Gracz may also mean a gamer. Simply, someone who play games. Game is “gra” in Polish, and a person who participate in it is “gracz”. Female player would be “graczka”.

Szymański is the ninth surname in Poland in case of popularity (2004). Having a surname suggesting being a part of nobility not necessarily means, that a person who has this surname has “noble” roots. If in this particular case “Szymański” may come from the name of village, it may also come from the name “Szymon” (Simon). Sometimes, suffix -ski doesn’t have to suggest nobility. If your friend wants to know about his/her roots, should look up on genealogy tree. Anyway, most of people has some “noble” roots now, even my mother has such maiden surname.

There are two coat of arms of Szymański family. The first one is called “Ostoja” (Anchor).

It is one of the most common coats of arms of Polish “szlachta” families. It was used by 770 families, also on territories of Ruthenia and Ducal Prussia. First known mentions about it comes from 14th century. Most frequently used (beside of Ruthenia and Ducal Prussia) in voivodeships of First Republic of Poland: Kraków, Lublin, Łęczyca, Sandomierz, Poznań, Sieradz.

So if the family you know have an ancestors from these lands they may had such… roots ;)

The second coat of armes is called “Sas” (Saxon).

Existed in at least two variants. It is of Hungarian descent, to Poland came from Moldova and Wallachia. Some heraldrists claimed, that first known informations about this coat of arms come from 1253. Used by 810 families. These families was mostly “szlachta zaściankowa” living in Red Ruthenia, however it was used also by more notable families. Formerly however, this coat of arms was mostly connected with Vlachs settled in Poland.

So if the family you know have an ancestors from Red Ruthenia, it is quite the same as in case of the first coat of arms. ;)


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