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Families from Poland - finding out their names prior to immigration?

Patt720 1 | -
29 Jan 2020 #1
My great Grandfather was born in Istebna in the 1880's and my wife's great grand parents were both born in Warsaw in the 1880's. All name's were changed when they immigrated to (mine) was the US, my wife's immigrated to Canada and later the US. My question is, is there a way to find their names prior to immigration? And possibly family history.
TheOther 6 | 3,692
29 Jan 2020 #2
Provided that the relevant church books and/ or civil registers have survived the war, that shouldn't be a problem (if you know the exact date and place of birth).
Lyzko 33 | 7,993
30 Jan 2020 #3
Maybe a local land registry would have recorded those names.
echrab - | 1
4 Feb 2020 #4
My paternal grand father was named Teador Chrabaszewski and he came to the USA in the late 1890s with his wife Zosia and baby Stanley. I would be keenly interested in knowing from where in Poland he emigrated. My maternal grand fahter was named Stanley Michalik married to Salomea who emigrated at about the same tie. I recollect that they new each other in the old country but I have no idea where that was. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Paulwiz 1 | 74
4 Feb 2020 #5
The geneteka website is amazing. (Polish) Rather than try to explain it just take a couple hours to look at it. They have over 30 million church records indexed in a computer searchable database. I found it on Cyndislist but you can probably just search for geneteka. I stumbled around and found lots of stuff so you can as well.

Don't be surprised how many hits you get even if the name sounds unusual to you. If you know his parents they will likely be in the birth records and I think even marriage records. That's how I found my dziadek. I had his parents names on his marriage license (US) so I could tell when I found the right Stanisław's birth record in Poland.

If you don't know his parents, consider looking for his naturalization records. That record lists all kinds of great info, including parents, hometown, ship he came over on. Read about the history of how immigrants became naturalized citizens for specifics. Before 1912(+/-) Naturalization was handled at the local courthouse. Some of the spelling might be a little more "creative" than you'd like. But before you send the feds their $65 fee, check with the records people in the town where he settled. They had the record for my dziadek and sent me a copy for free in less than a week. I just consider the $65 I sent the feds and the 6 weeks I waited for a "sorry" letter as an expensive lesson.

Good luck. It is quite frustrating until you hit paydirt. Then it is kind of a hoot.
PolAmKrakow 2 | 2,024
4 Feb 2020 #6
geneteka is where I found the last critical document I needed. Great site!

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