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The name Konopacki comes from the old Polish word konop as well as konopia, the modern equivalent being konopie - hemp. Cultivation of hemp was widespread in ancient Poland as it provided raw material for the production of oil and cloth. This in turn led to the common use of the name Konopka in the all walks of life: peasants, townsfolk and nobility.

The surname Konopacki evolved from konopie - hemp, to the estate's name with root-word konop thus creating the owner's surname. In such a way the surname of a well known Konopacki clan from Pomorze, it's coat of arms Mur or Odwaga, came into being. This is the genesis of a surname's documentary evidence. In the county of świecie, not far from where the river Wdy flows into the Vistula, lies the village of Polski Konopat. Jan from Bielczan held this knight's estate named Konopat in the 13th century. From the 14th century, however the name of the land-owner begun to be modified by adding ski or cki to the name of the hamlet. Hence the heirs of Jan from Konopat acquired, in due course, the surname Konopatski. In the 15th and 16th centuries this surname became hereditary. It is possible, however, that the surname Konopacki may have evolved quite independently in different parts of Poland. We find, for example a place called Konopat near Mława in the county Mazowsze.

The Konopacki clan has spread throughout Poland. According to the population census from 1990, there were 1968 persons bearing that name, and their relative distribution can be determined from the enclosed map. To obtain a larger image just click the mouse.

Rozmieszcznie ludzi o nazwisku Konopacki

There are two versions regarding the origin of the surname Pytlewski. We shall offer the earliest version, often repeated by family members.

A long time ago, when many people in Poland were known only by their by-name or nickname, they already had a surname. This name did not originate from the locality inhabited by their fore-fathers, or from some event as was often the case. According the family folklore, a German knight named Johan Pytte together with his brothers, also knights, came to Poland as the court entourage of Agnieszk, wife of King Władysław II. Johan Pytte journeyed with King Władysław II to many countries including Czechoslovakia and Germany, where the king sought help in his fight with his younger brothers. It seems this help did not materialize, as he fled to Germany and settled in Saxony. Johan Pytte together with his family remained in Poland. His name was polonized to Pytian. From that time it appears in many historical documents, sometimes spelled somewhat differently, for example we note a Pytyl in 1374, then a Nicolai Pythel in Codex diplomaticus Poloniae in 1415. In the chronicles of the Paladins of Kalisz and Poznan relating a military expedition (led by King Jan Olbracht to Moldawia) to fight the Walachians and the Turks in 1497 we find a certain Tworzyan Pythliński. In the course of time, knights acquired estates and some of them became millers. Those mills were much improved over the existing windmills and were in a sense state of the art constructions. Młyny to już nie dreptaki, wiatraki, ale młyny udoskonalone przez ówczesne nowości techniczne ? są to, jak powiemy dzisiaj młyny o dużym przemiale. The Pytlewki clan produced flour of finest quality, mainly due to the use of a sieve made from muslin cloth called pytel, named after its inventor. The pytlowa flour was made this way and this in turn lead to the pytlowy bread. The Pytlewski family supplied flour to the Royal household. As these events first took place in the Poznań region, to this day we have a poznań flour. It should be mentioned that the full name Pytlewski came into being as a result of merit and elevation to the rank of nobility. On the other hand, the popular name of Pytel became synonymous with people engaged in the production of muslin bags called a pytel.

Author Kornelia Major

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English translation by Maciej Dubenski