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Kalinowski Origins

1 Jan 2017 #1

I was wondering if anybody knows whether or not the surname Kalinowski is Jewish at all?

I myself, do not carry this last name, however, my ancestors came from Poland to Australia in the late 1800's.
just want to learn more about my polish ancestry!

Thanks in advance.
1 Jan 2017 #2

It's possible, of course. But it might be an ethnic Polish name, too. Without documentation, there is no way to tell, and guessing and "probabilities" are pointless when it comes to genealogy. You need either reliable first person accounts, official records or other solid documentation.
OP AshleyK
1 Jan 2017 #3

Thank you!
Do you know of any good/reliable websites etc. where I may be able to find documents and records?
2 Jan 2017 #4

With an extremely common name like Kalinowski, you're going to have a very difficult time unless you know exactly what you are searching for. You are not related to by far the majority of the many, many people who have that name. It's not a name that's associated a single family or a particular place. Also, unless your grandparents had extremely bizarre first names, there are likely to have the exact same name as dozens or hundreds of other people in their generation.

Really, unless you know the exact places where they originally came from, you have a very tough row to hoe. There are about 32,000 people with that name within the present-day borders of Poland, plus countless others in former Polish territories and abroad.

Don't waste your money on genealogical websites. They are exceeding unlikely to have any useful information that you would be able to find. Unless you have a specific place of origin, you may well have to be satisfied with the answer that they came "from some place in Poland". Most grandchildren of Polish emigrants are in the same position. Once the grandparents die and can no longer provide concrete information about themselves, the chain is cut and it is often impossible to do anything at all.

Also, beware of charlatans who promise that they can find information about your family, and there are a lot of them out there. A real genealogist would probably turn down your case as hopeless unless you provide them with a stack of documents to work with.
20 Aug 2021 #5
Kalinowski is originally a Polish surname. There is a 'noble' family Kalinowski, for example, and however liberal (relatively speaking) the Polish kings were in the Middle Ages, they would not have elevated anyone but a Roman Catholic Pole to the nobility. My suspicion is that most people with the surname Kalinowski are descendants either of peasant serfs who were given the surname of their lord (similar to black slaves in the US being given their master's surname), or from people farther distant villages (Kalinowa, Kalinowo, etc.) who also ended up with the same surname. Kalinowski is also a surname in the Jewish population, and I would suspect that it entered there either through intermarriage (heavily frowned upon, but remember the surname goes with the father, and the Judaism with the mother) or coming from villages given the names mentioned above. Poland had a high percentage of Jews in its population because the Polish kings welcomed the Jews who were thrown out of England, German kingdoms, etc. during the Middle Ages. The kings were welcoming, but not necessarily the populace. Many Jews worked for the kings and noblemen as moneylenders, tax collectors, etc., and perhaps many, like the serfs, got their surname from the noblemen they worked for. For what it's worth, a 'kalina' is a type of flower, and there are several villages given names related to that flower, and Jewish villages could be among those. But it is not an intrinsically 'Jewish' name such as Cohen, Lewin, Levine, Levin (and derivatives such as Lewinski. )
6 Jan 2024 #6
My families name is Kalinowski and we stem from Wolynia which was colonized by the Kalinowski aristocrat family.
I did an ancestry test, and by far mostly am scythian with the highest genetical population correlation being in the region of the vistula basin.

Not Jewish at All, haplogroup by far mostly being R1a.
10 Jan 2024 #7
I was wondering if anybody knows whether or not the surname Kalinowski is Jewish at all?

No, it definitely not a 'Jewish' name although I can see that a Jewish person would change his name and call himself Kalinowski. Happy?

My families name is Kalinowski and we stem from WoƂynia which was colonized by the Kalinowski aristocrat family.

Are you sure? Your ancestor might be as well serf of that family that took on the name of his master in the mid 19th century.

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