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Czerniak
Created by Administrator Account in 1/16/2010 4:00:15 PM

 


...I was just wondering if you have any info on the name Czerniak. From what little bit i could find, it must have originated in the Poznan region of Poland. Also where can i get/order a copy of your book?

The ultimate root of the name Czerniak is czarn-, meaning "dark, black." Names can derive from a number of different words based on that root, including czarny, "black," czern', "blackness, mob," etc. There are also many, many places with names based on this root, and then surnames can derive from those place names. Unfortunately, with names (like this) that can get started dozens of differente ways, it's impossible to say just how a particular family ended up with a particular name, unless you've done extremely detailed research on that family -- and even then you often can't say, because there just aren't any surviving records that shed light on the matter. About all we can say for sure is that this is one of many popular names deriving from the root meaning "dark, black." It might refer to complexion, disposition, place of residence, etc.

As of 1990 there were some 7,269 Poles with this surname, living all over the country. In modern-day Poznan province there were 781, which is the highest number for a single province; some other provinces with lots of Czerniaks are Bydgoszcz (438), Katowice (595), Konin (331), Lublin (682), and Zamosc (335). There doesn't seem to be any obvious pattern to the distribution, except that the most Czerniaks live in the provinces with the largest populations.

I know this information is awfully general and may not help you a lot, but with many common names that's about all you can do. I hope this is some help to you, and wish you the best of luck with your research!

Copyright © 1998 W.F. Hoffman. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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