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Czajka name? And Poland questions.

Styles 2 | 21
3 Apr 2007 #1
Hi, I was looking through some of my great grand dad's stuff and found his birth certificate. He was born in ''Rudki'': it says Russia, but from what I know he's polish. Was it a mistake on the certificate? I looked up Rudki on google map, its in Ukraine I but don't know how accurate this map is... So yeah I'm very confused lol.

Is Czajka a Polish last name also?

thank you :)
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,149
3 Apr 2007 #2
Polish last name


And borders were changed very often in this part of the world.
witek 1 | 587
3 Apr 2007 #3
10 miejscowości w Polsce:

Rudki - wieś w woj. kujawsko-pomorskim, w pow. świeckim, w gminie Pruszcz
Rudki - wieś w woj. lubelskim, w pow. kraśnickim, w gminie Zakrzówek
Rudki - wieś w woj. mazowieckim, w pow. grójeckim, w gminie Nowe Miasto nad Pilicą
Rudki - wieś w woj. mazowieckim, w pow. zwoleńskim, w gminie Przyłęk
Rudki - wieś w woj. świętokrzyskim, w pow. kieleckim, w gminie Nowa Słupia
Rudki - wieś w woj. świętokrzyskim, w pow. staszowskim, w gminie Szydłów
Rudki - wieś w woj. wielkopolskim, w pow. gnieźnieńskim, w gminie Trzemeszno
Rudki - wieś w woj. wielkopolskim, w pow. szamotulskim, w gminie Ostroróg
Rudki - wieś w woj. wielkopolskim, w pow. wrzesińskim, w gminie Miłosław
Rudki - wieś w woj. zachodniopomorskim, w pow. wałeckim, w gminie Wałcz
1 miejscowość na Ukrainie:

Rudki - miejscowość w obwodzie lwowskim

there are many Rudki villages. :)

Your grandfather might have been born before Poland regained its independence in 1918. You see from 1795-1918 Poland was partioned between Russia, Austria and Prussia and it disapeared from the map.

as for the surname Czajka it is slavic , may be Polish , usually Cz is Polish

Czajka is a bird , she pic

3 Apr 2007 #4
In polish the verb czaic means to lie in wait, to lurk, to pursue stealthily.
Czajka - latin- Vanellus vanellus - lapwing; pewit
Name Czajka , Czajkowski/ska - I know many of them.

Cossack canoe
but u knew that.
jcsm 3 | 88
3 Apr 2007 #5
Examine your granddad's bc very closly to see if there is anything that narrows down the town location. My grandfather's had a seal on it that showed the woj. If there isn't then I suggest obtaining additional US records.
PAT Greene
3 Apr 2009 #6
YES, it is very Polish I have friends by that name who reside in upsstate New York
15 Feb 2010 #7
does anyone know if the last name Cajka could be a version of Czajka? my dad always said we were Czechoslovakian but on it says my great grandfather was born in Austria sometime around 1877 and immigrated to the USA in early 1900s because his first sons were born here in 1906 and 1907. on the papers it says Cajka and it hasn't changed since. could that just be an influence of the area they settled in? i know that my grandfather and all his brothers worked in the coal mines in the Swoyersville area of Wilkes-Barre Scranton area. i did not know that Poland was partitioned out to Austria Russia and Prussia! very interesting. if anyone can help further that would be great. thank you.
Polonius3 994 | 12,367
15 Feb 2010 #8
CAJKA: This is the masurianised version of Czajka (lapwing, a water bird). In some peasant dialects (not only in Masuria) the cz is pronounced like a c, hence carny (czarny) for black.
15 Feb 2010 #9
so is it safe to assume that cajka is definitely polish descent? my brother and i have been wondering this for along time. my dad was never quite sure where the name came from he must not have asked while his parents or uncles and aunts were around. now its too late for that. did masuria belong to austria during the partition times?
Nathan 18 | 1,349
15 Feb 2010 #10
In Ukrainian "Chajka" means a "seagull" (not necessarily a pi*sed-off one :).
15 Feb 2010 #11
does anyone know how to find any family crests or coat of arms for the last name cajka? it has been spelled as cajka since my great grandfather (Andrew Cajka) came to USA in the early 1900s. the only crests i could find are for "czajka" and i'm not entirely sure if that would be the same thing.
Polonius3 994 | 12,367
15 Feb 2010 #12
There we're two noble lines amongst the bearers of the Czajka surname using the Dębno and Jastrzębiec clan-names.
Check them out at:
15 Feb 2010 #13
so basically all the czajka surnames came from the larger line of clan names you mentioned? i understand czajka is translated as a bird,lapwing; but what might the czajka's occupations have been. as i understand the surnames were either occupational titles or maybe named after the town they lived/were born in or even a nickname of sorts and the clan names were like "last" names that big groups of people belonged to. thanks for all your help.
Polonius3 994 | 12,367
16 Feb 2010 #14
This is one vast and highly complicated realm which would take volumes to explain. In the briefest of terms, Czajka was never a clan-name but a surname that started out as a nickname. Why someone was nicknamed Czajka is anyone's guess. He could have resembled the lapwing (tufted hair, beaky nose, beady eyes) or he could have lived in a place locally known as a lapwing nesting ground or maybe he hailed from some such locality as Czajki, Czajków or Czajkowo.

People usually became members of noble clans through heredity, marrying into one or adoption for a variety of reasons. Since there were two noble lines of the Czajkas, perhaps each received their coat of arms for different reasons. In most cases, only a minority of your namesakes (ie people named Czajka) enjoyed noble rank -- from several to a dozen percent in most cases. The percentage of nobles was normally higher amongst the bearers of ski-ending names.

And finally, no-one can conclusively say Czajka is Polish or Russian or Ukrainian or Slovak or anything else, because it could be any of them and then some. One example -- a Russian soldier surnamed Чайка was sent in the 1790s to help keep the Poles in check, but he fell in love with a lovely Polish lass (aren't they all?!), married and settled down. Naturally in Poland he spelt his name Czajka, most likely converted to Catholicism and when he fathered a child it had Czajka in its baptismal certificate. After even 2 generations, 3 at most, nobody in that family regarded themselves as anything other than pure Polish.

I hope everything is now clear as mud!?
16 Feb 2010 #15
you seem to know way more about the last name than my dad which is kinda sad. short of visiting that part of the world, how would one determine if they were a apart of the noble lines or just a regular "joe schmoe"? my grandmothers maiden name was pavlik/pavlick. i saw the actual immigration papers once of her father josef pavlik/pavlick and he was definitely ukranian. dont know if that helps at all, im just trying to piece together history of my ancestors and where they were actually from. if says my great grandfather (andrew cajka) was born in austria, do you think that is really correct?
Polonius3 994 | 12,367
16 Feb 2010 #16
He probably was born in Austrian-occupied lands. The Austro-Hungarian (Habsburg) Empire was a hotchpotch of nationalities including speakers of German, Italian, Polish, Jewish, Ukrainian, Slovak, Hungarian, etc. Since there was no independent Poland at that time, those coming from a given partition (occupation zone) were usually listed as citizens of Imperial Russia, the Kingdom of Prussia or Austro-Hungary. The only way to find out if your branch of the Czajkas had noble roots would be to enlist the services of a good professional genealogist.
16 Feb 2010 #17
thank you so much for your help and time. my brother wants to get a tatoo of a family crest or coat of arms. can we assume that ALL of the czajkas/cajkas are from either the debno and/or jastrzebiec clans?
Polonius3 994 | 12,367
16 Feb 2010 #18
No, all the NOBLE Czajkas are pinned to one of those two clans. Probably 95% or more were commoners with no right to use any coat of arms whatsoever. However, since no Heraldry Police exist, who is to stop anyone?!
4 Jun 2010 #19
How ironic....I married a "Cajka" and was wondering the same thing about the last name. Did your bother ever get a coat of arms? Do you have pictures or where did you get it from?
Polonius3 994 | 12,367
5 Jun 2010 #20
To view the Dębno and Jastrzębiec coats of arms please visit:
6 Mar 2011 #21
I am doing research on the Czajka line of my family as well. My family often spoke of coming from Poland/Russia but I found census records where they claimed to be from Hungary. What I do know is they spoke and claimed Polish as their culture/language. I would love to compare notes from my line with yours if you're interested. My email is My name is Monique Luetkemeyer and the Czajka's were my grandmother's line. Good luck to you in your search!
Polonius3 994 | 12,367
8 Mar 2011 #22
The following people were (or still are) researching the Czajka surname. The older entries may no longer be valid anymore:

Czajka ---- -- Apr/00
Czajka -- Pniów, Tarnobrzeg? -- jczelusta@gmail -- Jan/11
Czajka ---- -- Sep/97
Czajka ---- -- Oct/96
Czajka -- Ciechanów -- -- Oct/96
Czajka ---- -- Nov/97
Czajka ---- -- Apr/97
Czajka -- Krzesin, Poznań > New York, USA -- -- Nov/08
Czajka -- Grudna Kempska, GALICIA > Connecticut, USA -- smwallor@yahoo -- Jan/01
Czajka -- POLAND > Connecticut, USA -- -- Aug/97
11 May 2011 #23
Those would be some of my relatives haha. I moved from utica when i was 5. My grandmother aunt grandfather and father all still live there... Crazy..
Polonius3 994 | 12,367
11 May 2011 #24
There are numerous villages called Rudki all over Poland and Ukraine.
Czajka CAN be a Polish name, but not only. In Polish it means lapwing or pewit (a wading bird), in Russian it means seagull.

Čajka would be the Czech and Slovakia spelling. But in America accent marks get lost so it would end up as just plain Cajka. Probably more than one Heinz 57 would Anglo-mangle it into something like CADGE-ka. Someone hearing it might equate it with kaczka....and that is how the confusion spreads.
Michael Czajka
30 Jan 2022 #25
Tracked my family back to Tarlow in Poland... where a big bunch of Czajka's still live. I've been corresponding with Jenny and Peggy Czajka in Australia for ages... trying to work out if their family is related to ours. We suspect they are as their dads seem to have come from the same region (within 50 km of Tarlow).


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