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-ski/-ska, -scy/ski, -wicz - Polish surnames help


Quinn Activity: - / 5
Joined: 25 Jan 2011 ♀
 
26 Jan 2011  #61

no, it is not, as far as I know.


Well, this is what my professor told us. -icz ending belongs to Lithuanian and Belorussian surnames, whereas -uk ending is typically Ukrainian. Let's say.. Adam Mickiewicz, for example. Of course, we're talking about contemporary Polish surnames now.

As far as I remember, -icz originates from Kievan Rus, but nowadays, this ending is quite common among Poles of Lithuanian descent. As we know, Belarus and Lithuania had very close ties during the course of history, so the origin of the surname depends on where the ancestors of yours lived and also, where they moved (or were forced to move to).

So yeah, what I mentioned was the contemporary aspect only.
strzyga Activity: 3 / 1,019
Joined: 30 Apr 2008 ♀
 
26 Jan 2011  #62

Would IVANOVA be Ivan's wife and IVANOVNA his daughter?


If Ivan is the man's last name, both his wife and his daughter will be called Ivanova.
If it's his first name, then Ivanovna will be his daughter's otczestwo - e.g. Natalia Ivanovna Petrova.

SCY/SKY is nonsense in this situation.


SCY is a plural ending - Kowalscy - meaning both of them, the couple - like the Johnsons.

SKY is the blue thing you see above your head. Or the name ending -ski in English transcription.
puella Activity: 6 / 182
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26 Jan 2011  #63

Adam Mickiewicz


Lithuanians call him: Adomas Mickevičius. But maybe... I don't know. What I heard is that wicz names are surnames given to Ormians who settled on Polish territories.
Quinn Activity: - / 5
Joined: 25 Jan 2011 ♀
 
26 Jan 2011  #64

Yeah, -wicz goes for Tatar surnames as well. :)

There's always been a big dispute whether Mickiewicz was Polish or Lithuanian writer. He is also said to have some Tatar roots, and this would explain the origin of his surname.

So -icz is probably a polonised form of -ičius, I guess.
puella Activity: 6 / 182
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26 Jan 2011  #65

Quinn


But certainly we all can agree that -wicz surnames are/were more common in eastern parts of Poland :)
Quinn Activity: - / 5
Joined: 25 Jan 2011 ♀
 
26 Jan 2011  #66

Oh yes, definitely. :)
NomadatNet Activity: 1 / 494
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27 Jan 2011  #67

Jaroslav and Jaroslaw. Is there any difference?
Olaf Activity: 6 / 957
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27 Jan 2011  #68

The difference is that letter v is not present in Polish language, so Jaroslav would be misspeling.
gumishu Activity: 9 / 3,775
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8 Feb 2011  #69

So -icz is probably a polonised form of -ičius, I guess.


hardly (or actually the other way round): - icz suffix is of Slavic origin and has a definite meaning - (owicz , ewicz are further extentions of the suffix for historical grammatical reasons)
-icz (and -ewicz, -owicz) means a son of (also later as descendant of ) as in:

pan -> panicz - a son of a pan i.e. lord

Jarosław -> Jarosławowicz - a son (or later historically also a descendant - which later turned into a surname) of Jarosław

Mickiewicz - a son/ descendant of Mitko - Mitko being some Ruthenian first name

carewicz - a son of a tsar (pol. car)

this is also the origins of Russian patronimia - Ivan Petrovich - Ivan a son of Peter


-iczius form is actually a lithuanisation of a Slavic form of name. period
I honestly doubt -icz (or -ic) suffix exists (and has a definte function ie. meaning in
Lithuanian)



There's always been a big dispute whether Mickiewicz was Polish or Lithuanian writer. He is also said to have some Tatar roots, and this would explain the origin of his surname.


I am not that sure but I guess Mickiewicz knew little Lithuanian - never left anything written in Lithuanian to my knowledge - if he considered himself a 'Litwin' it was in now obsolete meaning: a citizen of the former Duchy of Lithuania which extended much further than the current extent of Lithuanian language territory
ella3  
28 Apr 2011  #70

Hello,
I've been trying trace my father's side back and have been stuck at my great great grandfather. His last name was Taraszkiewicz. My great grandmother told us over the years that he was from Lithuania, moved to Poland with his family, and then eventually came to the US around 1904. I have been able to find US census information of him, my great grandmother, and the rest of their family but I haven't been able to find any immigration information or anything about either him or his wife before they came here. She said she thinks he changed his name which isn't surprising, but does anyone know of any variations of the surname?
brslaw  
15 Dec 2011  #71

1jola
We've always had way more landed gentry than land available in Poland.:)

--good one. Although "ski" is commonly said to be solely a szlachta suffix, it is not always the case. I think "ewski" is exclusively a slachta suffix. Meaning that all names that end in "ewski" were members of szlachta and probably from historic prussian area (before it became german). I'm glad we don't have szlachta privileges any longer. we are now a republic after all :)
brett mcleary  
16 Mar 2012  #72

polish name help

i have a old friend i am trying to find own lived in Australia but i can not find her name any where and i think i may be spelling it wrong
my friends name was ANNA and i think her last name was pronounced L-U-CHI F SKI or L-U-SH-E-F-SKI and all i can find even close to ether of them is LUCCHESI
can some one please help me as she was a very good friend during a very hard time in my life and i would very much like to see her again.
boletus Activity: 35 / 1,377
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16 Mar 2012  #73

i may be spelling it wrong

Yes, you definitely spell it wrong. Pronunciation-wise, English digraphs "CH" and "SH" are roughly comparable to Polish "CZ" and "SZ".


Here is a popularity list of Luczewski-like names, according to google (A) and MoiKrewni (B) (*):
Luczewski - 14,500(A), 48(B)
Łuczewski - 73,600(A), 12(B)
Kluczewski - 200,000(A), 597(B)

Luszewski - 1,450(A), 14(B)
Łuszewski - 29,600(A), 0(B)
Kluszewski - 130,000(A), 30(B)

Those are male versions of the name. The female versions end with -ska, not with -ski. Try something like this in google:
"Anna Kluczewska" Australia ==> 706 results, here you go.

======
(*)
Google: world-wide, multiple reference to the same person very likely
MoiKrewni, Polish database based on voluntary declarations, very incomplete, refers only to Poland, sometimes separately to Germany and Switzerland. See moikrewni.pl/mapa/
musicwriter Activity: 5 / 88
Joined: 7 Jan 2010 ♂
 
17 Mar 2012  #74

Some Polish surnames have only one syllable, like Gzik, Prus, Dzik, Mruk. Kott.
Tereska  
8 Jun 2012  #75

What is Polish szlachta? My surname is Legierski. What part of Poland does this come from? I have searced online and have found a few around Istebna & Koniakow.
Mr Grunwald Activity: 18 / 1,499
Joined: 16 Dec 2008 ♂
 
9 Jun 2012  #76

What is Polish szlachta?


Polish nobility, mind you not always aristocrats ;)

During Rzeczpospolita Obojga Narodów they were the protectors of the realm and later on the biggest party holders on earth.
If I am not mistaken if you served as a Winged Hussar (Husaria) you could become enobled.
Bieganski Activity: 8 / 414
Joined: 21 Mar 2012 ♂
 
9 Jun 2012  #77

What is Polish szlachta? My surname is Legierski. What part of Poland does this come from? I have searced online and have found a few around Istebna & Koniakow.


Szlachta is the name for the privileged social class which existed for a time in Poland (and Lithuania) until it was formally abolished in the 1920s and never restored.

It's not clear from your post if you believe Legierski was a part of this higher strata of Polish society in much older times. There is a list of szlachta here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_szlachta but the surname Legierski does not appear among the several hundred names shown. If Legierski ever had been szlachta it would have no recognition or significance in Poland today anyway. It's just another name in a phone directory.

But there is a notable person by the name of Krystian Legierski who lives in Poland. He is Afro-Polish, a member of Poland's Green Party, and an activist in Poland's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community. His wikipedia profile does mention he was born in Koniakow which is one of the villages you identified as being the origins of the Legierski name in your own research.

I found another website and email address for him here: http://www.zieloni2004.pl/Krystian-Legierski-63profil.htm However, I don't know if this contact information for him is current or if his knowledge of languages other than Polish is any good. Since he is busy in politics and social issues he may not be interested in corresponding with people - especially foreigners - regarding genealogy.
boletus Activity: 35 / 1,377
Joined: 13 Apr 2011 ♂
 
9 Jun 2012  #78

My surname is Legierski. What part of Poland does this come from? I have searced online and have found a few around Istebna & Koniakow.

According to "Moi Krewni" (My relatives) database, there are 888 Legierski persons registered in Poland - most of them in Silesia, with their largest concentration in Cieszyn County (579), Żywiec County (57) and town of Bielsko-Biała (22).

So yes, Istebna and Koniaków are in Cieszyn County - in Beskid Śląski mountain range.
But there is a notable person by the name of Krystian Legierski

He was born in Koniaków, Cieszyn County.

There are very few names in Cieszyn Silesia, ending with -ski; much less than anywhere else in Poland. Those few are mostly formed from an occupation (Milerski < milerz = dealing with wood or coal gasification), proper name (Wałaski < wałach = gelding) or common word (Legierski < legier = resting place).

Silesian "legier" word stems from the German adjective "leger", meaning: casual, informal, lax, laissez-fair.
Tereska  
14 Jun 2012  #79

Many thanks for your reply. It was really interesting to find out the meaning of my surname. How would I find details about my grandparents who were born in Poland?

Many thanks for all the information. My father and his parents were all born in Koniakow but I don't have any more details about other family members.
boletus Activity: 35 / 1,377
Joined: 13 Apr 2011 ♂
 
16 Jun 2012  #80

mods: I realize that this post wanders into off topic area but I am responding to a direct question of a new poster, who does not seem to be familiar with the rules here.

It was really interesting to find out the meaning of my surname. How would I find details about my grandparents who were born in Poland?

To start with: Get as much as possible of the vital data regarding your father and grandparents: given names, dates of birth, marriage, death. I am assuming you live in USA, so you could get some of this data from local records: books, papers, cemeteries, parishes, voting registrations, census data, etc.

For example, this webpage: Emmigration from Triple-village: Istebna, Koniaków, Jaworzynka to USA. describes life of Cieszyn Highlanders, who settled in mining towns around Sheridan, Wyoming: Dietz, Acme, Model, Carneyville (later Kleenburn), Monarch, Kooi. There were 20 Legierski people living in Sheridan County at some time. There were also some Legerskis (with slightly different spelling) around there; one list of Red Cross donors (of 10$ or less) during the WWI, contains the following Legerski names: John Legerski Kiepus, Mike Legerski, John Legerski, Paul Legerski, Joe Legerski, Mike Legerski, John Legerski - all from Kooi, and George Legerski from Acme.

Another good source of information are Ellis Islands Immigration records, publicly available. You can scan them for various legitimate variations of the surname Legierski, Legerski, Legersky. One good soul has extracted a list of all immigrants that have come to USA from the so-called "Three-village" (Trójwieś) in Cieszyn Silesia: Istebna, Koniaków, Jaworzynka - in a period of about 20 years, between 1903-01-26 and 1923-12-10. This list is available here Ellis Island immigrant list by date and ship. You can extract from there all Legierski/Legerski/Legersky records for this period. [If this list does not cover the period of your interest, then you would have to go back to the original Ellis Island records]

Here are few observations, coming from that list:
There are 10 records for Legierski, 19 for Legerski and 6 for Legersky. Of the latter surname two persons were identified as Bohemians (Czechs) from Koniakov; one from a mysterious village Kanighaw, Hungary; and two as Polish from Koniakow, Austria.

I do not know whom to blame for all those misspellings: the clerks in Antwerp or (mostly) Bremen or the immigration officials in Ellis Island. I somehow cannot believe that any German clerk would misspell Silesia as Siberia or Tilesia; and Galicia as Galicy.

Here are the name variations (mostly misspellings) you can find there:

Polish Galicja, Austrian Galitzen, English Galicia => Galicy, Galicia, Galizia

Koniaków => Kaniakow, Kanighaw (Hungary), Komakov, Komakow, Koniakan, Koniakaw, Koniakov, Koniokow , Konikow

Istebna => Fstebue, Istebna, Istebne, Istebuc, Jistebna, Jstebna, Jstebosa, Tstebna, Tstebria

Silesia => Tilesia, Siberia, Silesia

Jaworzynka => Jaworzinka, Jaworzynka, Yaworzynka

After you have clearly identified the American side of your grandparents life, you need to continue your search in Poland. The task is unfortunately not that easy, since there is no central archive yet for that area. There is some work being done on digitizing all the archives of Bielsko-Żywiec diocese to which Istebna deanery (dekanat) belongs - with its various parishes in Istebna, Koniaków and Jaworzynka. Until they finish their digitizing work all you can do at the moment is to contact specific parishes and require copies of specific baptism, marriage or death certificates. Such service is not very expensive, but it is not free. I am assuming that your grandparents were Roman Catholics. In case they were of Evengelical-Augsburg (Lutheran) faith you can browse the certificates in both standard and digital form at Tschammer's Library and Archives in Cieszyn, [biblioteka.cieszyn.org.pl].
You can find more about this subject (in Polish) here: gazetacodzienna.pl/artykul/kultura/jak-szukac-przodkow-stela-1
Tereska  
23 Jun 2012  #81

Thanks for the information. Alas I do not live in the USA, I live in England.
boletus Activity: 35 / 1,377
Joined: 13 Apr 2011 ♂
 
24 Jun 2012  #82

The joke is on me. Why do I even get involved in this charity?
H. Shymanski  
12 Jul 2012  #83

The head of the Jewish council in the Lodz ghetto was Rumkowski. Consequently I believe it is somewhat a myth that all "ski's" in Poland are Christians. In fact there are many polish last names ending in "ski" that are Jewish surnames
Zman  
12 Jul 2012  #84

When living in Poland they couldn't care less if their name ended in -ski (standard) or -sky (unusual). Methinks, them jewish immigrants with slavic names had somehow wanted to differentiate themselves from those "cathols" upon arrival in the US of A and hence as of now those ending in -sky mean: Jewish or confused, and those ending in -ski mean: Polish or confused :-)
Nickidewbear Activity: 12 / 481
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12 Jul 2012  #85

We are Jewish "-wicz"es and "-ski"s, far from noble (though as I've mentioned, Pop-Pop likes to claim otherwise)--ChernetSKI, DaniłOWICZ, MorgieWICZ, AndruleWICZ. "-owicz" is key because "-owicz" (at least when compared to "-czyk") was meant to denote Jewishness (I can't find the source, though--argh!).
boletus Activity: 35 / 1,377
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14 Jul 2012  #86

AndruleWICZ. "-owicz" is key because "-owicz" (at least when compared to "-czyk") was meant to denote Jewishness (I can't find the source, though--argh!).

This is just an urban legend. Get over it.

The difference between -owicz and -ewicz is of no great importance to non-linguists; some names tend to show up with one or the other, and some show up with both. But the basis meaning of X-owicz or X-ewicz is "son of X.

What happened here is that the possessive ending -ow/-ew had the suffix -icz tacked onto it. That suffix -icz or -ycz is how Poles once said "son of," so that "son of Jan" was Janicz or Janycz; "son of Kuba" was Kubicz or Kubycz. But as time went on the Poles were influenced by the tendency of other Slavs to use -owicz or -ewicz instead of plain -icz.

By the way, -owicz is just the Polish way of spelling the suffix we see in many other Slavic names as -ovich (Anglicized spelling) or -ovič (the so-called haček in Czech). The spelling varies from language to language, but it almost always means "son of."

polishroots.org/Research/SurnameSearch/Surnamesendings/tabid/118/Default.aspx

[Correction: in the original text they printed the words -oviĉ and haĉek using character "c with circumflex". That's wrong; haček (a little hook) should be spelled using "c with caron"]

Additional grammatical explanation:
The forms -owy (masculine), -owa (feminine), -owe (plural) are known as Possessive Adjective forms. The possessive adjective is widely used in several Slavonic languages, such as Czech , and particularly often in Upper Sorbian. This form is rarely used in Polish, with the exception of X-ew-icz and X-ow-icz forms (son of X), discussed above. Oh, wait: here comes one example I just found: młodzieżowe.

Upper Sorbian (Hornjoserbšćina) is a minority language spoken by Sorbs in Germany in the historical province of Upper Lusatia (Hornja Łužica in Sorbian), which is today part of Saxony. It is grouped in the West Slavic language branch, together with Lower Sorbian, Czech, Polish, Slovak and Kashubian.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper_Sorbian_language

For example, in Upper Sorbian the possessive adjective is the normal method of expressing what is conveyed by the genitive in many other languages.
Compare this phrase in Polish and in Upper Sorbian:

Upper Sorbian: Jan-owa kniha (Jan's book), possessive adjective form
Polish: Książka Jan-a (book of Jan), genitive form

The other possessive form, corresponding to -ow is -in, -yn.

Upper Sorbian: Hilž-iny wopyt (Hilža's visit)
Polish: Wizyta Hilży (Visit of Hilža)

Upper Sorbian: Našego nan-owe knihi (Our father's books)
Polish: Książki naszego ojca (Books of our father)

AndruleWICZ. "-owicz" is key because "-owicz" (at least when compared to "-czyk") was meant to denote Jewishness (I can't find the source, though--argh!).

OOPS, I quoted the wrong person. Should be:
AndruleWICZ. "-owicz" is key because "-owicz" (at least when compared to "-czyk") was meant to denote Jewishness (I can't find the source, though--argh!).

InWroclaw Activity: 100 / 2,003
Joined: 10 Mar 2012 ♂
 
14 Jul 2012  #87

We are Jewish "-wicz"es and "-ski"s, far from noble (though as I've mentioned, Pop-Pop likes to claim otherwise)--ChernetSKI, DaniłOWICZ, MorgieWICZ, AndruleWICZ. "-owicz" is key because "-owicz" (at least when compared to "-czyk") was meant to denote Jewishness (I can't find the source, though--argh!).

Are you sure? This website as Boletus says suggests it is just a name meaning son of etc. [polishroots.org/Research/SurnameSearch/Surnamesendings/tabid/118/Default.aspx]

I'd be interested in any website or source that shows otherwise for the suffix " owicz "
sofijufka Activity: 2 / 200
Joined: 13 Mar 2012 ♀
 
14 Jul 2012  #88

owicz" is key because "-owicz" (at least when compared to "-czyk") was meant to denote Jewishness (I can't find the source, though--argh!).


hmmm... I think this 'owicz" suggested rather town dwellers [like -in Sebastian Klonowic/z] , if joined with first name for example: Bogdanowicz http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogdanowicz_(herb_szlachecki) - it means that this family was ennobled
InWroclaw Activity: 100 / 2,003
Joined: 10 Mar 2012 ♂
 
14 Jul 2012  #89

From this link, maybe? Book extract (page 73, Jewish Cultural Tapestry...by S M Lowenstein)

"...In Eastern Europe where most Ashkenazic Jews lived, governments often used Slavic translations of the Yiddish surnames...The 'owicz' ending would have varied spellings in other Eastern European languages...German scribes [would use] 'owitz'... "

Not sure if that's my misinterpreting what it says but it seems to be in a book about Jewish people's names, so... maybe the endings/suffix "owicz" is of Jewish heritage.
Nickidewbear Activity: 12 / 481
Joined: 17 Sep 2009 ♀
 
14 Jul 2012  #90

It wasn't that source, but maybe that's just one more source that proves my point.

hmmm... I think this 'owicz" suggested rather town dwellers [like -in Sebastian Klonowic/z] , if joined with first name for example: Bogdanowicz

Not us. We owned a farm in Lipsk, and Jewish non-nobles would've never married gentile nobles. The Andrulewiczes and Morgiewiczes married Chernetskis and Danilowiczes.



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-ski/-ska, -scy/ski, -wicz - Polish surnames help
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