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Janovsky - Janowski
Created by Administrator Account in 2/8/2010 9:54:17 AM

 


Thanks in advance for your efforts.

Name: Janowski or Janovsky


The correct spelling in Polish is Janowski, pronounced roughly "yah-NOFF-skee." It's a moderately common surname, borne by over 13,000 Polish citizens as of 1990; they lived all over the country, with no concentration in any one area.

The name means literally "of John's _," where you fill in the blank with something so obvious it didn't need to be spelled out -- usually either "kin" or "place." So this name could mean simply "of the kin of John."

But most of the time surnames in the form X-owski refer to a family's connection at some point centuries ago with a place that had a name beginning with the X part. So we would expect this name to mean "one from Janów or Janowo" or some other place name beginning with Janow-. There are lots of places that qualify, and there's no way to know which one a given Janowski family came from, except by doing genealogical research. If you trace your family back to their ancestral region, at that point it may become possible to establish exactly how this name came to be associated with them. It helps a lot if you can focus on looking for a Janów or Janowo or Janowice in a specific area, instead of having to cope with dozens of them all over Poland.

This name can also appear in other countries, especially the Czech Republic and Slovakia, but also sometimes Russia and Ukraine. But Russians and Ukrainians use "Ivan" for the name "John," as opposed to Poles and Czechs and Slovaks, who use the form "Jan." So Janowski (Polish spelling) or Janovsky (Czech/Slovak spelling) usually originated among Western Slavs, not among Russians and Ukrainians, who'd be more likely to use the surname Ivanovsky with the same meaning.

Copyright © 2002 W.F. Hoffman. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

 

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