u do realize that parts of Poland long ago where actually Prussia? nuff said boarders change
what are the chances that RUTT comes from a village(RUTTEN) or location and KOF from a occupation and the SKA/Y is from gender. why would my ggreat grand father be RUTTKOFSKAZERO!
With all due respect - you are all wrong on few fronts. First of all, why do you think anyone with a "pure Prussian heritage" would ever assume a name ending with -ski or -ska to start with? The reverse is more probable: someone of Polish heritage has become germanized and changed his name for various reasons: being ashamed of his family past, convenience, opportunism, etc.
1. There are many known cases of assimilation of Poles in Austro-Hungarian Empire and the first thing they did was to change the name ending from -ski to -sky, and more specifically: from -wski to -fsky. Those people made their careers in K.K. administration, become members of local parliament of Galicia and Lodomeria, etc.
2. In Prussia the Germanization was quote different: Frederick the Great settled around 300,000 colonists in the eastern provinces of Prussia and aimed at a removal of the Polish nobility, which he treated with contempt and likened the 'slovenly Polish trash' in newly reconquered West Prussia to the Iroquois. Within Bismarck's Kulturkampf policy, the Poles were purposefully presented as "foes of the empire" (German: Reichsfeinde). One can imagine therefore that many Poles bent under such pressure and tried to erase of all the traces of their shameful Slavic past.
3. Same goes for the germanization of Wielkopolska, the Great Poland. By the end of the 18th century, as a result of the Partitions of the Polish state, this territory fell under the Prussian rule. In the second half of the 19th century the German government initiated a systematic germanization of the Great Poland which was the beginning of so called Longest War of Present-Day Europe
, a war for land, commerce, culture and language. Many Poles stood fast against the Germans on both economic and cultural fields: numerous Polish banks and rural organisations were established.
But many well-to-do families bent under such pressure and changed their names in process.
4. The same goes for Pomerania, or Royal Prussia. I will illustrate it with one example.
Michał Żelewski (c. 1700-1785), was a Polish nobleman; he owned villages of Milwino, Niepoczołowice and Zakrzewo in Pomerania, which still exist - you can easily find them in wikipedia. Here is a short version of his family tree, leading to his infamous descendant Erich Julius Eberhard von dem Bach-Zelewski.
Michał Żelewski + Ewa von Kętrzyńska
Andrzej Klemens von Zelewski + Konkordia Wilhelmina Henrietta von Grubba
Otton August Ludwik Rudolf von Zalewski + Antonia Fryderyka von Żelewska (apparently from another Zelewski family)
Otton Jan Józefat von Zelewski + Elżbieta Ewelina Szymańska
|Erich Julius Eberhard von Zelewski
He legally added "von dem Bach" to the family name late in the 1933. He went on to have "Zelewski" officially removed from his name in November 1941 because of its Polish sound. And you know who was he? A butcher of Warsaw
. On 2 August 1944, he took command of all troops fighting against the Warsaw Uprising as Korpsgruppe Bach. You can find the details here, if you are interested:
5. But I have to add that not all -sky endings are the results of voluntary/involuntary germanization. For whatever reason, as a rule, all Ukrainian names ending with -ski in Polish transliteration, are being replaced by -sky in Ukrainian-English transliteration. It has something to do with a very complex international transliteration rules between Cyrillic and Latin: they first transliterate it from Ukrainian (Russian) to French and then from French to English. Hence the names, such as Klitschko - looking quite German as a result, rather than simple Kliczko (Polish transliteration), or even simpler Klièko (Czech transliteration).
6. And last but not least. Many Jews would assume Polish sounding surnames before Partitions (voluntarily) and during Partitions (forcefully by German administration). They were only too happy to shed their Slavic sounding names off the moment they reached the Land of Plenty, United States of America. Hence many "ow" have been replaced by "off", "ski" by "sky", "sz" and "cz" by "sh" ("sch") and "tch", etc.