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Created by Administrator Account in 10/15/2009 1:33:31 PM


... I just received your new book. It is wonderful. In your book you cover the root bart-. I did not see the name Bartochowski. Could you please E Mail me the definition? ...


I'm very pleased you like my book. As for Bartochowski, it was a tough call whether to include it: the name was borne by 349 Poles as of 1990, which means it's not all that common, but it's hardly rare. Since space limitations were definitely a factor, I generally listed the more common name with a particular root and omitted the less common one, unless I could fit it in without using another line. In this instance I had a more common name with the same root, Bartocha (1,055), so I didn't list Bartochowski. I hoped in cases such as yours people would contact me if they had questions, and you did, so that worked out all right!


As I tried to explain in the book, surnames ending in -owski or -ewski are almost always derived from a place name. Thus we'd expect Bartochowski started out meaning "person from Bartochow/Bartochowo/Bartochowa/Bartochy"; there are several possibilities, as suffixes tended to drop off before the adjectival ending -ski was tacked on, and thus several different place names could all end up as "Bartochowski." The place name, in turn, would come from a personal name, in this case Bartoch or Bartocha, presumably because a fellow by that name once owned or founded the place in question.


That is almost certainly the case here. Most Bartochowskis probably took their name from some connection with the village of Bartochów in Sieradz province, 4 km. south of Warta. (There is also a village Barszów in Legnica province that has also been called Bartochów in the past; some Bartochowskis may trace their origin to that place name instead). So the surname means "person from Bartochów," and that place, in turn, got its name from an owner or founder named Bartoch or Bartocha; and his name, in turn, came from the roots mentioned in my book under Bart-.


It's always interesting to look at the distribution of a surname when it comes from a place name, to see whether there is a pattern. In this case, the 349 Bartochowskis lived in the following provinces as of 1990: Warsaw 54, Biala Podlaska 7, Elblag 3, Gdansk 31, Jelenia Gora 1, Katowice 4, Kielce 3, Krakow 15, Krosno 1, Lodz 36, Olsztyn 14, Ostrołęka 3, Płock 33, Przemysl 1, Radom 1, Siedlce 5, Skierniewice 18, Slupsk 7, Szczecin 5, Tarnobrzeg 101, Walbrzych 1, Wloclawek 1, Wroclaw 4. So they were spread out all over Poland. That concentration in Tarnobrzeg province is puzzling, however -- why so many there? It's conceivable that there was once a place in that province with the name Bartochow or something similar, and that it also gave rise to the surname, but has long since changed its name so that none of the more modern sources list it. But that's just a guess, I don't really know the answer.


If you would really like to know more I would suggest contacting the Anthroponymic Workshop of the Polish Language Institute in Krakow -- the address is on p. 177 of my book (the 2nd edition, that is) . They would probably tell you about the same thing I have, but might be able to add some insights as to the Tarnobrzeg connection; then again, they might not. But the basic derivation is pretty certain: Bartochowski started out meaning "person somehow connected with or coming from the village of Bartochow."


I hope this answers your questions, and I'm very glad you're enjoying my book.


 Copyright ©1998 W.F. Hoffman




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