This surname of PERKOWSKI is a Polish occupational name for a baker. The name was derived from the Polish word PIEKARZ (baker) + SKI. The suffix SKI is also found as a ending of Russian surnames, but these are usually of Polish origin. It was also used by Ashkenazic Jews. By the time most Jewish people on Polish territory were acquiring family names in the late 18th and 19th centuries, it was already widely used as a general surname suffix. On the estates of the king or wealthy nobles, many servants were required whose specific duties were means of identification which developed into hereditary family names. The lord's oven, or communal oven, was the place where the villagers cooked their food. The bakers, like the millers were fond of swindling their neighbours. In many places both in England and France the peasants were fined for not baking at the lord's oven. When the great oven was hot, a bell was rung to inform the villagers to bring their bread or cakes to be baked. The name is also spelt PIOKOWSKI, PIOKOWSKY and PIEKARSKY. According to the Pennsylvanian Scranton Diocesan Directory of September, 12th 1868 the Rev. Stanislaus W. PIOKOWSKI was at the Cyril and Methodius Seminary of Poland, at Orchard Lake, Michigan. 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. Many Polish people acquired their surnames by reason of former residence in a town or village. There are nearly 600 families bearing the arms of a horseshoe enclosing a cross. 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 their 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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