The Kortas Name

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Ania and I were walking through Świdnica the other day when she stopped and started jokingly hitting me on the arm. “You kept this store a secret from me all this time?”

I had no idea what she was talking about. But there it was, right in front of us, a clothing store with a big KORTAS sign. I had to investigate 😉

I should note that Kortas is not a popular last name in Poland. I’ve definitely heard it around more since I’ve moved back to Poland, but it’s not your typical Kowalski if you know what I mean. Actually, I did once talk on the phone with another Slawomir Kortas. The guy called me because someone kept e-mailing me his web store orders as our Gmail addresses (with our names in them) differed only by a single period inside. He politely asked that I forward him the e-mails, which I did, and that was the end of it. But in a way, I was talking to…myself!

Inside the Kortas store we met Darek Kortas, the store’s owner who along with his wife, who’s first name I didn’t catch, runs the Kortas brand. She designs and hand makes all of their clothes and he appears to be running things on the marketing and business side. All Kortas baby! He even has the Kortas.pl address, which he admitted belongs to his brother, another Kortas of course 😉

I never really did much in terms of a genealogical tree of my family roots, but when Darek said his family hailed from the city of Bydgoszcz, that rang a bell. My great-grand father Jan Kortas moved from Bydgoszcz to Wrocław after the war, he actually attended a German speaking school there. Jan Kortas has a sister still living in Bydgoszcz, her name is Lukrecja Kraszkiewicz, formerly Lukrecja Kortas of course. But that’s about all I know. My grandfather was Olgierg Kortas, my dad is Waldemar Kortas, and I am Sławomir Kortas about to pass on the Kortas name to my beloved Ania and hopefully a couple of munchkins in the future.

Maybe Darek Kortas is some far away family, maybe it’s just a coincidence. In either case, good luck and let the Kortas name be known around the world!

Check out their online store at: www.Kortas.pl

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4 thoughts on “The Kortas Name

  1. That’s interesting. I have had a similar experience: There is another photographer here in the UK called Robert Day, and as he’s done a lot of theatre work, I often get enquiries about pictures he’s taken. For a long time, he didn’t have any Web presence at all, and as he got most of his work through word of mouth, he was very difficult to contact. But eventually, after I blogged about the experience, he contacted me, and it was quite odd, talking to, well, me!

    But it is highly unlikely that we are related in any way. In the UK, most surnames fall into one of three categories: patronymic (Anderson, Johnson and so on), occupational (Butcher, Baker, Smith), or geographical, (named for a place where your ancestors came from – these are often quite small settlements, and many of them may well have disappeared from the map with the passage of time). But unless there’s a lot of evidence to back up the relationship, such as family history, apart from the geographical surnames there’s little chance that one John Smith is related to another.

    And that’s the case with my surname. ‘Day’ is now not a common name, but it was once rather more common. It is an occupational name, and refers to ‘day labourers’ – farm workers hired by the day, according to the availability of work. So there’s little chance that I’m related to any other ‘Robert Day’ – and it’s not a name, given that background, with any sort of illustrious past!

  2. Hello! I am a Kortas and have been digging into our family tree for many years. My Kortas’ (Jan and Anna Schoenke Kortas), along with their children (born in GROSS BISLAW,WESTPREUSSEN,PRUSSIA) sailed in 1866 from Poland/Germany and settled in Toledo, OH. Are you by chance related to any Kortas’ who emigrated to the Toledo, Ohio, USA area? I think it is really cool that you found a Kortas store. I know what you mean about the “typical” Polish name. I have had to explain many a time that it doesn’t have to end in “ski” to be Polish! I did find out that the original pronunciation was more of a “Kor-Dahs” back then, whereas here it is pronounced “Kordis.” Email me if you like. kj_mohr@yahoo.com ~Kelly Kortas Mohr

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