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Is my family surname (Reslofsky) Polish?

gary55 1 | 2  
13 Aug 2007 /  #1
Hi Everyone, I am dong some genealogy research that takes me to old Prussia where my great gand-father was born in 1862. I know he is of German decent ( Wilhelm Lippert), but my great grand mother's maiden name is Reslofsky ( pretty sure that's the correct spelling?) Would that be Polish? Thanks for any help! Gary
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384  
13 Aug 2007 /  #2

As I'm first here, I would say the 'y' ending is wrong. I would expect 'a'.

Put me right someone, please.
witek7205 1 | 65  
13 Aug 2007 /  #3
Would that be Polish?

Polish name would be Reslowski (he) or Reslowska (she).
So definitely this name comes from Poland, but it was changed to German name someday.

It was not done by her directly, because in that case her Polish name should be translated to Reslofska. -sky suggests that she has name from her father. So her father could be Polish, but she was German.
OP gary55 1 | 2  
15 Aug 2007 /  #4
Thanks to all for the info. The only other information I have in looking at several conflicting records is my great grandmother's father's last name is spelled as "Rofstke." That's what makes genealogy so interesting and challenging. I am a retired police detective and sorting threw this stuff is as hard as any complex investigation I have done! Gary
bookratt 6 | 85  
15 Aug 2007 /  #5
Hi Gary,
I do genealogy lookups for free here in the US as a volunteer. I am moving to Krakow in Sept for three years, but still have some time and the books/etc to do a lookup and some follow up for you.

What was your great grandma's first name? I will use Rofstke and Reslofsky to do a brief search in and elsewhere, but first names help.
dbart22 2 | 15  
15 Aug 2007 /  #6
I do genealogy lookups for free here in the US as a volunteer

maybe you can help me with mine?
bookratt 6 | 85  
15 Aug 2007 /  #7
Let me know names and approx. ages, where they may have ended up in the US or at which port you think it's likely they entered the US.

If you don't know that, that's ok, just provide names and ages and/or where you think they were from/may have lived in Europe.

In genealogy, you work backward from the known to the unknown, so we have to start with a correct name/entry point or place of settlement in the US to eventually get to where a person came from.

If you know a husband's or wife's name, or a child's name, I will check that in addition to the target person, too.

Once we know we have the right person on these shores, we work backwards from that point to the point of origin overseas. We try to figure out if one trip was made by the target person, or several, or if many members of the same family went back and forth.

Then from that point I can look for trips to the port of embarkation and there to manifests onboard the ships that brought them over.

Sometimes, I can access archived records overseas. Poland is usually easier due to the voluminous church records kept there, but not always--and I don't read Polish well enough yet to do a complete translation if I do find something.

But I work on my free time and I'm free, so I think that's a pretty good offer!

FYI: many Canadian records are now available that will show passage from Europe and then record a person's trips thru Canada, then into the US via that country. I have access to those, too, if needed.
dbart22 2 | 15  
15 Aug 2007 /  #8
wow your pretty thourough.
ill get some of the names in a few days.
thanks man.
BubbaWoo 33 | 3,510  
15 Aug 2007 /  #9
I'm free, so I think that's a pretty good offer!

hell yeah that sounds like a good offer to me
Patrycja19 62 | 2,695  
16 Aug 2007 /  #10
sorting threw this stuff is as hard as any complex investigation

yes.. so actually genealogists are detectives looking into background of their own
family... hmmm.. sounds good to me..

I am my own private detective.. lol
beckski 12 | 1,617  
16 Aug 2007 /  #11
I am my own private detective.. lol

That goes for me too. I love my Polish surname. Practically no one knows how to pronounce it correctly.
OP gary55 1 | 2  
16 Aug 2007 /  #12
Hi, Thanks that is so nice of you to offer help. I have looked quite a bit on and have found very little. My great grand mother is Julia Reslofsky, Restofsky, Rostofsky, or Rofstke (these are all the different spellings we have uncovered from old family and documents. The Reslofsky seems to be the most likely so far. Julia was born July 17, 1865 somewhere in Prussia. Her parents were Joesph ad Elizabeth. She married Wilhelm Richard Albert Lippert, who was born february 8, 1862 in Blankensee, county of Randow, District of Stettin which is now near the Polish border. He was in prussian army 1884-1886 ( I have the certificate, which verifies his birth date and place.) He (they) lived in Kreuz, in 1889, which is now Krzyz, Poland, 80 km NW of Poznan City. They both immigrated to the USA together or separately about 1890. I checked hundreds of ship logs and found nothing. Julia gave birth to my grand mother in verona, North Dakota 1891. Wilhelm was supposedly killed by lighting in a field 1894 and Julia married Homer Fitzsimmons a year later. I have info. on Homer and her in a ND census, but nothing from Prussia. I recently sent an Email to the Poznan archives and they found no immigration entries on "Lippert." Now I am looking for military records and trying to contact someone from the above cities to further research!! what a job! I will hopefully get more info. from some of Julia and Homer's daughter's in the USA. The Canadian passage idea seems to make sense since ND is near there. Well, Bookratt, you are moving to the oldest city in Poland, dates back to the 4th century, how cool is that going to be! The pics look beautiful. Good Luck in all you do. Gary

you are right Patrycja19, As with any investigation, it is sometimes the most insignificant detail that leads to solving a mystery. We sometimes need to utilize the most unconventional methods to arrive at a conclusion as well. Strange as it may be, I am probably the first Detective in the USA to request an autopsy of a bird to solve a death case. That's a story to be told over a cold Guiness. :-)
bartek212 2 | 19  
16 Aug 2007 /  #13
Type Your surname here and You will see how many people in Poland (and where exactly) have Your surname. The database is about 2-3 years old, but the strange thing is there are no records for Reslowski, Reslowska or Resłowski/Resłowska.

In my opinion this is NOT a Polish surname, especially if there's "f" (ResloFska). IMHO it's probably German. I've found nothing using Polish search engines also. I'm from north-east Poland (old Prussia) and I know nobody who knows any Resołowski/Resołowska.

But maybe... Good luck! :)
Patrycja19 62 | 2,695  
16 Aug 2007 /  #14
Practically no one knows how to pronounce it correctly.

ha ha.. mine either.. but I used to spell it like the alphabet and then people would
catch on... :)

you are right Patrycja19, As with any investigation, it is sometimes the most insignificant detail that leads to solving a mystery.


follow the trail of papers :)
budzin 2 | 10  
27 Aug 2007 /  #15
I think with the "y" ending it is possibly a Russian surname.
Jola 7 | 71  
1 Sep 2007 /  #16
Ending with sky is not russian way to spell - its skij or skaja
1 Sep 2007 /  #17
Thanks for that link, Bartek.

I also have Prussian roots in Poland as well as Polish roots. I am about 50% Polish and 50% Prussian. I found one of my old German family names in there. Witzke. From my research I have found a few Germans did remain even after Pottsdam.

Anyway for the original poster, many ethnic Germans living and born in Poland at that time had their names written in the records as though they were Polish, and are not true Polish names.

Other examples are Schultz being written Szulc in Polish. From that link, I can see that there are many Szulc there now and I don't know if they are Polish or Germans who have assimiliated into the population. Sometimes a name that was converted from German to Polish is spelled totally diferently. Say for example a name that means red will look totally different in German than in Polish. I have an old magazine somewhere that gives a list of the Prussian names that used to live in Poland and their Polish equivalents. Maybe I can find it and see if I can see your name.

I think your family name is Reslo and it was Polonized in the records.
Softsong 5 | 494  
2 Sep 2007 /  #18
Post Script...I looked and many of my boxes with genealogy data are in storage. I could not find the list of German names associated with Poland. If I do, I will post. On further thought, maybe a variant of your family surname in with German spelling would be Reslau. But I am no authority to be sure! Good luck!

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