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Polish Language/last name Myrejczyk


My Grandfather came to this country in 1912 with the last name of Myrejczyk. He lived in the area of Minsk. He came by himself and I have not seen this name anywhere else in the US. I would like to know what the name means and it's origins, if any. And my Grandmother lived about in the same area but she left in 1914 or 1915. I cannot find how she got here or the route she went. I know that during WWI the ports in Europe were closed and I believe that is why it is difficult. Thank you for your time.

Dear Terry

The only place in the whole world where I have found this surname with the spelling you have given ( is about people from where you're living (Wisconsin) and probably this is about your grandmother:

Minsk is now located in Belarus (it is the capital of the country), but it is a well known fact that in the end of the 19th century much of the population of the area were Polish and even now there is an important Polish minority there.

The spelling of the letter "y" after the initial "M" showing the original pronunciation of the surname [mih-REY-chick] ('ih' as -i in fidlle; 'ey' as in hey!, 'chick' as the English word "chick"] shows to me immediately it was influenced by Ukrainian language pronunciation.

The surname is of Russian or of Ukrainian origin, it is written in both languages (in the Cyrillic skript): "Мирейчик", pronounced in Russian: [mee-RIEY-cheek] or [mee-riey-CHEEK],
(pronounce "riey" as one syllable, consisting of "ree+ey" - almost like 're-a-' in "re-aged", if such a word existed, only shorter to form one syllable)
(the CAPITALLIZED syllable is the one stressed].

In Ukrainian it is pronounced: [mih-rey-CHICK] or [mih-REY-chick]  

So in Russian you have two "ee's", in Ukrainian two "ih's".

It is quite common in Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere. See:
and with Latin (English) transliteration:
or Mireychik
or Mirieichik

(Here you will find more possible spellings for your research:

In Polish and Belarussian you would have pronunciation with "mixed" vowels: "mee" but "chih"

In Polish, without the Ukrainian influence, this surname would have been written "Mirejczyk" which would reflect the Polish pronunciation [mee-REY-chick].

This surname (spelling) can be found in Sankt-Petersburg in Russia, among people of Polish origin there,
but nowhere in modern Poland, see:

In Belarussian it is written "Мірэйчык" and pronounced like in Polish
with Latin transliteration as Mireichyk:

In Belarussian this surname has sometimes changed into "Мірэйчук" (pronounced [mee-rey-CHOOK], or [mee-REY-chook]), see:

From this - through the Polish short-lived and now obsolete pronunciation "Mirejczuk" - it transformed itself into surnames now present in Poland:
- spelling "Mireńczuk" (, pronounced [mee-REGN-chook] 'regn' as in French "regne", ar approximately like English word "rain" (quite a common change of the sound "y" into a palatalized "n" [gn] (
- with spelling Mirończuk, much more commmon (, pronounced [mee-ROGN-chook] 'gn' again as above, whole "-roń-" approximately like English word "wrong".
(Changing "e" of 'get' into "o" of 'got' is quite a common phonetical feature, not only of the Slavic languages, as the English example shows).

The origin of this name is in the pan-Slavic word "mir" / "myr", originally meaning 'peace', 'calmess' or 'pleasure'
The word is almost not used in modern Polish, except for a fixed phrase "mir domowy" = "domestic peace", but it was in common use some 150 years ago.

But in Russian it has two meanings 1) 'peace' - so 'mireichik' would be 'man od peace' ('someone who introduces peace; peacemaker; or: someone who leaves peacefully, out of the noise of the world'); 2) 'world' - so 'mireichik' would be 'man of the world' (meaning opposite to the second interpretation of the first meaning: 'someone who knows well the world, how it functions; worldling; someone who has travelled the whole world; someone who is the inhabitant of the world, who considers himself a cosmopolitan rather that citizen/subject of a given country; worlddweller').

(In the Wiktionary you will find a Russian phrase "мир во всём мире‎" ('mir vo vsiom mirie']
which means "peace in the whole world" which employs both meanings of the word "mir": Mir(1) in the whole Mir(2).

According to this website:, and also to this http://происхожде (exactly the same wording):
- the surname "Mireichik" originated in the region of Atkarsk, of Saratov province (Аткарск, Саратовская область) (see:,
- and in 1769 in the village Torchesk (Торческ;; south-east of Bila-TSerkva in Ukraine: lived a "strielets" (i.e. shooter, a basic military grade) named Griemislav Mirieichik (стрелец Гремислав Мирейчик),
- and those who bear that surname now are in 80% of Abkhaz nationality (so maybe this surname is not of Slavic but of Abkhazian origin?) ( (but this last information I doubt).

More information about the origin and history of this surname and family (in Russian language):

Related surnames are:
Mirei (or Miriei, Mirey, Miriey) http://%D0%B7%D0%BD%D0%B0%D1%87%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%B8%D0%B5-%D0%B8%D0%BC%D0%B5%D0%BD - originally from Pereslavl-Zaliesskiy region of the Yaroslavl province (Переславль-Залесский, Ярославская область) (see:,,
- and in 1492 in the village of Luki (Луки) lived a blacksmith or maybe a medicaster (both these words can be a translation of the original "konoval", named Panfil Miriey (коновал Панфил Мирей) are several villages with the name Luki / Luky in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine see: - so who knows which one was meant?
'Mireichik' can be considered a diminutive of 'Mirei'. But Mirei may also be a surname of Tatar origin, as the people of this ethnicity are numerous in that province since Middle Ages.

Mireyev (Mirieiev, Mireev, Mirieyev) http://%D0%B7%D0%BD%D0%B0%D1%87%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%B8%D0%B5-%D0%B8%D0%BC%D0%B5%D0%BD
- the surmane has its origin in the village Kozin or Kozyn in Ukraine (but there are several villages with this name, see:
- so I don't know which one they meant),
- in the books of inhabitants of the town of Murom in Vladimir Province (Муром, Владимирская область);
in 1498 there is a "konoval" Izmail Mirieiev, nicknamed Mirie  (Измаил Миреев, кличка Мире), of Bask-Tatar ethnicity.
The surname Mirieiev has the meaning "son or descendant of Miriei", but it might be as well that it was coined after a Tatar word Mirie, which was his nickname. (I have no knowledge or the Tatar-Mongolian languages).

NB. If some of the links above do not work, delete the three 'W' letters and the dot after them "www." in the beginning of the URL in the status line of your browser, and press Enter (or click "go") again. These letters may have been added by your browser or by the AllExperts server in front of the Cyrillic letters that constitute the real link.

I am sorry but I can't answer your questions concerning your grandmother. I doubt if the European ports were really locked during the whole WWI, I suppose they were blocked only in the second part of the conflict, maybe after 1916,

It would be nice if you could tell me, in a follow up, how do you pronounce your surname.

All the best


PS. I have read a bit about the blocade of the ports of Germany during the WWI by the British and French - it was introduced against the will of the USA and has even caused a short time tension  between US and UK in the 1914-15.
The blocade was not fully successfull however.
What more, Russia was an ally of Britain at that time and the Russian ports were not blocked. Minsk was in Russia at that time.

Check the Ellis Island record of that time both with your grandmother's maiden name and married name. Try with "Close matches" and "Alternate spellings".



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Maciej St. Zięba


I am native Polish and from time to time I teach Polish to foreigners. I know (passively of actively) more than 15 other languages - so I can answer many questions concerning Polish grammar, pronounciation, spelling, etymology and usage - as compared to English, French, German, Russian, Dutch, Esperanto or Norwegian. Also questions concerning other Slavic languages, Sanskrit, Chinese, Tibetan, or general linguistics, especially scripts (writing systems and transcriptions) - are welcome.


Teaching English, French, and Esperanto to Poles, Polish to foreigners, teaching Sanskrit, Mandarin Chinese, Classical Chinese and Tibetan. Tour Guide in English, French, Russian and German. Former President of the Regional Examination Committee for Tourist Guides (English and French)(1999-2005).

Polish Oriental Society (since 1979); International Association of Buddhist Studies (since 1986); Klingon Language Institute (since 1986); Learned Society of the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (since 1989); Polish Philosophical Association (since 1997); Universala Esperanto-Asocio (since 1978).

Books: "Origin of the World According to Rigveda" (Montreal 1996); "Our River Bug. Creating Conditions for Development of the Border Areas of Poland, Ukraine and Belarus through Enhancement and Preservation of Natural and Cultural Heritage" (Lublin 2008); "Migration - a Challenge to the 21st century" (Lublin 2008); "Migracja zarobkowa do Woch" (Job migration to Italy) (Lublin 2008); more than 100 articles in "Powszechna Encyklopedia Filozofii" (Universal Encyclopedia od Philosophy) vol. 1-10 (Lublin 2000-2009); many more in Polish, some of them available online, see: here and here (a list up to 2012.

Studying philosophy at Catholic University of Lublin (Poland) 1976-81; PhD in Philosophy (1989). Having learned languages in Gdansk and Gdynia (Russian, Esperanto, Latin, English - International Bacalaureate), Lublin (KUL - French, German, Dutch, Sanskrit, Latin, Ancient Greek; UMCS - Chinese, Japanese; elsewhere - Esperanto, Spanish, Italian), Paris (IIAP - French; INALCO - Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese; Sorbonne - Sanskrit), Asker (Norwegian, while working in a kindergarten!), Montreal (McGill - Chinese); Rome and Venice (Italian); Taichung, Taiwan (Chinese), Shimla, India (sanskrit). Self-taught: Slavic languages (other than Polish and Russian), Hungarian, Korean, Vietnamese, Klingon and several other.

Awards and Honors
2012 Golden Medal of Civil Service of Poland; 2012-13 Taiwan Fellowship - Tunghai University (Taichung)

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