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Josef Surowiec from Wojkon (can't find this town) and his ancestors

David 5 | 12
27 Oct 2006 #1
Where is the town of Wojkon? Is it in the northeastern corner,near Goworowo?
thank you
27 Oct 2006 #2
I tried to locate it but was unsuccessful. How do you know it could be near Goworowo?
FISZ 24 | 2,116
28 Oct 2006 #3
Are you sure it's not Wojków or Wojkowo. It is near Goworow but more towards central sw PL.
OP David 5 | 12
28 Oct 2006 #4
thank you.
I am trying to find my grandfather on the Ellis Island web-site.I believe he came from Goworowo.I found a similar spelling for my last name,for a person who came from Wojkon.

I reasoned,if Wojkon was near Goworowo,it might be a relative...
I have spent years,and have yet to find him...very frustrating.I suspect a mispelling somewhere.
krysia 23 | 3,058
28 Oct 2006 #5
What is the last name you're looking for?
OP David 5 | 12
31 Oct 2006 #6
My grandfather,Josef Surowiec,had a brother,Antoni.We know they exact day Antoni came to America.his age,and that he was married.I found,on the Ellis Island web-site,Antoni Sirowiecz.same age,married,and he came on the same day we know "my Antoni" came to America.So we are assuming that Antoni Sirowiecz is Antoni Surowiec.

So now,we are looking for Josef Surowiec,but trying different last-name-spellings.
We found one,and that Josef is from Wojkon.We know Antoni listed Goworowo as hometown.And we have other relatives in Goworowo.If Wojkon is far away,that would seem to dis-qualify Joesef as being the 'right one'.
FISZ 24 | 2,116
31 Oct 2006 #7
But there is no Wojkon...... It's Wojków.
OP David 5 | 12
31 Oct 2006 #8
okay.the Ellis Island web-site lists him coming from Wojkon.
thats all I know
FISZ 24 | 2,116
31 Oct 2006 #9
Well, maybe it's one of those super small farm towns. Who knows. The people at ellis island also screwed up everyones names because they were too long and they couldn't pronounce it. Good luck on your search. I'll see what else I can find out.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,367
31 Oct 2006 #10
According to one genealogy web-site the folk on Ellis Island didn't screw up the names and places. The names and places came from the ships manifest and were then copied.

I have no idea what the truth is.
FISZ 24 | 2,116
31 Oct 2006 #11
Uh huh...putiing the blame on someone else :) and copied by someone who couldn't read the names :)
Wroclaw 44 | 5,367
31 Oct 2006 #12
I go with the original Ellis Island screwed it up version.
OP David 5 | 12
31 Oct 2006 #13
actually,you can read the actual's very cool.
we thought we had "found" Antoni said he was going to New Jersey with his brother Walenty.So I went on,looked up Surowiecs in N.J.,and wrote a letter,asking if anyone had heard of a Antoni...

they wrote back,saying Antoni Surowiec was alive and well at a nursing home up in Pa.!
since my Antoni is buried here in Chicago,it wasn't him...
I dont know if the immigrants or the govt. clerks did the writeing,but I sure wish they had printed.I like the Josef from Wojkon,but cant read who he was many clues just out'a reach.
Patrycja19 62 | 2,686
31 Oct 2006 #14
David, I can look in my ancestry for your Antoni. I have it till March or April, I will go
look on the Ellis island and see if I can read it. I read them pretty well. some are
really smudged, or just unreadable. but i can try :) Patty

Jozef Surowiec
Arrival Date: Jun 1900
Age: 32 Years 0 Months Years
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1868
Gender: Male
Port of Departure: Bremen, Germany
Ship Name: Dresden
Port of Arrival: Baltimore, Maryland
Destination: Illinois
Friend's Name: W Potepa
Last Residence: Wola Womalkowska
Microfilm Roll Number: 19
Page: 122

David, I found this one, I don't know what the ages are or dates of birth so I am doing
a guess on it.
as for the Ellis island misspellings, I find it to be true in many cases of my family where
I have found them and the spellings were chopped up badly. Most of the immigrants
didn't speak English, so if they did say their name, the person taking the name down
spelled it phonetically, this was also true for death and birth records for immigrants

don't get discouraged, that good ole brick wall smacks us all once in a while. you will
get there :) Patty

There is also a Antonia going to Chicago and her town is Krakow. don't know if this
one is yours, but she is going to Chicago, i didn't look at the manifests. just trying to
find the ones you need. I can email them to you though if you would like that :)


Ok Antonia is going to Kazmier Rakuska 87 Elston ave? that is what it says, and she is
going to Chicago Illinois.
krysia 23 | 3,058
31 Oct 2006 #15
I also found an Anthony Surowiec married to Sophie Orlikowska, who came from Goworowo died in 1966, married in Illinois.
Had several children: Stephen, Jennie, Roman, Stanley. might be more yet.
OP David 5 | 12
2 Nov 2006 #16
Merged: Surowiec - meaning of name

does anyone know what "Surowiec" or "Sirowiecz" means?
krysia 23 | 3,058
2 Nov 2006 #17
"Surowiec" most likely comes from "surowy" meaning "raw"
6 Feb 2007 #18
I also found an Anthony Surowiec married to Sophie Orlikowska

Krysia, Where did you find the information on Sophie. I'm trying to locate her immigration documents without any luck.

Where is Ostroleka in relation to Goworowo? Both names appear on Zofia Orlowka's birth certificate.
Kowalski 7 | 621
6 Feb 2007 #19
Good, searchable map of Poland:

It's in polish so you'd need to fill in under "MIEJSCOWOŚĆ" (location) and click "POKAŻ" (show). Then zoom map in or out "ZBLIŻ" or "ODDAL"
12 Feb 2007 #20
I found 20 or more Josef Suroweic and equivalents at Do you have an approx birth date? I can go look at immigration and draft records, papers, etc, online to see if I can find more/the right one.

BTW, Ellis Island, Castle Garden, Boston, Louisiana, Detroit and all other major immigration ports had translators who were native speakers of the language of the immigrants they were assigned to document or record. They never changed the names. That scene in The Godfather is baloney. They did often copy the ship's manifests directly from the originals, so that's one place a problem could have begun; by 1910 typewriters and carbon copy paper were in use, though.

It often was the immigrant themselves who did this chopping and mangling. Many were illiterate in not only their own language but also, of course, in English. They themselves did not know how to spell their own names; whatever they allowed to be put into the record is usually what stayed, both at home before coming here and also once they arrived.

They usually carried at least one paper showing marriage or birth info from their home country with them; whatever was on that (which was issued in their home country by native speakers and writers) is usually/hopefully what was put on the ship's manifest.

And, spelling itself was not standardized in this or their own country, so there were always two or three ways to spell the same thing that were`accepted here and there. Heck, in 1913, we here in America were still worrying about whether it was ok to write civilised with an s, rather than civilized!

Then, add to this, the whole Galicia vs Austro Hungarian vs Russia vs Poland "who's in charge of this country" game, and so for Poland, especially, you find all kinds of spellings and misspellings of the same name.

Then you have the immigrants who anglicized their own name, but didn't want anyone to know they did it themselves, who said, "someone else did it, I would never de-emphasize my heritage or try to hide it". National pride and identity was a concept far in the future at that point; they did it initially to fit in, assimilate, get work, whatever. Then later, they couldn't change it back, or thought they couldn't, so it stayed. And at that later date, it was just easier to say it was someone else's idea to do it.

The only thing we know for sure is that historians have stated again and again that names were not changed at Ellis Island and they seem to have very good reasons for saying this. I'm an amateur genealogist, so I tend to agree with them.
26 Feb 2007 #21
Hi-- I am 10 years old and doing a family history project for my 4th grade class. My great grandfather came on a boat (I think the ss Frankfurt) and landed in Baltimore in 1903. I saw you have the list. Where did you find the list? Where can I find it ? Thank you for your help!!! Aurora
OP David 5 | 12
6 Mar 2007 #22
the Ellis Island .org website tells which boat each arrival came over on.
Patrycja19 62 | 2,686
6 Mar 2007 #23
Hi 4thgrader , if you go to the genealogy section in the polish forums, you will find the
link you can click on steve morse website which will take you to a form you want to
type in your great grandfathers last name and put the year in between 1902 and 1904
and that will bring up all the people with your grandfathers last name. then you can
determine which one.

if you need further help, you can email me at Pleeska19@yahoo and give me
the last name I will find it and forward it to you or give you the link and the
directions to find it ok :) my daughter did genealogy too, so it can be hard
but starting it now, you will find alot of really cool stuff trust me :)

best of luck Patrycja.:)
tszafron - | 2
9 Feb 2008 #24
Curious, ever heard of Gerveczena, Poland...

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