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Golec - Goletz
Created by Administrator Account in 3/14/2010 5:10:04 AM

 


... looking for the surname Goletz. Have looked for it but haven't found it. Talked to parents and they think it came from Golec. Can you help me?...

Well, I can help a little. Goletz is indeed a German or English spelling of the name Poles spell Golec (the Poles pronounce c as ts or tz), so your parents are probably right about that. As of 1990 there were 16 Polish citizens who spelled their name Goletz, as opposed to 6,474 named Golec, so it seems likely the spelling change took place after your ancestors left Poland; it makes sense they would change it so people around them would have an easier time knowing how to pronounce it... The 6,474 Poles named Golec lived all over Poland, with particularly large numbers in the provinces of Katowice (733), Opole (467), Tarnobrzeg (564), and Tarnow (593); I see no pattern there, apparently the Golec's are not particularly concentrated in any one area. The root of this name is gol-, meaning "bare, naked." Specifically, golec is or was a term meaning "naked person, poor person," in the sense of one so poor he couldn't afford clothes. This may be a bit of an exaggeration, but there are a lot of words in Polish meaning the same basic thing, so we have to figure there were plenty of folks so poor they went nearly naked. (As best we can figure, my wife's ancestors' surname, Holochwosc, means basically "bare- assed"!). This may not be the most complimentary of names, but believe me, when you start looking at the meaning of Polish surnames, this is a long way from the worst I've seen!

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

 

 

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