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singingfalls
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Joined: 21 Dec 2014
Replies: 96
Location: Oregon

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:35 am      Post subject: Russian Polish/Polish Russian
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I have just completed going through the Ellis Island immigration records to glean data on my grandparents coming to America (circa early 1900's). All but one of my grandparent's records say that they are Polish by "race" and Russian by "nationality". My grandmother on my father's side said she is of Austria from Galicia. A little confusing for me to say the least. Especially since I thought I was 100% Polish since the days of my youth (I am pretty old now).

This brings me to my paternal grandfather, Ludwig Petrowski. In the early 1940s he was naturalized to the USA. On his naturalization papers he changed his name from Petraszczuk to Petrowski. All of his records say he is Polish but of Russian nationality. How do I sort this out? All of the cities that Babush and Djadek say they were from are currently part of Poland. None of them are part of Russian. Given these records are pre-bolshevic revolution I don't quite understand.

I do know that in the 1950s my Babush took packages of cloths with her to Adamówka with my chaucha Mańia. Her visa had a hammer and sickle on it with something about the Ukraine on it also. Hard to sort out for me.

Likewise, my baptismal papers say my name is Stanislaus Piatrowski but my legal papers say I am Stanley Petrowski.

Any leads that give me perspective on these matters would be appreciated.

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Kyć - Adamówka
Wlaź - Lucków Górny
Petraszczuk - Khrabuzna, Ukraine
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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: Sat Dec 27, 2014 1:24 pm      Post subject:
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Stanley,

The reason your ancestors are listed as Polish by "race" and Russian (or Austrian in the case of your paternal grandmother) by "nationality" is that Poland did not exist as a political entity from 1795 until the end of WWI. Beginning in 1772 the territory of Poland was taken or partitioned by Russia, Prussia, and Austria ending in the complete dismemberment of Poland in 1795. Ethnic Poles who lived in the various areas taken by the partitioning powers were considered citizens of Russia, Prussia/Germany, or Austria depending on where they lived. Perhaps the two attached maps may help to visually clarify the issue. The first map is of Poland prior to the partitions. Poland was referred to in several ways at that time---The Royal Republic of Poland, The Commonwealth of Poland, The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, or The Commonwealth of the Two Nations---but all those names describe a large independent state in Europe. When you look at the map you will see that the two main areas of the old Polish Commonwealth were the Crown Lands and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The second map clearly shows that in Pre-WWI Europe there was no Poland. If you locate major cities on the two maps you can see how areas which were part of the Polish Commonwealth in the 1700s were part of the Russian, Austrian, or German empires in 1900.

As far as your name on your baptismal certificate is concerned, Stanislaus is the Latin form of the Polish given name Stanislaw. (Catholic baptismal records prior to the Second Vatican Council in the mid-1960s were usually kept in Latin.) Stanley is an Americanized usage of the Polish and Latin forms of the name. Stanislaw is not actually Stanley but Poles in America often used English names that sounded somewhat similar to the actual Polish name. The difference in the spelling of your surname can possibly be attributed to what the priest heard when arrangements were made for your baptism.

Hope this explanation helps to clarify things a bit.

Dave



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singingfalls
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Joined: 21 Dec 2014
Replies: 96
Location: Oregon

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:00 pm      Post subject:
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Dave, Thank you so much for your very informative post. I have been sorely lacking in my understanding of European history and the history of Poland in particular. This filled a huge gap.

It was also on this site that I for the first time became aware of the Hassuri. I have a lot of catching up to do.

You are correct. I was baptized at St. Laurentius Church in Phila. Pa. which had the Latin Mass at the time. It was a Polish RC church. In school I had to say my daily morning prayers in English, Latin and Polish to start the day. But we received no history lessons about Poland.
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singingfalls
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Joined: 21 Dec 2014
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Post Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:29 pm      Post subject:
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I found this crash course on the subject and it totally validates your explanation.
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~atpc/heritage/history/historic-geography.html
Thanks again David.

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Kyć - Adamówka
Wlaź - Lucków Górny
Petraszczuk - Khrabuzna, Ukraine
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ossnhughie
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Post Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:00 pm      Post subject: origin of name Svirdovska
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Hello I know I am in great company here with people who really know their surname origins amongst other things, but here's a name Ican't seem to nail down and unfortunately Ilost my copy of Fred Hoffman's book on Polish surnames, so PO brothers/sisters in arms see what you think.

On a baptism record from the 1870's in Russian Poland/Lithuania the mothers maiden name is given as Narkiewicz-Svirdovska, I know Narkiewicz is a Polish nmae most likely of Lithuanian backround but Svirdovska (I am guessing femanine of Svirdovsky/i or perhaps Swirdowski if it was Russified for the record?) If any of you know for certain or have any idea Iwould greatly appreciate it.

Hugh

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Litwo! Ojczyzno moja! ty jesteś jak zdrowie;
Ile cię trzeba cenić, ten tylko się dowie, Kto cię stracił.
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singingfalls
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Joined: 21 Dec 2014
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Location: Oregon

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Post Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:25 pm      Post subject: Re: origin of name Svirdovska
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ossnhughie wrote:
Hello I know I am in great company here with people who really know their surname origins amongst other things, but here's a name Ican't seem to nail down and unfortunately Ilost my copy of Fred Hoffman's book on Polish surnames, so PO brothers/sisters in arms see what you think.

On a baptism record from the 1870's in Russian Poland/Lithuania the mothers maiden name is given as Narkiewicz-Svirdovska, I know Narkiewicz is a Polish nmae most likely of Lithuanian backround but Svirdovska (I am guessing femanine of Svirdovsky/i or perhaps Swirdowski if it was Russified for the record?) If any of you know for certain or have any idea Iwould greatly appreciate it.

Hugh


I had the best fortune posting the document on line. It was translated for me by many kind persons and gave me many leads. HTH

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Petraszczuk - Khrabuzna, Ukraine
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