Illustrious names such as Baranczak proudly evoke images of the historic Eastern European homeland of the Polish people. Although the most common form of a hereditary surname in Poland is the patronymic surname, which is derived from the name of the father, there are also local surnames. Local surnames usually came from a fairly universal and long-standing tradition of noting "where" a person came from. They were derived from place-names; where a person lived, held land, or where he was born. Over the course of its history, the boundaries of Poland changed frequently. As a result, Polish names have much in common with other Slavic names in the way they are formed and in reference to localities. Polish surnames often end with a diminutive suffix, such as -owicz, ak, ski or ska, which can be attached to local names. A "local" type of surname, the Baranczak family lived in the city of Baranow, located on the Vistula River between Cracow and Sandomierz. This region is known as Malopolska, which means Little Poland.
Spelling variations of this family name include: Baranowicz, Baranowski, Baranski, Baransky, Baranovski, Baranovsky, Baranowich, Baranow, Baraneski, Baraniecki, Baranowsky, Baranski, Baranczak and many more.