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Osowsk i- Tomiczek
Created by Administrator Account in 10/21/2009 7:47:33 AM

 


...I have just started to research my family history. The family names are Tomiczek and Osowski. Anything you know about the meaning of these names would be appreciated.

Osowski is a fairly common name in Poland; as of 1990 there were 4,971 Polish citizens by that name. They lived all over the country, with the largest numbers in the provinces of Bydgoszcz (417), Gdansk (690), Katowice (210), Warsaw (339), but there are numerous other provinces with 100+ Osowskis. Generally names ending in -owski arose as references to a place from which a person or family came, or had owned (if they were noble), and it's likely this name refers to any of numerous places named Osow, Osowo, Osowa, Ossowo, etc. That's why the name is so common, there are many villages with names that could yield a surname Osowski, so the surname is common and spread all over Poland. So unfortunately this surname, like most Polish names, doesn't shed much light on exactly where the family came from: there are just too many Osowskis, in too many places.

Tomiczek is less common, but still not rare: as of 1990 there were 1,348 Tomiczeks in Poland. The name is most common in the provinces of Bielsko-Biala (649) and Katowice (385), with smaller numbers scattered all over Poland. That distribution pattern is interesting, because the name is by far most common in those two provinces in southcentral Poland, near the border with the Czech Republic. In fact, I suspect the name may be more Czech than Polish. It clearly is a diminutive of a name such as Tomik, which in turn comes from Tomasz (Thomas) and means "little Tom, Tommy." Tomiczek would mean something like "Tommy's son." There are many names that mean that in both Polish and Czech, but Polish would lean more towards forms such as Tomczak or Tomczyk -- that -iczek looks and sounds to me like a Polish rendering of Czech -iĉek. So looking at the geographical distribution and the linguistic form, I suspect this is a Polonized version of a Czech name. Many Czechs lived in Poland, so that's not an outrageous suggestion. In any case, whether of Polish or Czech origin, it means something like "Tommy's son."

Copyright © 1998 W.F. Hoffman. All rights reserved. Used by permission.


 

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