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stephaniepinkston



Joined: 13 Feb 2010
Replies: 1

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Post Posted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:13 am      Post subject: wirchnianski, kolodiezj, gregor
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here is the problem I have run into in my family surname search. I have always known my grandparents surname to be Wirchnianski. My mother was born in Krakow. But every time I enter my grandfathers name in the databases they turn up with no matches. I thought for a long time how can that be.... then I got to researching polish genealogy sites and realized that when my grandparents arrived in America at Ellis Island they very well could have misspelled his name when they wrote it on the ships logs.I heard about that happening. Or they changed the spelling of it to an American version. Does anyone know if this is the correct spelling of this surname? He passed away over 14 years ago otherwise I would've asked him. My babci's maiden name is Gregor. But I hit a snag with her mother cause she can't rememer her mother's maiden name. She also can't remember my grandfather's father's first name. My grandfather's father passed away when my grandfather was quite young and his mother remarried twice after that. The third and final husband's name was John Kolodiezj. This man is the man my mother and uncle knew as their grandfather. And the worst of it all is I don't have the funds that all these expensive genealogy sites want to charge me to look at my grandparents birth records and all that good stuff. Can anyone help me out here?? PLEASE??[/b]
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Shellie
PO Top Contributor & Patron


Joined: 18 Feb 2009
Replies: 975
Location: Atlanta, GA

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Post Posted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:44 pm      Post subject:
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Hi Stephanie,
I had a similar problem. My family surname changed from Kulawiak to Kolavick and there are no living relatives to tell me exactly why it happened. However, I am sure that it did not happen at Ellis Island. It most likely happened after my great-grandfather arrived at his destination and started to work in the coal mines. The Ellis Island name changing "myth" has been the subject of much discussion. These links will take you to 2 articles that discuss the topic.

http://www.genealogy.com/88_donna.html
http://genealogy.about.com/od/ellis_island/a/name_change.htm

You gave a lot of information in your thread, but others members here at PolishOrigins would be better able to offer help if you could also provide as many full names and dates as possible.

Here are some of the things that our fellow members have asked about when responding to a request like yours. This is not a full list, but just some things to help you get started. If you can provide some of the items below, it will help others who have some resources and like to help out our fellow members:

1. Do you have the date and location in Krakow (or nearby village) of your mother's birth? Do you have the same information for your babci?
2. Do you have any dates or guesses about their date of arrival in the US?
3. Does your mother, uncle, babci, or other direct family members have any of their original papers from when they first came to the US, such as her proof of birth in Poland, a passport....etc.
4. Did your family members come to the US as a girl with thier parents. Were they married or unmarried?
5. Does your mother have siblings in addition to her brother? If so, what do you know about their birthplaces and dates of birth?
6. Does your babci or grandfather have siblings that came to the US?
7. Did anyone in your family go through the naturalization process and become US citizens?
8. Did your mother, babci, grandfather, uncle or any other older relative from Poland apply for a social security number?
9. Have you located the census information for your family since their arrival in the US (if it was 1930 or earlier)
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Zenon
PolishOrigins Team Leader


Joined: 28 Apr 2007
Replies: 1468
Location: Poland

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Post Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:20 am      Post subject:
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stephaniepinkston wrote:
here is the problem I have run into in my family surname search. I have always known my grandparents surname to be Wirchnianski. My mother was born in Krakow. But every time I enter my grandfathers name in the databases they turn up with no matches. I thought for a long time how can that be.... then I got to researching polish genealogy sites and realized that when my grandparents arrived in America at Ellis Island they very well could have misspelled his name when they wrote it on the ships logs.I heard about that happening. Or they changed the spelling of it to an American version. Does anyone know if this is the correct spelling of this surname?


Have you tried our Polish Genealogy Databases tool here: http://polishorigins.com/databases/index?s=wirchnia%C5%84ski Question You can find there also link to 43 records on Ancestry.com with your surname. This is really a very rare surname, only 32 persons uses it currently in Poland - click here for distribution of the surname in present-day Poland https://nazwiska-polskie.pl/Wirchnia%C5%84ski

So the surname might have been distorted in time (I recommend you to see article about name changes http://polishorigins.com/document/name_changes and a very interesting discussion on this subject in Forum: http://polishorigins.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=159 ). However, it may also be "correctly" spelled name of your ancestors.

To try to move forward I suggest you to look at the list prepared by Shellie and try to answer at least part of these questions.

stephaniepinkston wrote:
The third and final husband's name was John Kolodiezj.


The correct spelling of this very popular surname is Kołodziej and it means in Polish "wheelwright".
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Shellie
PO Top Contributor & Patron


Joined: 18 Feb 2009
Replies: 975
Location: Atlanta, GA

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:36 pm      Post subject:
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Hi Stephanie,
Have you made any progress with your family history research? Since I first replied to your message, I have met a cousin with the surname Kołodziej.
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