my name is Jana Napierski and I live in Thuringia (Erfurt), Germany. For some time I have been trying to find more information about the napierski's and where the came from... I'm still on it;-)
My grandfather Robert Napierski had to flee with his mother and his brother from Prussia to Germany during the WW2.
His father's name was Franz (died as a soldier WW2 in France), his grandfather's name was also Franz (also died as a soldier WW1) and seems have been nobility. I have found an entry of the grandfather Franz von Napierski under this website adress: http://www.weltkriegsopfer.de/Krieg-Opfer-Franz-Napierski-vo...
But any Napierski before Franz von Napierski, I do not know of, because my grandfather has no memory or information of due to the fact that his grandfather and father both died very young, only their wifes and children remained.
where do the Napierski's come from? I have a theory that seems to be true. The more I get futher in to the history and the sources, I get a clearer picture...
The Napierski's are a prussian nobility that exists since the 16./17. century. before that there are just a vew Napierskis but in the 17. century and onwards more and more Napierski's seem to live and leave traces in Prussia and Germany.
My theory is that Napierski as or should I better say the Napier's were never from Prussia or Germany or Poland for that matter... THe Napierskis (probably) dereive from the Scottish Clan Napier (most prominent John Napier, a genius in the middle ages). During the 17. century up to the 19. century it is estimated that 30 000 Scots left Scotland and went to live in Prussia.
During that time Scotland wasn't a beatiful country to live in, there was the religious persecution (which was very, very bloody in Scotland),hunger, and last but not least political persecution. In the last one is also a very interesting story for all Napier's: One Napier (nobility in Scotland) supported the wrong king and was almost executed because of that, another supporter of the king Lord Montrose was executed by the way, I also read that they put the Napier's under House Arrest and a few left Scotland because of the situation.
I have found a few proofs for Napier's leaving Scotland for Prussia, the earliest is from 1605 of a J.Napier. But it is striking that the Napierski's exist as a family since that time, that the scottish settlers came into Prussia.
A lot of other Scottish Clans came into Prussia and with time their name changed into a more "prussian version", Scottish settlers where often merchants and had the right to be a citizen, and that's why they got the suffix "-ski" on their name.
Napier's were already in Scotland a nobility, in Edinburgh half of the city has traces of them, and a lot of them were merchants who also settled in Prussia.
When they arrived in Prussia, there were Citizens becaue of their work as a merchant and then they transformed to Napierski's, which each generation in Prussia they became more German, instead of Scottish.
My grandfather actually knows that. He was told by his father that they came from Scotland.
So my conclusion (so far) is, that the Napierski's are the Napier's from Scotland... This is also the reason why you will nver find more information about the Napierski's in Prussia in the middle ages or before that, because they still lived in Scotland as Napier's at that time.
But the Clan Napier seems to be scared of that theory, probably due to the fact that it would be very uncool for them that Napier's left Scotland for Prussia. The Clan is only interested into American, or Canadian Napier's. They do not bother to realize that there are traces of Napier's becoming Napierski's.
But the Clan never asked a historian and they never will. If they would, it would change their picture... ;-)
Another interesting fact is that Napierski's seem to be an almost only German family. Just a few Napierski's are actually polish. Today there live in Germany more Napierski's as compared with Poland. In both countries the name is very rare but in Poland far more than in Germany.
in the sources of the 18.-19. century of birth registers, weddings at churches, death registers I found 69 entries of Napierkis in Prussia for Germany and only 7 for Poland... It is an indicator that the Napierski's were basically only German Prussian, and not Polish as some like to think.