Which Ukrainian surnames come from the Polish gentry: quite common

Alina MilsentLife
Which surnames in Ukraine are descended from the Polish gentry

For a long time, much of the territory of modern Ukraine was part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. This historical fact could not but leave an imprint on the process of forming surnames.

The suffix "-enko" is considered to be the most typical for Ukrainians, also because it is practically not found among other Slavic peoples. However, the proportion of surnames is of Polish origin. Read the article by OBOZ.UA to find out what quite common Ukrainian surnames could have come from the Polish gentry.

Typically, Polish surnames are those in the form of adjectives ending in "-ski" and "-tski": Halicki, Potocki, Walewski, Wisniewski, Kowalewski, etc. The formation was based on place names - names of territories, settlements, and water bodies.

In the old days, surnames with the endings "-ski" and "-cki" were given exclusively to Polish aristocrats, as this was the way to mark the boundaries of their possessions: Potocki, Zamoyski, Wislanyski, Milgevski, etc.

Later, this form of surname formation spread to the Ukrainian territory. Similar endings were added to names or nicknames: Ivanovsky, Khmelnytsky, Rudansky, Zadnipryansky, Artemovsky, Verbytsky, Levytsky.

Historian Valentyn Bendiuh notes that from the beginning of the eighteenth century, the so-called "noble surnames" were given to those who had education, primarily priests. For example, according to registry data, more than 70% of the clergy of the Volyn diocese bore surnames ending in "-tskyi" and "-skyi".

Surnames ending in "-uk," "-chuk," "-yuk," and "-ak" also appeared in the territories controlled by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. They were based on baptismal names, and later on any other names. This is how the surnames Havryliuk, Vasyluk, Popelniuk, Kontratiuk, Tkachuk, Levchuk, Pogrebniak, etc. appeared.

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