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Created by Administrator Account in 5/13/2010 11:32:30 AM

...Having read your web page on Polish names I didn't see mine - Naumowicz - do you have any information on its origin?...
You must understand that there are over 800,000 Polish surnames -- some very common, some extremely rare -- so I rather doubt I will live long enough to list them all on the Web page. But I'm glad to add to the list as I can.

Naumowicz is a fairly common name; as of 1990 there were 1,564 Polish citizens by that name. The largest numbers of them lived in the provinces of Białystok (195), Gorzow (120), Suwałki (290), and Zielona Gora (92), and smaller numbers were in virtually every other province. Suwałki and Białystok provinces are in northeastern Poland, whereas Gorzow and Zielona Gora provinces are in far western Poland; but it's possible that name was originally concentrated in eastern Poland. After World War II the so-called Operation Vistula forced millions of people to relocate from what had been eastern Poland to the western regions taken from Germany and given Poland; so we often see names of Ukrainian or Belarusian or Lithuanian origin showing up in large numbers in western Poland, far from where we'd expect them to be -- all due to the post-war relocations.

I'm fairly certain that this name originated in eastern Poland (and Belarus and Ukraine, which were historically part of the Polish Commonwealth) because Naumowicz means "son of Naum," and Naum is a name used mainly by Orthodox Christians; you don't often see Polish Catholics using it. We have this same name in English, usually spelled Nahum -- it's the name of one of the minor prophets of the Bible (see the Book of Nahum) and comes from a Hebrew word meaning "consolation, compassion." For some reason this name never became all that popular among Roman Catholics and other Christians of western Europe, but it did become moderately popular among Orthodox Christians, and also among Greek-rite Catholics (so-called Uniates). So even though the spelling of Naumowicz is Polish, in most cases the families bearing the name will prove to be from eastern Poland and the lands adjoining it.

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



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