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Created by Administrator Account in 7/4/2010 12:56:58 PM


... Can you give me any input on Kazanowski?

Usually Polish surnames ending in -owski refer to a place name with similar form; we would expect Kazanowski to mean basically "person or family coming from, living in, connected with Kazanów, Kazanowo, Kazany," something like that -- there are several different forms of place names that could all end up generating Kazanowski. In this case I notice there are at least two places that qualify -- perhaps more too small to show up on my maps -- a Kazanów in Radom province and one in Wroclaw province. People who came from (or, if they were noble, owned) either of these villages could easily end up being called Kazanowski. So it's unlikely there's only one Kazanowski family; there are probably multiple families with this name, with the name developing independently in reference to different places.

As of 1990 there were 1,152 Polish citizens with this name, scattered all over the country. The largest numbers appeared in the provinces of Warsaw (158), Chelm (87), and Lublin (245), but smaller numbers lived in practically every province. I see no real pattern to the distribution and frequency of the name -- which, again, suggests it probably started independently in different places.

I hope this doesn't disappoint you. Many people contact me in the hope that their surname will offer some really good clue as to exactly where their ancestors came from, so they won't have to do the tough work of tracking them down. I wish it worked that way, and once in a while it does. But the vast majority of Polish surnames just don't tell you anything really helpful; the most you can find out is their basic meaning and whether they're common or rare.

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




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