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How to change my Americanized last name to my real (Polish) last name?


Pierced_Veil 1 | 11  
24 Oct 2008 /  #1
Hello everyone, My name is Chris.
Recently I asked my uncle if we were, Polish or Irish?
and he told me we were indeed Polish,and he told me why our last name is the way it is and not our Polish last name and he told me that when our great grandparents I believe thats who he said came to America they changed their last names to a Irish last name..

then he went on about Slavic..but didn't get into it much,because he was in a rush to get back to work...so what is Slavic?

I would like to change my last name to my real last name..but i dont know how, I am 25yrs old.
I'm proud to be Polish!
I want to learn so much more,and I want to visit Poland now.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
24 Oct 2008 /  #2
Hello Pierced_Veil,
And welcome to the Polish Forum.
I wonder why your family did that?.
You should try to talk to you relations more about this.
Slavic [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavic_peoples]
As opposed Irish being Celtic [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celt].
I am Irish and I live in Poland.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384  
24 Oct 2008 /  #3
I'm proud to be Polish!

You should find out what the Polish name is and then check its authenticity.

We wouldn't like to think that your uncle was spinning a yarn.
OP Pierced_Veil 1 | 11  
24 Oct 2008 /  #4
He said the last name is trizenki... i dont how to spell it.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384  
24 Oct 2008 /  #5
trizenki...

It probably starts with the letters 'czy'

Others will have a better idea.
McCoy 27 | 1,269  
24 Oct 2008 /  #6
I'm proud to be Polish!

nice to have you on PF, mate

you remind me the guy who respond to the 'Polish History in 10 minutes' video:



great guy.
OP Pierced_Veil 1 | 11  
24 Oct 2008 /  #7
you remind me the guy who respond to the 'Polish History in 10 minutes' video

I dont know how I would remind someone,of this person?
almost feels like i am being insulted.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
24 Oct 2008 /  #8
Why? he seems like a nice enough young fella?
Krakowianka 1 | 243  
24 Oct 2008 /  #9
I wonder why your family did that?.

When Poles came over back in the day to Ellis Island, a lot of them changed their names, "Americanized" them, shortened them. There were stories of the discrimination they faced with typical Polish last names, and your family may have switched to prevent this.

I would definitely find out what the real last name was, and verify by some documents before you go changing it on just what your uncle said.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
24 Oct 2008 /  #10
When Poles came over back in the day to Ellis Island, a lot of them changed their names, "Americanized" them, shortened them.

Exactly what happened to Irish names too, that's why "Ireland" is a name there, they came off the boat, only spoke Gaelic and were asked what's your name?.

The only bit of English they knew was "Ireland" (In Irish it is Eire) with a fodda.
OP Pierced_Veil 1 | 11  
24 Oct 2008 /  #11
I would definitely find out what the real last name was, and verify by some documents

How or where can I go to find out the real last name and where could i go to verify documents.?
Krakowianka 1 | 243  
24 Oct 2008 /  #12
If you know your great grandparents names, there are forums that have listings of everyone that entered via Ellis Island. Is this where your family entered?

Unfortunately, Poland does not have their records online, even if it did, it wouldn't have it that far back. Maybe part of your exploration, can involve a trip to PL.

It seems real odd that no one mentioned the Polish roots until a casual conversation with the uncle. I mean, wouldn't they have spoken it, someone (your parents) would have knowledge of their history too?
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384  
24 Oct 2008 /  #13
How or where can I go to find out the real last name and where could i go to verify documents.?

find great-grandpa's naturalization papers.

check arrivals at Ellis Island. This will help to determine if the name was changed on entry to the usa, or later

find him on the Ship's Manifest and then check next of kin. next of kin may or may not have the original name, but it's worth a try. next of kin could be just a friend though

what were your great-grandparent's first names ? Did they change them too ? Or did they keep the original form.

The best way forward is to have your uncle write/spell the name. Then you will have something to work with.

The spelling you gave doesn't exist, but there are close matches.

Find out which town or city they came from... then we can do a name search.

In other words, we can help you, but we need more specific information.

Given that this is your great-grand parents, please read up on the history of Poland before 1918. You might find that with border changes they actually came from an area that is not now Poland.
OP Pierced_Veil 1 | 11  
24 Oct 2008 /  #14
It seems real odd that no one mentioned the Polish roots until a casual conversation with the uncle. I mean, wouldn't they have spoken it, someone (your parents) would have knowledge of their history too?

I know its odd, My family is... idk..my dad doesn't care much about the history of our family,my mom she doesn't talk to me.. my uncle and my late grand momma are and were the only ones that spoke Polish to each other and talked about family members I never knew of or heard of that live in Poland.. so its a mystery to me why I haven't been informed of anything, so when u say its real odd, its real odd to me why my parents never told me of these things.. until I asked my uncle one day.
loco polaco 3 | 352  
24 Oct 2008 /  #15
It probably starts with the letters 'czy'

could be trzy.. it could be all kinds of stuff..

pv, find your g-parent's entry docs on ellis island (website) and then go from there.
OP Pierced_Veil 1 | 11  
24 Oct 2008 /  #16
I am, im gonna talk to my uncle again and get the names,my dad tried to tell me just now,but he really couldnt help me because he couldnt remember,but he did tell me my great granddaddy and momma did change their names when they came over here.. so I go on the quest now to find the truth.
Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
24 Oct 2008 /  #17
well someone in your family has to have some type of documents - perhaps your uncle is the one who carrys the family papers.. unless for some reason they destroyed them.

once you get a correct ( actual) spelling. you can start looking , otherwise your looking blindly for a name.

once you have that, then you can look in Ellis island records to see when they arrived to America.. possibly find a town name .
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384  
24 Oct 2008 /  #18
Pierced_Veil,

What was your Great-Grandfather's name ? (His new name or the name everyone knew him by) And what state did your Great-Grandparents settle in ?
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
24 Oct 2008 /  #19
Just choose Kowalski, typically Polish, but also known in USA, or Bukowski :)
OP Pierced_Veil 1 | 11  
24 Oct 2008 /  #20
Pierced_Veil,

What was your Great-Grandfather's name ?

I dont know that information. But my uncle is the one who will know. I just need to find time to sit down with him and talk.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446  
25 Oct 2008 /  #21
A few decades ago there was a Wisconsin politician Okoński (from the word okoń or perch, a fish species), who chanegd it to O'Konsky. I guess he was after the Irish-American vote as well.

By the time the huge masses of Polish immigrants began streaming into America (1870-1900), many Irish had already made it to some extent. They weren't as high up as the Mayflower-type WASPs to be sure, but there was Clancy the cop, firemen, innkeepers, retailers, celrks, even some local politicians, etc. at a time when Poles were at the very bottom. Also the Irish spoke English -- a major boost to their climb.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384  
25 Oct 2008 /  #22
I just need to find time to sit down with him and talk.

When you talk write down the answers (written notes are better than trying to remember)
Make sure that he knows this is a serious matter and not a whim.
You need dates, places... as much info as possible.
Don't argue... just listen.
You will get fed some bull, but you can see through it later.
Krakowianka 1 | 243  
28 Oct 2008 /  #23
talked about family members I never knew of or heard of that live in Poland

Maybe your uncle can tell you about the family that still resides in Poland. They may carry the same original last names, or at least be able to verify.

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