Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   
Wesolowski

Wesolowski

digginline15.gif

The Shield is: Gules, a hamade argent, of the ends couped obliquely towards the base.
The Crest is: On a crowned helmet, and issuing from a bowl or, a demi hound proper.

wesolowski.jpg

The Shield is: Azure, a horseshoe inverted argent between two cross bottony or top and bottom.
The Crest is: Five ostrich feathers.

wesolowski.gif

Origin: Poland

The Coat of Arms on the right I created myself from the above description, so I'm not sure how accurate it is.

Wesolowski was the surname borne by two noble Polish families who were septs of the great clans Korczak and Ogonczyk. The Wesolowski family of the clan Korczak had its ancestral seat located in Lithuania, where its existence was documented in 1546. In 1544 this family resided in Ruthenia, and in 1697 in Sandomierz. Later, a branch of this house moved to Prussia.

Wesoloski is a variant form of Wesol~owski (notice the second -w- drops out right before the -ski). This is not uncommon in Poland, we see many names that do this, e. g., Dombroski/Dombrowski, Janoski/Janowski, etc. In that position the w (normally pronounced like our v) softens to the sound of an f, and in some dialects it is pronounced so lightly as to be inaudible. Spelling tends to follow pronunciation, and that's how many Polish names dropped that w, from -owski to -oski. But in discussing the origin of the names we need to restore it, because the forms with the W are usually much more common. So what does Wesol~owski mean? It comes from a root wesol~y that means "merry, cheerful"; the same root appears in many other Slavic languages (but by English phonetics would be spelled "vesol-"). So it's entirely possible this surname could have started out meaning nothing more than "kin of the cheerful one.

But it's also true that most -owski names began as references to a connection between a person or family and a place with a similar name, e. g., Wesol~ów, Wesol~ówka, Wesol~owo are all names that could easily generate the surname Wesolowski, meaning basically "one from Wesol~ów (-ówka/-owo)." Those place names, in turn, got their names because of some link with "merry, cheerful"; perhaps they originally meant"the cheerful place," or "the place of the cheerful one," something like that. There are quite a few villages in Poland with names that qualify, so unfortunately the surname doesn't provide any clues that allow us to point to any one of them and say "Ah, that's where your family came from." Without specific data on the family that pinpoints the exact region they came from, we have no way of knowing which Wesol~ów or Wesol~owo or Wesol~ówka a given family was connected with.

Wesol~owski is a very common surname in Poland, as of 1990 there were 23,653 Polish citizens by that name, living all over the country. There were, in contrast, only 7 who spelled their name Wesol~oski, so if that spelling actually persists in your family's name all the way back to Poland and your relatives still spell it that way -- well, some of those 7 might be relatives. Unfortunately I don't have access to details such as first names and addresses, but I can tell you those 7 lived in the provinces of Bydgoszcz (1), Gdansk (1), Lublin (1), Tarnow (2), Walbrzych (1), Wroclaw (1).

I don't want to throw you off the track here -- it is not at all certain those Wesol~oski's would be related to you. The spelling of names is variable in the records, and the same name sometimes shows up as -owski and sometimes as -oski without it really meaning much. With a name as common as Wesol~owski, it's pretty likely quite a few of them pronounced it Wesoloski, and thus sometimes had it spelled that way; then it might have been "corrected" to the standard form later. So it's hard to say under which spelling your relatives would show up in modern records. The very first record of the family name Wesolowski was found in Wadwicz and Lacki , which is located in Germany and Poland. The Wesolowski family traces their ancestral roots back to Prussian origin before the year 1100.

Sources

Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings
William F. "Fred" Hoffman

homebutton.gif

digginline15.gif

treesfallover.gif