Mroczek Family Origins & Migration
The dual monarchy was the successor to the Austrian Empire (1804–1867) on the same territory, originating in the
Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 between the ruling Habsburg dynasty and the Hungarians.
Andrew Mroczek was born in either Vienna, Austria or Galicia, Poland, depending on which US census entry you
prefer to accept. Both he and his wife were Polish. Vienna was the capital of Austria-Hungary and that may be how
it came to be listed by the census enumerator.
Name origin information [below] indicates the surname and variants prevalent in southeastern Poland, which would
have been in Galicia in 1879 when Andrew was born. Following is a brief extract from the history of the empire found
Austria-Hungary From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Osztrák–Magyar Monarchia (hu)
Austro-Hungarian Empire 1867 – 1918
Religion Roman Catholic (predominant), Eastern Orthodoxy, Islam
- 1848–1916 Franz Josef I
- 1916–1918 Karl I
Historical era New Imperialism
- 1867 Compromise May 29, 1867
- Czecho-Slovak indep. 28 October 1918
- South Slavs indep. 29 October 1918
- Dissolution October 31, 1918
- Dissolution treaties¹ in 1919 & in 1920
Area - 1910 676,615 km² (261,243 sq mi)
Population - 1910 est. 51,390,223
The linguistic distribution of Austria-Hungary
German 24% |
Hungarian 20% |
Czech 13% |
Polish 10% |
Ruthenian 8% |
Romanian 6% |
Croat 5% |
Slovak 4% |
Serb 4% |
Slovene 3% |
The Austro-Hungarian Empire, also known as Austria-Hungary, the Dual Monarchy or k.u.k. Monarchy or Dual State, was
a dual-monarchic union state in Central Europe from 1867 to 1918, dissolved at the end of World War I.
Above map attempts to depict geopolitical situation when Andrew Mroczek was born in Galicia, Poland as stated
in US census documents. Presumably he meant in what was the Polish area within Galicia under the
Austro-Hungarian Empire regime.
Above map adapted from wikipedia.org shows extent of the empire until dissolved after WWI.
As a multi-national empire and great power in an era of national awakening, it found its political life dominated by
disputes among the eleven principal national groups. Its economic and social life was marked by a rapid economic
growth through the age of industrialization and social modernization through many liberal and democratic reforms.
The Habsburg dynasty ruled as Emperors of Austria over the western and northern half of the country and as Kings of
Hungary over the Kingdom of Hungary which enjoyed some degree of self-government and representation in joint affairs
(principally foreign relations and defence). The Monarchy bore the full name internationally of "The Kingdoms and
Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Crown of St. Stephen".
The capital of the state was Vienna. The Austro-Hungarian Empire was geographically the second largest country in
Europe after the Russian Empire, and the third most populous (after both Russia and the German Empire). Today, the
territory it covered has a population of about 69 million.
Name Origin & Heraldic Arms
The Mroczek Surname|
Mroczek Name Meaning and History
Polish: nickname for a person of a gloomy disposition, from Polish mroczek ‘small dark cloud’ (a diminutive of mrok
‘cloud’, also used in the sense ‘gloom’, ‘darkness’). This word also means ‘bat’, which could also lie behind the nickname.
Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4
The modern meaning of words from which names are derived can be misleading. What matters is what the word meant
centuries ago, when names were developing. Polish name experts say Mroczka (pronounced roughly "M'ROTCH-kah") comes
from the root seen in the noun mrok, "darkness," and the verb mrokotac~, "to squint," and especially the noun
mroczek , "one who squints, especially due to scotoma." So Mroczka probably began in most cases as a nickname meaning
As of 1990, according to the best data available (the Slownik nazwisk wspolczesnie w Polsce uzywanych, "Directory of
Surnames in Current Use in Poland," which covers about 94% of the population of Poland), there were 1,183 Poles by
this name. They lived all over Poland, but the largest numbers lived in the southeastern provinces of Krosno, 184,
Przemysl, 119, and Rzeszow, 142 (Jaslo was in Krosno province in 1990). So the name is most common in southeastern
Poland, the part of the country that, with western Ukraine, was seized by Austria during the partitions and ruled by
Austria as "Galicia." Unfortunately I don't have access to further details such as first names or addresses, so I
can't tell you how to find that info.
William F. "Fred" Hoffman, Author, "Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings"
Author notes: Between 1820 and 1957, there were 247 Mroczek surnamed passengers to New York from Europe. Of those,
157 gave their ethnicity as Polish. Of the 157, eight were born between 1878 and 1880, the two years surroundig
Andrew's bith in 1879. None of the eight has a name remotely similar to Andrew. Of the 157 Polish passengers, using
a wild card search Andr*, one single entry is located. It is:
Andrzy Mroczek, arrived 1908, born 1882, sailed from Bremen.
A wild card search using Andr* Mroc* turns up two passenger entries, both born in 1879.
Andras Mroezck, arrived 1904, born 1879, sailed from Hamburg
Andrzej Mroczka, arrived 1906, born 1879, sailed from Hamburg.
"Our" Andrew stated in census records that he emigrated to USA in 1899, five to seven years earlier.
What I think, based on the name meanings cited above, is that in the old country his surname was not spelled
Mroczek because (1) it is a common noun, and (2) other spellings are prevalent in Poland in the area which was
When search crieria of simply Mro* arring 1899 with Polish ethnicity are used, ZERO records turn up. If Polish
is dropped, 170 immigrants appear. Narrow that search to And* and we find two passengers:
Andrey Mroczek, arrived 1898, born 1872, sailed from Bremen, ethnicity Austrian
Andrzej Mrorck, arrived 1899, born 1881, sailed from Bremen, ethnicity Austrian
Final query using Mro* arriving 1877-1901, ethnicity Galician, yields 33 names, none of which is remotely akin
to Andrew in any form or fashion.
Flags of Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria
As a kingdom, Galicia had three flags. The first was blue over red over yellow.
The second flag was blue over red (the flag of the Duchy of Bukovina was also blue over red).
Finally a red over blue was used.
No dates are given for these flags.
Source: 'Flag', Encyclopedia of Ukraine.
Jan Oskar Engene, 7 September 1996
Flag of Poland, white over red.
Arms of the Kingdom of Galicia & Lodomeria.
Arms of Poland.
Flag of Galcia First
Flag of Galicia Second
Flag of Galicia Third
Flag of Poland
These factoids were compiled by ancestry.com and displayed in chart form.
The first shows that most Mroczek surnamed people came from Prussia. The ones who gave their ethnicity as Galician did
not spell their name the same way.
Only those spelling it Mroczek were counted in these compilations.
The second shows that all immigrants surnamed Mroczek sailed to America from Hamburg, Germany. Hamburg is a long way, 560 miles,
from Krakow or other cities in southeastern Poland. Some sailed from LeHavre, France which is more than 1,000 miles from
the same area of Poland. One would think people would sailed from Gdansk but their may have been political reasons to
emigrate via Germany or France in 1899.
The third shows that only a few people named Mroczek immigrated to the United States before 1900.
The fourth shows the sparsity of Mroczek families in America circa 1920. The ancestry.com search engine reported
zero in 1840 and 1880 censuses.