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Created by Administrator Account in 7/4/2010 4:24:40 PM


... Only one name please -- Krakowiecki. It was my grandfather's legacy...from Czartnorzew near Ostrołęka I believe.

The name Krakowiecki is not rare, but not extremely common. As of 1990 there were 376 Krakowiecki's in Poland, of whom the largest single block by far, 122, lived in Ostrołęka province; there are smaller numbers scattered in many other provinces. It's pretty certain we're dealing here with a surname derived from a place name, and the major city of Kraków might be involved, but there are other villages in Poland with names such as Krakowice and Krakowiec that could be relevant.

By modern Polish rules those are the most likely names Krakowiecki could come from, but some centuries ago the rules for forming names from place names were a bit looser than they are in modern Polish, and places named Krakówka or Krakówki might also generate the surname Krakowiecki. These names ending in -ski and -cki are adjectives, originally just meaning "of, from, related to, pertaining to X," with X being the name of a place, person, occupation, whatever. I mention Krakówka this because I notice there's a Krakówka served by the parish of Płock-Radziwie, not far from Czarnotrzew in Ostrołęka province (Czarnotrzew, by the way, is served by the parish in Baranowo, which is where you'd logically expect people from Czarnotrzew to go to register births, deaths, marriages). I don't have enough info to point to any one spot and say "That's the one your name refers to," but when I find a place with a name that would work, not too far from where a family came from, I figure it's worth mentioning. It's not a sure thing, but it could well be the place their name referred to originally. For instance, if a person or family moved from Krakówka to Czarnotrzew about the time surnames were being established, it would be quite plausible that folks would refer to him as "Krakowiecki," the guy from Krakówka... Notice, all this is plausible, and might be right, but it would take very meticulous research to prove that that is, in fact, exactly how the surname originated, in your family's case; another Krakowiecki family might have gotten the name some other way.

The ultimate origin of all these Krakow- names is generally from the old first name Krak, from a root meaning "raven" (thus Kraków just means "[place] of Krak," Krakowiec means "son of Krak" or "[place] of the son of Krak." I should mention that in some cases there was a vowel change and Krak- can also derive from krok, "step, march." So Krakowiecki probably meant something like "one from the place of the son of Krak/Krok," or "one from the place of the march." But for our purposes it boils down to "person from X," where X is a town or village with a name like Krakówka, Krakowiec, Krakowice, etc.

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



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