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Kanczuzewski - Mindykowski - Rakoski - Rakowski
Created by Administrator Account in 3/14/2010 5:16:07 AM Dad's parents were from Grandfather's name was Adam Kanczuzewski, I haven't found what city he was from. I heard he was from the Russian side of Poland. He came to the U.S. sometime between 1895-1900. My Grandmothers name was Teofila Mindykowski...(Her mothers maiden name was Rakoska)...

Names ending in -ewski or -owski usually started as references to a connection between a person and a particular place, which seems helpful -- the names may tell where the family came from. Unfortunately, they're not often all that helpful, because the places involved are too small to show up on maps, have changed their names over the years, have been absorbed by other communities, or a number of different villages use the same name. Thus Rakoski (Rakowska is just the feminine form) is a variant of Rakowski, which suggests origin in any of several dozen places named Rakow, Rakowo, etc. Those places got their names from some association with crabs, as rak is the word for "crab." As of 1990 there were 11,007 Polish citizens named Rakowski, living all over the country, so I'm afraid that particular name doesn't do much to help focus on a specific area.

As of 1990 there were 261 Poles named Mindykowski; the vast majority lived in the provinces of Bydgoszcz (113) and Gdansk (93) and Pila (25), all of which are in north central Poland. So in this case the name's distribution pattern does help a bit -- chances are very good your Mindykowski's came from a rather small part of Poland around and west and south of the major city of Gdansk. I cannot find any villages named Mindykowo, Mindykow, or anything like that on my maps, but chances are there are or were one or two villages by those names somewhere in the area, and most likely the surname originated as a reference to those places, whose name comes ultimately from the root minda, "coin."

The name Kanczuszewski probably comes ultimately from the noun kańczuga, "whip, lash," but again, it probably comes from a place that took its name from that word. There is a village Kanczuga in Rzeszow province (far southeast Poland), the surname could refer to that, or it could refer to other places too small to show up on my maps. As of 1990 there were only 7 Poles named Kańczużewski, living in the provinces of Warsaw (1) and Gorzow (6). There were 45 with the name spelled Kańczurzewski (pronounced exactly the same, so it can be regarded as essentially the same name), living in the provinces of Gdansk (1), Gorzow (9), Katowice (1), Konin (29), Poznan (1), and Zielona Gora (4). (Konin province is the province due east of Poznan province, and you can usually find Poznan on any map of Poland, so that will give you at least a general idea of the area where the most Kanczurzewski's can be found). Unfortunately I do not have access to more details such as first names, addresses, what I've given here is all I have.

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


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