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stephanie f.
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What surnames are you interested in researching?
bajkowski, bekofsky, bakofsky
What countries and other locations are you interested in researching?
poland, russia, united state, lithuania

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At 10:13am on December 6, 2010, Gloria Weber Baikauskas said…
The name means a teller of stories, or jokes. I found that that was handed down through all the lines I have so far found. It also means someone from Bajka. One of the things you need to know is that the people in those areas changed the spelling of the surname for the fashion of the time. Literally Baikowicz is the same name as Bajkowski, and Baikauskas. The Polish priests put the 'ausk' in Baikauskas because the Lithuanians used Baikas, or Bajkas.........the most probable original name. Or the "owsk". It makes the meaning someone from Bajka.

In order to understand this you need to know the history of the area. Lithuania was for a long time the largest country in Europe. It went from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. These people with the various spellings settled in Bajka at the time the Baltic Tribes arrived in that part of the world. Their nationality changed with the border changes that mostly happened after the 1300s.

They are actually all the same family....way back when. In time the relationships have become quite exttended. It is sometimes hard for me to get people to understand that it is the same family...same name with different spellings.

To that point the nobility spoke Polish. Although in time in Lithuania they used Baikauskas, or a variation of it, they would say they were Barnabas Baikowski! Pronounced Bi (long i) Kov ski...even with Bajkowski...the same pronunciation. They went to Polish speaking Catholic churches. Later on some were killed by Stalin for continuing to use the noble form of the name, as well as for speaking Polish, after migrating to what is now Belarus, or even St. Petersburg where there are some still today.

The archives in Bialystok, or elsewhere in Poland probably have more information on individuals. Poland took and kept records from the time Lithuania was partitioned. I understand they are at least making copies of those records now for Lithuania, as is Russia.
At 10:02am on December 6, 2010, Gloria Weber Baikauskas said…
Where on Google?

Re the nobility: I had to really look for that one because nearly every branch, no matter how it was spelled, had family lore that they were of the nobility. They were. I set the Lithuanian Nobility Society...or whatever they are called..on their ear because I found through a friend in St. Petersburg, Russia, a book in Old Polish that listed Jonas Baikauskas in 1601 as being a noble. They wanted that book! But he wouldn't give them more information on it.

This is hard to find...most of it....because the records are scattered from Poland to Lithuania to Russia. The nobility records, and the records of those Stalin purged, or imprisoned, are in St. Petersburg. The military records are in a suburb of Moscow. Forget the name of it.

The family originated in the town of Bajka in Bialystok. It was once a part of Lithuania...before the two countries were united. They come from one of the old original Baltic tribes. That are of now Poland is still largely Lithuanian speaking. That is where they were nobles. At about 1500 something some were sent into Lithuania proper to do some accounting for the King of the united Poland and LIthuania. I got much of this from a professor who specializes in Polish history and name entomology. He looked it up in his books.


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