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Kochański
Created by Administrator Account in 5/16/2010 3:38:58 PM


...My name is not listed. I wonder if you have any information that you could share with me or suggest where I may look...

Kochański (ń = the n with an accent over it) could come ultimately from several roots, but the most likely is kochany, "beloved," or kochanek, "lover, sweetheart"; it appears in Polish legal records as far back as 1471. It's hard to say whether the name came directly from those roots or from a place named something like "Kochany" (which, in turn, surely came from those roots); in theory, the name could have developed either way. I don't see any place by that name, but some might have existed centuries ago, when surnames were being formed -- there are several villages named Kochanów, but that name would tend to generate a surname in the form Kochanowski, not Kochański.

It's a pretty common name, as of 1990 there were 5,266 Polish citizens named Kochański. They lived in every province of Poland, with larger numbers in the provinces of Warsaw (523), Białystok (291), Bydgoszcz (270), Katowice (273), Kielce (264), Lublin (226), Olsztyn (206), and Torun (224); but as I say, there were Kochanski's living in every province, and there doesn't appear to be any significant regional concentration that would let tell us anything useful about where it originated. Most likely it developed in many different places, so all Kochanski's are not all part of one big family.

It's worth mentioning that the ch and h are pronounced the same in Polish (kind of like the ch in German "Bach"), and when a sound can be spelled more than one way you usually will see it spelled more than one way. So don't be surprised if you occasionally run into the spelling Kohański -- it's rare, but it could happen, and it wouldn't necessarily indicate any real difference.

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

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