ORIGIN OF WILTSCHKO

From Viktor and Vilma Wiltschko, Budapest.

Before 1850, we have no documents or any other concrete data about the origin of Wiltschkos, however on the www.wiltschko.org website (prior page) we have two interesting things:

First some facts:

Accepting the Polish origin of our name, the German "tsch" in Polish is written "cz" and both of them are pronounced in English "ch," as in the word Charley. Thus,

Moreover, it is a fact that the name Wilczko exists in Poland today. In addition, in the Budapest telephone directory, there is a Wilczko family.

It is known that even in the first half of the 19th century the registration of births, marriages and deaths was made based on verbal statements. Therefore, Wilczkos coming to a German speaking area (or the German speaking area came to Poland) were registered as Wiltschko.

From reading the history of Poland it is evident that during the last centuries a big part of the country was under the rule of Austria and Prussia, which pursued Germanization strongly -- aggressive exchange of the population, official use of the German language -- so over time in some regions of Poland, modification of Wilczko to Wiltschko was natural. Thus we think, that

our original name is Wilczko

The rightness of the above statements is confirmed by the fact, that in old German large scale maps and in the Ritter's Geographisch - Statistisches Lexikon (edition: Leipzig 1855. and 1910.) the name of towns Wilczkˇw is written as Wiltschkau.

MEANING OF WILTSCHKO

Wiltschko means little wolf. The name is based on Polish word wilt - wolf. The ending "czko" in Polish is a diminutive suffix, as in the word

An important question is - where did Wiltschkos primarily live, how did they get in different European countries?

On this question, we cannot find anything from answers of Wiltschkos because none of the known Wiltschkos knows his origin before 1850. The fact is, most of them said that their forefathers came from southern part of Bohemia (Sudetenland). I say it as well. My grandfather Lorenz Wiltschko was born 1850. in Turkowitz (now Nove Dobrkovice) near Krumau, but he was already a German (Sudeten German), so his mother language was German. It is clear that my great grand father, Johann Wiltschko spoke German too, so our forefather emigrated to Bohemian before the beginning of the 19th century.

We can find the answer to the question of our origin in geography and history. In Poland I found 14 small villages whose name could have a connection with our original name:

Wilczkˇw 5
Wilczkowo 5
Wilczkowice 3
Pustkow Wilczkowski 1

A significant number of these villages (6) is in the Poland territory named Silesia, bordering Bohemia, Austria and Germany. Several of them are in the middle of Poland and three of them in North, near the Baltic Sea. It needs to be further researched whether the villages took their names from Wilczkos, or Wilczkos took their name from the villages. However, taking into consideration that Wilczkˇw is the genitive plural of Wilczko and Wilczkowo is a possessive pronoun of Wilczko is most likely that these villages earlier were in the possession of Wilczkos.

Silesia had the worst fortune during the whole history of Poland, so Wilczkos living there would have been forced several times to change their home and country.

Silesia is a territory rich in natural resources (coal, salt, gold, copper, lead, zinc, sulfur, wood etc), therefore all of the neighboring countries were often at war to possess it. From the 14th century, Silesia belonged to Bohemia. From 1526, it was ruled by the Habsburgs (Austria) for about 200 years. From 1742, Prussia occupied the territory. Upper Silesia came back to Poland after World War I and Lower-Silesia returned in 1945.

The first period of Germanizing was the 200 years of Austrian rule in Silesia.

The second period was from 1742 under Prussian king Frederic II. The Polish inhabitants were dispossessed of their goods and were deported from Silesia to the central part of Prussia. On their properties settled German people loyal to Prussia.

During World War II, in 1945, the German army evacuated about 500,000 people to Germany from Breslau (now Wroclaw), the biggest town of Silesia.

After World War II, large numbers of German speaking people were expelled from Poland and Czecho-Slovakia, as from other East -European countries (Hungary, Yugoslavia etc.). These people mostly went to Germany (West) and Austria.

Most likely, therefore, most Wiltschko originally came from Silesia (Poland), and they went to Bohemia, Germany and Austria during the 16th to 20th centuries.

Another opinion

At my (Viktor/Vilma) request, a Polish colleague of mine from Gdansk examined our name. His opinion was as follows:

  1. Names, ending on "o" are typical for the middle and northern part of Poland and have been formed under Byelorussian influence.
  2. Wilk, as a name and names formed from "wilk" are quite common in Poland. Walk and Wilczynski occur many times, Wilczek and Wilczewski not so often. Wilczatko and Wilczko seldom are used as names.
  3. The original form of our name was very likely Wilczatko, but the sound "a" is a nasal, a specialty of the Polish language. Under foreign influence the "at" was omitted from the name and formed the name Wilczko, which under German influence was turned into Wiltschko.

If your great grandfather was born in Bohemia and you want to have more information about your own family, you can order genealogical research from the Czechoslovak Middle Bohemia archives:

National Archives Prague
12800 Prague 2
Horskß 7
Czech Republic
Fax: 420-2-290310

P.S.: I tried to find the town V÷retz, mentioned by Siegfried Wiltschko, however I could find it neither in maps, nor in the Ritter's Geographisch-Statistisches Lexikon. I think it is a mistake and the correct name mentioned by Siegfried W. is H÷ritz (now Horice). H÷ritz is about 17 km South-West of Krumau (Krumlov), which in 1874 had 660 inhabitants.

From Vilmos and Viktor Wiltschko Budapest
X-From_: hibtrade@mail.matav.hu Tue Jul 24 11:44:29 2001
From: "Viktor" hibtrade@mail.matav.hu
Subject: Origin of Wiltschkos