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Polish name? Hunzah Swantek (Swiatek?)

sabrej 1 | 1    
3 Oct 2007  #1

I've been researching my gg grandfather, who came from Poland to the US sometime around 1886-1887.

Unfortunately, there's some mystery as to his name. When he arrived here, he changed his name to John B Smith. Nobody in the family knows who he was before, and he never discussed it. He was born 12-24-1869, maybe in Lodz or Warsaw? Family story is that he was from Warsaw, where his family owned a mill of some sort.

His obituary said he was baptized and confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church in Poland, which would be great, since churches usually keep records of those things, but without knowing the exact area he was in or his name.....:(

My grandpa says he remembers the family teasing John B about Hunzah Swantek or Unza Swiantec, although my spelling is probably awful.
Maybe this was just a joke, or maybe it has some significance.
Wondering if anyone can tell me if this sounds like a Polish name, and maybe if it's male or female?
I think I may have hit a brick wall here, but I keep hoping!

Wroclaw 45 | 5,409    
3 Oct 2007  #2

I've been researching my gg grandfather, who came from Poland to the US sometime around 1886-1887.

Check his Naturalization Records.
OP sabrej 1 | 1    
3 Oct 2007  #3

I've looked through all the naturalization records on ancestry, but can't find his. I was hoping to find it, so I could get a ship name from it, and find him that way, but no luck so far.

I even printed up all the names of the male passengers about the same age from Poland on all the ships from 1885-1887(that's a LOT), and read through them to my grandpa, hoping one might strike a memory.

My grandpa is very old, and nothing sounded familiar to him, but he was sure that the name he heard several times as a child might be connected somehow.

But, we're from Oklahoma, so we may have ruined the name in translation, but he remembered it as Hunza Swantek.
But I haven't been able to find any records under that name either. I'm not even sure if the name is Polish.
Wroclaw 45 | 5,409    
3 Oct 2007  #4

I've looked through all the naturalization records on ancestry, but can't find his.

I'm not sure that I understand this.

Naturalization Records are government records. But of course, not everyone was naturalized.

Anyway, to find a name in Poland the best place to go is: JewishGen They offer a soundex search, which should help.

An old map might help you locate the mill [młyn] There are many maps on the web.

The names are confusing. I'm afraid that I can't help with them.
25 Dec 2007  #5

My name is Pat Swantek.My Greatgrandfather was Joseph Swantek who was born in Poland in 1861.He came to America as a young man from Pilzno Poland.The Polish spelling was Swiatek.We found he had two sisters but no brothers.My brother is doing research and is planning a trip to Poland.If interested I can put you in touch with my brother who has more info.My email is
Munchin - | 1    
17 Jan 2011  #6

Can Polish last names be identified with a specific region??

My grandmother's last name was (Thekla) Hodur, and her mother's was (Agata) Kwasnik, and her grandmother's was (Katarina) Jadlo. We know, from the US & German passenger lists, that Agata came from Huta Komorowska in the Galician region. We have a wedding picture with Harriet Kwasnik (Agata's sister) marrying George Swiatek. A Felix Swiatek was one of my grandmother's baptism sponsor.

Thanks in advance!
Polonius3 1,016 | 12,530    
17 Jan 2011  #7


Some names predominate in a certain region whilst others are more evenly distributed. It all depends on the name.

HODUR: a misspelt variant form of Teodor (Theodore) which also appears in such regional variants as Chodur, Chodor, Fiodor, Teodor and Todor.

JAD£O: food, grub, chow

KOMOROWSKI: topo nick from Komorowo or Komorów (Chamberville).

KWAŚNIK: probably a patronymic nick for the son of someone nickname Kwas or Kwaśny (sourpuss).

ŚWIĄTEK: root-word święty (saint, sacred, holy); probably topo nick for inhabitant of Świątki or Świątkowo (Saintvile).

For more info on the above and other Polish last names please contact me
Kswiatek - | 1    
27 Nov 2016  #8

Merged: Last name Swiatek

Looking for any family members, last name Swiatek.
My grandfather came to NY, USA in late 1800's I believe as a kid & his name was
Sylvester Swiatek. He then had 3 kids Stephan, Robert & Faith Anne.
My contact is

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