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Fijalka - born in Izdebki (around 1880) Poland; general history with family names possible?


Baqbaqiq 1 | 3
10 Nov 2012 #1
Hello,

I was wondering if there was some cultural background or history attached to each family name.

One of my ancestors' name was Fijalka and he was born in Izdebki (around 1880).
I have looked for this name on the Internet and it seems that this family name is indeed common in this area (Subcarpathian Voivodeship).
But does it necessarily means the people with this name come from this region?

I guess such kind of information is not easy to know, even for people with this surname in this region nowadays, but it would be really nice if I knew more about my ancestors history, I mean on a general level of course. At least, you never know, you may discover other or neighboring cultural influences, or hear that it is attached to one village especially, and so on. Even if you learn something too general, maybe it can lead you in your research (like : they are certainly not from north of Poland, or they are not Polish...). You never know. That kind of information that people with this surname knows or guess on their own level.

If anybody knows something about the Fijalka and Sopel (his wife, living in the same area, in Drohobyczka) surnames, that would be really nice.
Thank you so much!

Baqbaqiq
boletus 30 | 1,366
10 Nov 2012 #2
I was wondering if there was some cultural background or history attached to each family name.

You might be interested to know that an article in Polish Wikipedia about Izdebki
pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Izdebki_(wojew%C3%B3dztwo_podkarpackie)
in the subsection "People connected with Izdebki", lists Michał Fijałka - born in Izdebki, on October 5, 1915, Home Army (AK) officer, cichociemny ("unseen and silent"), military aliases (nom de guerre): Kawa (Coffee), Wieśniak (Peasant), Sokół (Falcon).

Here is the Polish Wikipedia entry for Michał Fijałka
pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micha%C5%82_Fija%C5%82ka
and here is an explanation of the term Cichociemni in English,
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cichociemni

Fijałka is not a very popular name in Poland (total 156 persons), but there is a strong concentration of this name in Brzozów County (74), which includes Izdebki village.

See: moikrewni.pl/mapa/kompletny/fija%25C5%2582ka.html
On the other hand the surname Sopel is much more popular (1423 total), with the strong concentration of this name in the counties close to Brzozów County: Lubaczów, Przeworsk, Przemyśl, Jarosław. See: moikrewni.pl/mapa/kompletny/sopel.html

The village of Drohobyczka, is located within Przemyśl County, so everything matches very well.

Unfortunately the Geneteka database, geneteka.genealodzy.pl/, comes with zero information on either of these families. But do not be discouraged, as this database is being continuously upgraded by volunteers, who scan various parish books for internet indexing.

The village has had mixed population and religions over the centuries:
Year 1785: 450 Greek Catholics, 750 Roman Catholics, 12 Jews
Year 1840: 486 Greek Catholics
Year 1859: 550 Greek Catholics
Year 1879: 621 Greek Catholics
Year 1899: 946 Greek Catholics
Year 1926: 1150 Greek Catholics
Year 1936: 1003 Greek Catholics, 2350 Roman Catholics, 85 Jews
carpatho-rusyn.org/new/135.htm

I assume that some records from this area can be found in National Archives in Sanok. Unfortunately the 1880 birth books does not seem to be there:

baza.archiwa.gov.pl/sezam/pradziad.php?l=en&miejscowosc=izdebki&gmina=&wojewodztwo_id=0&wyznanie_id=0&rodzajaktu_id=0&search=search

The Roman Catholic birth records cover only the years 1890-1897, 1899-1906.

Nevertheless, you may want to contact them here for further inquiries:

archive: Archiwum Państwowe w Rzeszowie Oddział w Sanoku
38-500 Sanok, ul. Sadowa 32
tel: (13) 463-19-99
fax:
email: apsanok@neostrada.pl
OP Baqbaqiq 1 | 3
11 Nov 2012 #3
Hello Boletus,

Thank you very much for the reply and investigation!

Indeed, this is very interesting. I already saw these Wiki pages about Izdebki and Michal Fijalka, but I appreciate the fact that you shared the information. And it was the 1st time I heard about the Cichociemni elite, thanks, I learned something new!

Michal Fijalka born in Izdebki seems to indicate that people with this surname live in this area, which is confirmed by the data from moikrewni that you pointed out.

Also very nice to see that the information about the Sopel family coincides with this information I got about the birth of my ancestors.

I guess that they lived there during several generations if there is such a concentration of this surname in the area. Their story is probably linked to the region, and it's nice to have such evidences.

I'm grateful for the information you gathered in the databases.
I will keep an eye then on the geneteka.genealodzy site to see if there are new entries.

As to the mixed population, this is also quite interesting. Is there any possible way to know to which religious path they belonged?
How can I deduct if they were Greek Catholics or Roman Catholics, for instance? I mean, I would think they were Roman Catholics, but since you never know, you can also make astonishing discoveries...

From 1840 to 1936, there seems to be only Greek Catholic people. Is that possible? Or does it mean that we don't have anymore the records of the Roman Catholic and Jewish persons? What would be the reason?

I also have one kind of "linguistic" question. I heard that "Fijalka" was the feminine form of "Fijalek" and that men normally bear the second version of the name. So if we stick to this information, in my case, the family name remained "Fijalka" because they were recorded by people who did not speak Polish, so they would have kept the Feminine form of the name.

But on the other side, we have the same version of the name "Fijalka" beared by Michal Fijalka, member of the Cichociemni elite. And also after a quick search on the Internet, you realise that there are several men having the Fijalka surname, so it seems not to be only a variant depending on the gender. Are Fijalek and Fijalka two different surnames? Is there any rule in Polish for that?

I have no clue here, so I would be really grateful if you could help me with this. :)

Sopel is a name on the Ukrainian border. And Slovakia is not that far. I wonder if the name was only Polish or more widespread in the neighboring countries? But this is just a doubt, I have no evidence that would lead me to such conclusion...

Thanks very much again for the help!
Baqbaqiq
boletus 30 | 1,366
11 Nov 2012 #4
From 1840 to 1936, there seems to be only Greek Catholic people. Is that possible? Or does it mean that we don't have anymore the records of the Roman Catholic and Jewish persons? What would be the reason?

Please notice that this data came from a Carpato-Rusyn webpage, which by definition is focused on £emkos and Greek-Catholic religion, not on Poles and and Roman-Catholic religion. This is simply a case of missing data, not missing people. :-)

As to the mixed population, this is also quite interesting. Is there any possible way to know to which religious path they belonged?

Generally no, but Fijałka "sounds" Polish. :-) The same Carpato-Rusyn webpage lists 27 £emko surnames from Izdebki, cited by Krasovs'kyj from 1787 Austrian Cadastral Records. There is no Fijałka among them. But there are only few that do not sound Polish, while the rest could be either Polish or £emko. Worth to examine.

I also have one kind of "linguistic" question. I heard that "Fijalka" was the feminine form of "Fijalek" and that men normally bear the second version of the name. So if we stick to this information, in my case, the family name remained "Fijalka" because they were recorded by people who did not speak Polish, so they would have kept the Femine form of the name.

Yes and no. If the surname was of adjective form, such as Fijalski, than it would indicate a masculine form, while Fijalska would be be a female surname. However, in noun based surnames everything goes and both "Fijalka" and "Fijalek" would serve for both females and males. Nowadays you just say: Pan Fijalka and Pani Fijalka. (Mr. and Mrs.) Until 1950s or so the old fashioned naming was used for women:

Fijalka => a man
Fijalkowa => his wife
Fijalkówna => his daughter

You surname, plus about its 40 variations, come from the word "violet"; in Polish FIO£, FIO£EK (diminutive), old spelling FIJO£, FIJA£, CHWIO£EK (also from chwiać, to rock)

Spelling: Here are two spelling rules worth underlining:
1. Both FIJA- and FIA- come from the same root; the former is an ancient spelling, the latter - the modern one.
2. There are two variations of L used here: a regular L and a so-called dark L (£), a.k.a. L with stroke. People from Kresy (Eastern Borderlands) know how to pronounce the £ properly. Unfortunately most Poles pronounce it as English W, rather than the actual £. Before and shortly after WWII, educated people, especially speakers and actors, etc. knew how to say it properly too.

Here are several groups of related surnames, separated by spellings:
A. Fial, Fiala, Fialik, Fialkowski, Fialski
B. Fiał, Fiała, Fiałek, Fiałka, Fiałkiewicz, Fiałko, Fiałkowicz, Fiałkowski (since 1783, from village Fijałkowo, Ostrołęka county), Fiałków, Fiałowicz, Fiałowski

C. Fijal, Fijala, Fijalik, Fijalkowski (since 1783, from village Fijałkowo, Ostrołęka county), Fijalow, Fijalski
D. Fijał, Fijała, Fijałczuk, Fijałek, Fijałka, Fijałkiewicz, Fijałko, Fijałkowicz, Fijałkowski (since 1783, from village Fijałkowo, Ostrołęka county), Fijałków, Fijałło, Fijało, Fijałowicz, Fijałowski

The "cichociemny" Michał Fijałka is spelled with £. "Moi Krewni" program is very sensitive regarding the rules of spelling, since - being based on a German software - it does not make any assumptions regarding Polish linguistic rules. Hence it shows 156 FIJA£KA surnames, but ZERO FIJALKA surnames.

At the moment I cannot say anything definitive about Sopel surname. It could be a £emko (or generally Rusyn) name, considering its concentration at that corner of Poland. Slovakian? I am just guessing: no.
OP Baqbaqiq 1 | 3
11 Nov 2012 #5
Waw... I learn a lot. You are doing a great job, thanks!
All this is very interesting and increases my curiosity! I see how much I have to learn about the Polish history and culture...

Please notice that this data came from a Carpato-Rusyn webpage, which by definition is focused on £emkos and Greek-Catholic religion, not on Poles and and Roman-Catholic religion. This is simply a case of missing data, not missing people. :-)

I see... That's positive! :-) But where can I find this data then? Was it lost during the turbulent history of Poland or is it just not available on the Internet?

Because, as far as I understand, the 1880 records (1878 more precisely) are not available anymore. Is this really lost or is there any chance to find some infomation in one parish somewhere (another town for instance)?

Generally no, but Fijałka "sounds" Polish. :-)

That's what I think/guess too.

As to the "linguistic" part, :-) yes, I confirm that it's a dark L that is normally used (I was just too lazy to copy/paste it as I don't have it on my keyboard)...

Untill now, I thought that the "w" pronounciation was the right one. Now I know that's not exactly true. I definitely need to know how it sounds in the real traditional language. :)

But I am intrigated by a mysterious fact in this name and its variants (Fijalka/Fijalek). The ancestors I was talking about were the parents of my grand-father. He was also recorded with the correct spelling (Fijalka), here, although people were not Polish speakers. However, I found the marriage record of his sister and there she was named "Fijalek" (maiden name). Well, that is certainly not an evidence of the supposed rule with the gender, because all her brothers and parents were named "Fijalka", when her name on this document is "Fijalek" and she is a woman. I tried to explain that assuming that the name reported from the mother's Polish documents was used for all the family ("Fijalka" then), whereas for the sister, maybe the father said the name, and then this other version would have been used (only for her and in the wedding document). But now this assumption proves to be incorrect, so it's really strange...

The easiest way would be to ask them directly, but these people already died and they even went back to Poland a long time ago (and we don't know the descendants)... but that's another topic. :)

Well, I hope I am not taking your time with all my posted messages and my presence is not hiding or hindering other members.
Anyway, thanks a lot again for all the answers to my questions and your help. I really appreciate!


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