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Kazimierz - Kusmisz
Created by Administrator Account in 3/14/2010 5:38:10 AM

 


...HI, My last name is Kusmisz. My family is from Poland (Warsaw and Kaszimierz). The last name may have been changed, originally being Kaszimierz. Uncertain. Any info is appreciated, or help with how to find any information on my Polish relatives or where the name derives...

There are a couple of other names Kusmisz could conceivably come from, but if you have reason to believe it was originally Kaszimierz, that is certainly plausible. Actually the standard Polish spelling is Kazimierz, and it's an ancient Slavic name dating back to when the Poles were pagans and gave their children names formed by joining two root-words to express a kind of hope or prophecy for their children. So Kazimierz comes from the root kazi-, "to destroy" + mir, "peace" -- thus naming a child Kazimierz was expressing the wish that he would grow up to be a destroyer of peace, i. e., a great warrior ("peace" as ancient Slavs thought of it was not necessarily the wonderful thing we consider it, they gloried in war).

Kazimierz is an extremely popular first name in Poland, and has been for a long time -- it's one of the few Polish names that is even used in English, in the Latinized form Casimir. It is not all that common as a surname -- as of 1990 there were only about 202 Polish citizens with Kazimierz as a surname. But other names formed from it are extremely popular -- for instance, Kazimierczak (5,095), Kazmierczak (28,198) both of which mean "son of Kazimierz"), and Kazmierski (5,240). The latter basically means "of, pertaining to, belonging to Kazimierz," and in many cases probably means "coming from Kazimierz" -- there are several places by that name in Poland.

So to some extent the questions in your case are, what was the original form, and when and where was it changed? As of 1990 there was no Polish citizen with the name Kusmisz, and only 8 with the name Kusmirz (in this case the RZ and SZ are pronounced the same, like our "sh"). I think you'll have to answer those questions before you can make much progress. Part of the problem is, surnames from this name are too common for the name itself to do you much good.

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


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