A Little History About the Name: Part I

"von Pazatka Lipinski" (Published 2002)

The original research paper was produced in Germany by Mr. Gerhard von Pazatka Lipinski and Mr. Peter von Lipinsky translated it into English.


# 1) General Remarks:

The family name appears in many variations. Even for the very same person we find several variations in the way the name is written. Some times even in the same document. So that all statements pertaining to the family name will be uniform, it has been decided to write the name in the historical orthographic way which is: " von Pazatka Lipinski ". All of the research results, even this essay, is based on information obtained from several sources. Depending on the results of our combined research, this essay will have to be corrected and re-written from time to time. Any contribution by the reader to this study and research of the family history is greatly appreciated.

# 2) The pronunciation of our historical name:

The first written document in which our name is being mentioned dates back to the year 1526. In this document, a man of our ancestral family is being mentioned twice. First he is noted as Nicolaus Pazonka and later as " Nicolaus Pasonka ". Professor Edmund Breza, a Polish scholar, who extensively studied surnames in the Old Prussian Province of " Pomerania " , calls our family " PASENTKA ". From the names " Pazonka " - " Pasonka " - " Pasentka ", several variations of the family name evolved. In the old church records from the parish of Borzyszkowy, as well as in other old records, the family name appears most often as " Pazatka " or " Pazadka " . It does make a difference in which language the family name is being pronounced and spoken, i.e. in German, Polish or Kashubian. The sound and pronouncement of each language contributes to the fact that the same name will sound different. When a baptism, marriage or death was entered into the old church records, the officiating Minister / Pater wrote down the name the way it sounded to him. In the early days, most people could not read or write and therefore nobody noted if the Minister / Pater wrote down somebody name a little different into the church register. Besides in those days, who was going to challenge the authority of the local Minister / Pater. Over a period of a couple of hundred years or so, from the little errors in recording the family name correctly, our family name appears in all sorts of records as: Parsotka, Pazotka, Parzatka. Pazadka, Parzutka plus another 20 or so other variations.

#3) The History of Pomerania:

For the general understanding of the development of the Kashubian Nobility, it is useful to know the history of Pomerania, as well as the structure of the population. Several authors have written extensively about this, but the subject is far too large in order to go into every detail here. But this much can be said that about 100 years A.D. , the area as we know it today, was inhabited by a people called " Pomeranians " = people living by the sea = Pomorze = Pommern = Pomerania . For the Pomeranian people, the name " Kashubs " was also used, which was the name of a Slavic tribe. In the year 1309 the " German Orden " = Crussaders took over to rule Pomerania. After the demise of the German Orden at approximately 1466, Pomerania was ruled by the Polish King, who gave Pomerania to the Prussians on a lease. By the first partition of Poland in the year 1772, Pomerania was granted to the Prussian Crown. There were two more partitions of Poland, for a total of 3 partitions. The second partition took place in 1793 and the 3 and final partition in 1795. After the 3. partition, Poland practical ceased to exist. In the years 1918 - 1920 ( Treaty of Versailles ), part of the ancestral home land of the Pazatka family was returned to Poland, but was later occupied by the Nazi regime from 1939 - 1945. At the end of W.W. 2, the area became part of Poland once again. The old ancestral family hails from the little village of Liepnitz /Lipnica . Over a period of many years, the family branched out between the city of Buetow / Bytow and the city of Konitz / Chojnice. The population of the area was mostly of Kashubian origin.

#4 ) What do we know about the origin of the family name :

Professor Emilian Zernicki-Szeliga, author of several books about the history of Polish Nobility, has described the origin of the Polish nobility name as following: Janek, who used to live in the village of Ostrowite, became " Janek z Ostrowski " = Janek from Ostrowite. If Janek moved to another village, his name changed as well. This way, if the family branched out, the different lines / branches of the family could easily be identified. The same applies to the forefathers of the Pazatka's. Prof. Emilian Zernicki-Szerliga, who also is an authority on the " Coat of Arms " of noble Polish families, states that in about 1476, a branch of the " Piechowski " family also called themselves " Pazatka ".Members of this family were then known as " Pazatka-Piechowski ", and resided in the village of Piechowice. Later on, a member of the Pazatka-Piechowski family purchased some land in the village of Liepnitz /

Lipnica and he was then known as " Pazatka Lipinski ". The researchers and historians in our family however believe, that the name Pazatka already existed in the years 1360 - 1366, because at that time, the men in charge = " Hochmeister " of the German Orden granted, as well as re-deeded some land to the Pazatka family.

#5 ) What does the name " Pa(r)zatka mean:

The polish word " POCZATEK " means: " Beginning ". So when new settlers moved to a new area, they could be called : Poczatek.For example : When Janek and his family moved to a new uninhibted area and they were the first people to homestead there, people could say that Janek made the " POCZATEK " or start / beginning in that area / village. If Janek's homestead was at the entrance to the village, it is conceivable, that his neighbors called him " Janek Poczatek ".

#6 ) Other Polish words:

One could also assumed that the name " Pazatka " is somehow connected to the Polish word " Porzadek " = meaning Order or " Przadka " = meaning = spinning. It is not known if the name " Pa(r)zatka developed itself from these words. Professor Dr. Edward Breza writes, that he thinks that our old ancestral name originates from the Kashubian word " PAZAC ", which means a natural meadow. This explanation is considered to be most likely the one to explain the origin of the name "Pa(r)zatka ". It has also been recorded, that the " Pazatka - Lipinski " means: = " from the meadow in Liepnitz ". This statement also co-incides with what Prof. Dr. Edward Breza wrote about the family name. The letter " R " in the name " PA(R)ZATKA " is attributed to a spelling / writing error made at some unknown time.

# 7) Why was there another name added to the name " Pazatka " ?

The family researcher Hans - Harry von Chamier - Gliszcynski wrote the following: After the inhabitants of Royal Prussia became Polish citizens on account of the Lubniner degree of 18. March 1569, each family started to supplement their nobility name with the name of the village they were living in, so that they would not be considered foreigners ( not being Polish ). So this is how the two part name came into existence. Depending on the name of the village the Pazatka's were living in, their name became :

  • Pazatka Lipinski from the village of Liepnitz
  • Pazatka Brzezinski from the village of Brzeno
  • Pazatka Piechowski from the village of Piechowice
  • Pazatka Kiedrowski from the village of Kiedrowice
  • Pazatka Pradzinski from the village of Pradzona

Records exist to verify all the double names, except for the name Pazatka - Pradzinski.

#8 ) More information :

At the time of the " Voelkerwanderung " / Barbarian invasion at about 600 A.D., Slavic tribes moved from the east and southeast to the north and the west. The area between the river Weichsel / Wista and the Elb river was mostly populated by Slavic people. Under the influence of the German Orden and later under the Prussian government, German settlers came to the area. People of different origins mixed and the people were called " Old Prussians " or " Pomeranians ", which later changed to Kashubs. Why was the word " von " added to the name Pazatka ? In Poland, i.e. the Polish language, there is no attribute to names showing nobility. From the two part name, i.e. Pazatka Lipinski, everybody could tell that the person who went by that name, was of nobility. Consequently, there could never be any doubt as to who did or did not belong to a family of nobility. In old church records, you can still find entries, which reads : i.e. " Nobilis Casimir Pazatka - Lipinski " . Around 1800 - 1806, a decree by the Royal Prussian Government prohibited the use of the latin title " NOBILIS ". From that time on, the word " von " had to be used in all civil and church entries / records for person formerly known as " Nobilis ".