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Dzięgielewski - Dziengielewski
Created by Administrator Account in 12/31/2009 1:41:27 PM


My name is ... Dziengelewski, and I have a great deal of curiosity about the origins of my name. I am the absolute last person of my known family, so I have no relatives to ask.

In Polish this name is usually spelled Dzięgielewski -- using the Polish nasal vowel written as an E with a tail under it and pronounced much like "en." Since that nasal E sounds a lot like "en," and since spelling of surnames has always been inconsistent, it is not unusual to see the name spelled Dziengielewski sometimes, even in Poland. Either spelling, Dzięgielewski or Dziengielewski, is pronounced roughly "jeng-yell-EFF-skee."

(Polish spelling rules say -ge- is wrong, it must always be -gie-, so that's why I'm spelling the name that way. But even in Poland you sometimes see Dziengelewski and Dzięgelewski. These days, however, it's almost always spelled with the I because most of the population is literate and has learned the rules of "correct" spelling.)

I should add that in this country the names beginning Dzięgiel- have often been spelled phonetically as Jingle-. So don't be too surprised if you find relatives who spell it something like Jinglewski. But that would happen only in English-speaking countries, never in Poland.

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 and is now available online as a searchable database), there were 4,099 Polish citizens named Dzięgielewski. The largest numbers lived in the following provinces: Warsaw 441, Białystok 219, Lodz 300, Płock 455, Wloclawek 165. The name is found all over Poland, but is more common in the central part of the country. Unfortunately I don't have access to further details such as first names or addresses, what I've given here is all I have.

If you'd like to see the various spellings of this name still found in Poland (though the variants are quite rare), go to and type in DZI*GIELEWSKI in the box, then hit
. The list that comes up shows all names beginning Dzi- and ending in -gielewski, whatever letters come between. It's an interesting list. If you need help reading the data, I wrote an article on the subject in the latest issue of Gen Dobry!, the free e-zine of PolishRoots.

Names in the form X-ewski usually refer to the name of a place with which the family was connected at one time; if they were noble, they owned it, and if not, they lived and worked there. The place name would begin with whatever the X is, so that in this case the surname would mean "one from Dzięgielewo or Dzięgiele" or some similar name. Unfortunately there are quite a few places in Poland and the old Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth with names this surname could refer to. Without further details on a specific family's history there's no way to know which one is relevant.

This is often the case with Polish surnames. Many refer to the name of a place the family came from, but there are many places with names that fit. It's pointless saying "I'm Dzięgielewski, where is my family from?" You have to do the research that indicates they came from a specific area, and at that point it may become possible to hook them up with a place nearby with a name beginning Dzięgiel-.

Copyright © 2003, 2004 W.F. Hoffman. All rights reserved. Used by permission.




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