Surname – SLESINSKI or ŚLESIŃSKI
Meaning/Origin – The name SLESINSKI or ŚLESIŃSKI (hear it pronounced in Polish) is derived from the place name Ślesin, a town in central Poland near Konin founded in 1231. The suffix -ski is usually added to a person or place name to indicate a relationship such as “son of” or “from”. (Source: Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings, Second Edition by William F. Hoffman)
Countries of Origin – The surnames of SLESINSKI and ŚLESIŃSKI are Polish. According to the World Names Profiler, Poland has the highest frequency per million residents with this name at 11.73 per million. The United States comes in a distant second at 1.48. The results are the same for either spelling.
Spelling Variations – The main Polish spelling of this name is ŚLESIŃSKI; however, because of the unique characters it is often written as SLESINSKI. Other variations include ŚLESZYŃSKI and ŚZLESZYŃSKI. (Source: Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings, Second Edition by William F. Hoffman)
Surname Maps – The following maps illustrate the frequency of the ŚLESIŃSKI and SLESINSKI surnames in Poland. According to http://www.dynastree.com/maps/detail/slesinski.html, there are about 363 people with the surname Slesinski in the United States, with the heaviest concentration in New York state. The Polish surname map shows only 400 people with the surname ŚLESIŃSKI spread out over 78 different counties and cities. The greatest concentration are in Grodzisk Mazowiecki with 40 residents.
SOURCE: Mojkrewni.pl “Mapa nazwisk” database, http://www.moikrewni.pl/mapa/kompletny/%25C5%259Blesi%25C5%2584ski.html, accessed October 23, 2009.
For a very different map, I entered the American spelling without the Polish letters – SLESINSKI. Only two people in Poland use that spelling!
SOURCE: Mojkrewni.pl “Mapa nazwisk” database, http://www.moikrewni.pl/mapa/kompletny/slesinski.html, accessed October 23, 2009.
Famous Individuals with the Surname – I could not find any famous folks, but there is the Kanał Ślesiński, a water channel in Poland that connects the Warta River with Lake Golplana.
My Family – This is the surname of my great-grandmother (my mother’s mother’s mother). My Ślesiński family comes from Poland. My earliest ancestor so far with this name is Maciej Ślesiński, born around 1800 likely in Ślesin, Poland. My line of descent is as follows: Józef (b. 1821, Ślesin) > Wincenty (b. 1851, Wilczyn) > daughter Wacława (b. 29 Aug 1880, Wilczyn).
Wincenty did have at least one son to carry on the surname, Feliks, who was born on 24 Dec 1885. I am not sure if Feliks survived to adulthood. Wacława Ślesińska married Józef Zawodny in 1902 and immigrated to the U.S. (Philadelphia, PA) the same year. Wacława’s four sisters also immigrated to the U.S. after their father’s death on 01 Jan 1919 and settled in McKeesport, PA.
My Research Challenges – Wincenty Ślesiński died in Dobrosołowo, near Wilczyn, two days after his wife died. His wife, Stanisława Drogowska, was about 58 years old. Wincenty was about 68 years old. If Poland had obituaries during this time period in a town as small as Dobrosołowo, I would like to learn more about the circumstances of their deaths. At this time, World War I was raging and their town, in the Russian Empire until Poland returned to Europe’s map, was extremely close to the German border.
It is interesting that my earliest ancestors with this name were recorded as having been from the town of Ślesin. There are still microfilmed records available to allow me to pursue research on this line when I have the time.
Other Ślesiński Families – One site I would like to highlight is not about genealogical research, but it is about family. Lori Ann Slesinski was 24 years old when she went missing in June, 2006, from Auburn, Alabama. Please take a look at this site and contact the authorities listed if you have any information.
Surname Message Boards – None – please leave a comment if you find any.
Miscellaneous – The American Soundex code for Slesinski is S425 and the Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex Code is 484645. There are 159 individuals in the U.S. Social Security Death Index with the surname Pater (as far as I know, none are related to me – the Slesinski sisters all married and no longer used their maiden names).
Links to other posts about my Slesinski family can be found here.
This post is #3 of an ongoing series about surnames. To see all posts in the series, click here.