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14

The chances he used the same spelling as "Jurkiewicz" anywhere in Russia, at least on official documents, are nearly exactly zero: Russia used (and still uses) the Cyrillic alphabet, not the Latin one. Now, modern Russian alphabet and mid-19th-century Russian alphabet differ quite a bit as well, in particular the letter "yat" was still wildly used, and both ...


14

One way to identify the spelling of a last name is to compare it with a list of common last names for that country. It's always possible that the last name is not common, or the family intentionally spelt it in a unusual way, but a list of common names will often help. For Poland, here's a ranked list of common last names in the 1990's. There's also a ...


10

The first letter seems quite surely to be an capital "O". Even though there is just one other "O" as the first letter of the name "Ole" in line 36, it seems to distinct from the capital "A" in "Alvina" in line 40. The second character could be either "y" or "g". Both can be supported by the other letters on the page: "y" by line 19 "Charley" and line 36 "...


10

JewishGen Gazetteer & JewishGen Communities Database Examples from the JewishGen Gazetteer: "Ogec" gives nothing. "Oyec" gives a town near Mongolia (very unlikely) "Osec" gives 70 matches, most of which are in Poland. It appears that you were using the Beider-Morse search for Phonetic matches. You'll get additional ...


10

That Ellis Island changed immigrants' names is one of those family myths. Some people had altered their names prior to departure from Europe for various reasons and many more definitely changed their names after settling in their new residences. But it didn't happen at Ellis Island. Many immigration agents were immigrants themselves. Each person on staff ...


10

Both towns are listed in Gesher Galicia's All-Galicia Database. Gesher Galicia is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that promotes and conducts Jewish genealogical and historical research for Galicia, a province of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, which is today part of eastern Poland and southwestern Ukraine. Our major research initiative — The ...


9

These things get easier if you check up the history of the area so you know what you are looking for. Poland was in fact not under German rule in 1860 at all. This is because neither Poland nor Germany existed. Much of the areas that now consist of Poland was indeed under rule of political entities that spoke German, yes, but some were under the rule of ...


9

From what I understand, Bessarabia no longer exists. Where can I find out more information about it? So far, I have discovered that the Bessarabians did not move into Russia all that long ago, ("German colonization of Bessarabia began in 1812"), and many of them did not stay for a terribly long time. Nearly 12,000 of them emigrated to North America in ...


9

Jewish Records Indexing-Poland (JRI-Poland) is the best online resource for Jewish vital records from Poland. The site contains indexes to vital records, but not the records themselves. There are two primary sources for the data on JRI-Poland: Indexing of records that were microfilmed by the Family History Library Indexes obtained directly through a JRI-...


9

What is also definitely worth doing in addition is to include as much of your Polish tree as possible on match-providing sites. Ancestry.com is the largest one globally, but not popular in Poland, since it still lacks a Polish-language version. Largest ones in Poland are MyHeritage.com and Geni, in that order. Especially MyHeritage is very likely to produce ...


9

If polish spelling rules are applied to "Ko lo jay" it'd look like Kolodżej. However, Kołodziej is more likely to be your answer as it is a real polish family name but it is NOT pronuced "Ko lo". But instead "Ko wo" with a soft ł, similar to the "W" in "Washington".


8

Have a look at Polish Origins. They have a forum for questions and offer research and also genealogical trips. They helped me when I went to Poland a couple of years ago. All in English too and there are even SKS who do translations of the forum too.


8

Cyndi's List at lists some professional groups located in Poland (including A.A. Watta & Co. and Discover Polish Ancestors). You might also consider contacting the Polish Genealogical Society of America to see if anyone there can give you feedback on any company or person you think about hiring.


8

Some small differences, especially in word endings: Inter Josephum Wojnowski viduus de Bialybrod operanium et Hedwigem Wojleckem de huba Lukowo non uxor atam ad contrahendum matrimonium sacramentale benedictio Ecclesiae facta. Translated, again small differences: Between Joseph Wojnowski, widower of Bialybrod, laborer, and Jadwiga (or Hedwig) ...


8

If they were catholic or protestant Statistically (based location, given names and surname), as ethnic Poles and living in rural Upper Silesia, your great-great-grandparents were Catholic. (Catholics used a much broader range of given names than the Lutherans). This assumption would be confirmed or refuted in the microfilmed church records. Dates and ...


8

I wanted to address a point that originally came up in the comments to bgwiehle's answer. Places are known by different names throughout their history. If a place was called by a particular name during the time the Nazis were in power, it may not be acceptable to use that name in a social setting, for obvious reasons. However, as historians and researchers ...


7

A completely different direction - is it clear that the name wasn't written by that person themselves in cyrillic script? The image can also be read as Russian cursive handwriting, spelling 'Одес', which can be interpretted as Odessa, a major city in current Ukraine.


7

Using many of the suggestions here It seems like I managed to find at http://jri-poland.org a reference to my grandfathers birth with the spelling Ichezkel Fleker. Next task is to see if I can get my hands on an actual birth certificate.


7

It will be helpful to know whether the Polish towns you're looking for used to be in the former Russian Empire, or the province of Galicia in the old Austro-Hungarian Empire. As previously mentioned, JRI-Poland is your best bet if it was the former, and Gesher Galicia's All Galicia Database is your best bet for the latter. If your Polish towns are in the ...


7

I think it might be Kovel. This link will also help. It says: "Volinsky = Volhynia. Prior to WW I, this was a province wholly within Russia. Between 1921 and WW II, it was split in half with the west being in Poland and the east remaining in Russia. Today it is wholly in Ukraine." http://boards.ancestry.com/thread.aspx?mv=flat&m=21349&p=...


7

If you're trying to guess a proper spelling of a Polish surname, there are two useful resources to look at. The more reliable is the PESEL database, which contains data about every living Polish national. Current data is confidential (there's a statistical summary available, but that only lists top 100 names), but there's an export from the '90 available. ...


7

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 ...


7

I've left in my wrong turns below on purpose, to show the process of genealogical research and how to build evidence. This manifest is both correct and a red herring. It led me to some hypotheses that didn't pan out. To read about the path that led to the answer, go down an entire section, to "I'm getting nowhere fast." The full page is on FamilySearch (...


6

Most of the Czech Republic records are now available online. Introduction to the Using Online Czech Records series will teach you how to use the Czech digitized records. This is the first item that I noticed under News when I opened the relevant page of the Wiki at FamilySearch Learn. (The link from the Wiki is to a video tutorial!) There are similarly ...


6

Two other sites with such records are Gesher Galicia and Genealogy Indexer. Gesher Galicia especially is gaining access to records in archives in Eastern Europe that have not previously been viewed or indexed, so there is a lot of potential interest there for you.


6

For the first name "Yechezkel", try Behind the Name. It says that it is the Hebrew form of "Ezekiel" and gives a number of variants for the name. If you look up "Polish Yechezkel" on Google, I think you'll find that there are many sites where the name "Yechezkel" is given. You'll likely have success with that name, once you search records that actually ...


6

One thing to do is look in the JewishGen Given Names database that might help with suggesting alternate "offical" names. The more complicated answer is that depending on where you are searching for your ancestor's name, you might need to try different things. For example, if you are looking through ships' manifests, you have to keep in mind that someone ...


6

The basic premise in family history is to start with what you know, and work backwards and outwards from that point in small increments to discover more. You want to be able to say with confidence, when you recognize a record associated with your relative, that you are looking at something that was recorded about your relative and not someone else with the ...


6

I just checked Wikipedia and found that Wozniak is the "tenth most common surname in Poland (89,015 people in 2009)" and, as a result, I suspect you will find people of that name (and its variants) spread all over Poland. Consequently, there will be a vast number of potential resources that you could use to try and trace people with this name (and its ...


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