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Genealogy   15 postspage 1 of 1

Osolek, Russia (Poland) or damn you transcribers!

LTParis 1 | 4    
11 Aug 2017  #1
So I have been trying to deep dive into my family tree. On both sides from my fathers line I have a very solid Polish line. But of course with everything going crazy post 1870 there is a lot to decompress and try to make sense of it all. One of those is my great-grandfather Alexander Paris.

So I have his naturalization document ( where he lists "Osolek, Russia" as his place of birth. But of course there is no such town as Osolek. The best that I can determine is that it could be Osiek. But these are all shots in the dark. I have a clearer picture of him just before coming over to the US. But I am just running into dead ends on finding more information.

Couple other oddities. First on his Naturalization and his WWI draft card he goes by Aleksander. Second on my grandfathers baptismal record the last name is non-Anglicized "Paryz". It's been debated for decades if the name had changed at some point. It's also debated that the name should really be Parecz. Search for both names in that time period does not come up with anything relevant this point.

So would love to hear suggestions. Ideas to look at. Here are the major points I know of him:

Alexander (Aleksander) Paris: 15OCT1874 - 24APR1926
My fraternal great-grandfather
Birthplace: Russia/Poland
- Listed as Poland in 1920 census
Parents: Unknown
- Listed birthplace as [d] Poland and [m] Poland 1920 census.
Last known residence before emigrating: Siedlec, Poland
Departed: Bremen, Germany late 1896 aboard the Munchen
Arrived in US: March 1897, port of Baltimore
Naturalized 10DEC1917: Listed Osolek, Russia as birth place.
WWI Drafted on 12SEP1918 at age 43: Listed Russia/Poland as birthplace, signed as Aleksander Paris.
Other Info: Was thought that he was fleeing the Czarist regimes. Could possibly have been a doctor, although he took the job of a moulder in the US.
cms 9 | 1,301    
11 Aug 2017  #2
Long shot but could be Sokolow Podlaski - not far from Siedlce and has the same letters/sounds and could have been result if a mix up or poor hearing/memory.
kaprys 1 | 1,355    
11 Aug 2017  #3

Check the link above. Siedlce is a town but albo a gmina (an administrative unit) with several villages in the area. And Osolek sounds more like a village than a town.

Check the villages listed as part of the gmina. For example, there is a village called Ostrówek. It might have been spelt as Osolek by a non native Polish speaker.

There are several places called Ostrówek in Poland so it might be another Ostrówek. Or other places which might have been misspelt by the immigration clerk so check neighbouring gminas as well. Just in case. The Wiki site is available in English.

As for the surname, I guess it was originally spelt Parys.
OP LTParis 1 | 4    
11 Aug 2017  #4
Curious if there are maps down to the village level circa 1880s. I know there are some general maps showing boundaries and the like but nothing to that resolution.
kaprys 1 | 1,355    
11 Aug 2017  #5
Probably there are some. But if the place where your great grandfather was born was under the Russian partition, the map might have been written in the cyrillic.
DominicB - | 2,600    
11 Aug 2017  #6

He wouldn't find anything anyway. There's no Osolek or Osołek in the Geographical Dictionary, which is exhaustive for that time period, and if it's misspelled, changing just a few letters would give matches with hundreds of possibilities, any of which may be the village in question. And that's just if you keep the initial "O".
jon357 66 | 13,335    
11 Aug 2017  #7

Yes. That's a maybe, as are a few other similar places in the region. Or even somewhere further east.

I guess it was originally spelt Parys.

Could be. Or Paretz, Peretz. If the OP's ancestor was Jewish, this could be a possibility.
OP LTParis 1 | 4    
11 Aug 2017  #8
It would be so nice to have his original birth certificate in hand, but no one has this as far as I am aware. And nothing search wish has produced anything. I did try to do a out of the blue search for Paris in the 1840-1845 timeframe which roughly would be the time of my great-great grandfather. It did come up with one hit

As for the name, i've already heard the three potential name possibilities of Payrz (on my grandfathers baptismal record, he was born and baptized in the US), and possibly Parcez, Pyrz. As far as I can tell the family was hard core Catholic till at least my great-grandfather, and I assume it carried on a bit past that at least, if not for a long time.
kaprys 1 | 1,355    
11 Aug 2017  #9

according to the site above there arę 14 people named Parys in Ostrowek but it's hard to say which Ostrowek it is ...

Also we arę not sure it is really Parys and Ostrówek ...
kaprys 1 | 1,355    
11 Aug 2017  #10
By and large, jon and Dominic are right. We have very little information.
You may also contact the diocese of Siedlce to check the birth records and so on but I don't know if you can do it online and how it would go with the information you have.
jon357 66 | 13,335    
11 Aug 2017  #11
14 people named Parys in Ostrowek

This is an interesting possibility.

contact the diocese of Siedlce to check the birth records

This is also a possibility. There's a Diocesan Museum in Siedlce which may have access to archives.
OP LTParis 1 | 4    
11 Aug 2017  #12
I agree, what information I have is all long shots and mistranslations.

Even on the DNA side I am finding connections, but nothing concrete to start to fill in the gaps.
13 Aug 2017  #13
Near Siedlce there's Nowe Opole and Stare Opole, which in 19th century was called just Opole. So, maybe that's it? Changing "p" to "s" sounds unlikely, but this non-native speaker could associate Opole with "osiołek" (a little donkey), maybe?

So, I'd ask somebody to search there in parish books.
OP LTParis 1 | 4    
13 Aug 2017  #14
So I guess the next big challenge would be to find people to do those searches. Anyone with suggestions on how to go about contacting the right people to do that?
kaprys 1 | 1,355    
13 Aug 2017  #15

Try mailing them for suggestions.

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