The English spelling of my maternal grandmother's maiden name was "Shemynski".

I would like to know the original/alternate spelling(s) to look for in Polish records, with the appropriate language characters?

I believe she was born in Warsaw in the 1800's.

  • 3
    Hi Lynne, welcome. There is probably no "correct" spelling, as it will have been spelled in various ways depending on who said or wrote it. Rather than getting caught up on the spelling I think you should search for records relating to your grandmother and her parents in Warsaw. In this way you will get a better idea of the way the name was spelled in Poland, but I very much doubt it will be spelled the same in every document.
    – Harry V.
    Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 19:31

1 Answer 1


It could be 'Szemiński' (that's male form, female would be 'Szemińska') but that's quite an approximate guess.

Things to consider is that 19th Century Warsaw had at different times, Prussian, Polish, Russian and again Polish local administration which along with it had different language and spellings. Also for consideration Warsaw at the time had only about a 30% Polish population - so are you 100% sure it's a Polish surname?

So there are numerous ways the surname could have been misspelled. The English spelling you have is unfortunately too far removed for a precise guess.

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