Recorded in a number of spellings including Kmiec, Kmieciak, Kmicicki, Kmiecik, Kmicie, and the German Kemet, Kemetz, and Kmietsch, and others, this is a surname of Polish origins, which is now widely recorded in Middle Europe and as far away as Lithuania. It was originally a medieval status surname for a small tenant farmer, the derivation being from the word "kmiec". This type of surname only became hereditary when a son or grandson followed on in the family farming tradition, however as there has been at least one grant of a coat of arms to nameholders, it would seem that being a tenant farmer was no bar to developing the family fortune. This arms has the blazon of Gules, charged with an anchor and star in fesse, Argent, so presumably this was a former farmer who went to sea! The first recording of the surname in any form is probably that of Rudolf Kmiesche of Dohlen, Germany, in 1445, whilst a much later example is that of Jan Kmiec, the son of Franciszech Kmiec, who was christened at Koscielnawies, Poland, on May 10th 1855. Sadly records from the countries that have only recently started to recover from fifty years or more communist rule, are poor or non existent, many being destroyed in the Second World War or its aftermath.
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