[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] surnames ending in ski

Michael & Maureen McHenry maurmike at bellatlantic.net
Mon Apr 4 07:32:14 PDT 2005

Jerry is SKY ending just a variant?


-----Original Message-----
From: ger-poland-volhynia-bounces at eclipse.sggee.org
[mailto:ger-poland-volhynia-bounces at eclipse.sggee.org] On Behalf Of
Jerry Frank
Sent: Monday, April 04, 2005 9:28 AM
To: dalo at cheqnet.net; ger-poland-volhynia at eclipse.sggee.org
Subject: Re: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] surnames ending in ski

At 04:57 AM 04/04/2005, David Wade wrote:
>Can anyone explain to me why it seems there are so many surnames from
>area that end in 'ski' or some variation of 'ski' (or is it my
>Thank you,

There are a variety of possibilities for this situation with respect to 
Germans in East-central Europe.  First, understand that the 'ski' suffix
equivalent to 'von' in German.  Like von, it can have two 
connotations.  One is nobility.  It implies that you are "from" a noble 
family.  The other is locational, implying that your are "from" a
certain town.

So how do peasant class people get such a name?  Several 
possibilities.  One might be that a noble family loses its fortune or
fortune gets spread thinly among the descendants so that they become the

same level as peasant class people.  Another way was that a nobleman
grant the right for a peasant to use his surname, especially for some
of meritous service, perhaps in battle.

Sometimes names evolved.  I have the surname Girschewski in my ancestry,

German Lutheran for many years.  As best I can determine, the surname 
evolved out of the German name, Gersch.

In other cases, ski was tacked on to the end of a German name that had
translated to Polish.  You can probably find some of those in the
equivalency list on the SGGEE website.

Many of these Polish sounding names used by German ethnics (including my

Girschewski) came out of the Kashubian region, mostly in western West 
Prussia but extending into eastern Pomerania.

Jerry Frank - Calgary, Alberta
FranklySpeaking at shaw.ca  

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