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Andrzejewski - Januszewski
Created by Administrator Account in 12/23/2009 6:08:13 AM

 


 

 

... I'm just beginning my search on my Polish roots and since my grandfather changed his name to Andrews after he arrived here... I think (but, not 100% sure) that the following is his original polish name. I'd love to know anything you can tell me about it: Januszewski. I wish I knew my grandmother?s name (she was such an angel from Poland also) so hopefully, in my search, I'll discover it.

 

Well, the Polish equivalents of "Andrew" are Andrzej and Jędrzej (with ę standing for the Polish nasal vowel written as an e with a tail under it, pronounced sort of like en, so I would have expected the original Polish name of someone called Andrews would turn out to be "Andrzejewski" or something similar. However, these things don't always work the way we expect. Maybe your grandfather just liked the sound of "Andrews."

 

In any case, Januszewski comes ultimately from the name Janusz, a variant form of Jan, "John." But the endings -owski or -ewski usually indicate reference to a place name, and generally Januszewski got started as meaning "person from Januszewo," and that name in turn means "place of Janusz," presumably referring to the founder of the village or a noble who owned it at some point. So Januszewski means "person associated with the place of Janusz" -- but in practical terms that boils down to "person from Januszewo." Januszewski is pretty common, as of 1990 there were 3,491 Polish citizens with this surname.

 

Unfortunately, there are at least 4 villages named Januszewo, plus a few more with slightly different names that could generate the surname Januszewski. So I can't pin down exactly where the family came from. However, if your research helps you determine the part of Poland the family lived in, and if you find on maps or in other references mention of a place nearby with a name beginning in Janusz-, chances are fairly good that's the place the surname originally referred to.

 

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

 

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