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Need help with anglicized Polish sir name, Alexander


Tinker 1 | -
25 Feb 2011 #1
My grandparents came over to American in the early 1900's. And when they got her they changed their name to Alexander. I would like to find their original name. I have looked in the US Census files and find no Alexander's before 1930. So I think that they used their Polish name on the way over. But changed it sortly after arriving in the USA. Can any one help with this..? Thank You Very Much... Tinker
JaneDoe 5 | 114
25 Feb 2011 #2
Maybe it was Aleksander.
alexw68
25 Feb 2011 #3
Which could also be the middle name of the originator - especially if his Polish surname was beyond anglicization, so to speak.

I only know one famous example of this - Józef Konrad Korzeniowski became Joseph Conrad to English readers - but perhaps the phenomenon is more widespread (it certainly is with noms de plume for actors, writers and musicians).

@Polonius3, this is your department - thoughts?
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
25 Feb 2011 #4
It's a toss-up. One never knwos what went through the heads of name-changers, whether someone put them up to it or what.
I knew pf an Aleksiejczuk from Podlasie, one of whose sonds in America whose sons changed it to Alecks and anotehr to Aleks.
If we assume the name-changer hovered round the original root to create Alexander, then it could have orignally been Aleksandrowicz, Aleksandrowski, Aleksandrzak, Aleksandrów, Aleksy, Aleksiak, Oleksy, Oleksiak, Sendrowicz and maybe even Nowak, Kowalski, Piekarczyk or Stasiak. Whimsical changes unrelated to the orignal surname were not uncommon. Someone the immigrant admired may have been named Alexander Caldwell and he thought his Christian name woiuld make a good surname.

All this is guesswork unless you caaeither find some Old World documents for your ancestor or talk to the oldest surviving relative or family friend who might know something.

BTW more than 800 people in Poland use the Aleksander surname.ł


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