This very interesting surname is of Czech-Polish origin, and is the diminutive variant of the popular "Zak", and translates as "little Zak" or "kin of "Zak". The name was originally a nickname for a studious person or one who was destined for holy orders. In more modern times, the meaning became more general, to include students or even schoolboys. The surname forms include Zacek, Zaczek and Zakiewicz; the latter being a patronymic equivalent to the Scottish "Mac" to mean "son of Zak". Occasionally, the name is habitational, and a short form of "Zakierzski", which broadly translates as "one who lived at the place of woods". By Continental standards the recordings are early, and include: Barbora Zaczek, christened at Kraselov, Strakonice, Czechoslovakia, on November 12th 1694, and Josephus Zaczek, who married Anna Wodehnalova at Sitavka, Boskovice, also in Czechoslovakia, on January 23rd 1732. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mathias Zaczek, which was dated August 23rd 1660, witness at Kraselov, Strakonice, Czechoslovakia, during the reign of Leopold 1, Holy Roman Emperor, 1658 - 1705. 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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