Select the search type
  • Site
  • Web
DNNArticle - View
Created by Administrator Account in 12/31/2009 1:57:25 PM


I am searching for any information on my late mother's maiden name Her name was Kapral and she came from Katowice.

Kapral is pronounced in Polish much as one might expect: roughly "KAH-prall," with the vowel in both syllables much like the "a" in "father."

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 online as a searchable database at, there were 967 Polish citizens named Kapral. The largest numbers lived in the following provinces: Czestochowa 163, Katowice 149, Kielce 91, and Legnica 86. Unfortunately I don't have access to further details such as first names or addresses, so I can't tell you how to find that info.

This data indicates that the name is found all over the country but is most common in southcentral Poland, especially near the towns of Czestochowa and Katowice. So your mother came from the area where this name appears most often.

Polish name expert Prof. Kazimierz Rymut mentions this name in his book Nazwiska Polaków [The Surnames of Poles]. He says the name comes from the noun kapral, which is Polish for "corporal." The word is thought to have come into Polish from Italian caporale, which came -- depending on which expert you check -- either from Latin caput, "head," or from Latin corporalis, "leader, head man," which is, of course, the source of the English word "corporal." Presumably it began as a nickname for an ancestor who was a corporal in the military at some point.

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




Copyright 2008-2017 Version 7.04.01 by PolishRoots   |  Privacy Statement  |  Terms Of Use