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SOKOL Origin of surname


Surnames derive from one of many different origins. Sometimes there may be more than one explanation for the same name. This family name is a patronymic, derived from a male ancestor's personal name, in this case of biblical origin. The name can also be a toponymic (derived from a geographic name of a town, city, region or country). Surnames that are based on place names do not always testify to direct origin from that place, but may indicate an indirect relation between the name-bearer or his ancestors and the place, such as birth place, temporary residence, trade, or family-relatives.

Sokol means "falcon/vulture" in Polish and Russian. As Jewish names Sokol ("falcon") and its variants are associated with the biblical hero Joshua Bin Nun. Jewish surnames in this group can also have links with Sokolow, a town in Poland (today, Sokolov in Ukraine) where Jews lived since the 15th/16th century, and possibly with Sokolka near Grodno in Belorussia (today Belarus). Sokol is documented as a Jewish family name in the 19th century with the Sokol family in Wyszkow, a small town in the district of Warsaw, Poland, where Jews settled in the late 18th century. A distinguished bearer of the name is Jose Sokol, who was a cabinet member of the government of Panama in the 1970s and chief economist at the World Bank in Washington DC, USA, from 1977.
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Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
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