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Klejnowski
Created by Administrator Account in 7/4/2010 1:34:55 PM

 


... I hope you can help me. I can't seem to find out any information on my name Klejnowski.

Names ending in -owski usually referred to some connection between a person or family and a place with a name ending in -ów, or -owo or -y or something similar; in this case, we'd expect the name to mean "person from Klejnów or Klejnowo or Klejny," something like that. I have a book that lists German and Polish names of places in some of the regions ruled by Germany up until 1918 and 1945, and it mentions at three villages called Kleinau, which is how Germans would write what the Poles would call Kleinów or Klejnów. One Kleinau was in Trzebnica county in Silesia, and the Polish name for it is Małczów. Another was in Goldap district in East Prussia. The third is called Malkowice by the Poles, in Prudnik county in Upper Silesia, now Opole province. These are places that might be connected with the name Klejnowski. I would imagine the original root of the name was German klein, "little, small." A great many "Polish" surnames actually started out German, and this could be one, especially since there is no root klejn or anything like it in Polish. (Note that the Polish equivalent of German klein, "little, small," is mały, and we see that root in the names Malczów and Malkowice).

As of 1990 there were 631 Polish citizens named Klejnowski, living all over the country, with larger numbers in the following provinces: Warsaw 98, Bydgoszcz 55, Ciechanów 65, Elblag 59, Katowice 40, and Torun 116. This suggests a concentration in northcentral Poland (Bydgoszcz, Elblag, Torun, Ciechanów and Warsaw provinces), and a smaller concentration in southcentral Poland (Katowice province). That is consistent with origin in several different places -- there were villages called Klejnów or Kleinau in several different areas of Poland, so the surname developed in reference to them, and thus is not unique to any one region.

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

 

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