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Welcome to ALL fellow Sawickis and Web surfers!

NOTE! At the bottom of this page is a link to others with the Family name of Sawicki. If you would would like to be added, IMAGE of a lettere-mail me your address or URL at:

**Keep in mind that although this article suggests the Sawicki name is Ukrainian in origin, the borders of Poland have changed several times throughout history. At times the Ukraine was actually part of Poland. Regardless, both the Poles and Ukrainians share the same rich Slavic heritage.

From the Historical Research Center

Family Name History

Modern Ukrainian** national consciousness began to take shape in the late19th century, in the universities of Kharkiv, and later, Kiev, among whose students and faculty members may have been members of the Sawicki family, which were established in order to provide educated bureaucrats to staff the Russian Imperial civil services. Ukrainian intellectuals began to explore the history, folklore and cultural heritage of their homeland, and made a concentrated effort to preserve and promote the Ukrainian language. While this new Ukrainian intelligentsia took pride in its heritage, it did not yet think in terms of independence for Ukraine. However, by the 1840's there arose a generation of writers and thinkers who had greater political awareness. This circle, located in Kiev, was led by figures such as the historian Kostomarov and the poet Shevchenko, who in 1847 founded a secret society, the "Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood"(Saints Cyril and Methodius evangelized the Slavs in the 9th century), whose members may have included patriotic bearers Sawicki family members, to provide Ukraine with the political basis of nationhood. The Tsarist police soon discovered the existence of the Brotherhood and the trails of its leaders inaugurated an enduring struggle between the Ukrainian intelligentsia and the Russian regime.

In Western Ukraine, then under Austrian rule, the only educated class was that of the Greek Catholic clergy, perhaps in their ranks some bearers of the family name Sawicki, and it was in the seminaries of Lviv that nationalist sentiment took root in this region. A chance to put some of these ideas into action came in the aftermath of the Revolution of 1848, which startled the Austrian Habsburg rulers and prompted them to institute reforms in the hope of acquiring popular legitimacy. The Austrians abolished serfdom and established elective assemblies. In Western Ukraine, the Polish nobles attempted to speak for the whole region, but the Ukrainians, organized a "Supreme Ruthenian Council" to refute Polish pretensions. This was followed by the founding of the first Ukrainian-language newspaper, no doubt read by the forefathers of the Sawicki family, and the establishment of a chair of Ukrainian language studies at Lviv University. In Russian-ruled Ukraine, the end of serfdom came in 1861 and was followed by a program of economic development, which, however did little to benefit native Ukrainians and indeed tied their economy more closely to Russia's. In 1863, an infamous year for the Ukrainians including the Sawicki family, the Tsarist government forbid the publication of Ukrainian-language religious, scholarly and educational texts, and soon afterward banned the Ukrainian civic and cultural groups known as "hromadas".

The Ukrainian family name Sawicki is classified as being of personal name origin. As in the case of many family names, the surname derives its origins from the given name of one the parents of the initial bearer. Where the name is derived from the father's first name it is referred to as being patronymic in origin and when it is taken from the personal name of the mother it is matronymic in origin. With regard to Sawicki, the family name developed from "Sawic", a pet form of "Sawa", a Polish/Ukrainian rendering of the Hebrew personal name "Saul", which may be translated as "asked-for child". In the Old Testament, Saul was a successful king of Israel, and "Saul" was also the given name of Saint Paul the Apostle. By the same token, "Sawa" was also, in some cases, a Slav form of the Greek personal name "Sabbas", which is of uncertain origin. This personal name was popularized through the veneration of Saint Sabas (439-532), who founded a monastery in Asia Minor, as well as that of Saint Sava(1175-1235), first Archbishop of Serbia. The "-cki" element is a patronymic suffix and thus, the original bearer of the family name of Sawicki would have been "the son of Sawic".

Variants of the surname Sawicki include Sawicky, Sawitzky and Savytsky, and are found in Poland as well as in the Ukraine. Among the references to this name is a record of one Joannes Sawicki, son of Petrus Sawicki and Magdalena Bogucka, who was born on 18 January 1827 at Borshchiv, near Lvov in western Ukraine. In the same locality, Gabriel Sawicki, son of Laurentius Sawicki and Francisca Bogucka, was christened on 30 October 1830. However, research is of course ongoing and this name may have been documented earlier than the date indicated above.

Those of the house of Sawicki living in Western Ukraine in the beginning of the 20th century witnessed by the time of the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the creation of several parties representing distinct viewpoints, and leaders of these parties joined together to form the Supreme Ukrainian Council. In 1915, this body created a General Ukrainian Council, based in Vienna, which included representatives from Eastern and Western Ukraine and which aimed at securing German and Austrian support for Ukrainian independence. The Russian Revolution of 1917 offered an opportunity to realize this goal and an assembly called the Ukrainian Central Rada, no doubt supported by the patriot antecedents of the Sawicki family, was soon formed in Kiev. Though independent Ukraine enjoyed only a brief existence it inspired a nationalist movement which survived more than 70 years of Soviet repression to become the basis for a new Ukrainian nation in 1991. This nation is today a source of great pride to all Ukrainians, amongst them today's bearers of the family name Sawicki.

BLAZON OF ARMS: Azure; a cauldron handle with points upward argent, between its branches a sword reversed proper palewise.

Translation: Azure (blue) denotes Truth.

CREST: A leg in armor or, flexed at the knee and spurred.


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