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Created by Administrator Account in 12/24/2009 4:08:29 AM


I am having difficulty finding information on my mothers family name. Her name is Aniela Gulewicz, born in Pinsk, Poland (now Belarus). Can you offer any advice.

If you are interested in the meaning and derivation of the name, I can tell you a little. Polish name expert Prof. Kazimierz Rymut mentions this name in his book Nazwiska Polakow [The Surnames of Poles]. He says names beginning Gul- usually come from the verb gulac', a variation of hulac', "to revel, riot, run wild," or from the noun gula, "bump, knob, protuberance." The suffix -ewicz means "son of," so the surname Gulewicz would mean either "son of Gul or Gula" = "son of the reveler, son of the rioter," or else "son of the one iwth the big bump." Without much more detailed information on the history of a specific family, there is no way to know more about exactly how the name came to be associated with it.

For what it's worth, as of 1990, according to the best data available (the Slownik nazwisk wspolczesnie w Polsce uzywanych, "Directory of Surnames in Current Use in Poland," which covers about 94% of the population of Poland), there were 375 Polish citizens named Gulewicz. They lived all over the country, with no significant concentration in any one area. Of course, that's probably not much help to someone whose roots lie in Belarus. But I have no sources of data for that country, and can't tell you how rare or common the name might be there.

As for genealogical research in Belarus, it is considerably more difficult than research in Poland or Lithuania. Still, it is possible. These links may prove helpful:

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