PolishOrigins Forum

 FAQFAQ    SearchSearch    MemberlistMemberlist    ProfileProfile    Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages    Log inLog in    RegisterRegister 
Author
Message
kamcglynn



Joined: 03 Dec 2012
Replies: 31

Back to top
Post Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:48 pm      Post subject: "Americanized" Polish first names
Reply with quote

I was wondering if anyone else has run into "interesting" Americanizations of Polish first names. My great aunt was always known to us as "Edna"...until I started researching the family and saw that she was "Jadwiga" in the 1920 census and on her mother's death certificate. Is there a connection between Jadwiga and Edna or did she maybe just arbitrarily choose Edna? Also, something similar happened with my great grandmother. Her name was Petronela but the family insisted that Petronela in English is "Patricia", which it is not to the best of my knowledge. My grandmother took Patricia as her confirmation name to honor her mother, and another sister names her daughter Patricia for the same reason. Just wondering if anyone else has encountered something like this in their family research. Thanks! Kate
View user's profile
Send private message
Elzbieta Porteneuve
PO Top Contributor


Joined: 09 Nov 2012
Replies: 3092
Location: Paris, France

Back to top
Post Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:43 am      Post subject:
Reply with quote

Re: Edna - Jadwiga

Wiki is your friend:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jadwiga
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedwig_%28name%29

Polish Jadwiga is of German origin, in French Edwige.
I belive I know all possible variants of Jadwiga in Polish - my Mom name, but none is in any way close to Edna.

The French variant - Edwige - starts with the same 2 letters as Edna, but French spelling of Edwige is far away of Jadwiga.
One of Swedish variants - Hedda?

Bottom line: I do not see any other reason to replace Jadwiga by Edna that the English spelling of Jadwiga [Polish spelling of "J" - long "i", is like English "y" in yellow, and has nothing to do with English spelling of "J" - jelly], and search of something short and having at least one syllabe in common.

Re: Patricia - Petronela

That seems almost random.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petronella

Re: it must spell

There is a number of Polish names, impossible to spell in English, but usually those are replaced by Biblical equivalents:
Krzysztof -> Christopher, Chris
Elzbieta -> Elizabeth
Katarzyna -> Catherine, Kate
Władysław -> Walter ; NOTE: Władysław is the worst possible case. "W" in Polish spells like "V" in Viking, "ł" spells like "w" in English, try to have a name starting Vw ... unless you are Volkswagen logo.

Best,
Elzbieta
View user's profile
Send private message
Sophia



Joined: 05 Oct 2014
Replies: 337

Back to top
Post Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:05 am      Post subject:
Reply with quote

Hi Kate (or may I call you Katarzyna?!),
I've got a Wladzia who became Lottie. Not sure how common that was.
The one I wish I could find an explanation for is why so many men named Wojciech became George. I do not know what the connection is, but an overwhelming number of them did so. I am familiar with the connection between the names Wojciech and Adalbert (it has to do with a saint) and it does make sense to me when I see an Adalbert become an Albert. Also, on another thread here recently, we had one fellow named Wojciech who showed up in other documents as George AND as Adalbert AND as Albert, the first time I have seen all four names used. Whew!
Best,
Sophia
P.S. to Elzbieta (or may I call you Liz or Bess or Betsy or Ellie or Beth or Lisa?!) you made me laugh out loud with your comment, "... try to have a name starting Vw ... unless you are a Volkswagen logo." HA!
View user's profile
Send private message
dnowicki
PO Top Contributor


Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Replies: 1609
Location: Michigan City, Indiana

Back to top
Post Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 1:41 pm      Post subject:
Reply with quote

Kate, Elzbieta, Sophia,

Of the Polish given names Krzysztof, Elzbieta, Katarzyna, and Wladyslaw only Wladyslaw is actually of Polish or Slavic origin. The first three are Polish versions of names which originated in other languages. Krzysztof is of Greek origin, made up the noun for Christ aka "the anointed one" and the verb "to carry". Elzbieta is originally Hebrew and found in Greek in the New Testament. Katarzyna is also of Greek and Latin origin. Wladyslaw is of Polish/Slavic origin. Adalbert is the actual correct English version of the Polish Wojciech/Latin Adalbertus. It is understandable how that morphed into Albert---especially since Adalbert is not a common English given name---George is a mystery.
It is easy to understand why individuals with names which are not Polish/Slavic in origin simply translated their Polish name into the English version. The problem comes with names which are of Slavic origin. Sometimes individuals with such names used English names which were not actually connected to their given name except that they started with the same sounds/letters as English given names like Stanislaw/Stanley or Stanislawa/Stella or Bronislaw/Bruno. Other English names used by Poles in America really are like just pulling a name of a hat filled with English names---like Boleslawa/Belle or Domicella/Daisy or Kazimierz/Casey or Petronella/Patricia (Patricia is actually the feminine of Patrick [Patricius in Latin]).
In my opinion, it would be an exercise in frustration trying to determine how and why individuals with such names chose the English name they used unless one actually knew that individual personally and got the story "from the horse's mouth", so to speak. It seems that the reasoning behind the name change was often to either fit in to American society by using a name non-Poles could relate to or perhaps just to simplify day to day life by not having to constantly try to explain how to pronounce or spell one's birth name. Given name changes were not something unique to immigrants---e.g. President Grant's actual given name was Hiram. When he entered West Point his given name was recorded as Ulysses. His friends from his West Point and army days called him Sam. How different is that from Kazimierz becoming Casey? And Yes, I've known people who used English names not all related to their given Polish names and a lot of them were my relatives. A case in point is my maternal grandmother whose birth name was Bronislawa. She used the English name Bernice. I lived in the same house with her for the first 25 years of my life but never did ask her how or why she picked Bernice or what other names were in the hat from which she drew the name but I do know that some of her sisters and nieces and nephews sometimes called her Bertha and she hated it when they did that. So I guess no one picked Bernice for her---it was her own choice. I guess the bottom line is that one could use the old saying that a rose by any other name smells sweet or a Bronislawa by any other name is still Bronislawa or a Petronella by any other name is still Petronella.

Dave aka David aka Davy aka Dawid aka Dawidusz aka Stas (as my college buddies used to call me)
View user's profile
Send private message
kamcglynn



Joined: 03 Dec 2012
Replies: 31

Back to top
Post Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:53 pm      Post subject:
Reply with quote

Thank you all! I figured it had to be somewhat arbitrary! Ironically, Petronela appears in one census as Brunella and in another as Prettia! Guess the census taker couldn't quite make out "Petronela"! There is also a St. Petronela and her feast day was 31 May, which, of course, was my Petronela's birthday. I do also have a Stanislawa who became a Stella. I have run in to the Wojciech thing as well...my family intermarried with Kwartniks in Philadelphia and the one Kwartnik gentleman was Wojciech in Poland, and George and Albert in the US! It took me a little bit to figure out that it was all the same person! I have tried to explain to some extended family members that Petronela is not Patricia in English, to no avail! Very Happy
View user's profile
Send private message
gdeborski



Joined: 30 Dec 2011
Replies: 72

Back to top
Post Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:49 am      Post subject:
Reply with quote

In my tree, a great aunt Leokadia became Alice May. Probably because there was no obvious 'americanized' equivalent. Always thought Leokadia was a nice sounding name.

Gary D.
View user's profile
Send private message
Send e-mail
Podjazd



Joined: 14 Sep 2015
Replies: 84

Back to top
Post Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:34 am      Post subject:
Reply with quote

kamcglynn wrote:
I have tried to explain to some extended family members that Petronela is not Patricia in English, to no avail!

Next time remind them that Patricia is the female version of Patrick, which is the English version of an Irish name (Padraig).
View user's profile
Send private message
Marianna



Joined: 03 Apr 2018
Replies: 10
Location: New Jersey USA

Back to top
Post Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:05 pm      Post subject:
Reply with quote

My grandfather Stanislaus was known as Stanley, my mother's birth name was Leocadia but she was always known as Eleanor. Her maiden name was Golba. In looking up my ancestors who never left Poland, there are some surprising names, like Blaise or Blaisius (latinzed, I think) Simon, Antoni, Apolonia. There is also a Magdalena Pezda which apparently is still a current name of living people in Poland.
View user's profile
Send private message
Send e-mail
Ute
PO Top Contributor


Joined: 13 Dec 2009
Replies: 583
Location: Germany

Back to top
Post Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:10 am      Post subject:
Reply with quote

gdeborski wrote:
In my tree, a great aunt Leokadia became Alice May. Probably because there was no obvious 'americanized' equivalent. Always thought Leokadia was a nice sounding name.

Gary D.

In my tree, I have a Leokadya that became Lillian or 'Lil', Antonina that became Antoinette or 'Toni', Janina became Jean, Maryanna became Mary Ann, Jan became John, and so on. I didn't know their original Polish first names until I came across their birth/baptism records.
View user's profile
Send private message
Marianna



Joined: 03 Apr 2018
Replies: 10
Location: New Jersey USA

Back to top
Post Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:23 am      Post subject:
Reply with quote

Now that you mention it, I did not know my grandmother whom we lived with when I was small and was always called Mary was really Marianna. I was told I was named for my two grandmas, Mary and Anne on the Irish side. It turns out a great-grandma was also Marianna. My given name is Mary Anne but Marianna sounds nicer.
View user's profile
Send private message
Send e-mail
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    PolishOrigins Forum Index -> Research Resources, Tools & Tips All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum


Powered by phpBB ©

© 2018 COPYRIGHTS BY THE OWNER OF POLISHORIGINS.COM