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Limanowski - Michalski
Created by Administrator Account in 12/23/2009 6:05:03 AM

 


...I ran across your site today and really like what you've done. If it's not too much trouble, could you please send some information on my last name. My father's side is Limanowski and mother's side is Michalski...

 

I'm glad you like my site, and I'm glad to say I can give you at least a little basic info on these names.

 

Both of these are fairly common names in Poland. Limanowski can derive from two roots: from liman, "a lake or bay separated by a narrow strip of land from the sea," or from a place that takes its name from the old Germanic first name Ilman (with the first two letters inverted, which is not uncommon). In either case, then, we're talking about a surname that derives from a place name. Most of the time Limanowski would have started as a name for people coming from towns or villages named Limanow, Limanowa, Limanowo, etc., especially the town of Limanowa in Nowy Sacz province, in southcentral Poland. That town's name came from the old Germanic name Ilman mentioned above, so Limanowski means "person associated with the place of Ilman," or just "person from Limanowa." Ilman is thought to be the name of the man who founded the town or perhaps a noble who owned it at one point. As of 1990 there were 458 Poles named Limanowski; they were scattered all over Poland, but with a slight concentration in southcentral Poland, i.e., in the provinces of Katowice (50), Krakow (50), and Tarnow (73) -- which makes sense.

 

As of 1990 there were 51,325 Poles named Michalski, living all over the country. That's to be expected: Michalski just means "of Michael," and could mean "kin of Michael," "people from Michael's place," etc. You'd expect this name to show up anywhere they spoke Polish and had guys named Michał, "Michael" -- namely, all over Poland! And that's just what we see. (By the way, the ł stands for the Polish slashed l, pronounced like our w; but it turns into normal l when the suffix -ski is added.)

 

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

 

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