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Witkowski Coat of Arms / Witkowski 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 personal Polish name of WITKOWSKI was derived from a medieval given name VITUS, meaning life. The name was popular in the Middle Ages as a result of the cult of an early Christian martyr in South Italy, about whom very little of historical value is known. He was regarded as a patron saint against epilepsy and the nervous tremor named after him 'St. Vitus dance'. He is said to have been the son of a Sicilian pagan, and was converted by his nurse Crescentia and her husband Modestus. His feast day is June 15th. His cult spread into Germany and thence through East Europe, where the name was reinforced by native Slavnic names such as Vitoslav and Vitomir. The earliest Polish surnames were patronymic. The personal names from which they were derived were mainly Slavonic, but as the Middle Ages progressed, traditional Slavonic 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. Following the crusades in Europe in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, a need was felt for a family name to replace the one given at birth, or in addition to it. This was recognized by those of noble birth, and particularly by those who went on the Crusades, as it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. The name is also spelt VISEK, WITKOWITZ, WITOVSKY, VITOVSKY, VIAU, VIALE, VIAL, BIALE, VITALIS and VITALONI. 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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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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