This interesting and unusual surname is of Polish origin, being a polish cognate of the Medieval English personal name "Michael", which is ultimately from the Hebrew "Micha-el", "who is like God?", a name borne by various minor biblical characters as well as by an arch-angel, the protector of Israel, hence the personal name was popular throughout Europe, especially in knightly and military families. The surname also contains the ending "-ski", which in Poland signifies gentry status, and the bearer may also have been the lord of the estate or manor to which the name referred. In this case, the suffix is attached to a personal name, but was also added later to nicknames, occupational and habitational names, as it is the most common suffix ending in Polish surnames. One Marchin, son of Balzej and Marganna Mickalski was baptised at Lubien, Kngawski, Poland in 1792 (see below). Apollonia Michalsky married Jacob Onderka on February 18th 1805 at Opavakakatar in Czechoslovakia, while one Ernest Michalowsky was baptised on November 9th 1870 in Latvia, Jaunaelgaud in Russia. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Balzei and Maryanna Mickalski, which was dated 1792, christening witness at Bydgoskigo, Lubien, Kugawski, Poland, during the reign of Catherine 11, Empress of Russia, 1762 - 1796. 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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