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Does a coat of arms go with your surname?

What does your Polish name mean?

430px-Jastrzębiec_herb.svgHave you ever wondered what your Polish last name means? Many surnames started out as patronymic nicknames to indicate who one’s father was. Andrzejczak, Tomczyk and Janowicz are the Polish equivalents of Anderson, Thomson and Johnson.

Other surnames described the inhabitant of a village: Grabowski (originally came from the village of Grabów [Hornbeamville]) and Piotrowski (from Piotrowo [Petersburg]). Still others were based on occupations: Piekarz (baker), Kmieć (farmer) and Kowalczyk (blacksmith’s son).

The noble Grabowskis were entitled to stamp their documents and property with the Jastrzębiec coat of arms. This heraldic device was shared by more than 1,100 families belonging to the Polish gentry. “Grabowski herbu Jastrzębiec” simply indentified a Grbaowski as belonging to “the Noble clan (or House) of Jastrzębiec.” Some noblemen would include their clan-names in their signatures thus:
Stanisław Jastrzębiec-Grabowski.

For a custom-researched analysis of the meaning and derivation of your last name, how many people share it, where they are from and whether a coat of arms goes with it (an illustration of the coat of arms is included), please airmail a $19 check to:

Robert Strybel
ul. Kaniowska 24
01-529 Warsaw

You will also get a useful contact sheet including links to Web sites, data bases, genealogical groups and professional researchers who can help you track down your family roots in Poland. Many Polish-American root-tracers have found it helpful in their ancestral exploration.
For more information please contact: