This surname APODACA was a Polish and Ashkenazic Jewish regional name for someone from PODOLIA in the Ukraine, (from the Polish PODOLE and Yiddish PODOLYE) a region which had a large Jewish population from the Middle Ages to the Second World War. It is also possible in some cases the Jewish names listed here derived from PODOL, the only district in Kiev in which Jews were permitted to live in the 1880's. However, since ll Ashkenazic Jews in the Russian Empire had surnames by that decade, it would have shown that Jews were living in PODOL earlier (at least by 1844). The name has numerous variant spellings which include PODOLSY, PODOLY, APODAC, PODOLOV and APODOLOFF. When traditional Jews were forced to take family names by the local bureaucracy, it was an obligation imposed from outside traditional society, and people often took the names playfully and let their imaginations run wild by choosing names which corresponded to nothing real in their world. No one alive today can remember the times when Jews took or were given family names (for most Ashkenazim this was the end of the 18th century or the beginning of the 19th) although many remember names being changed after emigration to other countries, such as the United States and Israel in recent years. The earliest Polish surnames were patronymic. The personal names from which they were derived were mainly Slavonic, but as the Middle Ages progressed, traditional Slavic given names, began to give way to saint's names, mainly of Latin origin. Surnames derived from Slavonic personal names are of early origin, and tend to be borne by aristocratic families. Some names were changed by immigrants whilst on the boat heading for America and Australia. These transformations were usually to names thought by the immigrants to be more respected in his native land than the one he bore. Many Poles added 'ski' to their names to attain a higher social status since such names were accorded more respect from people of Polish extraction. Thus a larger proportion of Polish names carried this termination in America and Australia than in Poland.
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