Buczak - Piszczek - Sniegowski
Created by Administrator Account in 2/7/2010 7:48:36 AM


...As time permits, can you please furnish whatever information you have on these family names: Piszczek, Sniegowski, Buczak.

As of 1990 there were 2,597 Poles named Buczak, spread all over the country but with the largest numbers (over 100) in the provinces of Warsaw (145), Katowice (220), Kielce (228), Krakow (214), Tarnow (122), Wroclaw (247), and Zamosc (428). The main concentration appears to be in the southern part of Poland, but beyond that I see no really useful pattern to the distribution. This name, according to Polish surname expert Kazimierz Rymut, derives either from the verb buczeć, "to hum, drone, buzz" (perhaps as a nickname from someone who hummed or droned on a lot) or from buk, "beech tree."

As of 1990 there were 4,657 Poles named Piszczek, again living all over the country and with the largest numbers (over 200) in the provinces of Katowice (948), Krakow (953), Nowy Sacz (248), Pila (313), Radom (203), and Tarnow (244). Rymut notes this name appears in documents as early as 1390, and usually comes from the term piszczek, "one who plays pipes or fife."

There were 808 Poles named Śniegowski, with the largest numbers (over 50) in the provinces of Bydgoszcz (56), Konin (122), Poznan (190), and Szczecin (65). The ultimate root of this name is clearly śnieg, "snow," but names ending in -owski usually come from a place name, so in this case we'd expect the name means "person from Śniegi, Śniegow, Śniegowo," something like that. I can't find any places with likely names in my atlas, but that probably suggests the places involved were too small to show up on maps, or have since changed their names -- not at all uncommon. If your research leads you to a specific area of Poland and you find mention of a place named Śniegi or Śniegowo nearby, chances are good that's the place this family got its name from.

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