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Motyl - Tracing My Polish Roots for the 1st time

21 Jan 2013 #1
Hi All

I have a keen intrest in tracing my family tree, but i am stuggling to know where to start !Any advice would be much appreciated.

My Grandfather Jan Motyl was born in Kielce and moved to the UK as part of the Polish Army in approx 1946. He was then part of the polish resettlement corps and was discharged from the army in 1948.His mother was called Jozefa and her maiden name was Kasprzyk, his father Karlo. He also had two brothers called stanislaw and Maciej and sisters called Maria, Zofia, Helena and Aniela.

Before my Grandfather died he tried to trace his brother Stanislaw through the Red Cross as he was believed to still be alive and lived in America, but he had no luck in finding him.

My Grandfather did not talk about his life in Poland, as I think it held too many painful memories. All the information that I have gathered is through his personal documents that I have borrowed from my father.

How would I go about finding out about his sisters, parents etc in Poland? I do not have any D.O.B for them.

I have tried the websites such as rootsweb, ancestory, family search etc and had no luck so far.

!Any help/advise would be great!
mayathebe - | 3
25 Jan 2013 #2

you should try this website , they are non-profit organization of volunteers who may be able to help you.

Good luck,

archiwum 13 | 125
25 Jan 2013 #3

There is a website:

On this website there is a genealogist that can tell you if your surname is jewish, or not.
Peter 3 | 248
26 Jan 2013 #4
You should consider hiring a freelance researcher in Poland who can search the parish records in Kielce using your grandfather's information, DOB, etc. Once you can locate that then you will most likely find information relating to his parents and siblings which you can then use for online searches, etc.
polishdocs - | 5
27 Jan 2013 #5
Hi Peter,

Please contact with me on my privite email:
I let you know where you should look for documents as well I can help you in this matter in Poland.

Best regards,

PolishTVCompany - | 14
1 Feb 2013 #6
I found this thread very interesting. I might try to find my family tree. What would be a cost of it?
4 May 2013 #7
Also tracing Polish roots for 1st time. grandfather Zukowski , grandmother Blizniuk . Lived mostly in Lebiedziow, Poland from aprox. 1907 - 1929. Had 6 children born in 3 different towns there. Grandfather died aprox 1927. Grandmother immigrated to Canada in 1929. Where do I to start looking ?
gjene 14 | 204
4 May 2013 #8
I forget the website that you can check through in regards to your grandfathers' military service since he was based in the U.K. during the war. Someone through here might know that and once you can obtain his records, it should provide a d.o.b. and next of kin and possible addresses of those as well.
Zazulka 3 | 129
4 May 2013 #9

You grandparents are from a small village near Kock in Poland. The proper Polish spelling is Lebiedziów

Żukowski is a very common last name in Poland but Bliźniuk is not. The website moikrewni shows that most people whose last name is Bliźniuk live in the Kock / Lubartów area

You can write to a local parish for birth/baptism/marriage/death records also for a family grave location. Here is the list of Roman Catholic parishes close to Lebiedziów. I suggest you write to them in Polish. I am sure somebody on this forum will translate a letter for you

When doing search online remember to spell names using Polish letters: ż, ź, ó
archiwum 13 | 125
10 May 2013 #10

Ive stated this before: Polish Surnames&Meanings By William M. Hoffman,,,, and
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
12 May 2013 #11
MOTYL: the Polish word for butterfly; possibly originated a toponymic tag for someone from one of two localities in Poland called Motyl.
KASPRZYK: Patronymic nick meaning son of Kasper: English equivalent: Casperson.
To help track down your roots in Poland contact office@pol gen research
fmotyl - | 1
12 Jun 2013 #12
Hi All

Thank you for your replies to my post, they have been most intresting although I have not had any luck as of yet! I will however be persistant.

Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
12 Jun 2013 #13
Try contacting: polish genealogy@rubikon .pl
30 Nov 2014 #14
Motyl sounds very jewish, maybe you have distant jewish relatives. As for kasprzyk, one of the surnames in my line is sort of similar. Kacper.

I am from near krakow.

I wish you luck in finding your relatives
4 May 2017 #15
I too am researching my ancestors. My Grandfather's name was Jan/John Motylinski. He too came from Poland and immigrated to US. All I know about his background is what I was told by my mother and that is he was the only son of a mill owner in Poland. When he came to US, he lived for a time in Pennsylvania with an Uncle who was a farmer. He eventually met and married and had 6 children. They lived in Bayonne, NJ. My Mother said her grandfather, my great grandfather came to visit them one time in NJ but never the mother. I was also told from the time I was a youngster that Motyl meant butterfly and all my family treasured that by collecting jewelry or anything with butterflies. And when my mother saw a butterfly she swore it was a deceased relative sending a message. I have also learned there is a town in Poland (or 2 towns) named Motyl. "ski" was added to the end of the name of a town or an occupation etc for men and ska for females. Don't know if this helps or if you are still researching but if you have any information for me I would so appreciate it. This is not a common name on most of the sites I have searched on.
4 May 2017 #16
Jan/John Motylinski

I was only able to find one John Motylinski on but I think it is the correct one as event place is listed as Bayonne, NJ, and he was born in Poland. His nationality is given as Russian, but at the time of his birth Poland did not exist and was under partition by Russia, Prussia and Austria.

From this I found another record for Bronce Motylinski, wife of the same John Motylinski in the previous link. There are indeed 6 children, 4 of which were born in NJ, and 2 more born in Connecticut which is where they were living at the time of the 1930 Census. 2 of the 6 children were daughters, do the names Anna or Elsie mean anything to you? If I have the right family, one of these would be your mother.
4 May 2017 #17
one of these would be your mother.

Sorry, was looking at this from the wrong angle as you haven't mentioned whether your surname is Motylinski or not. If one of the daughters is your mother, then your surname will have changed.

The males are listed as Walter, Edward, Frank and Peter, so maybe one is your father.
jon357 71 | 20,001
4 May 2017 #18
Most people with the surname Motyliński live in north and central Poland. Do you know where your grandfather emigrated from?
27 May 2017 #19
I was able to locate my grandfather John Motylinski on Family Search. He is the one from Bayonne. I located 1920, 1930 & 1940 census and they all say born in Poland; also his parents were both born in Poland and spoke Polish. Only his draft card says "Poland/Russia which I assume is as you say, Chemikiem. He was not married to Bronce and those were not his children's names. His wife was Rose and they had six children, the youngest being my mother, Stephanie. Census has his name misspelled as Matylinski. I believe this is because in cursive the "o" and the "a" are so similar. Jon357, I do not know where in Poland he is from and that is what I am trying to find out. According to my dna test on Ancestry, there is a strong likelihood that my genetic community is Lodz or Mosovia
3 Sep 2019 #20
I just came back from the Canadian Vimy Ridge memorial. My great grandfather, Joseph Motyl, was killed in the second day of battle there on 11-4-1917. He came from Poland and the name of your town seems right for his town before he emigrated to Canada.
Ntc - | 1
4 Sep 2019 #21
My mother's ancestors have proved a real challenge. My mother Maria T(h)eresa Szczepanska born 22 March 1925, was deported to Germany in May 1942. She met my English father, they married and came to England in 1946.

Her parents Michal Szczepanski married Zofia Mrozowska about 1923. They lived in Lwow, Poland. Michal was a senior banker in the regional branch of a national bank. Michal and Zofia were arrested separately in 1940 and possibly taken to Siberia. The family were Roman Catholic however my DNA shows 49% European Jewish (not my paternal side). Making my mother Jewish. I've searched many sites but nothing as yet. Any help I would be grateful for.
kaprys 3 | 2,286
5 Sep 2019 #22
You need to start with getting your grandma's birth certificate and her parents' marriage certificate. They're less than a hundred years old so they should be at the civil register office but Lwów is no longer Polish. I have no ancestors there (not to my knowledge) so no experience either. According to uncle google, the civil registers from former eastern territories are held in Warsaw śródmieście
I just can't find their email address. Perhaps someone else will help.
There's also geneteka search engine but it usually gives info on older records.
Is there a chance these weren't their real names? Why wasn't your 15 year old grandma taken to Syberia with her parents? Have you contacted the red cross or the Arolsen archives about her stay in Germany?

It might be a diffiicult search but good luck.
2 Oct 2020 #23
This is a strange coincidence as I'm looking for my grandfather's family roots too. He was from Poland and we know him as Stan Moryl but In doing research I've learned his name may have been Stanislaw Motyl. Born in Warsaw 1917.

He came to Canada.
pawian 197 | 19,901
3 Oct 2020 #24
we know him as Stan Moryl

There is also such a surname in Poland.
23 Nov 2020 #25
Have been searching as many sites as I can. With no luck. My grandfather's name was Stanislaw Moryl born 1917 Warsaw Poland. Escaped to Canada. Not sure what year. Working on that as well.
strudels8 - | 1
25 Mar 2021 #26
I am trying to find maiden name for my grandmother, Stella or Sanistlava Jankowski. She was born in Oszmiana, Poland on January 6, 1882. She married Jozef Jankowski there on May 20,1904. She had a son there on June 8, 1905. She emigrated from there with him to America from Hamburg, Germany on the SS Blucher arriving in New york City on October 29,1905. She then went to Naugatuck, Connecticut and lived there until her death on Oct.19,1951
KasiaP - | 7
25 Mar 2021 #27
Try first looking for emigration records. Most of Polish people was migrating to NY, US and from there to other cities in US.

Link below:

If you get lucky, you may find information about relatives in Poland, or who paid for tickets, city name ect.

Religion is important as most of the records are keept by church in Polish archives. When you will be sure about religion and city or village, then you can request for scans of birth and marriage certs from the church books. You will have to email the church... Books are in Latin, so names may be a bit different. Also you need to remember during your search that Poland went through a lot in the past. You may find in documents that your country of interest is Austria (for example) Reaserch in google the Polish borders change over years and look for years that you are interested. Most likely your search will not be Poland...

Look also in:

You may find some documents there. Best search records are church books from X city. In Polish that would be (Księgi kościelne "here city name"). You may find some interesting copies of old church books which are available online.

Good luck with your search.

25 Mar 2021 #28
Stella or Sanistlava Jankowski

Stanisława ( the letter w is pronounced as a v )

Oszmiana, Poland

This is a town in the Grodno region of Belarus. At the time of your grandparents birth, Poland was off the map due to the Partitions of Poland, being annexed by the Russian Empire. As KasiaP has explained in the above post, there were border changes.

You may already have this information but I did find records in from the US Census records. I am fairly sure these are your family records from the information you have given.

KasiaP has included a link for the Ellis Island records. I couldn't find your grandparents in there. I found one Jozef Jankowski and the correct immigration year, but he wasn't married. I found no mention of anyone called Stanisława/Stanislava/Stella in the records.

Hope this helps and best of luck with your search.

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