Surname Saturday: WOJCIECHOWSKI


Meaning/Origin – The name WOJCIECHOWSKI (hear it pronounced in Polish) is derived from the Polish first name Wojciech, which in turn comes from the root woj-, meaning “battle”, and ciech, meaning “joy”.   (Source: Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings, Second Edition by William F. Hoffman)

Countries of Origin – The surname WOJCIECHOWSKI is Polish.  According to the World Names Profiler, Poland has the highest frequency per million residents with this name at  897.5 per million.  The United States comes in a distant second at 21.68.

Spelling Variations –  Other names derived from the same root include WOJCIECHOWICZ, WOJCIESKI, and WOJCIESZEK. (Source: Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings, Second Edition by William F. Hoffman) The feminine version of the surname is WOJCIECHOWSKA.

Surname Maps – The following map illustrates the frequency of the WOJCIECHOWSKI surname in Poland. As you can see, the surname is rather popular.  There is a wide distribution across the country over 378 counties and cities.  According to Wikipedia, it is the 15th most common surname in Poland!

Distribution of the WOJCIECHOWSKI surname in Poland.

SOURCE: “Mapa nazwisk” database,, accessed February 23, 2010.

Famous Individuals with the Surname – Stanisław Wojciechowski (1869-1953) was the President of Poland from 1922-26.

My Family – My Wojciechowski family comes from the town of Mszczonów, Poland. My earliest ancestor so far with this name is Maciej Wojciechowski.  I have no birth or death dates for him yet, but he was named on the marriage certificate of his son, Jan.  The line of descent is as follows: Maciej > Jan (b. c.1816, Mszczonów – d. unknown) > Franciszka (b. 01 Oct 1840, Mszczonów – d. 29 Apr 1914, Langhorne, PA, USA).  Franciszka has a special distinction in my family tree – she is my only 3rd great-grandparent to immigrate to the United States.  All that I know about her is that she married Ludwik PLUTA and had at least two children: a son, Jan, and a daughter, Antonina Rozalia.  Antonina is my 2nd great-grandmother.  She immigrated to the US with her husband, Jozef Pater, and their seven children from 1905 – 1907.  In 1909, Franciszka immigrated alone at the age of 69 to join her daugher’s family.  The passenger list describes her as 4′10″, limping, with dark hair, blue eyes, and a dark complexion. What an amazing journey for a woman her age! She lived with her daughter’s family until her death in 1914.

My Research Challenges -I need to continue my research, which I plan to do on a visit to the FHL later this year.  The church records from Mszczonów are available, and I should be able to fill in some missing dates and names for this family.

Surname Message Boards – Ancestry has a Wojciechowski message board as does GenForum.

Links to all posts about my Wojciechowski family can be found here.

This post is #7 of an ongoing series about surnames.  To see all posts in the series, click here.


3 thoughts on “Surname Saturday: WOJCIECHOWSKI

  1. Donna,

    We have a family of Wojciechowski’s here in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. My husband taught with one son and my children had the other daughter-in-law as a preschool teacher!


  2. I’ve heard it said that the surname Wojciechowski is the Polish equivalent to Smith here in the USA. I believe it’s one of the most common surnames in Poland.

    I have a line of Wojciechowskis on my family tree but I’m related to them only by marriage. My grandfather’s sister married a Jozef Wojciechowski of Zdunska Wola (SW of Lodz) who was either the nephew, uncle, or cousin of Stanislaw Wojciechowski who was the President you mentioned. I’d like to trace the family line to find out exactly what the relationship was but I don’t have the ways and means to do that.

    Very nice surname write up! Thanks for doing that for me 😉

  3. I’ve heard that KOWALSKI is the “Smith” equivalent. But, as the 15th most common name in Poland, Wojciechowski comes close. Maybe more like a Jones or a Johnson? LOL

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