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Wilensky Coat of Arms / Wilensky Family Crest

This Polish surname of WILENSKY was derived from the old Polish word WILK meaning wolf. It was an old Slavonic personal name, but may also have been applied as a nickname for someone thought to resemble a wolf, or was perhaps connected with wolves in some way. Lycanthropy, the transformation of men into wolves, was widely believed in during the middle ages. Other spellings of the name include WILCK, VOVK, VLK, VOVOVICH, VUKELIC, VUCKOVIC and WILCZYNSKI. A notable member of the name was Reginald Howard WILENSKI (1887-1975) the English art critic and art historian, born in London. His analysis of the aims and achievements of modern artists 'The Modern Movement in Art' (1927) has had considerable influence. 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. Throughout all of Europe the wolf was one of the animals most revered in medieval times. The Rose depicted in the arms is used as a distinction for the seventh son. The Distinction of Houses are used to distinguish the younger from the elder branches of a family, and to show from which line each is descended.

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Last Updated: April 12th, 2023

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