It is an unfortunate fact that records for both Russia and Poland are usually erratic, rarely pre 19th Century, and either missing completely or unavailable for public access. The Second World War in particular devastated record keeping throughout Eastern Europe. Furthermore the refugee crisis after the war led to a repeat of the emigree problem in America between 1840 - 1900, when the immigration authorities were unable to handle the influx and name spelling became a lottery. In this case (Bakesef) we have a Polish double patronymic which derives from "bak", a word which translates literally as "the horse fly". This nickname was given to an irritating individual; however, this background does not seem to have affected its ability to survive the centuries. Medieval humour being very different to today's, it is possible that the original meaning was quite different. The base spelling is "Bak", the patronymic forms being Baks and Bakof, whilst the variants as Bakesef or Bakescheve indicate "the son of the son of Bak", equivalent in some ways to the Irish "O". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Albert Heinrich Bakscheve, which was dated November 18th 1821, recorded at Ghelcubech Evangelist Church, West Preussen, during the reign of Czar Alexander 1 of Russia, 1801 - 1825. 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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