This surname of MAZUREK is a Polish and East Ashkenazic Jewish, regional name for someone from one of two provinces of Poland; Masovia in north-east Poland, famous for its lakes. The place is so called because it was colonized by settlers from Masovia, replacing the Baltic inhabitants. The meaning of MAZUR in Polish is someone from Masovia. The name is also spelt MAZER, MAZURSKI, MAZURSKY, MAZUREK and MAZUROWSKI. Habitation names were originally acquired by the original bearer of the name, who, having lived by, at or near a place, would then take that name as a form of identification for himself and his family. When people lived close to the soil as they did in the Middle Ages, they were acutely conscious of every local variation in landscape and countryside. Every field or plot of land was identified in normal conversation by a descriptive term. If a man lived on or near a hill or mountain, or by a river or stream, forests and trees, he might receive the word as a family name. Almost every town, city or village in early times, has served to name many families. This family is descended from Polish gentry. Descendant of the family emigrated to Russia and served in noble positions in Little Russia, and in 1708 were granted villages and charters. 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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