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Kornasiewicz - Kornas - Kornaś
Created by Administrator Account in 5/2/2012 12:59:32 PM


… The surname that I am interested in is Kornasiewicz. My grandfather was born in the town of Besko in Austrian Galitzia around 1880. I have located a town of this name about 20 miles west of the city of Sanok in southeastern Poland...

The suffix -ewicz or -owicz means "son of" (making the name a so-called "patronymic," a name derived from one's father's name), so Kornasiewicz means "son of Kornaś." So the real question is, what does the name Kornaś or Kornas come from? Polish scholars have come up with a couple of different possible derivations, but no way to be certain which one is right in a given instance. The name can come from the root korn-, "humble, submissive, obedient," or from kórnik, "bark beetle," or from the first name Kornel (the Polish version of Latin Cornelius). The bark beetle connection seems least likely in this case, because the -ik suffix is integral to that meaning and that suffix does not appear in this name. So we're left with Kornaś as either a nickname for "Cornelius" -- which is quite plausible -- or perhaps as an old first name in its own right, given to someone in hope that he will be humble. By the way, among Slavs this basic notion of korn- is not an insult, Poles and Russians etc. admire someone who's simple, honest, and humble; so whereas "humble, submissive, obedient" may not sound like virtues to us, a name from the root korn- could be thought of as having a positive connotation, the perfect name for a fellow who's good-hearted and not too full of himself.

It's interesting that as of 1990 there were 1,266 Polish citizens named Kornas (no accent over the s), another 1,631 named Kornaś (with the accent) -- but only 100 named Kornasiewicz. That's kind of unusual, as surnames patronymics are generally as common as the names they came from, if not more so. But there are exceptions, and this is one. The 100 Kornasiewicz'es lived in the provinces of: Warsaw (22), Bielsko-Biala (3), Katowice (5), Kielce (3), Krosno (56), Opole (1), Rzeszow (1), Skierniewice (3), Szczecin (1), and Wroclaw (5) -- unfortunately I have no access to further details, such as first names or addresses. This data fits well with your information, since Besko is in the province of Krosno in southeastern Poland, and that area has the largest concentration of Kornasiewicz'es in Poland. Southeastern Poland and western Ukraine comprised the "crownland" of Galicia in the Austrian Empire, and Krosno was right in the heart of it. So this data suggests you are looking in exactly the right place.

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