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Łuczyński
Created by Administrator Account in 5/12/2010 5:57:28 PM


...My grandfather Kazimierz Luczynski immigrated to the United States on the15th of May, 1917. His petition for naturalization states that he was born on the 4th of December, 1885, at Zabno, Poland.... A search on the Fourteenth Census of the US: 1920 - Population shows his place of birth as Galicia, PO-A. I am searching for information on his name.

Galicia was the name of the territory ruled by Austria after the partitioning of Poland (beginning in 1772). It covered the southeastern part of Poland and the western part of what is now Ukraine. PO-A is probably "Poland-Austria" or something similar -- census takers were told not to accept "Poland" as a place of birth because technically, no such nation existed; they had to specify German Poland, Russian Poland, or Austrian Poland. As for Zabno, there are at least three villages by that name in what used to be Galicia (plus several more in other parts of Poland); without more data there's no way to tell which of those Zabno's is the one you want.

...I have also noticed that in 1733 Stanislas Leszczynski was elected King of Poland. Could Luczynski be derived from Leszczynski?


Well, to start with the question about Leszczynski, no, it's highly unlikely Luczynski and Leszczynski have anything to do with each other. You never say "never" when it comes to surnames, but from a Polish point of view those two names would have no more to do with each other than, say, "Arthur" and "Artemis" -- just a purely coincidental sharing of a couple of sounds.

Łuczyński (the Polish L with a slash through it is pronounced like our w) probably derives from a place name. There is, for instance, a village named Łuczyna in Wroclaw province -- Łuczyński could very well have started out meaning "person from Łuczyna." Łuczynów in Radom province is also a possible candidate; and there may be more too small to show up in my sources. The place names, in turn, might come from the Polish forms of the first names Lucy or Lucas (meaning something like "Lucy's place, Lucas's place), or from the rather rare or dialect term łuczyna, which means pieces of wood dried and smeared with oil and burned to provide illumination -- "torch" would be the closest translation in English, I'm not sure "torch" is exactly what's meant here, but it's pretty close.

As of 1990 there were 4,320 Polish citizens named Łuczyński, so it's not a rare name. They lived all over the country, with the largest numbers in the provinces of Warsaw (501), Kielce (266), Lodz (574), Piotrków (284); this suggests a concentration in the central part of the country, but as I say, there are Łuczyński's living in virtually every province.

Copyright © 2000 W.F. Hoffman. All rights reserved. Used by permission.  

 

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