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Pakasiński – Pakosiński
Created by Administrator Account in 12/23/2009 11:58:36 AM


Looking for information on the name Pakasinski (today's spelling), recorded on Ellis Island as Pakosinski, then later recorded on a birth record as Poposienski, even though the father and mother were both listed as Pakasinski. Thank you for whatever information on the origins of this name you can provide.

I would think the standard version of the name would be Pakosiński, with an accent over the N, pronounced roughly "pah-ko-SHEEN-skee," and with the feminine version Pakosińska, also with accented N, sounding like "pah-ko-SHEEN-skah." The spelling Pakasiński exists in Poland, but it's very rare. O and A often get switched in surnames, sometimes because of the way a name was pronounced in local dialect. It isn't unusual to see names spelled various different ways. So it's perfectly reasonable to say the standard version is Pakosiński, but it may show up as Pakasiński sometimes.

There's a Website with pretty accurate data on the surnames borne by Polish citizens as of 2002, and here are the pages for Pakosiński and Pakosińska:

The spelling Pakasiński/Pakasińska doesn't appear in the data. That doesn't mean the spelling never existed, just that these days everyone uses the standardized version -- which is not unusual.

The data shows 56 Polish citizens named Pakosiński and 57 named Pakosińska, with the largest numbers in the county of Kielce (12+15) and in the county of municipal Kielce (7+6). On the map, position your cursor over a county and its name appears; that's how you tell which is which. Kielce is the county colored red a little south-southeast of the center of Poland. So while the name appears in various parts of the country, it shows up most often near the city of Kielce.

The late Polish surname expert Kazimierz Rymut lists this name in his book Nazwiska Polaków [The Surnames of Poles]. He lists it under surnames that derived from an old Slavic given name that takes the form Pakosław in Polish (he lists Pakasiński as having the same basic origin). That name Pakosław comes from ancient roots meaning "more, greater" and "glory, fame," and was given by ancient pagan Slavs in hopes that it would be a self-fulfilling prophecy that would cause their child to earn more fame and glory than the rest. There is no equivalent name in English; this one is found only among Slavs, and it's very rare these days -- though there are a number of villages called Pakosław in memory of an owner or founder. We know this name was used at one time, before the Poles were converted to Christianity and forsook ancient pagan names for those of Christian saints. We also know it gave rise to short forms and nicknames such as Pakos, much as we in English created nicknames such as Ed and Eddie from Edward.

Pakosiński would have started out meaning "of the kin of Pakos" or "one from the place of Pakos." In theory, it could have referred to a family connection with a place called Pakoszyn or something along those lines. But I can't find mention of any place with a name that fits. I think it probably started as a way of referring to the kin of a guy called Pakos centuries ago.

The name could very well have existed in the form Pakasiński as well. The difference is minor, and both names would have meant pretty much the same thing. Surnames were often spelled inconsistently, so it wouldn't surprise me one bit if you see them mixed even in Polish records. The same person may show up as Pakasiński one time, Pakosiński another. That kind of variation in name spellings is just something you have to deal with when you trace Polish roots (and not just Polish!).

Copyright © 2009 W.F. Hoffman. All rights reserved. Used by permission.




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