This surname is of Slavonic origin, and is recorded in throughout Eastern Europe. There are over forty variations of the spelling although all derive from the base form of "Novak", itself a nickname generally given to a newcomer to a place, in fact the crude translation of Novak is 'the new one'. To this has been added national or regional patronymics such as the Polish 'owicz' or the simpler 'ak' plus in many cases the suffix 'ski' (male) or 'ska' (female), which curiously also implys somebody who came from somewhere else.The Czech equivalent of the Polish is the ending in 'cek', whilst the Rumanian examples are 'escu' and 'esco'. It is said that in some cases t the name can be occupational and denote a shoemaker. This is probably a development in a transferred sense of somebody who walked. "Novak" is a popular Czechoslovakian surname, as is "Nowak" in Poland, and is also recorded in Germany and Hungary. The name spelling forms include Novic (Croatia), Nowik (Poland), Noweak (Germany), with the patronymics Novacek, Novkovic, Nowaczyk, Novichenko, Nowakowski, and Nowakinski. Early examples of the surname include the marriage of Vaclav Novak and Marena Fejfarova on November 26th 1662, at Dasice, Pardubice, Czechoslovakia; the christening of Adami, son of Johannis and Gertrudis Novak on April 18th 1695, at Reichenburg, Slovenija, Yugoslavia; and the marriage of Georgi Novak and Ursula Kroill on February 5th 1698, also at Reichenburg. Josepha Nowakowska, the daughter of Michal Nowakowski was born at Lubien Kudauski, Bygoskiego, Poland, on April 30th 1793, and Trifus Novakovic was born in 1863, at Bijeljina, Bosnia Hercegovina, Yugoslavia. A Coat of Arms granted in Galicia has the blazon of a blue field, charged with three gold crescents, two and one, suggesting victory over the infidel. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jakub Novak, which was dated June 24th 1655, a christening witness, at Semcice, Mlade Boleslaw, Czechoslovakia, during the reign of Emperor Ferdinand 111, of the Holy Roman Empire, 1637 - 1657. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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