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Gajewski Coat of Arms / Gajewski Family Crest

The associated coat of arms for this name are recorded in J.B Rietstaps Armorial General. Illustrated by V & H.V Rolland's. This Monumental work took 23 years to complete and 85,000 coats of Arms are included in this work. This Polish surname of GAJOWNIK was an occupational or topographical name for a forester or woodman. The name was derived from the Old Polish word GAJOWNIK, and other spellings include GAJDUSEK, GAJOWIAK, GAJEWICZ, GAJIC and GADEWSKI. The name was also an occupational name for a keeper of animals, especially one who looked after horses at the manor. A manor, during the middle ages, may have had two or three hundred people living there, most of whom worked in various parts of the manor to produce their food. The manor would be owned by the king or an important noble, or by a religious house or even a freeman. The tenants would have been of three kinds, the freeholders who worked substantial land for which they paid a money rent which freed them of most, but not all, services to the lord, the villeins or serfs who cultivated about thirty acres for which they worked for the lord two or three days a week, and the cotters who held smaller plots and worked shorter periods for the lord of the manor. In the centre of the manor would be the hall, the principal residence of the lord of the manor and the church would be nearby. Around these two important building would be crude houses or cottages of the inhabitants. As overseers usually enjoyed a higher rank, these occupations first appeared recorded in official documents, and tended to become hereditary family names which have continued to this day. A notable member of the name was Daniel Carleton GAJDUSEK, born in 1923, the American viologist and man of science, joint winner of the 1976 prize for physiology. 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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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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