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davidckane



Joined: 11 Jun 2021
Replies: 14

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Post Posted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 9:03 am      Post subject: Female Surname Confusion
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My great-great grandmother, Marianna, emigrated from Poland to the United States with her husband Joseph Niebojewski around 1889. Marianna's mother (Agnes) also came to the United States sometime afterward to live with her daughter (Agnes appears to have been widowed while still in Poland).

It appears Marianna's maiden surname was Nowak. Numerous documents list her maiden surname as Nowak, as well as her father's last name as Nowak. However, every document I can find in the United States listing her mother Agnes (1910 United States census, 1905 New Jersey census, Agnes' death certificate) uses the surname Balinska for Agnes, rather than Nowak. I believe Balinska may have been Agnes' maiden surname based on other documents.

Was it common in that era for a Polish woman to use her maiden surname either after marriage or after her husband died? Is there another explanation?

Thanks!
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mcdonald0517
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Joined: 27 May 2012
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Post Posted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 11:13 am      Post subject:
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Hi David,

The simplest way to shed light on your question is to post the 1883 marriage record For Joseph (provided to you in another thread https://forum.polishorigins.com/viewtopic.php?t=16852&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0) to the German records translation forum of this website. If you look at that record for the brides information, you see Agnes Nowak as her mother, but you also see another name of Wolinska (sp?)

Getting that record translated may give you the answer……or at least a clue. If you don’t know how to post for translation just let us know and we can help you.

Best,
Cynthia
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davidckane



Joined: 11 Jun 2021
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Post Posted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 2:58 pm      Post subject:
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Thanks so much! Good suggestion. I'll post the record in the thread and see if anything helpful comes from the translation.
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dnowicki
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Joined: 28 Dec 2011
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Location: Michigan City, Indiana

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Post Posted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 8:56 pm      Post subject:
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davidckane wrote:
Thanks so much! Good suggestion. I'll post the record in the thread and see if anything helpful comes from the translation.


Hi David & Cynthia,

I believe that Balinska was Agnieszka/Agnes’ surname from her second marriage rather than her maiden name. The listings Cynthia posted from the Poznan Project for the Niebojewski-Nowak marriage contain the necessary clues to reach that conclusion. The entry from the marriage register from the parish of Kościelec provides Maryanna’s father’s name, Michał Nowak and the + after his name indicates that he was deceased. The entry from the registry office in Inowrocław states that her mother is now Wolinska (Balinska) which indicates that Balinska was her surname from her second marriage. Based on that data a bit of checking on the Poznan project turned up two marriages for Agnieszka/Agnes. The first was to Michał Nowak in Kościelec in 1850, which gives her maiden name as Rynarzewska. The second was to Michał Baliński in Kościelec in 1872 Agnieszka/Agnes’ age squares up in both records. A good way to verify her maiden name as Rynarzewska would be to obtain her daughter Maryanna’s birth record from 1863.

The differences in spelling—Wolinska/Balinska is explained by pronunciation/diction. The civil registration was recorded in Inowrocław. Both Angieszka/Agnes and Józef were residing in Sójkowo, a village which was part of the parish of Kościelec. The parish priest undoubtedly knew her better than the civil registrar in Inowrocław. (The chances are the only time he met her was when he filled out the civil registration.)

Wishing you success,

Dave



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davidckane



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Post Posted: Sat Jul 24, 2021 11:30 am      Post subject:
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Thank you both so much. I appreciate Cynthia for pointing in the direction of the Polish records and Dave for taking the next step to help me locate new records answering the question. I have found this site incredibly helpful. Interacting with those who have way better research skills than I do has been a blessing! I will dig into these records.
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