhat slanted eyes have one child that doesn't have this slant out of the three children they had and my daughter - though she's not full-Polish - like the others, didn't inherit the slant as well so I guess it's not that dominant; anyhow, I know there's mixing to explain this but since I'm only the 2nd U.S. born generation and we've been able to trace the roots in Poland from 1936 going back to 1,000 yrs depending on what side of my family I've noticed that Poland seemed more homogeneous when it comes to any significant mixing...for good or bad; thus, I thought maybe I found my 'true' home possibly, which if so, I feel VERY lucky especially since as I've said (probably a few times throughout a couple of posts) I'm the last one in my branch; lastly, I'm somewhat sad that I don't see one Napierkowski listed in Poland anymore as all the ones listed in the world almost all live in the U.S. according to my extensive research (some reside in Germany but none live in Poland if all these sources are correct; and I wonder if that has to do with WWII like with my family moving in the late 1930s even though they were Catholic and/or what happened to Poland post-war, or from 1945-1989).

Finally, my maternal side, Schaf (also spelled Schaff...again, most likely due to a wrong phonetic interpretation written in handwriting upon immigration), is said to be one of the Silesia's last noble families dating back to the 13th century that is on record (specifically, the House of Schaff-Gotsch that was based on the knight, Gotsche II Schaff; there was aristocracy on that side but I only find this knight relation interesting because it was recorded). The most important thing about this finding (that I've heard a lot from that side of the family when I was a child) is that it seems to affirm the association with the area of Silesia (I'm extremely sad to say during her lifetime my maternal grandmother only wanted to focus on being considered German by denying all Polish roots; thankfully, my maternal grandfather or her husband fought against Nazi Germany during WWII). She even held it against my father for making the family more Polish (he's proven to be a great provider to assist my hard-working mother so she's been content with that but she treated since I was born in a poor manner by disassociating herself - i.e. saying 'you look nothing like me' in the most negative way - because of how much more Polish I was and the rest of my family knew I unfairly suffered a lot for this).

Again thank you for for your assistance, your prompt response, and your patience with this post. I'm sure you didn't expect this extensive response and as I recover I'll probably regret that I wrote this much & bothered you (or anyone else reading this) with regards to some of these personal issues. I just wanted to thank you by posting this soon because I was told by my doctors that it could take until December before I really am able to resume a 'normal' life (again, when I get through all the recovery I'll be better than ever so I feel very fortunate for that...just timing was bad would be my biggest complaint especially for my family). All the best!


P.S. Attached I put 2 pictures of how I look to give an idea about what I was talking about in the 2nd paragraph.

P.S.S. I just got a message about a large amount of the Napierkowscy family (not direct relatives to me that I know of but who knows?) migrated to Nowogród before moving to the U.S., which is about one hour and a half away from Napierki, and this former Polish city still has a decent population (no name of Napierkowski listed presently in Poland as I stated in a previous post). So that's VERY interesting as maybe that's where my ancestors ended up if they did in fact originally hail from the village of Napierki (the origin of Napierkowski; also, I've been told it could be a variant of Napiorac, that means 'to advocate' or as a result of the Scottish Napier clan when a lot of Scottish migrated to Poland in the 16th century; I do like 'to advocate' because it sort of relates to my career). Now if I can only find the one missing link, or origin of the only name in our tree that I can't find a record anywhere...Korzunowski or Korzonowski...again, due to phonetic interpretation written in possible illegible handwriting (last record of immigration to U.S. from Poland was 1909)!

Veles - | 201
10 Aug 2016 #6
I had to make quotes shorter, because I got some error from the forum that I quote too many signs. <_< So I have putted (...) somewhere, hope will still be understandable to which parts I refer. :)

of our Napierkowski (or the singluar version, Napiórkowska (...),I'm probably wrong so please feel free to correct me

Suffixes -ska and -cka in Polish surnames are feminine, while -ski and -cki are masculine.

As far as the Baltic roots my father that definitely makes since. My father always told me that he was certain we were Slavic, maybe part Czechoslovakian.

There is always a possibility to have some other roots in Czechoslovakia, people always had a tendency to travel, so maybe someone married someone from present day Czech or Slovakian land.

I always wondered if we were part Swedish (...)

Unfortunately, I am not good in genetics, but Poles in general differ in terms of look. But in case of your photo, you look like a Polish person and no one here would think otherwise. :)

anyhow, I know there's mixing to explain this but since I'm only the 2nd U.S. born generation and we've been able to trace the roots (...) for good or bad

There were plenty of nations living in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, but I think people not often were marrying people of different religions. Not sure though. What I am sure is that even if officially something did not happened, unofficially could. :p

thus, I thought maybe I found my 'true' home possibly, which if so, I feel VERY lucky (...) (some reside in Germany but none live in Poland if all these sources are correct;

According to this site (I don't know if have an equivalent in English language):
there are 104 people with surname Napierkowski, mainly in Masovia and Greater Poland regions.
same with feminine variant of a surname, but I am not sure if both options are not counted together, as it it gives exactly same number.
but check Napiórkowski surname. 2134 people with that surname, in territories closer to Olsztyn.
in feminine version 2175, same story with the location.

and I wonder if that has to do with WWII like with my family moving in the late 1930s even though they were Catholic and/or what happened to Poland post-war, or from 1945-1989).

By late 30s which years exactly do you mean? The war started in 1939. ;)

But Germans did not cared much about who is Catholic or who is not. No matter of religion Poles have been killed in large numbers by the nazis. Even today (exactly in few hours) some people from Israel are coming to my little rural area forgotten by the civilization to grant one man, who is buried here, the Righteous Among the Nations award. He was killed by Germans in 1942 or 1943 for helping Jews. Being Catholic was not important for the Germans, who also ordered to change Roman Catholic churches into Orthodox tserkovs, to make their Ukrainian allies happy.

After the war there was communism and indeed many people left the country in huge numbers.

Finally, my maternal side, Schaf (...) association with the area of Silesia

Yes, Schaffgotsch family was a nobility from Silesia which originated in Franconia. But I do not know if Schaf(f) and Schaffgotsch surnames are related. Silesia has a German history too, and if Schaff itself means something popular in German language there is a possibilty that plenty of not related people share same or similar surname.

There was one communist with surname Schaff born in Lviv (present-day Ukraine), and he was in fact Jewish.

P.S.S. [...]

By typing "Napierkowski Nowogród" I have found a site with marriages index and it is shown that in 1892 Aleksander Napierkowski, son of Stanisław, have married Rozalia Konikowska, daughter of Stanisław.

On same site there are 50 results for Napiórkowski family, for Napierkowski 3. But in Nowogród only this one.

Korzunowski or Korzonowski...again, due to phonetic interpretation written in possible illegible handwriting

There may be plenty of options for that surname. Could be as well Korzanowski, Korzeniowski (there was one sportsman with that surname, and is Joseph Conrad's real surname), Korzeniewski.

Again thank you for for your assistance, (...) All the best!

No problem, take care and get better soon. :)
19 Apr 2017 #7
This is super interesting! Thank you all so much for all the information here. I'm also a Napierkowski who was born in New York but currently lives in Florida.
15 Sep 2019 #8
@janina2016 I'm not sure if you'll receive this message but I truly hope you do. I was researching about the Prus III family crest and I came across your messages. I was interested as my family also contains this crest. I'm fully polish however I live in London with my parents. I've researching around the family crest and I have recently contacted an uncle, who has sent me my family tree back to the 16th century. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I belong to 3 three noble family coats of arms. There pretty much not a chance that we are related as our families have descended from different a pf Poland (my great grandmother was directly from the Ogończyk noble family, however they were living in a part of Poland which is currently Ukraine. Her family had to flea however they submitted themselves to a labour camp. Her husband had later liberated the whole camp along with American troops.) I'm very proud of my ancestry just as you are of yours. There is a book about my family which has been published just 2 months ago. There is also a movie coming soon too based off of the book. All the best and good luck. I hope you and your parents will see the beauty of Poland and fulfil your dream. Love Mel.

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