This Polish and Czech surname of MUSIAL was a name of two-fold origin. It was a name given to a peasant or vassal and was also a nickname from the Polish word 'musiec' meaning 'must'. It appears that the name derived from someone who had to take orders, perhaps from an overseer or lord of the manor. The name is also spelt MUSICK, MUSIL, MUSIALEK, MUSIALOWICZ and MUSEK. 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. A notable member of the name was Stanley Frank MUSIAL, born in 1920, the American baseball player, known as 'Stan-the-Man'. He was an outstanding left-handed hitter and played a record number of major-league games (3026) with the St Louis Cardinals. There is a lifesize statue of him in the Busch Stadium, St Louis. 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. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization.
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