Last name: Gruczka

Recorded in over twenty modern spelling forms including: Gruczka, Gruszka, and Gruschwitz (Polish and East German), Grushin (Russian), Hrusik (Czech ), and Kruschke (German), this a surname of European origins, but with truly ancient roots in the Roman Empire. It is said to be from the female name "Grusha", itself a medieval development of the Latin "Agrippa", whose etymology has been lost in the mists of history. The popularity of the name resulted from a 3rd century saint Agrippa who was martyrd, and as such it was adopted by the famous Crusader movement, otherwise known as the knights of St. John. The Crusaders were formed in the period known as the Christian Revival around the 11th and 12th centuries, when numerous attempts were made by knights from all over Christendom to "free" the Holy land from the infidel Muslim. It became the popular fashion for these returning warriors to call their children by biblical or saints names, of which this was one. There is a secondary expnation for some nameholders, that it may derive from the Slavonic word "grusha" meaning a pear, and hence be a topographical or occupational surname for one who lived by such a place or owned or worked at an orchard. Examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving registers and charters of the medieval period include Hainrich Gruschli of Emmendingen, East Prussia, in 1357, and Else von Gruschwitz of Nimbscen, in 1456.

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