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Bański - Grondzki - Kwapień - Pohoryło
Created by Administrator Account in 10/18/2009 12:51:37 PM


...I am researching all the Polish names in my family - Grondzki, Izydor - (from Pultusk, Poland), Banska, Eva - (from Warsaw I think), Pohorylo, John (From ???), and Kwapien (and Forgiel), Sophie - from Dioecesis: Tarnow, Paroecia: Olesno and Decanatus: Dabrone Tarnswsks (Do you know where any of the Kwapien places are I cannot find them on Maps).

First of all, the Kwapien places: that is Latin, saying Tarnow Diocese, Olesno parish, Deanery of Dabrowa Tarnowska. In other words, the records were drawn up at the parish of Olesno, which is about 5 km. northest of Dabrowa Tarnowska, a town north of Tarnow in the modern-day province in Tarnow in southeastern Poland, near the border with Ukraine. It was normal for one parish church to serve a number of villages, so it's not clear whether your ancestors came from Olesno itself or another nearby village -- but this info certainly is important, as it pinpoints the area within a few kilometers. And for the purpose of finding records, knowing the right parish is of great importance.

Now, as to the surnames. Bańska is just a feminine form of Bański, the latter would be the standard form. Bański (the n with an accent over it, is a softened n not unlike that in "pine" or "onion") is a moderately common name, as of 1990 there were some 772 Poles with this name, living all over the country; the largest concentrations were in the provinces of Warsaw (119), Czestochowa (120), and Katowice (132), no other province had as many as 100. The surname probably alludes to a connection with places named Bania, Banie, Bańska, something like that, and there are several such places in Poland, which is why I can't say, "This name comes from this place, right here, and no other." The main root of these names appears to be the term bania, meaning "whirlpool, pit." So the surname would mean basically "person from Bania or Banie or Bańska."

Grondzki is another way of spelling Grądzki, where the ą stands for the Polish nasal vowel written as an a with a tail under it and pronounced (usually) like on -- so Grądzki sounds a lot like Grondzki, and that explains why it is sometimes spelled that way. This name would generally refer to a connection with a place called Grądy, of which there are quite a few in Poland. The root grąd means "elevation", so it's a name that could be applied to a settlement in a hilly area. The spelling Grondzki is rather rare in Poland, as of 1990 there were only 30 Poles by this name, in the provinces of Warsaw (13), Białystok (7), Lodz (8), Ostrołęka (1), Sieradz (1). But the spelling Grądzki is quite common, with 2,535 Poles by that name; they live all over the country, with the largest numbers in the provinces of Warsaw (384), Białystok (257), Łomża (375), Ostrołęka (200), and Suwałki (274), and smaller numbers in many others. Thus the name means basically person from or connected with Grądy, and the frequency of the name is probably due to the fact that there are so many places by that name, and therefore so many places the name could get started. When researching, you want to look for either spelling, Grondzki or Grądzki, as they could be switched quite easily.

Kwapień is a moderately common name. As of 1990 there were 716 Poles by this name, with the largest numbers in the provinces of Katowice (162), Kielce (137), Krakow (137), Tarnow (63), and other provinces with fewer than 25 inhabitants by that name. Polish surname expert Kazimierz Rymut says this name comes from the roots kwap, "soft feathers," or kwapić się, "to be in a hurry." I strongly suspect the name Kwapień usually started as a nickname for a fellow always in a rush.

Pohorylo is very interesting. It is a Ukrainian name in origin, from an adjective meaning one who's been burned out, who lost everything in a fire - - the same root gives names like Pogorzelski in Polish (Polish g = Ukr. h, Polish rz = Ukr. r, etc.). It's not unusual to find Ukrainian names in Poland and Polish names in Ukraine, the people have mixed quite a bit over the centuries. But Pohorylo is rare in Poland these days; as of 1990 there were only 36 Poles by that name. They lived in the provinces of Warsaw (2), Jelenia Gora (4), Katowice (1), Legnica (1), Przemysl (4), Szczecin (10), Wroclaw (10), Zielona Gora (4). You'll note that some of these provinces are far from Ukraine, but that is partially due to forced relocations after World War II.

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



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