The Origin of the Polonsky Surname #general

Jeffrey Mark Paull

According to at least one source of information, Polonsky is a Jewish habitational,
or place name, for someone >from any of various places called Polonnoe (also spelled
Polnoye or Polonnoye), Polonka, and Polonsk, in the Ukraine and Belarus
( American Family Name Origins: Polonsky). However, based upon my
experience researching vital records pertaining to the Polonsky lineage, there
seems to be far too many people with the Polonsky surname for it to be limited to
people >from the shtetl of Polonnoye only. I would conservatively estimate that the
number of people with the Polonsky surname numbered in the tens of thousands, in
the Ukraine alone. Its commonality among Jewish surnames was also noted by at least
one Jewish genealogist, who stated: "Many of our family surnames, such as
Bernstein, Friedman or Polonsky, are very common (Gursky, Avotaynu, Vol. X, 1994).

I am starting to suspect that the Polonsky surname may be a habitational name for
people who descend >from a much larger area than Polonnoye; that is to say, >from
Poland itself. Several months ago, I was discussing the Polonsky lineage with Dr.
Neil Rosenstein when he mentioned in passing that the name Polonsky means ">from
Poland." I recall thinking that he either misspoke, or was misinformed at the
time, but the more I think about it, the more I believe that Neil was right. I
invite you to add your thoughts and ideas to this discussion.

Jeffrey Mark Paull
Walnut Creek, CA

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