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Created by Administrator Account in 5/5/2010 3:19:22 PM


...I am writing to enquire if you can assist me in tracing the origin and meaning of the name Jablecki. My great grandparents were Felix and Susanne Jablecki and they remained in Poland. I have some details of family history and I would really like to learn more. I have recently discovered that the surname of jablecki was taken by some Jewish families, but to my knowledge, my ancestors were Catholic. Any help will be much appreciated...

The original spelling of the name in Polish would be Jabłecki (where ł is pronounced like our W, so that the name would sound like "yahb-WET-skee.") The ultimate root is the word jabłko, meaning "apple," and there are a number of common surnames from it, including Jabłoński, Jabłkowski, Jabłonka, etc. I suspect Jabłecki is likely to be associated with a place name, perhaps a village called Jabłko or Jabłek, something like that. I can't find any such place on my maps, but that doesn't mean anything; some of the place names that gave rise to surnames have since changed, or the places have been renamed or absorbed into other communities. Such place names would mean "place of the apples," so they probably got the name because there was a stand of apple trees in the area. So you might construe the surname as "one from the place of the apples."

This is a fairly common name in Poland; as of 1990 there were 1,042 Polish citizens named Jabłecki. There were Jabłecki's living in virtually every province, with larger numbers (more than 50) in the provinces of Warsaw (194), Katowice (69), Łomża (85), Ostrołęka (94), Poznan (79), and Przemysl (97). As a map will show, these provinces are scattered all over Poland, so there is no one area we can point to and say "This is where the name came from." Most likely, there were tiny communities with names like Jabłko, Jabłek, Jabłecko all over, so the surname originated as referring to families coming from any or all of those places.

By the way, surnames of this type could easily be borne by Christians or Jews -- there may have been Jews named Jabłecki, but you could hardly say it was a "Jewish" surname. Alexander Beider does not mention Jabłecki in his Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Kingdom of Poland," which suggests it was not borne by many Jews, at least not in the eastern part of what is now Poland. And your ancestors' first names were definitely Christian (although Susanna can be Jewish, it is normally seen in a form reflecting Yiddish origin and pronunciation, such as Szoszana). So if the family was Jewish, it probably converted several generations back -- which was by no means rare.

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




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