This surname of LISKER was a Polish topographic name for someone who lived by a hazel tree or in a hazel wood. The name was derived from the Polish elements LESZCZYNA (hazel-tree) and SKI. It may also be a habitation name from a place named with these elements. The name has also been adopted by Ashkenazic Jews. The name is also spelt LISKER and LISKA. 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. 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. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way. A notable member of the name was Stanlilas LESZCYNSKI (1667-1766) the King of Poland (1704-09 and 1733-35). He was elected as king by the Diet, but had to surrender the throne when the Russians defeated Charles XII of Sweden, whose protege he was. In 1725 his daughter, Marie was married to Louis XV of France; but his son-in-law gave him little effective support in the War of the Polish Succession, which followed the second election (1733) of Stanilas as king of Poland, and he once more lost the throne. He was compensated with the duchy of Lorraine and Bar, and proved an enlightened ruler. His treatises on government reveal his advanced political thought.
In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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