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Kucejko
Created by Administrator Account in 9/27/2010 6:35:48 AM

 


... My sister and I are trying to locate information on the Kucejko name. It may or may not be part of a longer or shorter name. The area of Poland that it comes from is very close to Russia and her father-in-law said that if you crossed the railroad tracks near the family farm that you were in Russia. The area is Sukolka (and pardon me if I have spelled it incorrectly).

First of all, the matter of Sukolka -- you don't need to apologize for spelling it incorrectly, the right spelling of names in that part of the world can be hard to find. But you need the right spelling desperately, you're not likely to get anywhere till you have it right. And the problem is, few names are unique -- if there's one place by a particular name, there are usually at least two or three more. In this case, the name of the place you're looking for is probably Sokółka. There are several places by that name, but I suspect the one you want may be Sokółka in Białystok province in northeast Poland; it's maybe 8 km. from the border with Belarus, which has been associated with Russia for so long that people often regard it, inaccurately, as part of Russia. Historically this area was also part of the Kingdom of Poland even after the Russians and Germans and Austrians partitioned Poland (beginning in 1772). So people from this area may well be referred to as Poles, Belorussians, Russians -- borders have moved so much, and ethnic groups have mixed so much, that it can be sticky trying to figure out exactly who was what. But this is the only Sokółka I can find that sounds like it fits the description you give. I think chances are reasonably good this is the place you're looking for.

Kucjeko is a bit tougher, because I can't say it comes from one and only one root; but at least I can say there's no reason to assume it was part of a longer name -- this name does exist in that form. Polish surname expert Kazimierz Rymut lists this under names beginning with kuc-, but there are three different roots such names can come from. There's kuc, "pony"; there's the verb kucać, "to squat"; and there's kuca, "shelter, tent." That's if the spelling is reliable -- in that part of Poland the combination cz is often simplified to c, and kucz- is a whole different set of roots. So the name may derive from roots meaning "pony," "squat," or "shelter." The -ko suffix is a diminutive, meaning "little," so the surname means "little Kucej" or "son of Kucej," but I have no way of knowing which of these three roots this name came from in your family's case.

There is some good news. I have a 10-volume set that gives every surname borne by Poles as of 1990, how many there were, and where they lived by province (I don't have access to further details such as first names or addresses, unfortunately). It says Kucejko was the name of 117 Poles, and they lived in the following provinces: Białystok (49), Chelm (1), Gdansk (7), Leszno (1), Łomża (1), Lodz (15), Olsztyn (8), Radom (7), Suwałki (2), and Warsaw (26). It's dangerous jumping to conclusions, but the facts that the largest number of Kucejko's live in Białystok province, and that's the province Sokółka is in, suggest you may have some relatives still living in that general area.

You might want to consider joining the Polish Genealogical Society of the Northeast (PGS-NE), because they have a lot of members from that part of Poland, and might be able to offer some really useful leads.

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

 

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