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Chmielecki
Created by Administrator Account in 1/1/2010 6:45:57 AM

 


... can you give me any information on the name Chmielecki. I would be very grateful.

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 3,223 Polish citizens named Chmielecki. The name is found all over Poland, but is most common in an area from the center of the country northward, in areas near the cities of Lodz, Płock, Warsaw, Gdansk, and so on. Unfortunately I don't have access to further details such as first names or addresses, what I've given here is all I have.

The name is pronounced roughly "h'myel-ET-skee," and comes ultimately from the noun chmiel, which means "hops," the grain. This surname might refer either to the kin of one called Chmielek, "little hops," possibly as a nickname of a reference to his father's occupation. But most likely it refers to a family's connection with a place named something like Chmielec, Chmielce, Chmielek, etc., meaning "place of the hops." One candidate is the village of Chmielek near Bilgoraj and Zamosc in southeastern Poland; one of my sources mentions that there were records that connected a noble family named Chmielecki with the estate at this place. But there may be, or may have been, other places with suitable names that I can't find in my sources. The thing is, Polish surnames developed centuries ago, and often came from the name of a field or hill or little settlement, names used only by locals, that would be unlikely to appear on any map or in any gazetteer. So the place this name refers to may be quite obscure, or may even have disappeared or renamed or absorbed into another community centuries ago.

Copyright © 2000 W.F. Hoffman. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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