Tumilowicz Family Origins


Tumilowicz h. Ostoja






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The origins

The Tumilowicz family lived in an area between Minsk and Mogilev in what is today Belarus. The families "nest" is supposed to have been the small town originaly called Tumilowicze located just east of Dokszyce. Tumilowicze is a plural form of Tumilowicz. The town is shown on maps as Tumilowicze, Tumilovichi, Tumilavichy depending on time period, language and alphabet used.

The town once belonged to the Dominican Order (1)(2). The Church encouraged settlement of lands owned by it in the then wilderness territories of eastern Poland (Commonwealth of Poland-Lithuania). Persons who settled these lands were not required to pay taxes for several years. Presumably, the town of Tumilowicze was so named because it was settled initially under the auspices of the Church by persons named Tumilowicz. Based on information gathered for taxation purposes, eight domiciles constituted the village of Tumilowicze in 1690. At the turn of the 19th century, Tumilowicze was a rural district populated by 2200 enfranchised peasants inhabiting 410 farms. Flax was a prominent crop.

The church of St. George in Tumilovichi (Click images for larger view)

The church of St. George bell-tower

There are also two other locations:
Tumilowo (Tf) - manorial farm (Polish - folwark) located near the river, Mieryca, northwest of Dzisna (1)(2)
Tumilowo (Tz) - walled settlement (Polish - zascianek) northwest of Szarkowszczyzna. The designation, zascianek, suggests habitation by persons descended from Polish nobility (1)(2). Sites (Tf) and (Tz), are indicated approximately on the map.

The suffix, OWO, indicates derivation of the place name, Tumilowo, from someone named Tumil, the root of Tumilowicz. The relationship between someone named Tumilowicz or Tumil, after whom these sites are named, and the Tumilowiczes of Swierynowo is unknown.

To uncover the earliest origins of the family, research was undertaken by Dr Zygmunt Klimek and Dr Joseph Tumilowicz. The following is a summary.

The family name Tumilowicz is built of a base of Tumil and a patronymic -owicz (pronounced: -ovich) meaning a son of somebody called Tumil. The spelling varied in the different languages of the region and followed the pronunciation. Tumilowicz according to research is polonized version of a Belarussian family name Tumilovich.

According to M V Birila (5)"Tumila - Tumilevich, Tumilovich and Tumialevich (where i became ia)". Tumila is a pet form of Tuma known in the Russian as well as Belarussian languages by means of suffix -ilo (Belarussian -ila).
Birila further explains tuma - as a hybrid of two different races of animals or men

According to M. Vesmer (6) the noun tuma - mixture, half Russian and half Tartar (halfcaste).

It is difficult to say if the base of the family name Tumilo is of Tartar origin. Everything is possible and Vesmer at the end of the explanation of the noun tuma says: "most probably of foreign origin".

(1) Sulimierski F. et al - Slownik Geograficzny Krolewstwa Polskiego i Innych Krajow Slowianskich (Geographic Dictionary of the Kingdom of Poland and Other Slavic Countries). W. Walewski, Warsaw, 1890-1902, v12: pp 623 & 382-383
(2) Skorowidz Miejscowolci Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej (Index of Localities in the Republic of Poland) . Bystrzycki T., Ed., 1934
(3) Chorzempa RA - Polish Roots. Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD, 1993
(4) Metryka Litewska - Rejestry Podymnego Wielkiego Ksiestwa Litewskiego Wojewodzstwa Wilenskiego 1690 r. Warszawa, Panstwo Wydownictwa Naukowe, 1989, s112 (Census of Lithuania - Register of Domiciles in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the Province of Wilno in 1690. Warsaw, State Academic Publication, 1989, p112
(5) M. V. Birila - Byelorussian anthropology. 2. Family names derived from an appellative vocabulary, Minsk 1969
(6) M. Vesmer - Russisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch (Etymological Dictionary of Russian Language). Vol III Heidelberg 1958

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