Confusingly recorded as Yolka and Yolkin (Russian), Jodla, Jodkowski, Jodlowski (Polish), Jelic, Jelicic (Croatian), Jedlicka (Czech), and possibly others this is a surname of Slavonic, Greek, and sometimes Hebrew origins. It may derive from the personal name Yolka, which is understood to originate from the Ancient Greek name Eleuthios meaning free. As such it was probably given to a freeman or the son of a freeman. A second possible origin is from the Polish word jodla meaning a fir tree, and hence a nickname for a tall, thin man. A third possibility is a topographical name for somebody who lived by a tall fir tree or a place called after a tall tree or trees. This would certainly seem to be the case with Jodkowski and Jodlowski, as the suffix ending "-ski" is similar to the German "von", and originally indicated land and estate ownership. Sadly Polish records are very poor. The various wars of the 20th century in which Poland paid a heavy price, consumed most of the early charters and registers. In this case however we have been able to find a good example. This is Margaretha Jodlowski who was baptised at Malastow, Rzeszowskiego, on March 21st 1835.
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