The BEST Guide to POLAND
Unanswered  |  Archives 
User: Guest

Home / Genealogy  % width posts: 23

Are the origins of Bernatowicz French?

14 Jul 2015 #1
I believe that my family (Bernatowicz) originally came from France. My dad sometimes says that our family came from that region, is this possible?

If so, could it have been during the Napoleonic era due to Napoleon and his army going through Poland to reach Russia? Or could be because of French traders who possibly settled in modern-day Poland?

My reason is that Bernat is a popular French name and surname
InPolska 11 | 1,821
14 Jul 2015 #2
I don't know about your name but in Poland there are a lot of French names, most often spelled and pronounced the Polish way. Some of Napoleon's soldiers stayed in Poland for Polish women ;). Last year, I met a (Polish) guy who had a French name because his ancestor moved from today's Belgium a couple of centuries ago together with other high skilled building workers to work on fancy buildings in Poland.

Check Bernat and more especially Bernard.

If your father says so, it's because his parents, grand-parents etc... told him so it has to be true ...
OP fbernatowicz
14 Jul 2015 #3
Ok, thanks for the info! I wouldn't be surprised if the 'Bernat' in my surname remained from my 'French' ancestors. I suppose that they either came to Poland to work or came to Poland with Napoleon. . .
InPolska 11 | 1,821
14 Jul 2015 #4
I've met people with names such as ... Chichon and the like. When "on" at end, they spell with "ń" and of course pronounce the Polish way, which has nothing to do with the original French pronounciation. It's like "Chopin" whose Polish pronouncation is something else too..

There are 2 or 3 fora like PF but for French. There is one called (they have a genealogy section), another one called Wirtualna Francja (or Polska, I don't remember ;) ). If you don't know French, you can write them in Polish or at worst use "Google translator" to write in French but I suppose Polish shall do it since people of Polish origin.

Good luck! :)
OP fbernatowicz
14 Jul 2015 #5
OK. Thanks :)

I forgot to add, do you think that my ancestors came from France? Is it possible to tell by the surname it self?
InPolska 11 | 1,821
14 Jul 2015 #6
I don't know. They could have come also from Belgium, Switzerland;... especially as borders in the past were not the borders we have now.

But if they are named Bernat, Bernard, there must be millions of people with such names so hard to know where they come from and who could be related to you.

If you had some ideas about WHERE.....

Sorry, not easy! ;)
OP fbernatowicz
18 Jul 2015 #7
Hi, found out that my grandfather was Lithuanian: I found alot of records for 'Bernatowicz' in Vilinuis, which is where he came

It is a Lithuanian surname as far as I'm aware, but at some point it was spelled 'Bernativicius'.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
18 Jul 2015 #8
So why does your father say .. "French"? :)

I suppose Napoleon armies went through Lithuania as well ;);

What matters is that you know where you are from :)
18 Jul 2015 #9
Hello fellow Bernatowicz, there may be a sudden twist: our ancestry could very well be Basque. Due to our ancestor's given name, Bernat, it is likely that our ancestors were traders or settlers in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth!
jon357 66 | 16,977
19 Jul 2015 #10
The origin of the name is Armenian.
19 Jul 2015 #11
With what proof? Bernat isn't an Armenian given name, nor is it present in the Caucasus. Believe me, my surname origins are more likely to be Estonian or Finnish than Armenian. . .
jon357 66 | 16,977
19 Jul 2015 #12
Yes, its origin is Armenian.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
19 Jul 2015 #13
"lol"! Basque, Armenian!!!!!!!!!!! Next? In fact, it could be anything. Best would be to ask among members of the family. They ought to know where their ancestors came from. However, borders in Europe used to be completely different from what we have now...
Dragoman1 - | 1
31 Aug 2015 #14
My mother's name was Bernat. Her parents were Polish and she lived in Poland (Austrian portion) for several years as a girl.
According to family lore, the surname went back to one of Napoleon's soldiers who was wounded and remained and married in Poland.
When I lived in Spain, there was a brand of sweet rolls called "Bernat's" and when I was once in Barcelona I found two columns of persons in the phone directory with the surname "Bernat", which is Catalan for "Bernard".

The name in Poland was always Bernat and was not shortened when my grandparents entered the US through Ellis Island.
10 Nov 2015 #15
Merged: Is Bernatowicz of German(-ic?) descent?

Hello all, is the surname Bernatowicz of Germanic or German descent?
jon357 66 | 16,977
10 Nov 2015 #16
If you google it, there is plenty of info. One theory concerns Armenian origins.

Coincidentally several people have asked here before, some of them several times.
10 Nov 2015 #17
How could the surname Bernatowicz stem from Armenia when the ending '-wicz' is Polish?
jon357 66 | 16,977
11 Nov 2015 #18
Don't confuse the stem and the ending. Endings can change, grow, adapt or disappear.

Are you the same person who keeps asking here and elsewhere about that surname? Is it that you don't like the answer you get and wait a bit then ask again, in the hope history has changed?

Just google 'Bernatowicz Armenian' and ignore forum stuff from sundry Americans and Canadians. Look at original research - there's plenty out there. Toros Bernatowicz, an Armenian who lived in Lwów sounds an interesting guy.
24 Nov 2015 #19
Merged: I think my grandfather was Volksdeutsche?

Hello, my great grandfather and his children (my grandfather and great uncles/aunts) were hunted down by the Ruskies during WW2. They ran away to Western Poland, however none of them could speak a word of Polish. They were (supposedly) from Galicia, mdr. Ukraine.

And no, they weren't Ukrainian.
Bartkowiak 5 | 114
6 Dec 2015 #20
Hi, I am currently researching Bernatowicz and it supposedly has Armenian roots. My dad's family looks Asian though and there appears to be a Tatar (Turkic) connection as well. Here is the website;
Ironside 50 | 10,935
6 Dec 2015 #21
My dad's family looks Asian though and there appears to be a Tatar (Turkic) connection as well

Meaning what? What passes for an Asian look in your neck of the woods?
Armenians are not Turkish, Turkmens or Tatars kid.
Bartkowiak 5 | 114
8 Aug 2016 #22
Merged: Research on my family

I did my research and have been doing so for the better part of the year. I learned some key information and facts, that I didn't even know before! Just out of interest, what part of Poland is the surname 'Bernatowicz' most prevelant in? I found ancestors in Gołdap and other towns around the area, would I be correct to assume that the surname is the most prevelant there?
TheOther 5 | 3,758
8 Aug 2016 #23
what part of Poland is the surname 'Bernatowicz' most prevelant in?

Home / Genealogy / Are the origins of Bernatowicz French?
BoldItalic [quote]
To post as Guest, enter a temporary username or login and post as a member.