This Polish surname derives from the medieval word "skupic", meaning literally "to purchase", and is therefore occupational either for a shrewd businessman or more likely "a merchant". The suffix ending "ski", or "ska", is equivalent to the French "de" or the German "Von", indicating a gentry status and ownership of estates or manors. The ending as "ska" is for original feminine namebearers as shown below. Early recordings prior to the 19th Century are rare throughout Middle and Eastern Europe. This rarity was not because of educational defects, but because of war and strife, which generally led to the destruction of such recordings as existed.In this case however, recordings do exist, examples being found in the former disputed territory of East Prussia, as follows: Jacobus Cunegunda Skupinski, the son of Johannes and the former Cunegunda Sobkowska, christened on July 25th 1869, at Grutta Catholic Church, West Preussen, whilst on January 27th 1871, Marianna Skupinska, the daughter of Petrus and Marianna Skupinska, was christened at the same church. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Maria Skupienska, which was dated July 27th 1774, christened at Nikolaiken, Sensburg, Ost Preussen, during the reign of Joseph 11, Emperor of Germany, 1765 - 1790. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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