This most interesting surname is of Polish origin, and is either a locational name from "Dobrowole" or "Dobrawola" in Poland or from a nickname given to peasants who had been freed from serfdom. The name is also cognate with the Russian surname "Dobrovolski", which is a compound name meaning "good will" and the Polish suffix "-ski". The "-ski" ending is most common in Polish surnames (cognate with the English "-sh") and originally indicated association with a place, equivalent with the French "de" and German "von" indicative of gentry status; in many cases the bearer was indeed lord of the estate or manor to which the name referred.Later, the suffix was attached indiscriminately to given names, nicknames and occupational names. Early records of the surname do not appear until late in the 17th Century in Germany as a result of the many upheavals in Polish history. Marianna, daughter of Georgius and Elisabetha Dobrowski was christened on August 29th 1727 at Langenau Bei Danzig, Westpreussen, while Felix, son of Stefan and Helena Dobrowolski was christened at Jablonowa, Posen (Germany) in 1802. In Poland Stanislaw, son of Wojciech and Jadwiga Dobrowolski was christened at Bydcioskiego Kruszyn Wlollawek, Poland in 1824. A Coat of Arms depicting a silver fleur-de-lis and two red roses in chief on a green shield, was granted to a family of the name. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alberty Dobrowski, which was dated November 18th 1681, marriage to Anna at Langenau Bei Danzig, Westpreussen, (Germany), during the reign of Emperor Leopold 1, Holy Roman Emperor (1658-1705). 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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