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Muławski - Szymański
Created by Administrator Account in 12/25/2009 9:05:55 AM

 


... I think my friend is from a lost tribe in Poland. Just kidding! He has done a lot of footwork for me with my family in Poland and I would like to return the favor by finding out about his. His surname is Muławski. We have been unsuccessful finding anyone in Poland or the States who will even answer our emails and snail mails. Any help you may provide would be appreciated.

Muławski is one I'm not absolutely certain about, but its ultimate root appears to be muł, "mule," also the same word can mean "slime, mud, silt." There is also a word muławka that might be relevant, it's a kind of fish more commonly called the kózka in Polish, cobitis taenia - I can't find the English name for it. This does not appear to be a common name in Poland; the Surname Directory doesn't list Muławski at all, and says Mulawski was borne by only 17 Polish citizens, in these provinces: Warsaw 1, Gorzow 1, Jelenia Gora 1, Katowice 1, Koszalin 1, Legnica 5, Lublin 2, Suwałki 2, Szczecin 1, Zielona Gora 2. This bothers me a little, I wonder if some data was omitted? There is no listing for any name in muł- at all, and I'd have thought there should be at least a few!?

Anyway, the roots I gave above are for the ultimate root of the name. I suspect it might derive directly from a place name (which in turn got its name from one of those roots). For instance, there's a village Muławki in Suwałki province. A connection with this, or another place with a similar name, might have been the original reason a person got this name.

... Also, could you tell me anything about my surname: Szymański?


That one's easy. It comes from the Polish form of the name Simon - in standard Polish Szymon, but also seen in other forms including Szyman. As with most surnames derived from common first names, this one is common all over the country; as of 1990 there were 84,527 Szymański's in Poland! My daughter went to school with a Nicole Szymanski in Brookfield, CT. As Polish names go, this one's right up there with Smith. And by the way, it would be pronounced by Poles sort of like "shi-MINE-skee"; the accent over the N softens it and affects the vowel in front of it, much as Poznań is pronounced almost like "POZ-nine."

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

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