This Polish surname of GADZINSKI was a locational name meaning 'the dweller at the sign of the reptile; it may also have been a nickname for one thought to resemble the characteristics of a magpie. This European bird with a long pointed tail was an idle chatterer, and perhaps this was the reason behind the nickname. The GADZINSKI clan is first mentioned in 1094 by the governor general of Cracow who was the commanding general during the Polish campaign against Moravia. Michal GODZIAMBA was the first Polish bishop in 1216. 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. The earliest record of the name in the United States of America is Anton GODZINK, who arrived in New York on the 2nd May, 1850 on the steamer 'Rhein'. 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. It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries.
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