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My mothers family? Sobkevitz (?) Moved from Poland in the early 1900's

Daniellei30 1 | 2
16 Nov 2017 #1
My mothers grandmother moved to the US (Pittsburgh, PA) from Poland in the early 1900's. Her last name was Sobkevitz (?) Pronounced by my mother as sub-kevitch. My great grandmother passed away when my mother was young and left behind a great mystery about their heritage in Poland. From what I can gather I believe her first name was Sophie and she was from Warsaw. She moved to the states before WWII and never spoke about family in Poland. No matter how I've looked I can't find any information. I realize that the issue may be with how I spell her last name or that records were not as easily kept at that time. My concern is that I recently did a DNA test and found a small percentage of Ashkenazi Jew in my DNA and probably from my mothers side of the family. If any of our Polish relatives were both Polish and Jewish during WWII that may be another reason I can't find information. My mother is in her 80's and for years she has wanted information on her grandmother and family. I would like to be able to give her something. If anyone can help with a correct spelling of the name, possible heritage, or any lineage -- I would be extremely grateful. Thank you.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
17 Nov 2017 #2

SOBKIEWICZ: patronymic nickname-turned-surname. Root-word was Sobiesław, a first name rarely encountered these days, whose hypocoristic (pet) form was Sobek or or Sobko. When such a one fathered a son, the offspring would have been dubbed Sobkiewicz or Sobczak by fellow-villagers. For info on Poland's Sobkiewiczes please contact: research60@gmail
OP Daniellei30 1 | 2
18 Nov 2017 #3
After receiving the information about the surname I remembered that years ago I spent a great deal of time digging around in all of my family history and went back to it to see what I had about my Great Grandmother. It turns out that some of my original information was slightly off.

On I found a 1940 census with my Great Grandmothers name on it. It places her date of birth around 1883 in Poland (the census says she was 57 in 1940). and there is a snapshot of the census form. Again, when I first wrote the thread part of what I was looking for was a correct spelling. My mother always pronounces it Sub-kevitch but the census taker wrote in an unusual way (it almost looks like Sopkiwbiez). Also Sophie was her daughter, she was Stella. It also says she was widowed. My mother never spoke of her grandmother coming to the US with a husband.

Thank you for your help.
Chemikiem 6 | 2,160
18 Nov 2017 #4
the census taker wrote in an unusual way (it almost looks like Sopkiwbiez).

This is the census record, but as you can see, the name is listed as Sopkolwisz. I clicked on the 'view original document' and it doesn't look like Sopkiwbiez to me, although reading that old script is quite difficult.
OP Daniellei30 1 | 2
18 Nov 2017 #5
The spelling is odd on the census. I noticed that her name was on 2 places on the census and it looked like it was spelled differently both times. I checked with my mom and she did confirm that it was pronounced (sub-kevitch). She did also tell me that her grandmother only spoke Polish but also didn't speak much of her husband (who was passed away by this census). All she ever said was that he was a monster. I wonder if the spelling is intentional to disassociate from his name? Unfortunately this is all speculation. I guess the best I can hope for is someone with better access to find a Stella born around 1883 that married a man with the surname Sobkiewicz in Poland. I was always told Warsaw but it also could have been Krakow. I'm sorry this is vague but it's all I have.
DominicB - | 2,704
18 Nov 2017 #6

The name is spelled either Sobkowicz or Sobkiewicz in Poland. The "b" is pronounced like a "p", hence the confusion about the spelling. Both are fairly common names found all over Poland. There is a third possibility, "Sopkowicz", which is a very rare variant. Not much you could do with a common, widely distributed name like that, I'm afraid, without solid documentation. "Stella" is not a Polish name, but one that was often used as an "English name" by Polish Americans. Looking for her with the information you have is like looking for a needle in a very large haystack.
louisiana girl
8 Apr 2018 #7
Does anyone know anything about the name Sutkiewicz? I have been told that it would not have been a name used in Poland because of the root Sut. Is this true?
kaprys 3 | 2,384
8 Apr 2018 #8

According to that site there are 61 people called Sutkiewicz in Poland. It's pretty rare but it exists.
As for its etymology, it may be derived from suty - abundant, lavish, generous, or Old Polish suć - create, build, embroid (?) or sutek - nipple

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