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Surnames – similar or „related”?

Chronology of their appearance

Names, which were recovered from the files of the Polish Archeological Society, initially from the Żelechlinek village alone  (see), later supplemented from reviewing other available recordings of the names of interest to us, which were available in the Internet in the files of the Polish Genealogical Society for the entire Łódż “territory”, provided interesting material for consideration and attempts to study the possibility of the names being “related” – i.e. not only similar, but deriving in the past from the same stem – in our case the name  Wajszczuk.

Births – years

Year Pos.

First Name

Surname Act Locality
1648? 8 Paweł Waszczyk 8 Wąsewo (pow. Ostrów Mazowiecka)
1823 3266 Józefa Wajszczyk 6 Tobiasze (Tomaszów Mazowiecki)
1826 3450 Julianna Wajszczyk 13 Tomaszów Mazowiecki
1838 5109 Jadwiga Wajszczyk 80 Tomaszów Mazowiecki
1842 9289 Joachim Wajszczyk 71 Domaniewice (pow. Łowicz)
1845 9733 Kacper Wajszczyk 2 Domaniewice    
1855 5416 Antoni Wajszczak 24 Żelechlinek (pow. Tomaszow Maz.)
1857 5599 Maryanna Wajszczak 59 Żelechlinek
1858 5695 Franciszek Wajszczak 68 Żelechlinek
1858 5710 Szczepan Wajszczak 83 Żelechlinek
1862 6035 Agnieszka Wajszczak 5 Żelechlinek

Weddings – years

Year Pos.




First name

Surname First name Surname
1841 13 Franciszek Goździk Józefa Wajszczyk Tomaszów Mazowiecki
1846 8 Paweł Kotynia Agnieszka Wajszczyk Tomaszów Mazowiecki
1858 70 Paweł Nowakowski Józefa Waszczyk Mszczonów (pow.Żyrardów)
1860 19 Walenty Korczykowski Zofia Waszczyk Mszczonów (pow.Żyrardów)
1865 39 Walenty Gołębiewski Jadwiga Wajszczyk Tomaszów Mazowiecki
1880 39 Ignacy Czuba Marianna Wajszczyk Domaniewice (pow. Łowicz)
1881 24 Franciszek Beta Agnieszka Wajszczyk Żelechlinek

Deaths – years

Year Pos.

First Name

Surname Act Locality
1823 2425 Marianna Wajszczyk 18 Tobiasze (Tomaszów Mazowiecki)
1843 4242 Szymon Wajszczyk 8 Tomaszów Mazowiecki
1852 220 Jan Wajszczyk 46 Tomaszów Mazowiecki
1855 703 Michał Wajszczyk 143 Tomaszów Mazowiecki
1861 3021 Franciszek Wajsczak 47 Żelechlinek
1861 2981 Julianna Wajsczak 5 Żelechlinek
1865 3389 Zofia Wajszczak 57 Żelechlinek
1866 1555 Franciszka Wajszczyk 75 Tomaszów Mazowiecki
1871 3753 Józefa Wajszczak 5 Żelechlinek
1872 3884 Antonina Wajszczuk 60 Żelechlinek
1874 4059 Antoni Wajszczak 33 Żelechlinek
1876 4315 Balbina Wajszczuk 104 Żelechlinek


Facts: The reviewed Public Record Books encompass the years 1823 – 1881. The name variants: Wajszczuk, Wajsczak, Wajszczak and Wajszczyk appear in a relatively small area in and near the town of Tomaszów Mazowiecki.


  1. In the town of Tomaszów Mazowiecki (and in the adjacent village of Tobiasze), in the years 1823 – 1866, there was recorded only the name Wajszczyk. The same name was found in 1842, 1845 and 1880 in Domaniewice, Łowicz county. The earliest appearance of the name Wajszczyk in this region (based on the 1823 – 1881 review) occurs in Tobiasze and in Tomaszow. Perhaps, about 30 years later, some of these people moved to Żelechlinek and were registered there initially as Wajsczak?

  2. In Żelechlinek (Tomaszów Mazowiecki county), there is seen a sequence of  similar names: name Wajsczak appears twice in 1861, name Wajszczak appears three times during 1865 – 1874 (1865, 1871 and 1874) and finally the name Wajszczuk appears in 1872 and 1876. Did they all belong to the same family –only errors in spelling of the last name occurred? It requires further investigation.

  3. c. Another similar name Waszczyk appears in Mszczonów (Żyrardów county) in 1858 and in 1860. The Birth Record Book from the village of Wąsów (Ostrów Mazowiecka county) lists also a name of Paweł Waszczyk, born in 1648 (error?). It should be noted, though, that this location is quite distant from the other listed above.

After arranging the record entries of various similar names in a chronological order, a certain pattern started to emerge. In the municipal parish records (town - Tomaszów Mazowiecki), the name spelling was identical during the whole time period of this study. In the rural parish records (village of Żelechlinek) the spelling of last names appeared to undergo an evolution. Was it related to the changing official language (and alphabets) used in the recording documents in Poland, which was at that time under foreign occupation, or to a lower education level, accuracy and consciousness of the record keepers? The information givers were probably mostly uneducated and could not write, in the rural areas. Based on these observations, can it be assumed that, at least some name variants (similar names) originated at one time from the same stem – so the names are probably not only “similar”, but also “related” and those people are related and could be distant relatives, having the same ancestors? Is this the cause of the existence of groups of “similar? names? Does this phenomenon occur in other regions of Poland? We will try to examine these problems.

It is puzzling, how did the „minority” of Wajszczuks appear in Żelechlinek and why its relatively late appearance, while there was a dominant presence of Wajszczaks in Żelechlinek and Wajszczyks in the nearby Tomaszów Mazowiecki. Did all of them have their roots in the Mazovian (Mazowsze) region? And where? Are they one family?

It will be necessary to repeat a detailed review of the archival books, to be able to reconstruct the family branches and possible family connections. For instance, it will require an explanation, if Agnieszka Wajszczak born in Żelechlinek in 1862 is the same Agnieszka Wajszczyk, who is getting married in Żelechlinek in 1881?   


In a book by Tadeusz Krawczak: "W zaścianku szlacheckim" (In a gentry - freeholders' settlement) published in 1993 by a publishing house - SONOR Ltd. in Warsaw, ISBN 83 - 85170 - 06 - 5, following statements were found on pages 244 i 245 regarding the formation of "nicknames":
p. 244 - "Each nobleman, in addition to his proper last name, posessed a second name or a "nickname". The latter were used more frequently than the proper last names. This was forced by the everyday life. Repetitions of the last names as well as of forenames were a common everyday occurrence. (...).
p. 245 - Along the old geographic lines of contact with the Uniates, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Catholic_Churches), all diminutive name forms have the ending "uk", for instance Kowalczuk, Husarczuk etc, while further to the west, they end with the „yk” or „ak”, for instance Kowalczak, Tokarczyk etc. (Annotation # 249. = Rel. MOH/I/25; I/76; 2/77; 4/79)."
A letter was send to the author requesting information, how to obtain a full-text copy of the Annotation # 249 - (see).

Prepared by: Waldemar J Wajszczuk & Paweł Stefaniuk 2011
e-mail: wwajszczuk@comcast.net lub wajszczuk@onet.pl