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Gieraltowski
Created by Administrator Account in 5/12/2010 6:10:05 PM


Do you know anything about my own surname Gieraltowski? Do names that end in -ski or -cki generally just imply "from the.." or "of the.."? Is there more meaning to such names?

The endings -ski and -cki in Polish are adjectival, and as such they don't necessarily mean more than "of, pertaining to." So a piekarz is a "baker," and piekarski means "of the baker, baker's." In a particular context you can sometimes read a little more into them -- for instance, if you find a -ski or -cki name in a record from 1300, it's virtually certain that person was noble. But most of the time, just "of" or "from" is all the suffix means.

As for Gieraltowski, it means "person/family from the place of Gerald." Gierałt is one form the German name Gerald took in Polish; "Gierałtów" or "Gierałtowo" is a name that might logically be given to a place owned or founded by a man named Gierałt; and Gierałtowski is a surname meaning a person came from that place, owned it (if he was noble), travelled there often on business -- had some kind of connection with that place that caused people to refer to him by that name. There are several villages whose names this surname could come from, including a Gierałtów in Jelenia Gora province, a Gierałtowo in Poznan province, and several Gierałtowice's. As of 1990 there were 617 Polish citizens named Gierałtowski; particularly large numbers lived in the provinces of Warsaw (150), Białystok (66), and especially Łomża (247), with just a few scattered here and there in other provinces.

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

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