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Searching for great-grandparents' hometowns. Names: Falkowski, Polinski

12 Apr 2009 /  #1
i am trying to discover where in poland my great-grandparents came from. my grandparents have no idea as to the region, even.

the surname on my mother's side is falkowski (branislaw falkowski). he arrived at ellis island around the turn of the century. the forms say he arrived from warsaw, but that could just be the point of departure. my grandmother didn't really know him as he died when she was young. he is listed as jewish on the immigration forms. i have very little else to go on, except that the falkowski side of the family's holiday foods seem to have more yiddish origins (gefilte fish, matzoh, schmaltz, babka, chon(spelling? it's a horseradish everyone puts on hard-boiled eggs), drinking gallons of seltzer) along with stuff like pig's feet and kielbasa. she was raised catholic, though, in jersey city, nj.

the name on my father's side is polinski (anton polinski), but this may have been an assumed name taken upon leaving poland, as some of my great-aunts believe. he arrived in america in 1914. on the ellis island forms, he is also listed as arriving from warsaw, though again, this may just be the point of departure. my grandmother remembers him as being able to speak several languages with fluency, including polish, russian, german, and english. the polinski side moved to the coal-mining country in pennsylvania (near wilkes-barre) and very little of the traditions were passed down. my grandmother on that side was raised eastern orthodox (from her mother, who was from ukraine--her father anton was not religious.) all i can recall is that my grandmother would sing us the lullaby "kotki dwa" (a-ah, a-ah, kotki dwa/ szaro bure obydwa/ nic nie będą robiły/ tylko ciebie bawiły)--i'm not sure if that was a regional song back then or if it was common across poland.

thank you so much, everyone, for your help!
Mystic 2 | 48  
12 Apr 2009 /  #2
I wish I could be of help, but I do know where you are coming from!

Quite a few of my ancestors immigrated from Poland and Sicily around the turn of the century to America via Ellis Island and settled in Jersey City and South Amboy. It's really difficult to find out the info, atleast in my experience. You could always try becoming a member of Ellis Island's site and see if it'll allow you to access more information.

Or even I tend to find quite a few of my ancestors on that site.

Best of luck! :)
11 May 2009 /  #3
i know this may not help but my farthers parents and some aunts came from the polland warsaw area and of course they came through ellis island,,,though i do not know my fathers aunts names or his fathers name,,,my grandmothers name was Anna Falkowski i do not know her madin name or the year of there crossing,,,these are things i can find out if need be,,,also,,,im not posittive but i think some letters were droped from my grandmothers and my grandfathers names then put togeather to make one name,,,from ellis i think they made their way to detroit for a while and then further upnorth to midland baycity and saginaw,,, midland mi is where my grandparents settled,,,they traveled across with another family with the last name(pahnasik)spellin might be wrong on that.

p.s if you have anything to add or ask would be great,,,i will check back in a reasonable amount of time,,,thank you

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