Discovering our Ancestors' Travels and Travails

Posts tagged ‘Feduski’

Original Polish Names

In researching my Polish ancestors, I was incredibly lucky. Not only are the names Maciejewski and Szczepański very common, the families joined a Polish parish when they came to the United States in the 1880s. Their names were spelled in Polish correctly for the baptisms of their children there. The parents’ villages were not consistent, but by finding places near to each other, I was able to find the MaciejewskiLewandowski 1869 marriage record on LDS microfilm.

There were a few inconsistencies in my mother’s parents’ families’ Skrok, Kwiatek, Kapuściński, and Witoń church and civil records, but enough information to track their origins and movement back to Poland and their return to the US.

Other family researchers have not been as fortunate. Some Polish immigrants, especially from the Austrian-Polish province of Galicia, were less likely to be literate, and more likely to have their names spelled phonetically in various ways. My grandmother’s sister’s husband was Mastyka, Mateka, Mastykasz, Mastykaz, and finally Mastykarz and Masters. Their cousin married Solecki, Szulowski, other variations, and finally, Solowski.

In helping research my nephew’s father’s family, their name was recorded as Fiedler in 1910, Feddick in 1915 on census, and Fidur on baptism certificates in 1913. A family researcher was told by her grandmother that “the original name was Teofil Freidreisch (spelling? but sounded like that) but people here could not spell it so he went by Mike Feduski eventually.” The grandmother’s birth name was possibly Katarzyna Brinyarski. One child’s birth certificate listed the mother’s birth name as Brinkorski. Later on, records listed Kate Brinska or Branska as the mother’s birth name.

Most of these are not Polish names in Poland! The family researcher did a great job following leads for stories and family documents, but without a strong name history and a place of origin in Poland, it’s impossible to research abroad.

In trying to identify the original Polish name, a few resources can help. I usually start with a Google search for the last name. If the name is found, it’s a good indication that it is a name currently being used. If it’s being used in Poland, that’s even better, and sometimes the Polish version of the name will include the correct diacritical marks. If the name is not common, Google will sometimes suggest alternative spellings that are more likely, another clue. (It helps to have alternative spellings when trying to find records, as well.)

I always check my copy of William F. “Fred” Hoffman’s comprehensive 2001 Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings, Second Edition. It includes definitions and derivations for related surnames. Hoffman also lists how many Poles used each surname. He relies heavily on the Słownik nazwisk współcześnie w Polsce używanych, or Dictionary of Surnames Currently Used in Poland, by Professor Kazimierz Rymut. It was a 10-volume set published in 1992 by the Polish Language Institute in Krakow (ISBN 83-85579-25-7). I purchased it on CD, and it is currently online at http://www.herby.com.pl. Hoffman wrote that it “was the first comprehensive compilation of surnames used by citizens of Poland. It was compiled from a 1990 database maintained by a Polish government agency, with data on about 94% of the population of Poland as of that year. It gave a total of all Poles by each name, along with a breakdown of where they lived by province.” See http://jri-poland.org/slownik.htm for more, including an explanation of Polish provinces in the late 20th century.

Polish Provinces, 1975-1999

For example, in 1990 there were no Feduski or Fiduski names identified in Poland, and the family name (nazwisko) Fidurski was found 174 times. Rozmieszczenie shows the breakdown by province.

NazwiskoOgólna liczbaRozmieszczenie
Fidurski174Wa:4, Bs:1, Ci:22, El:7, Gd:4, Ka:6, Ki:4, Lg:4, Lu:1, Ol:75, Op:5, Os:16, Pl:5, Pr:1, Sł:1, Su:2, Sz:1, To:10, Wr:1, ZG:4

Rymut showed this distribution of Frydr- and Fydr- names:

NazwiskoOgólna liczbaRozmieszczenie
Frydrych4507Wa:324, BP:4, Bs:9, BB:25, By:156, Ch:3, Ci:4, Cz:70, El:34, Gd:34, Go:50, JG:106, Kl:59, Ka:556, Ki:168, Kn:67, Ko:83, Kr:79, Ks:601, Lg:83, Ls:20, Lu:64, Ło:14, Łd:221, NS:6, Ol:139, Op:86, Os:141, Pl:161, Pt:90, Pł:30, Po:128, Pr:1, Ra:177, Rz:6, Sd:26, Sr:2, Sk:64, Sł:11, Su:140, Sz:79, Tb:10, Ta:7, To:26, Wb:86, Wł:80, Wr:91, Za:3, ZG:83
Frydrychewicz121Wa:47, BP:4, Bs:1, By:8, Gd:2, Go:4, Kn:3, Kr:3, Lu:2, Łd:3, Op:2, Pł:1, Po:8, Sd:25, Wł:1, Wr:1, ZG:6
Frydrychiewicz46Wa:6, BP:9, Bs:2, Gd:1, Go:7, Kr:2, Lu:1, NS:8, Sd:4, Su:4, Sz:2
Frydrychowicz710Wa:39, Bs:1, By:130, Ci:10, Cz:1, El:55, Gd:54, Go:1, Kl:46, Ka:30, Ki:1, Kn:68, Ko:10, Kr:3, Lg:14, Lu:3, Łd:6, NS:3, Ol:1, Pl:9, Pł:10, Po:76, Sd:1, Sł:8, Su:1, Sz:15, To:59, Wb:7, Wł:15, Wr:8, ZG:25
Frydrychowski422Wa:14, BP:9, BB:32, By:40, El:22, Gd:31, Go:9, JG:14, Ka:33, Kn:25, Ko:2, Kr:8, Lg:3, Ls:5, Łd:26, NS:4, Ol:8, Os:2, Pl:6, Pt:18, Pł:9, Po:25, Sr:36, Su:1, Sz:11, Wb:10, Wł:14, Wr:1, ZG:4
Frydrychs4BP:1, Łd:2, To:1
Frydrychson1By:1
NazwiskoOgólna liczbaRozmieszczenie
Fydrych928Wa:33, BP:7, Bs:4, By:27, Ci:57, El:31, Gd:26, Go:9, JG:3, Ka:101, Ki:8, Kn:1, Ko:11, Kr:3, Ks:26, Lg:22, Ło:23, Łd:10, NS:1, Ol:169, Op:5, Os:98, Pr:1, Ra:2, Sd:20, Sk:16, Sł:9, Su:29, Sz:88, To:36, Wb:8, Wł:23, Wr:7, Za:5, ZG:9
Fydrychewicz7Wł:7
Fydrychowicz14Go:1, Ka:2, Pł:10, Sz:1
Fydrychowska00

One can imagine how a name pronounced “Fre-dre-huf-ski” could become “Fe-du-ski.” The adjectival ending in Polish is “-ski.” Was that ending added to the Polish name Frydrych? Was the original Polish name Frydrych, Frydrychowski, or something else?

There are Brinyarski, and more often, Bryniarski families in Reading, Pennsylvania and western New York, places in the United States where family members are known to have lived. Here is Rymut’s distribution of Brin- and Bryn- names in Poland:

NazwiskoOgólna liczbaRozmieszczenie
Brin6Wb:3, Wr:3
Brinbaum2Wa:1, By:1
Brinberge00
Brincew00
Brinchen00
Brincken10Wa:5, Kr:4, Sz:1
Brinckenhoff1Wa:1
Brincow00
Brinda7Wa:7
Brindell2Po:2
Brindle1Wa:1
Brindza00
Brindżak1BB:1
Brineken2Lu:2
Brinert00
Bringajzen1Wa:1
Bringewald2By:2
Bringiewska7Su:7
Bringman1Ka:1
Bringmann12Ka:11, Wb:1
Bringmar1Ka:1
Brings1Wr:1
Brining6Sz:6
Brink58Gd:1, Kl:4, Ka:1, Ko:5, Ls:22, Ol:14, Pr:1, Sz:5, Wr:5
Brinka00
Brinke3Ls:1, Łd:2
Brinke vel Prinke1Łd:1
Brinken31Wa:8, Ki:1, Ol:8, Sł:5, Sz:9
Brinker1Sz:1
Brinkholz1To:1
Brinkien2Ki:2
Brinkiewicz5El:3, Sł:2
Brinkis7Ka:7
Brinkman8Ci:1, Ka:1, Ko:6
Brinkmann8Ka:8
Brinkon1Wa:1
Brinner7Ka:6, Ol:1
Brinsa24Ka:3, Op:21
Brinza00
NazwiskoOgólna liczbaRozmieszczenie
Bryn58Ka:1, Sz:44, Wł:13
Brynak00
Brynarski1NS:1
Brynas00
Brynasz00
Bryncewicz1Gd:1
Brynczak13Wa:10, Sd:3
Brynczel00
Brynczka101Wa:12, BB:5, JG:4, Ka:7, NS:71, Sł:1, Wr:1
Brynda308Wa:95, Bs:24, Ch:1, El:26, JG:3, Ka:1, Lu:1, Łd:12, Ol:5, Pt:8, Ra:66, Sł:2, Su:51, Sz:4, Tb:4, Wb:5
Bryndak00
Bryndal255Wa:3, BB:14, Gd:12, Ka:19, Kr:14, Ks:3, Lu:1, NS:1, Op:10, Po:2, Sł:31, Ta:124, To:10, Wr:11
Bryndał1Ka:1
Bryndas7Ka:3, Pt:4
Bryndek1Łd:1
Bryndel29Wa:13, Kl:1, Ka:3, Łd:8, Ra:3, Ta:1
Bryndio00
Bryndla1Op:1
Bryndys00
Bryndz2Wa:1, Op:1
Bryndza866Wa:9, BP:1, Bs:6, BB:368, By:9, Cz:17, El:16, Gd:10, Go:9, JG:3, Ka:60, Ki:6, Kr:52, Ks:60, Lg:6, Lu:64, Łd:2, NS:8, Ol:3, Op:27, Pl:17, Pr:2, Rz:9, Sk:1, Su:15, Sz:13, Tb:3, To:4, Wb:34, Wr:21, ZG:11
Bryndzak8Ka:1, Op:2, Sz:1, Wb:3, Wr:1
Bryndzej11Lg:5, ZG:6
Bryndzia9El:6, JG:3
Bryndziak14Łd:14
Bryndziej3Lg:2, ZG:1
Bryndzio8JG:3, Wr:5
Bryndziuk17BP:17
Bryndzki3Sł:3
Bryndzoła4Lg:4
Bryndzowska00
Bryndzuk00
Brynecki11Ka:3, Kr:4, Ks:3, NS:1
Brynen9Łd:9
Bryner5Pł:1, Sk:2, Sz:2
Brynerska1Op:1
Bryng1Łd:1
Bryngiel9Go:4, Sz:5
Bryniak287Wa:1, BB:5, Cz:29, JG:43, Ka:57, Ko:5, Kr:34, Ks:5, NS:47, Op:12, Pl:4, Ra:4, Rz:4, Tb:4, Ta:29, Wb:1, Wr:3
Bryniarczyk00
Bryniarski527Wa:14, BB:11, Cz:25, El:1, Gd:7, Go:18, JG:18, Ka:36, Kn:2, Kr:27, Ks:4, Lg:10, NS:282, Ol:4, Op:3, Pl:11, Rz:2, Sł:2, Sz:3, Ta:23, Wb:10, Wr:13, ZG:1
Brynicki2Tb:2
Bryniczka38BB:4, Gd:9, Ka:5, Kr:10, NS:9, Ta:1
Brynier2Wr:2
Brynierska00
Bryniewicz4Sz:4
Bryniewska00
Brynik12Ko:11, Sk:1
Brynikowski5Gd:4, Wr:1
Bryninek00
Bryning55By:3, El:6, Gd:8, Ka:6, Kr:1, Lg:12, Op:5, Pl:2, Wb:6, Wr:6
Brynińska00
Bryniora00
Bryniowski7JG:3, Lg:4
Bryniuk5Po:5
Brynk15Wa:3, JG:1, Pł:2, Sd:4, Wr:4, ZG:1
Brynkacz00
Brynke00
Brynkien3Ki:3
Brynkiewicz261Wa:9, Bs:6, El:4, Gd:4, Go:2, Ko:11, Lg:5, Łd:154, Ol:13, Pl:21, Pt:5, Po:3, Ra:1, Sk:8, Su:6, Sz:4, Wb:2, Wr:2, ZG:1
Brynkner00
Brynko00
Brynkołowicz00
Brynkus113By:1, Ka:25, Ki:1, Kr:8, NS:52, Pr:8, Rz:8, To:10
Brynkus-Weber4Kr:4
Brynkuś00
Brynning00
Brynoka00
Brynowski16Ol:16
Bryns00
Brynski4Gd:1, Ra:1, Sr:1, Wb:1
Brynsza1Rz:1
Brynza21Ło:3, Op:12, Wb:6

Bryniarski seems like the most likely candidate for the grandmother’s birthname. Based on her family origin stories of the mountains of southern Poland, the name also fits. In 1990, more than half of the 527 people with the name Bryniarski lived in the Nowy Sącz Voivodeship. One may surmise that 100 years earlier, the name was even more concentrated there.  This is not proof, but it supports the likelihood of Bryniarski being the grandmother’s original birth name from this part of Poland.

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