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Where does the name "Olawsky" come from?

The name "Olawsky" originates from Poland. In Polish it has the male ending -ski or the female ending - ska.

Regarding the meaning of the name an important question concerns the letter "l": In Polish there is our normal "l" but also also a "ł". (This "ł" is letter with a totally different pronunciation, somewhere between "u" and "w" The "l" could thus be derived from "ł", which then (similarly as the Polish ending - ski) was "germanized". The adjective "oławski" means "of Ohlau" or "from Ohlau". So noty only the meaning of the name is found, but also its (local) origin. In the proximity of Ohlau (Oława) there are also different places containing "oławski" as a part of their name:

The amassment of the surname "Olawsky"in the closer environment of Ohlau could be a good reason for this first interpretation of the name. But: Why should someone be called "from Ohlau", when he lives there. Names, which refer to the origin of the carrier, were actually given those, who left this place and settled elsewhere.

The Olawskis in Poland don't believe that this interpretation is correct. They stress the difference between "l" and "ł". They believe that "Olawski" comes from someone (a Swede?) called names Olav (or Olaw).

Looking into name dictionary, like e.g. book series "Słownik staropolskich nazw osobowych" (vol. 4, N-R) (= dictionary of old Polish surnames [Witold Taszycki, 1974-76], one can find:
A. Georgius Johannis Olawsky de Cracovia 1401 AS I s. 16.
B. Olauer: Nomine tutorie puerorum Jaschconis dicti Olawir de Paulicouice 1398 Krak 7448
A: Here you see that in the beginning "Oławski" is written (with "ł" and "i"), later on "Olawsky" (with "l" and "y"!
"AS": "Album Studiosorum Universitatis Cracoviensis". It seems that Georgius Johannis Olawsky was a student at the University of Krakau in 1401. [note: In correct Latin the name would be: Georgius Ioannis Olawski]

To part of B: The translation reads:
After the name of the Jaschcon, as a guardian of the children, who was called Olawir of Paulicouice.

While section A supports the first interpretation ("Olawsky" from "oławski"), section B supports the second interpretation ("Olawsky" from "Olawir").

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copyright 30.Juni 1998 by Gregor Olawsky