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ossnhughie
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:11 pm      Post subject: Trying to determine if I am Polish or Lithuanian or both
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I am sure this is a question many have asked and I am sure that it really can't be aswered definitively without a lot more information that I have yet to aquire. But alas the question is are my ancestors who considered themselves Poles who were born in traditionally Lithuanian lands actually descended from Poles who immigrated to Lithuanian lands or Lithuanians who were "Polonized" or maybe a little bit of both?

does anyone have any insight into this rather complicated question? I do realize this is really a "out there" question but I have always wondered. For the record the surnames I have found so far on my Polish line: Michalkiewicz, Szymkiewicz, Franckiewicz, Narkiewicz, Dora. Thanks for anyone out there who has a historical perspective I'm just grasping at straws in the dark here! Smile

Best regards,

Hugh Whiting

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Elzbieta Porteneuve
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:52 am      Post subject:
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Hugh,

Have you seen this wiki, with animated borders over time?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Territorial_evolution_of_Poland

Is your question related to citizenship by blood vs citizenship by place of birth?

Best,
Elzbieta
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ossnhughie
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:35 am      Post subject:
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I am thinking more about by blood as opposed to by citizenship.

Hugh
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sirdan
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:27 pm      Post subject:
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Hello Hugh.
If you need hard evidence, then You need to look for towns where ancestors were living. Even area was mostly Lithuanian, towns were might be contained by poles. Examples are Wilno or Lwów (Lwów is in Ukraine but similar case). Then you can search deeper in parish records if available for your ancestors. Surnames You mentioned looked like typical polish, but there was time at Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth that some nobles living in Lithuania were turning onto "polish side". I know it's not historical therm. Some people aquired/polonized surnames, maybe more was involved. It was easier for Lithuanians than for Ukrainians and Belarussians, because Ukrainians were Greekcatholics.
If You cannot verify blood roots, then You can leave it behind. Look at Polish famous writer Adam Mickiewicz. He wrote epic poem "Pan Tadeusz" about life of nobles in Lithuania land. The poem's very first words are:
"Lithuania, my Homeland, You are like the health,
Value of Yours the one will know, who lost You."*


*My pity translation.

Ready to follow stories of Lithuanian nobles? Go ahead and read these enermous verses https://archive.org/details/pantadeuszorlast00mick Smile
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ossnhughie
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:24 pm      Post subject:
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Thanks Sirdan for the input.

I do have records from parishes and they did reside in the area just north and northwest of Wilno, I also just looked into my great grandfathers A File (resident Aliens had to file these in 1940 by law) it lists the "Polish Society Kosciuszko" as a club he had been a member in for over 10 years. I know they spoke the language and my moms dad never said anything about being Lithuanian but I also heard many folks were descended from Lithuanians without really knowing it. As for being of noble stock nothing so far in research suggests that.

One side the Szymkiewicz' are listed as "middle class" in birth records and the Michalkiewicz' as Peasants. The villages of Suderwa and Kozakiszki. I think I read that particular area still has many Poles living there don't quote me on that though.
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Elzbieta Porteneuve
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 7:09 am      Post subject:
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Hugh,

I asked the question about "citizenship by blood vs citizenship by place of birth" because I can hardly imagine the latter, by place of birth, in Central Europe.

I have Galician roots. In Central Europe we always had invaders putting their flag on the main street face to our kitchen, and claiming it's another country. But it was our kitchen and our grandparents.
The "citizenship" is the one people declared on the birth certificate, the language they spoke at home.

Otherwise, besides Polish passeport, my collection would have several passports of all invaders of my ancestor's villages: Austria, Hungary, Russia, Germany (at least twice, ~XVIII and XX). Probably Sweden. And Bohemia due to the place of birth of my father, who's family was escaping Russian horror circa 1914.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Elzbieta
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Henryk
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 1:48 pm      Post subject:
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The number of Poles in the Wilno area from census data:
From
Polish Encyclopaedia: Volume II: Territory and Population ofPoland
Original: Published by the Committee For the Polish Encyclopaedia Publications at Fribourg And Geneva (Switzerland), Printed by ATAR Ltd, Geneva, 1924
Reprint: Publications of the Polish National Committee Of America, Reprint Edition by Arno Press, 1972



wilno census 1916 table iii 3rd part 4th section chap ii.jpg
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wilno census 1909 table iv.jpg
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wilno census 1897 table iii 3rd part 4th section chap iii.jpg
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ossnhughie
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:07 pm      Post subject:
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Henryk,

Thanks for the tables this is information I would certainly be hard pressed to find. It is a very complex thing from what I read about the history between these two great peoples. I read an article that said relations have been rocky between the Lithuanian Govt and Polish minority living within the borders.

It seems to have to do with official names on passports and the language of signs in particular villages. The period after WW1 seems to have been a particular time of "Bad Blood" between the Lithuanians and Poles.

Hugh
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sirdan
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:20 am      Post subject:
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ossnhughie wrote:
I read an article that said relations have been rocky between the Lithuanian Govt and Polish minority living within the borders.

It seems to have to do with official names on passports and the language of signs in particular villages. The period after WW1 seems to have been a particular time of "Bad Blood" between the Lithuanians and Poles.

Hugh
Hello again.
Thank you for taking interest in history of these two countries. Past in time, Duchy of Lithuania was quite big one too and when united with Poland into Commonwealth, was the biggest country in Europe for long time, unfortunately till 1795. History of any coutry on the continent was "rich" i mean there were many wars and battles. Borders were changing many times.
Today's animosities between Poles and Lithuanians regarding street names and people surnames have probably origins in taking a part of Lithuania with Wilno city by Piłsudski. The city was populated mostly by Poles, while Lithuanians considered it as their capital city and must have territory. Entering to Lithuania was start of big grudge. Some conflicts might have been earlier too of course, Poland might have been considered as a culturally threating for smaller Lithuanian nation.
As a background i will add that in this part of Europe there was always fight Poland against Russia (old therm: Soviets, later Communists) and was a matter what other nations was under influence of two mentioned above, or which nations collaborated with two above. The nation/coutry that collaborated with Russians was considered enemy or at least threat for Poland coutry. It's over simplified view but may put some light.


Last edited by sirdan on Sat Jan 10, 2015 6:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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rjaremus



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Post Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 5:05 pm      Post subject:
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Hugh,

Eastern Europe is chock full of countries with significant "minority" populations. When Poland was reconstituted after WWI over 40% of it's population were not considered ethnic Poles. There were Germans on the east and western areas, there were Ukranians, Beylorussians, Lithuanians, Jews, and Russians to name the largest groups. Under the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, these ethnic peoples lived side by side in neighboring villages. Most villages tended to be of one nationality, but the various peoples inter-married and mixed. It was common for Poles and Ukranians to intermarry. The biggest barriers to mixing were religious. That said, my grandfather who came from a small village in the Lvov (Lviv - Uk) area said that in his family the boys spoke their father's Polish and the girls spoke Ukranian. How wierd is that! Now that said, Vilnius was considered one of the largest Polish cities. If you look at the map of Poland after WWI, it specifically included Vilnius. But as you can see from the census information, the Poles were by no means a majority, rather the largest minority. Most large urban cities also had large Jewish populations. This wasn't just true in Poland but throughout eastern Europe.

I also have Polish relatives on my father's side that came from the Vilnius area. I had originally wondered if they were Lithuanian, but I came to learn that culturally they not only spoke Polish, but ate Polish foods and had Polish customs. That said, I love Ukranian food! The family name was Zuromski and they had a farm in or near Punzany, Nova Wilejka, (present day) Lithuania. My great Grandfather was named Adam Zuromski. He married Teofila Siemaszko. I would love to learn more about their farm, what their lives were like, or any other information about them. I would be most interested in hearing about how you do your research on your Polish (in Lithuania) ancestors.
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ossnhughie
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Post Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:27 pm      Post subject:
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rjaremus,

Thanks for your insights and the common curiosity in things Polish I find that me embarking on this joureny to track down this line of my family (also English, Irish, Swedish and a smattering of Scottish). The Polish side in my maternal grandfather's side. He grew up speaking Polish at home though he was the first of his family born here in the states in 1921 (of the children that lived). I know that they were very proud of their heritage and were people of great faith (Roman Catholic).
It's interesting you bring up Ukrainian intermarriage I known a lot of Ruthenians from what I read in Norman Davies history of Poland were polonized and were "Greek Catholics". My Polish ancestors had names ending in -kiewicz which I believe I read originate from Bielorussian areas, but I could be wrong.

As far as researching the Polish roots in modern Lithuania, if you have a village name, a approximate date of birth/marriage/death etc of said person, the particular religion of the person (so they know what church bookd to look in). They more often than not will find things I was pleasantly surprized just how affordable this can be (compared with other archives fees). The found both great grandparents baptismal records (in cursive Cyrillic) and sent copies to me which were translated by my good friend Ryszard who is a key contributor to PolishOrigins. If you would like more info on contacting the Lithuanian State Historical Archives please feel free to contact me again.

Hugh or better yet Hughski
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rjaremus



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Post Posted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:48 am      Post subject: Polish origins in modern day Lithuania
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Hughski,

So this is interesting. I guess I should have known that modern day Lithuania would have records about Polish people from the area.
Ive got the names of my Polish (current day Lithuania) ancestors (going back to the late 19th century) and as mentioned previously, the village. As I have been interested in my roots for 45 years, since I was a teenager, I was able to accumulate birth and death certificates and other information from family members long ago. What I need to know is how/who can do in country research? Who might I contact? Is it someone here, in Poland or in Vilnius? Did you start with the Lithuanian State Archives or someone specifically? As you might expect, part of the problem is I am not fluent in Polish, or Lithuanian.
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ossnhughie
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Post Posted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 4:53 pm      Post subject:
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There is a form you send by snail mail that the archivist will send you if you contact them via email A woman who has been indisposable in the process for me is Daiva Delnickaite who is one of the archivists at the LSHA here is her email: [email protected]

They will correspond in English so if you don't speak Lithuanian It shouldn't be an issue. They will send an attachment with the form you need to mail them with what research you want undertaken (you have to sign the form to authorize reserch). They should be very helpful, although sometimes emails will take a few days to be answered. Most late 1800'srecords are in Cyrillic cursive being that the Russian empire mandated all records be recorded in Russian (mainly for conscription purposes) earlier records will most likely be in Polish or Latin (in case of early Catholic records). I could be wrong but I am fairly certain records after 1870 or so were mandated to be in Russian.

Please let me know how you make out.

Hugh Whiting
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rjaremus



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Post Posted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:21 am      Post subject:
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Hugh,

Thank you very much for you most specific reply. That will help me a lot. I am going to send Daiva an email today! I'll let you know how it goes.

Rolfe Jaremus
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ossnhughie
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Post Posted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:27 pm      Post subject:
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It may take a day or too but she will get back to you. They will as I said give you very specific instructions on what they need from you. My best advice to you is to make a list or brainstorm what records you think they stand a good chance of finding. As an example I had them check a ten year period in a particular village's church book ( I didn't have an exact date but had a ballpark figure) and they did find the marriage record. It's hit and miss people did move around a lot more than we would think.

Hugh
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