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Mazur
Created by Administrator Account in 12/31/2009 2:04:40 PM

 


I am just interested in what the name Mazur means for my child's project at school.

Mazur (pronounced roughly "MAH-zoor") is a very old and common Polish surname. Polish name expert Prof. Kazimierz Rymut mentions it in his book Nazwiska Polaków [The Surnames of Poles], saying that it appears in records as far back as 1425 and comes from the noun Mazur, which means "one from Mazovia" (also sometimes spelled "Masovia"). This region, which Poles call "Mazowsze," is in northeastern Poland. Mazur is especially likely to refer to someone from Masuria (in Polish Mazury), which is a subdivision of northern Mazovia. Strictly speaking, we'd expect Mazur to mean "one from Masuria," in the far northeastern corner of Poland. But the noun Mazur was originally a kind of nickname for one from Mazovia in general, and only later did it come to be associated with the specific area now called Masuria.

This name is not a whole lot of help to family researchers because it's too common. 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 59,069 Polish citizens named Mazur, and these days they have spread all over the country. So even though the name indicates origin centuries ago in northeastern Poland, for some time now Mazurs have lived all over Poland.

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

 

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