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Poeciazek (Pociazek) - meaning, origin, is it a common name in Poland?


Soldier 1 | 1
17 Jun 2012  #1
Can you please help me again with my Grandmothers surname: Poeciazek (Pociazek).
Meaning, origin, is it a common name in Poland?
sofijufka 2 | 191
17 Jun 2012  #2
Pociążek - it means little train; it could be also: binder or rope
boletus 30 | 1,366
18 Jun 2012  #3
As Sofijufka suggests the "Pociazek" version of the Polish spelling "Pociążek" seems straightforward. However, the statistics to which she refers to is not that good: there are only eight persons using this surname in Poland. A very rare name.

Quick internet search reveals that the OP is trying to build his family tree, with his family branch based in Denmark. He provides the following data for his grandmother: Stanislawa POECIAZEK , born on 25 April 1901, Czestochowa, POLAND; died on 17 January 1995 ‎(Age 93)‎ in Haderslev, Sønderjylland, DENMARK.

The database of Danish surnames reveals that neither of the two surnames POCIAZEK and POECIAZEK exists in Denmark.
danskernesnavne.navneforskning.ku.dk/Topnavne/Topnavn_reg10_s2_l.asp
However, there is another surname listed there, which might be a source from which a severely corrupted POECIAZEK could be derived. It is PIENIAZEK, listed there as a very rare surname (1184 topmost position) - with seven people using it. This is confirmed by My Heritage database

myheritage.com/last-name/DK/Pieniazek

which states that there are five people in Denmark with the Pieniazek last name, and which makes it the 978th most popular surname. The Pieniazek people live in one county and one municipality, namely Århus.

Soldier: So my hypothesis is POECIAZEK < PIENIAZEK < PIENIĄŻEK in Polish spelling. The latter means "a small coin". The only way to test this hypothesis is to uncover the original baptism certificate of your grandmother Stanisława - very likely handwritten - and to see if PIENIĄŻEK fits the pattern.

This surname is reasonably popular in Poland - as this distribution of surname Pieniążek in Poland reveals. According to this "there are 4091 persons named Pieniążek in Poland. They live in 240 various towns and districts. Most of them are registered in Przeworsk, exactly 561."

The surname Pieniążek has a long history in Poland. In addition to several Polish noble clans using it (coats of arms: Odrowąż, Jelita, Leliwa, Prus II), the surname was also used by craftsmen and peasants.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
19 Jun 2012  #4
Couldn't Pociążek have been derived from the Old Polish verb pociążyć - to hand-weigh, ie estimate somethings weight by holding it in one's. A market vendor might display such a skill.
boletus 30 | 1,366
19 Jun 2012  #5
I could be. But still, there are only eight people of such name in Poland and thats makes it very unlikely to serve as a surname of a Polish immigrant in Denmark. It is easy to assume that surname POECIAZEK is wrong because Polish language has no diphthongs, such as OE - therefore we tend to think that dropping the "redundant E" solves the problem; settling with POCIAZEK => POCIĄŻEK instead. This does not have to be a case, so this is why I came up with statistically more likely hypothesis of PIENIAZEK=>PIENIĄŻEK.

Danish language has many diphthongs, such as: ag, af, av, eg, ei, eu, etc. but there is no OE - as far as I can see. But OE is one of diphthongs existing in Dutch: EU, AUI, IE, CH, OE, OU. A foreign looking (Polish) surname starting with "PIE" could have been easily mistaken by a Dutch Catholic priest in Denmark by "POE" - both ending in a familiar legitimate diphthong.

But "co ma piernik do wiatraka?" - why do I mix Dutch priests into this Polish-Danish story? Simple: Denmark, with its population of 5.5 millions, is predominantly Lutheran. Church of Denmark is an official state religion by the Constitution of Denmark. Since 1892 the Catholics of Denmark, who (including about 7000 Polish labourers) number 57,000, enjoy freedom of religion. During the early 20th century the Polish Catholic community (sugar-beet Poles) was served by Dutch priests, who have learned some Polish in order to perform their spiritual services. It is very probable that the OP grandparents were married by a Dutch priest, who also must have filled the marriage certificate for the young couple.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
19 Jun 2012  #6
Then there's the toponymic alternative. Maybe Pociążek was blurted out by some alliterate peasant in 1692 0r 1755 to describe someone from Pociecha, Poceszka or Pocierzyn? Hardly perfect matches, but our nicknamers were not uni professors, you know, so their associations were often skewed. But if another illiterate peasant heard it and repeated it, it could have caught on and stuck.
PolishinLondon - | 2
19 Jun 2012  #7
Hi, I'm new here but I like this forum, hope I will put my "trzy grosze" here as well.

How about Pociazek as a son of a person called Pociąg or from a place called Pociąż, Pociąg, etc. :-)

I'm not sure though if it makes any sens ;-)


Home / Genealogy / Poeciazek (Pociazek) - meaning, origin, is it a common name in Poland?
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