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Onyszków - Soroka - Wierzbicki - Zagrodny
Created by Administrator Account in 3/6/2012 12:58:40 PM


… My grandfather Michał Zagrodny. He was baptised Roman Catholic in 1887 in Touste SE of Ternopil'. Michał's father was Dionezy Zagrodny and his mother was Franciszka Soroka which Walter said is Ukrainian for the bird magpie.

Well, I have no hard data or numbers for Ukraine, only for Poland in its current boundaries, so I don't know how much good I can do you. But here's what I have.

Zagrodny comes from the term zagroda, "farm, croft," from roots meaning literally "behind the enclosure." There is a saying, "Szlachcic na zagrodzie rowny wojewodzie," "The petty noble on his farm is the equal of the palatine," which mean in theory all nobles were equal in rights, whether they owned a small farm or huge estate; this gives a bit of an idea what azagroda was, a small enclosed farm that a minor noble might own. Zagrodny is just an adjectival form, "of, from, pertaining to a zagroda." This may mean an ancestor was a minor noble, or that he worked on such a farm. As of 1990 there were 352 Polish citizens by this name, with no particular concentration in any one area.

Soroka is indeed the Ukrainian term for "magpie" -- in Polish it's Sroka. This is still a prety common name in Poland, as of 1990 there were 2,011 Polish citizens named Soroka, scattered all over the country, as opposed to 13,768 named Sroka (common all over Poland).

… Michał's mother is Maria Onyszków and she is the daughter of Cyryli Onyszków and Franciszka Dziuda.

The surname Onyszków derives from the Ukr. first name Onysym, from Greek Onesimos, "useful, advantageous." In 1990 there were 473 Poles named Onyszko, 442 named Onyszkiewicz ("son of Onyszko"), but only 18 named Onyszków, most of them, 11, living in Jelenia Gora province in western Poland, no doubt due to post-World War II forced relocations.

I could find no info on the origin or meaning of Dziuda. I can only tell you there were 765 Poles by that name in 1990, with the largest numbers in the provinces of Lodz (161), Skierniewice (306) in central Poland.

… I'm fairly sure that Michał and his future wife, my grandmother, Anna Wierzbicki lived in Borki Male right before they came to the US in 1905 but I need to find out if family would still be there or if they may have been relocated during the war years when the borders changed.


The ultimate root of Wierzbicki is the term wierzba, "willow," but the surname probably started in most cases as a reference to a village of origin with a name such as Wierzbica (there are 20 or 30 of these) or something similar. Since there are many places with names that would yield the adjectival form Wierzbicki, it's not surprising there a great many Poles by this name -- as of 1990 there were 19,231, living all over the country.


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




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