This unusual surname is of Czechoslovakian origin, and is cognate with the Polish name Grodzki, itself deriving from the Polish "grod", equivalent to the Czech "hrad", Russian "grad", and originally given as a topographical name to someone living in or beside a castle or near the citadel of a fortified town. However, the adjective "grodzki" also occurs in the expression "sad grodzki" meaning "castle court", that is, a magistrates' court, and he surname may therefore also have been occupational for someone connected with such a court. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognizable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The suffix "-ski -sky" originally indicated association with a place, but soon came to be regarded as equivalent to the French "de", and so indicative of gentry status. Later, the suffix came to be used much more widely to form surnames, being attached indiscriminately to all surname types. On July 6th 1738, Pavel Hradsky and Katerina Jadrna were married at Otrice, Vyskov, Czechoslovakia. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is recorded heraldically in Rietstap's "Armorial General", and depicts a silver sword, garnished with gold, surrounded by three silver horse-shoes on an azure shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Rosina Hradska, which was dated November 21st 1718, marriage to Josef Jadrny, at Otnice, Vyskov, Czechoslovakia, during the reign of Charles V1, Habsburg Emperor, 1711 - 1740. 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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