This Czech surname of OLEJNCZAK was an occupational name for an extractor of linseed oil. The oil was extracted from linseed by striking the grains with a heavy wooden hammer. The name was derived from the Old German OLI (oil). Many of the modern family names throughout Europe reflect the profession or occupation of their forbears in the Middle Ages and derive from the position held by their ancestors in the village, noble household or religious community in which they lived and worked. The addition of their profession to their birth name made it easier to identify individual tradesmen and craftsmen. As generations passed and families moved around, so the original identifying names developed into the corrupted but simpler versions that we recognise today. The name has numerous variant spellings which include OHLIN, OHLEN, OLENICK and VOLEJNIK. The modern state of Czechoslovakia is going through a transitional phase as a result of the fall of the Iron Curtain. Its various regions encompassed the medieval provinces of Bohemia, Moravia, and Slovakia. The first two of these, where the language properly called Czech is spoken, were heavily subject to German cultural and linguistic influence from the Middle Ages onwards, being administratively a Crownland of Austria for much of the time until independence in 1918. This influence is reflected in the many Czech surnames derived from German, both from given names, and from vocabulary words. Occupational names are quite common in Czech as are nicknames, especially those referring to some physical feature. Many of the most common Czech surnames have the diminutive ending 'CEK', which is often found attached to these names. A notable member of the name was Bertil Gotthard OHLIN (1899-1979) the Swedish economist and politician, born in Klippan. He was educated in Sweden and at Harvard, and was professor at Copenhagen between 1925 and 1930, and at Stockholm between 1930 and 1965. He was a member of the Swedish parliament from 1938 to 1970 and leader of the Liberal party from 1944 to 1967. He was awarded the 1977 Nobel prize for economics.
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