Recorded in several forms including Glowach, Glowacha, Glowacz, Glowacki, Glowinski (Poland), Gloyas (Hungary), and Hlavac and Hlavecek (Czech), this is a surname of medieval origins. It derives from the ancient pre 7th century Slavonic word 'glowa', meaning 'head', and as such was probably a nickname for a learned person, one who used his head. However given that the medieval period was one of 'lusty humour' it is quite possible that it may mean the reverse! Eitherway nicknames, which later developed into hereditary surnames, were highly popular in the period around the 14th to 16th century, a time when most European surnames were created.Spelling being at best erratic, and local dialects extremely thick, lead to the development of the variant spellings. In many cases, as surnames have spread between countries, it has become very difficult to decide which, if any, is the 'correct' spelling. Eastern European records are as erratic as the spellings themselves, and few registers of names have survived from earlier than the 18th century. In this case we have been able to find recordings which are probably associated with the reign throughout Europe of Napoleon Bonaparte from 1799 to 1814. These include Michel Glowacki of Koscielawies, Bydgoshiego, Poland in 1792, and Marcin Glowacka of Broniewo, Poland, in 1797.
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