Our Family Name
Hostik, Gostik & Hoscik

Whether you are a Hostik, Gostik, Hoscik or Goscik you should be proud of your surname! Ever wondered why the name got changed? I think I have figured it all out, the answer is somewhat complex but the most credible one that can put together so far.

Lets Start With Aleksander Hostik (Father Of Wladyslaw)

The name of Wladyslaw Hoscik father was Aleksander Hostik who was born in Michalowo, Bialystok, Poland, in 1882.

During the period 1807 - 1842, Bialystok was under Russian control and was known as the "Belostok Oblast". Then for 1842 - 1914 it was known as the "Grodno Governorate", still under Russian control. Therefore, all birth records from 1807 - 1914 were most likely (and most definitely) written in Russian.

This means that the birth record of Aleksander Hostik would have been written in Russian.

Are We "Gostik" Or "Hostik"?

Based on the fact that in the 1939-42 deportations, the Russians substituted "G" to "H" (as their alphabet does not contain the equivalent of a "G") during which our surname changed from "Gostik" to "Hoscik", a question arises.

This question is whether the surname of Aleksander Hostik own father had actually been Gostik and that Hostik was the Russian version of it recorded on the  birth certificate of Aleksander (Because at that time Bialystok was under Russian control). Are our ancestors therefore really Gostik and not Hostik?

It's a good question!

Birth of Wladyslaw

When Wladyslaw was born in 1908 his birth town of Bialystok was still under Russian control (and would remain so till 1914), therefore Hostik would be the natural choice for a surname as it worked with the Russian alphabet (unlike Gostik).

However, when Wladyslaw was born on 30th May 1908, his birth certificate allegedly recorded the surname as Gostik instead of Hostik. We have never seen the birth certificate but have a relative who claims to have seen it many decades ago and confirms it was "Gostik".

This is strange, that in a province under Russian control, a birth certificate would revert to (old) Polish. I'm surprised this was allowed!

It would appear that Wladyslaw initially grew up with the surname Gostik . His siblings though would have a different surname as we shall see.

Politics And Siblings Surnames

Whereas Wladyslaw initially grew up with the surname Gostik, his siblings (Stefania, Aleksander, Irena & Regina) would start early life with the surname Hostik.

This again is very strange as it is the inverse of logic in the same way Wladyslaws surname was the inverse of logic at the time.

In 1920, which was after the birth of Wladyslaw but before his siblings were born, the Second Republic of Poland was formed. In other words, Russia's control of the region had gone and Poland once again existed.

With Poland now being a recognised state, presumably records would now be kept in Polish and not Russian.

So, the Russian surname of Hostik could go and Gostik would now replace it, reinstating the families identity and (presumably) Polish heritage and descent.

Therefore Wladyslaw siblings (Stefania, Aleksander, Irena & Regina) should and could have had the surname Gostik.

But that is not what happened!

Instead, and contrary to logic, they retained the Hostik surname.

Marriage Certificate

When Wladyslaw got married to Stanislawa Garnowska the marriage certificate recorded his surname as Gostika. This supports the case that his birth certificate was in the surname "Gostik".

Purely based on the surname of Irena, his sister, it's a fair guess that the family lived under the surname Hostik up to the time of deportation by the Russians in 1940.

Name Changes During Russian Deportations

During deportation to Kazakhstan, Wladyslaws siblings names were thus:

  • Irena Hostik - Deported under surname "Hostik" (To Kazakh SSR in Feb 1940)
  • Stefania Hostik - Deported under surname "Gostik" (To Kazakh SSR Apr 1940)
  • Regina Hostik - Deported under surname "Gostik" (To Kazakh SSR Feb 1940)

Clearly there was a clear lack of consistency amongst the Russian officials on how to covert names!

Misspelling and illiteracy, which was common both on the part of the family and the Russian officials, also played it's part.

Transliteration errors also occurred when converting between various alphabets i.e Hościk = Госцік in Ukrainian, but although Г is H in Ukrainian, it's G in Russian. so then you end up with Goscik. However, when transliterating to English, for example, the c which became ц in Cyrillic becomes "ts" because that's the sound it makes. So you would have Gosstik! In this way the "c" could have become a "t" in an attempt to simplify.

More Russian Confusion!

According to "The Index of The Repressed", by Karta, Wladyslaw was deported to Archangelsk under the recorded name of Wlodzimiercz Goscik.

I understand that Wlodzimiercz is a more formal version of Vladimir and that Wlodzimiercz is the closest name that Russia has to Wladyslaw, thus the change of his christian name.

Yet, in 1989 when Russia issued it's apology to the repressed Polish people, he was named on the Memorial website as "Aleksandrovich Vladimir Gostik".

In this "official apology" they used the less formal version of Wlodzimiercz being Vladimir, they then added his fathers name and russianised it in the process to Aleksandrovich.

An expert in this area has confirmed that not only were Polish names converted to their nearest Russian equivalent but the Russians (I am a little lost on this next point!) tend to incorporate the fathers name into the persons name.

Why the Russians created 2 different names for him and how all these facts relate is a little bewildering!

The Anders Army Aspect

From 1941 onwards, military records indicate that Wladyslaw was using the surname of Hoscik. What surname he was using in the Polish Army prior to that is not confirmed as yet.

In 1942, during the formation of Anders Army in Kazakhstan, many polish soldiers altered their names slightly as they were very scared of NKVD actions against them if caught. As far as we know, Wladyslaw did not alter his name at this point.

This is rather unusual, because through the rest of his life his name altered many times!

Modern Day - The Hosciks

(Note: Hoscik was the surname that Wladyslaw used in the UK initially. Around 1980 he would change this to Radziwill. Why? We have no clue at all!)

In the UK, as far as I can ascertain, all Hosciks are direct descendants of Wladyslaw Hoscik. For the most part they live in Slough and also some live close to London, quite a few in London but one or two are in North England and 1 in Scotland.

Modern Day - The Gostiks

There are also direct descendants of Wladyslaw Hoscik (with his first wife in Poland) living under completely different surnames to Hoscik and close to the London area.

The Gostiks tend to have a direct descendancy from Wladyslaw's first wife (Stanislawa) in Poland and for the most part these descendants are found in Poland. For privacy purposes no further detail is provided.


Whether you are a Hostik or a Gostik one thing is sure, our common relative, WLADYSLAW HOSCIK, was an amazing person, for all he endured and went through, his name stands for determination to survive...at all costs.

All respect to Wladyslaw Hoscik.