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Created by Administrator Account in 5/2/2012 2:25:15 PM


… I have just moved from Brazil to the US, and I am living in Atlanta. My grandfather was the only Gardolinski who migrated to Brazil, and the rest of the family is still in Poland.... ...research on the Directory of Surnames in Current Use in Poland, and he found only 18 occurrences in Poland, mainly in the Warsaw area... I already saw the origin of Garwolinski (which looks pretty close), and the prefix Gard- in your book. But I still feel that we may be able to get closer to the actual origin...

As Mr. Piszczor told you, this is a very rare name in Poland these days; only 18 Polish citizens had that name, and all but 4 lived in Warsaw province. And unfortunately, due to its rarety, it hasn't come in for any attention in any of the sources I have -- none of them mention it. I do feel the similarity to Garwoliński is deceptive, in that Gardoliński probably does not have anything to do with that name.

Most likely Gardoliński began as a reference to a connection between a person or family and a place named something like Gardolin, Gardolino, Gardola, etc. There are villages named Gardlin in both Białystok and Łomża provinces, and the surname might be connected with one or both of them. I'd expect a surname meaning "coming from Gardlin" to be Gardliński, but it's not out of the question that an -o- might slip in there. Other than that, none of my gazetteers or atlases mention a place with an appropriate name. Of course, this is not rare -- surnames typically formed several centuries ago, and since then many of the places that generated surnames have disappeared, been absorbed into other communities, changed their names, etc. So often we find a surname that clearly came from a place name, but can no longer find any trace of that place.

I note in a Polish encyclopedia mention of an Edmund Gardolinski, born 1914, a Polonian activist, engineer, and historian of the Polish community in Brazil, and a representative of Rio Grande do Sul in the legislature. Surely it's not assuming too much to suppose this was/is your grandfather? ... Unfortunately, that's the only prominent Gardolinski I can find any mention of.

The only way I know of to get a better answer on the name's derivation would be for you to spend $10-20 and contact the Anthroponymic Workshop of the Polish Language Institute in Krakow; they can correspond in English, and they do research into name origins, not genealogical research. If anyone can pin down the exact origin and derivation of this name, it would be the scholars of that Workshop. The address is given on page 177 (assuming you have the second edition of my book). I strongly suggest you write them and see if they can tell you anything.

And by the way, if you do write the Workshop and they give you a good answer, I'd be very interested in hearing what they say. I would gladly add Gardoliński to the next edition of my book, if I just had some info on the name's origin. So if you do write and get an answer, I'd appreciate very much getting a copy!

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