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LaurieGrz123



Joined: 13 Jan 2016
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Post Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:29 pm      Post subject: Origin of Sulzycki
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Hi all! Looking for help find the origin/meaning of the surname Sulzycki. I haven't been able to find out what the name means. I have also been looking for records with no real luck on Geneteka. I figured by understanding more about the name that it could lead to more clues. I believe these family members were from the Russian partion of Poland. He says he is from "Swid" (I know there are many) and then on another document says Leonowicae, Russia which I am guessing may be Leonowicze. Also would any know if there is a probable different variation for spelling of this name? Haven't even been able to find any Sulzycki's in the ship manifests and there are a good amount in Mass and in CT. Can anyone help me out? Thanks!
-Laurie G
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Cheri Vanden Berg
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:22 pm      Post subject:
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Laurie, It looks like Sulżycki is the correct surname. As you can see, the only difference is the diacritical mark above the z. This name shows up on the Polish surname map http://www.moikrewni.pl/mapa/kompletny/sul%25C5%25BCycki.html, whereas the spelling without the diacritical mark does not. Of course that wouldn't explain why you can't find them on a ship manifest, though it looks like this name could be misinterpreted by an indexer. There is a Stanislaw Sulzychi that came through Ellis Island 7 Apr 1912. I didn't look, but I would guess the surname was supposed to be Sylzycki. Ancestry has an Edward Sulzycki coming through Ellis Island on 16 Oct 1913, and an Antoni and Helene Sulzycki coming through Philadelphia 8 Nov 1909. Like I said, I imagine there are others that the indexers misinterpreted...The Sulżycki and feminine Sulżycka surnames do show up on Geneteka when the diacritical mark is used.
Cheri
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LaurieGrz123



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Post Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:36 pm      Post subject:
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Thank you so much Cheri! I had a feeling I wasn't finding him (Julian) because of spelling errors in the last name. Thank you for your help, maybe I can check out the people you have found and see if they could be related. Thanks!!
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Iwona Lubczyńska



Joined: 16 Mar 2016
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:33 pm      Post subject:
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Oryginal form Sulżycki or Sulżyc
etymology:
Sulżycki- It comes from the name village in Poland (gmina Glinojeck)- Suleżyrz
Suleżyc- East-Slavonic word "śluga"- left arm or in everyday language- szluga, that is bone

I'm sorry for my english, I'm from Poland and I don't speak anglish very well
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LaurieGrz123



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Post Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 10:22 pm      Post subject:
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Thank you Iwona! Your English is great!!! Thank you for helping me!
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zulu



Joined: 20 Mar 2016
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:08 pm      Post subject:
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A Sulżycki here to answer some questions! The name does seem to be from the eastern part of Poland, with a branch forming in Szczecin and later moving to the States and with a bunch settling in Oklahoma or Ohio (I forget which but I think Oklahoma) in the early 1900s. My own branch is from near Gdańsk, having moved there from what is now Belarus/Lithuania/Kaliningrad also about 100 years ago. We now live near Toronto, but the majority of my dad's family still remains in north-eastern Poland.

We always assumed our name meant "salt of life", from sól (salt, pronounced "sul"), and życie (life, the first syllable pronounced like the French word for "I": "je", and the second "che" as in "chess"). Iwono, thanks for your etymology, can you please share the sources? Both sound very interesting!

Laurie, feel free to PM me and I can send you more information if you'd like. Both my dad and I have done quite a bit of research on our family and it would be great to swap information : ).
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zulu



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Post Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:05 pm      Post subject: Reply from Fred Hoffman
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Oh my goodness. Okay, hold on guys, because we're in for a wild ride. In perusing these forums, I found two names of experts in Polish genealogy/surname etymology: Prof. Kazimierz Rymut and Fred Hoffman (mentioned early in http://polishorigins.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=59). The professor is no longer with us, but I found Fred's personal website (http://www.fredhoff.com) and sent him a quick email, not really anticipating a reply anytime soon. What followed amazed me: not only did he find time to reply, but check out his comprehensive analysis! Here's what I wrote:

Quote:
Hey there, Fred! Just a quick one for you, but a real head-scratcher for me. My dad's family is Sulżycki from outside Vilnius as far as we can track (about 2-3 generations back). Do you have any idea as to the origin of this name? Here's what I've got so far:

Sulżycki: We originally thought it was from sól + życie, or "salt of life". This sounds great and there were rumours of nobility (doesn't everyone though, haha), but realistically we thought it was probably farmers – without salt earth is useless for crops, and salt's always been a big symbol for Poles. However, a recent forum post (the one you're reading now ; ) has other theories:
    - the town of Suleżyrz (near Warsaw, but my dad's family is from the north-east)
    - Suleżyc, a name with origins in the East-Slavonic word for the left hand, śluga (I don't see the ties between these two words; it seems a bit of a stretch)
    - szluga, everyday language for "bone" (both me and my dad speak Polish and we've never heard this used for anything other than cigarettes, and that rarely).


Well, I asked and boy did Fred deliver:

Quote:
In the book I rely on most often, Nazwiska Polaków [The Surnames of Poles] by the late Prof. Kazimierz Rymut, there are two suggested derivations for Sulżycki, both referring to place names. Surnames in the form –ski and –cki and –zki are especially likely to be derived from place names – although you always consider other reasonable possibilities. Rymut suggested the name might be connected with Suleżyrz, as you mentioned. But he also suggested a connection with the place name Sulżyce, in the area dominated by Wilno or Vilnius. While it’s unwise to jump to conclusions, your family history tempts us to say “Bingo!”

I went looking for the place in question, and I believe it was a village in Hermanowicze gmina or township, Wilejka powiat or county. I’m basing this on an entry in the massive Polish-language gazetteer Słownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego, dating from the late 19th century. You can see the entry if you go to this webpage: http://dir.icm.edu.pl/Slownik_geograficzny/Tom_XI/578 (attachment 1). Sulżyce is down near the bottom of the left-hand column. There were two places by that name, the one I mentioned above and a landed estate in Minsk powiat – probably too far away to be relevant for your research. The first one was in police district 1, Hermanowicze township, rural district and estate (in 1865) of the Kowzans, Starynki, 8 versts from the township center and 59 from Wilejka, served by the postal road from Mołodeczno to the border of Mińsk powiat; it had 9 houses, 68 inhabitants (20 registered in the 1865 revision list of taxable people).

Wilejka is now Vileika or Vileyka, Belarus. There’s a page about Hermanowicze on the Polish Wikipedia site: https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermanowicze . This page, on a site devoted to places in Belarus, has a little info on the specific village of Sulżyce: http://www.radzima.net/eng/miejsce/sulzyce_2.html (attachment 2). You can write to sign up with this site and maybe compare notes with others. Another page worth registering with is PolishOrigins, which features a lot of research info in English. You already mentioned the page for surnames: http://polishorigins.com/surnames , and here’s where you sign up for places: http://polishorigins.com/places . I didn’t see anyone signed up for Sulżycki or Sulżyce, but it’s free, and you never know. The only thing is, the Radzima site focuses on Belarus, whereas the PolishOrigins site is for anybody with roots in the old Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Also, this Wikipmapia page shows a Google Maps entry for Sulżyce, giving its Belarusian name, Сульлжычы (Sulzhychy): http://wikimapia.org/15230696/pl/Sul%C5%BCyce (attachment 3).

The surname Sulżycki is not as rare in Poland as I might have thought. Here are pages with 2002 data on the masculine form Sulżycki and the feminine form Sulżycka: http://www.moikrewni.pl/mapa/kompletny/sul%25C5%25BCycka.html and http://www.moikrewni.pl/mapa/kompletny/sul%25C5%25BCycki.html (attachment 4). Just from that data, it’s hard to say how many of those families got their name from the village in the Wilno area, and how many took it from Suleżyrz or some other place. We can’t even conclude that all Sulżyckis are related; very possibly there are more several families who came by the name in different ways. In your family’s case, however, I think it’s highly likely we can interpret the name as “one from Sulżyce” and focus first on the village near Vileyka, and second on the other place closer to Minsk.

None of the books I have talk about the origins of the place name Sulżyce. Prof. Rymut said surnames beginning Sulż– were likely to come from the root szulga, an East Slavic term meaning “left hand,” probably also connected with the dialect term szulga meaning “bone,” which you mentioned. But place names are tricky, especially since the area your ancestors came from could involve interplay between Polish, Lithuanian, Belarusian, and God knows what else. Still, when endings are added to a root ending in –g, it typically becomes –ż–. And names beginning wit Sz– (which sounds like “sh”) often have variants with plain S–. The Slavic suffix –yc or –ic usually means “son of.” So a left-handed ancestor in the general area of Belarus might be nicknamed Szulga or Sulga, and his offspring might very well be called Sulżyc, “son of the leftie.” Once you have a name Sulżyc, that could easily generate a place name such as Sulżyce, “the place of Lefty’s offspring.” Then Sulżycki could develop with either meaning, “of the kin of Lefty’s offspring” or “one from the place of Lefty’s offspring,” that is, Sulżyce. From surname analysis alone, we can’t say for sure that’s what happened. But it is plausible. In any case, the practical value of this is that it suggests – but does not promise – had a connection with that village of Sulżyce.

I checked the Lietuvių pavardžių žodynas [Lithuanian Surname Dictionary] and it also mentioned Sulžickas, a Lithuanian form of Sulżycki. The scholars suggested comparing it with the Russian surname Шульжицкий. With all due respect – or maybe I should say with all undue arrogance -- I think they’re on the wrong track. I think the Russian name came from a Russified form of Sulżycki, referring to the places named Sulżyce. You can get a little info on Lithuanians named Sulžickas, as well as people still bearing the Russian forms Sulžickaja and Sulžickij, here: http://118.lt/gyventoju-paieska/paieskos-rezultatai?actionId=7&flname=Sul%C5%BEick&rgn=&det=0&sexp=0&sasc=1 (attachment 5). I searched for Sulžick so we’d also get people with the feminine form Sulžickienė (Mrs. Sulžickas).

I think that’s about all I can tell you. I hope it does you some good, and wish you the best of luck with your research!

Fred Hoffman
www.fredhoff.com


Wow, eh. Fred also wrote about the surname Pona, my mother's maiden name, tracing it back to the Ukrainian/Belarussian/Russian Панас (Panas), a Slavic version of the Latin/Greek name Athanasios... but I left all this out because it's only relevant here for anyone building a family tree. Some notes: first, the above quotes aren't direct; I merged a few paragraphs and removed the Pona bits to make for easier reading. Second, the attachments noted above are sites I visited and took screenshots of to post here, in the event they get taken down. The second attachment shows the village of Sulżyce was owned by one Феликс Ковзан in 1870 (Felix Kovzan, confirming what Fred mentioned about it being a "Kowzan estate" in 1865), mentioning the word Старинковское (Starinkovskoe) which, as far as I can tell, is a tiny patch of Lithuanian woods which is probably radioactive: http://lesvilia.by/en/index.htm?rad.htm.

Fred's analysis seems very sound to me, and my father indeed confirms much of the geography listed above as true. He has a cousin still living in Vilnius as well as some family in Grodno (north-western Belarus) that he'll try and get in touch with to ask more about all this. I do know that his grandparents are buried just outside of Grodno, further lending credibility to this story. Haha, so much for that lofty "salt of life" nobility idea.

I will post more as I find it! Again, a very huge thank-you to Fred for all these magnificent leads!



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Last edited by zulu on Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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Cheri Vanden Berg
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:50 pm      Post subject:
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zulu - Gotta love your enthusiasm! Gotta love Fred!

Laurie G. - Do you happen to know Julian's father's name? I'm sorry to say that you are right about how hard it is to find the Sulzycki spelling on any manifests. It's amazing to me that Julian's name gets spelled correctly in the census!
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zulu



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Post Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:30 pm      Post subject:
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Haha, thanks, Cheri. Okay, more stuff for this thread. I asked Fred if there are any etymological ties between "left hand" and "bone". He replied:

Quote:
When you study the origins of words, you often see the same basic word shows up in different related languages, but the meaning shifts from one to another. For instance, German Gift means “poison.” It comes from the same Germanic origins as our word gift, in the sense that both gifts are something you give someone else. But the German word, for some reason, acquired sinister overtones totally absent from the English one!

I see a vague connection between the concept of “bone” and “left hand.” It may be people in some areas took a word meaning “bone” and associated it with the hand that was less useful, reducing to little more than a collection of bones. Or maybe people in some areas took a word meaning “left hand” and modified it to mean just “bone.” Hard to say, since we weren’t there at the time.

For what it’s worth, I see the Ukrainian word шульга (shulha, which Poles would spell phonetically as szulga) means “left hand, left leg.” It may be the word originated in Ukrainian, and when Poles borrowed it, they modified the meaning. Of course, this is all speculation on my part – I may be totally wrong, and maybe the similarity is just a coincidence.

I note there is a page on the meaning of this word on the Ukrainian and Russian Wikipedias:

https://uk.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A8%D1%83%D0%BB%D1%8C%D0%B3%D0%B0_(%D0%B7%D0%BD%D0%B0%D1%87%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%BD%D1%8F)

https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A8%D1%83%D0%BB%D1%8C%D0%B3%D0%B0

The Ukrainian version is more informative. It says the Шульги or Shulhy were a Russo-Ukrainian Orthodox Cossack family among the Cossacks registered in the Zaporizhzhya region and elsewhere. It says in ancient Ukrainian lands, a шульга was one who constantly used the left hand where most folks used the right. The author also says there probably wasn’t just one Shulha family. The nickname probably came to be associated with anyone who held a sword in his left hand and thus stood out from everyone else. It also says the first written mention comes from the 16th century. The name was record in records of Yelnya district, Smolensk county, Russia, and also in Bryansk county.

It also says Russian or Ruthenian linguists derive the name from шул or shul, “sharp tooth or tongue, trident” + –га or –ha, a particular indicating motion. The modern word for “awl”, шило or shylo, probably comes from that older word шул. Hard to say how reliable that info is. Wikipedia sometimes has really good info, and sometimes is dead wrong.

I notice the Lietuvių pavardžių žodynas or Lithuanian Surname Dictionary has an entry for ŠULGA, saying it comes from the Belarusian and Russian words шульга meaning “left hand.” I get the strong impression that is the primary meaning of the word. The “bone” meaning may have developed independently, or maybe it came along later. Note that Belarusians and Ukrainians pronounce the letter Г much like our H, whereas Russians pronounce it like a hard G. That’s why the same word can be rendered phonetically as shulga or shulha – it just depends on which language you’re talking about. But Poles would definitely turn it into szulga.

You see how easily you can get lost trying to follow the twists and turns of word origins? It’s fascinating stuff – which is why I’m writing all this instead of working. But way too often, you end up saying “Well, we don’t know for sure. More study is needed.” Seems like you never really get to the end and have a solid, satisfying definition. But all things considered, I strongly suspect the “lefty” meaning is the one that applies to Sulżyce and therefore Sulżycki. I could be dead wrong, but that’s what seems most likely to me.

I’d better get back to work. I hope all this meandering is some help to you!


Fascinating! And, in other news, my dad just shared our Sulżycki family tree, which I'm attaching, including a photo of my great-grand parents. It goes back pretty far but is missing lots of details. Key notes: he's critical of family trees that start with older generations up top ("Trees grow up," he explains). So, in ours, the older generations are the roots, with my grandfather being Władysław up in the top right-hand corner. Marriage is denoted by "=", with kids springing upwards as branches from the union. This tree is tricky because Józef I (in the trunk) married twice: first with someone unknown to us and having three kids with her (Mikołaj, Jan, Konstancja), and then she passed away so he married a widow, Maria Śliżewska I (from her first husband, née Iwatowicz, having Józef II and Adolf with her. Maria I brought two daughters into the marriage, Emilia and Maria II... who went on to marry her step-brother, Mikołaj from her step-father, Józef's, first marriage. Interesting note: when my father visited Belarus and Lithuania to research and meet family, he met an older nun in Belarus who also had the surname Iwatowicz. He didn't get much of a chance to talk with her but, who knows, she may know something! Next time anyone heads that way, keep an eye out ; ). We also made a similar tree for my grandmother's side, Olejarz. If anyone is interested in seeing this, simply shoot me a message. That one's much easier to follow : ). Special note: there's a great-uncle here named Dragon. How cool is that?!

Secondly, my dad says the exact village my grandfather, his father, was from was Michnicze. He showed me where it was on a map and, together, we scanned an old pre-80s atlas he had and drew it in there. I'll attach this too. The main town nearby was Świr, where Józef Sulżycki II and Helena Kowalewska (my great-grandparents) were married, and where all eight of their children were baptized.

Both attachments will be smaller, but, again, just PM me if you'd like the full versions. Wow, this really became an extremely intense but extremely fruitful project : ). Enjoy!



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Whoops, this didn't attach the first time. Blue branches show Józef I's children with his first wife (name unknown); yellow Maria Śliżewska I's children from her marriage with Mr. Śliżewski (first name unknown), including her first daughter Maria II, who
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Michnicze, where Władysław Sulżycki grew up.
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Last edited by zulu on Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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zulu



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Post Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:05 pm      Post subject:
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I sent the following to Laurie just now, but I figure it's better if it's available publicly just in case someone would benefit from stumbling upon it:

So my grandpa, Władysław, was born and raised in Michnicze, but then he fought during WWII and when the war was over he was given land from the Polish government. With all the casualties and all the Germans expelled from Poland, there were very many empty properties, usually farms. These were literally just given to people who needed them, especially soldiers. My grandpa and his brother, Jan, both received land in Jaszkowo, nearby the village of Huta, where the Olejarz family lived. My grandfather quickly met and married Zofia Olejarz, Jan also got married there and both brothers had their first kids in Jaszkowo (my father being one). Then Władek heard of good job opportunities in Elbląg, closer to the Baltic, so they moved north-east with Jan. Władek never returned to Michnicze again, possibly fearing entering Russian territory (Russia was very suspicious of Polish patriots, particularly soldiers, as the Cold War started). Jan did visit to see his parents and the last sibling who stayed in Lithuania, Jadwiga, though Elbląg became home for both.

I'm attaching a quick screenshot of Jaszkowo, Huta, and Elbląg. This is important because there are multiple cities that go by the first two names in Poland.

Alright guys, that's all I've got for you at the moment. Happy Easter, everyone : ).



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Google Maps for the Huta-Jaszkowo-Elbląg drive.
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LaurieGrz123



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Post Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:57 pm      Post subject:
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Wow! That is so great!!! Thank you to Fred!! I am so sorry I didn't respond earlier. I didn't receive any email notifications. Perhaps I accidentally deleted it. All of this information is incredible. What a great source of knowledge.

Cheri-
Julian's parents names were Michael/Michal Sulzycki and Paulina Moroz. I don't believe they ever came to the US, unless maybe for a visit. It is amazing to me the trouble I have had finding any immigration records. The very few records for any Sulzycki's I have found listed their final destination as Pennsylvania. Julian (uncle Jules to my Grandfather!) came some time around 1908 and appears in Easthampton, Massachusetts in the 1910 Census and that is where he would stay and get married and raise a family.

Paul- I sent you and email. Hope you got it!

-Laurie Grzeskiewicz
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