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Created by Administrator Account in 12/31/2009 1:44:38 PM


Been doing some research on family - not sure if Gorniak is Polish - the website you reference only list 54 or so with that name in Poland - of course, I can't read Polish, so I am assuming that's what it was telling me. Is that website available in English?? Appreciate it!!

No, it's not available in English. If you need help using it, I wrote an article on the subject in the latest issue of
Gen Dobry!, the free e-zine of PolishRoots.

The name Górniak is Polish, spelled with an accent over the O, pronounced roughly "GOORN-yock." As of 1990 there were 8,205 Polish citizens by that name (the 54 you found were with plain O, which was probably a misspelling -- the name would usually be spelled with the accented Ó). The Górniaks lived all over the country, with the largest numbers in the provinces of Warsaw, 751; Czestochowa, 555; Katowice, 556; Konin 477; Lublin, 542; and Wroclaw, 454. This just tells us the name is common all over the country, so one cannot tell from the name what part of Poland a given Górniak might have come from.

Polish name expert Prof. Kazimierz Rymut mentions this name in his book Nazwiska Polaków [The Surnames of Poles]. He says it comes from the noun górniak, a dialect term that can mean "mountain men" or "miner." The root górn- means "of the mountain," but names beginning with that root often refer to mines. So a Górniak ancestor was probably either a miner or a person who lived in the hills or mountains.

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



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