Welcome to the very first “Surname Saturday” of 2012. Somehow I managed to go through all of 2011 without a single surname post! But I have many more family names to get to, so I am hoping to post a different Surname Saturday at least once a month. Let’s see what happens this year…
Surname - ZAKRZEWSKI
Meaning/Origin - The name ZAKRZEWSKI is derived from the Polish town names of Zakrzew or Zakrzewo or from the Polish word krzew meaning “shrub”. (Source: Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings, Second Edition by William F. Hoffman)
Country of Origin - The surname ZAKRZEWSKI is Polish. According to the World Names Profiler, Poland has the highest frequency per million residents with this name at 374.78 per million. Germany is second with a distant 13.8 per million. The United States comes in next at 9.19.
Spelling Variations - Other names derived from the same root include ZAKRZEWICKI and ZAKRZEWICZ. (Source: Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings, Second Edition by William F. Hoffman) The feminine version of the surname is ZAKRZEWSKA.
Surname Map - The following map illustrates the frequency of the ZAKRZEWSKI surname in Poland. The name is far more popular than many of my other Polish surnames with over 13,000 individuals listed with the surname. As you can see by all the colors on the map, people with this surname live just about everywhere in Poland in most of the counties and cities.
SOURCE: Mojkrewni.pl “Mapa nazwisk” database, http://www.moikrewni.pl/mapa/kompletny/zakrzewski.html, accessed January 6, 2012.
Famous Individuals with the Surname - Given the popularity of the name as shown on the map, it’s no surprise that a fair amount of famous Poles have the surname. From politicians to athletes, there’s a whole list on Wikipedia. I wonder if any are my cousins? The most famous Pole with this surname is Ignacy Wyssogota Zakrzewski (1745-1802), who was a nobleman during the final years of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and was involved with the creation of the Constitution. Look at his photo on Wikipedia – doesn’t this guy look like a twin of George Washington? Although the name does have noble roots, my family were farmers so it is likely they adopted the surname by choice instead of birth.
My Family - My Zakrzewski family comes from the vicinity of the town of Żyrardów in the Masovian Voivodeship (województwo mazowieckie). My earliest known ancestor is Karol Zakrzewski who was born around 1800 (based on his daughter’s birth record) and died before 1859 (based on his daughter’s marriage record). Karol married Rozalia Kowalewska. Their daughter Teofilia is my third great-grandmother. Teofila Zakrzewska was born on 27 Dec 1840 in Maryampol, Masovian Gubernia, Kingdom of Poland. On 10 October 1859 in Wiskitki Teofilia married Jan Pater (born c.1833, Kamienskie – died 04 September 1908 in Żyrardów, Błoński Powiat, Warsaw Gubernia, Vistula Land, Russian Empire. I have ten children documented for Jan and Teofilia born between 1860 and 1884. Teofilia Zakrzewska Pater died on 16 November 1907 in Żyrardów. At the time her her death, her son Józef Pater had already been in America for two years. Her teenaged grandson Ludwik (my great-grandfather), had left to join his parents just three months prior to her death. She had many other grandchildren still living in Żyrardów at the time of her death and the death of her husband almost one year later.
My Research Challenges - I recently found the death records for Teofilia Zakrzewska Pater from 1907 on the Geneteka site, and I had her birth and marriage from previous research on microfilm. The key is to find the marriage of her parents, Karol and Rozalia ZAKRZEWSKI from 1840 or earlier.
Links to all posts about my Zakrzewski family can be found here.
This post is #11 of an ongoing series about surnames. To see all posts in the series, click here.