Taken from www.4crests.com (in case you’d like to order a family crest of arms!)
This Polish surname of ROGALSKI was derived from the Old Polish word ROGALA (ox). This was perhaps applied as a nickname for a large, strong man, or taken from a house sign showing an ox or a pair of horns. During the Middle Ages house signs were in frequent use, since numbers at that time were not in existence. The name has many variant spellings which include ROGULSKI, ROGALINSKI, ROHLIK and ROGALEWICZ. 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. ROGALA is a very old Polish family name, recorded since the 13th century in Silesia and Litle Poland. There is an historical record saying that the ROGALA family in Kujawy changed their name to ROGALINSKI. 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 his 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. When the first immigrants from Europe went to America, the only names current in the new land were Indian names which did not appeal to Europeans vocally, and the Indian names did not influence the surnames or Christian names already possessed by the immigrants. Mostly the immigrant could not read or write and had little or no knowledge as to the proper spelling, and their names suffered at the hands of the government officials. The early town records are full of these mis-spelt names most of which gradually changed back to a more conventional spelling as education progressed. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
I have heard of Rogalski’s from all over the world, not only from Poland and Germany, but from Australia and South America!
Our Rogalski’s came from an area in Prussia which was under German control. It is called Bydgoszcz (or Bromberg in German) More details can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bydgoszcz
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