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EvelynPalmer55



Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Replies: 2

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Post Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:15 pm      Post subject:
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Would someone be able to tell me what the origin and meaning of Gwiazdowski is?
I was told that an ancestor was named Stern and changed it to Gwiazdowski.
Any ideas about this? What would have been the reason for them to change the name?
This would have been during the late 1700's -1800's. Thanks you,
Evelyn
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Slav
PolishOrigins Team


Joined: 26 Sep 2010
Replies: 172
Location: Warsaw, Poland

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Post Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:40 pm      Post subject:
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Stern is obviously a name of German origin, and Gwiazdowski can be regarded as its Polish equivalent, derived from gwiazda meaning star (=Stern).
Both Gwiazda and Gwiazdowski are quite popular surnames in Poland today. Here are the results valid in the year 2000:

Gwiazdowski/Gwiazdowska- men and women: https://nazwiska-polskie.pl/Gwiazdowski

Gwiazda - men and women: https://nazwiska-polskie.pl/Gwiazda


Please take a look at the search results at the Polish Origins Database which indexes major Polish and international genealogical sites. The tool also enables you to use an online keyboard with "Polish letters".

See: http://polishorigins.com/databases/index?s=Gwiazdowski+Stern

You can also try searching just for Gwiazdowski. You may be interested in our tips for effective Internet search: http://polishorigins.com/document/pgd_practical_hints

In addition, please keep checking the PolishOrigins Surnames Database - someone interested in the same surnames may turn up at our Forum in the future.

I can only guess why your ancestor changed their name. They probably were German or Jewish and may have changed their name to a Polish-sounding one so as to assimilate with the Polish society.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,

Slav
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EvelynPalmer55



Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Replies: 2

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Post Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:44 pm      Post subject:
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Thank you Slav, You have given me a number of things to search and I appreciate that. you are likely right--that they wanted to change their name to assimilate with the Polish society.
This does help,
Evelyn
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Magroski49
PO Top Contributor & Patron


Joined: 10 Nov 2008
Replies: 1739
Location: Joao Pessoa - Brazil

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:30 pm      Post subject:
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EvelynPalmer55 wrote:
Would someone be able to tell me what the origin and meaning of Gwiazdowski is?
Thanks you,
Evelyn


Evelyn,

In addition to what Slav has told you: Your surname comes from the towns named Gwiazdowo (one located in Poznan district and the other in Sroda district, near Poznan). It appeared for the first time in the second half of the 14th century. Source: Zofia Kaleta's book The surname as a cultural value and an ethnic heritage (out of print).

To understand how Gwiazd turned into Gwiazdowo and then Gwiazdowki please take a look at William Hofmann's article in http://www.polishroots.org/Research/SurnameSearch/Surnamesendings/tabid/118/Default.aspx

Gilberto
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JeffStern



Joined: 03 Feb 2019
Replies: 1
Location: Maryville, TN

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:58 pm      Post subject: Stern to Gwiazdowski and Gwiazdowski to Stern
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I find this very interesting as our "family" name is Gwiazdowski, yet for some reason only my paternal grandfather changed his name to Stern as a young man, his brother and sister did not. They are from Buffalo, New York. I am not sure but believe he would have been born in the early 1900s. The speculation is he changed it to sound more "American" and improve his employment opportunities, another theory is to give him a more neutral name for military service. I wasn't fortunate to grow up around my father or his family so what I know is very limited, but one thing I was always told was the change kept the same meaning that being - star. So it was I teresting finding this post!
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