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Created by Administrator Account in 12/27/2009 3:34:21 AM


JAWORSKI is pronounced roughly "yah-VORE-skee," and it is a common name among Poles. 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 44,104 Polish citizens by that name. They lived all over the country, with no particular concentration in any one area; a Jaworski family could come from anywhere. .

Polish name expert Prof. Kazimierz Rymut mentions this name in his book Nazwiska Polakow [The Surnames of Poles]. He explains that it appears in records as early as 1386, and comes from the Polish noun jawor, "sycamore." Jaworski is actually an adjective meaning "of the sycamore." Thus it might have begun as a way of referring to an ancestor who lived in or near a particularly prominent stand of sycamores; or he may have sold or worked with sycamore wood, or something along those lines. Almost any connection with sycamores could allow this name to get started.

But in most cases it probably refers to a family's connection with any of a number of villages, settlements, etc. named Jawor, Jawory, Jaworze, etc. -- which, in turn, meant something like "place of the sycamores." There are places by those names all over Poland, which explains why the surname Jaworski appears all over Poland. The only way to tell which particular Jawor or Jawory or Jaworze your family came from would be through genealogical research, which would help you pinpoint exactly where in Poland your family came from, and thus would let you focus on finding a place with a name beginning Jawor- in that specific area, rather than having to search all over the country.

I should add that the same basic word for "sycamore" appears in other Slavic languages, so that this surname could also appear among, oh, Czechs or Slovaks or Ukrainians. Normally we'd find the name spelled JAVORSKY in those cases -- as a rule, the spelling JAWORSKI would generally be associated with Poles. But spellings are not always consistent, and if a Czech named Javorsky had papers filled out by a German or Polish official, that official might spell the name the way he was used to, JAWORSKI (Polish) or JAWORSKY (German). In other words, without more info it's impossible to be certain this name is Polish in a given case. But usually it would be.

Copyright © 2002 W.F. Hoffman. All rights reserved. Used by permission.



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