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Where in Poland is the town of Laka?

Ellie 1 | 3
12 Jan 2010 #1
My grandfather's name was Josef Tomaka. On the Ellis Island website he was listed as coming from the town of Laka. I browsed through other people on the immigration site and found others who listed Laka as their last residency. Can anyone tell me where this town is? My grandmother last name was spelled many ways and we really don't know which one it was, Woroscz, Wros, Woros, Worsz etc. We think we found her on the Ellis website and the name was Wros. She was from Lauga, does anyone know where this town is? Please help.
strzyga 2 | 993
12 Jan 2010 #2

Do you have any idea from which part of Poland your granfather might have come?
Laka most probably was £ąka, meaning "meadow", and there are 7 villages of this name in Poland now.

7 miejscowości w Polsce:
£ąka - wieś w woj. dolnośląskim, w pow. bolesławieckim, w gminie Bolesławiec
£ąka - wieś w woj. opolskim, w pow. nyskim, w gminie Otmuchów
£ąka - wieś w woj. opolskim, w pow. oleskim, w gminie Zębowice
£ąka - wieś w woj. podkarpackim, w pow. rzeszowskim, w gminie Trzebownisko
£ąka - wieś w woj. śląskim, w pow. pszczyńskim, w gminie Pszczyna
£ąka - wieś w woj. zachodniopomorskim, w pow. drawskim, w gm. Czaplinek
£ąka - wieś w woj. zachodniopomorskim, w pow. goleniowskim, w gm. Stepnica

Lauga might also be a distorted form of £ąka, written phonetically by some English-speaking clerk.
OP Ellie 1 | 3
12 Jan 2010 #3
That is just the problem. The information that I got from Ellis Island is actually what I have. On the US census the name Galicia(?) is sometimes mentioned and another relative said my grandmother was from Szwilisa? Does this help any?
strzyga 2 | 993
12 Jan 2010 #4
Galicia was the part of Poland which fell under the Austrian rule in the time of the partitions. Out of all the £ąkas only one would have been in Galicia then:

£ąka - wieś w woj. podkarpackim, w pow. rzeszowskim, w gminie Trzebownisko
£ąka - a village in Podkarpackie region, Rzeszów district, Trzebownisko gmina£ąka,_Subcarpathian_Voivodeship

This would go along nicely with your grandfather's name, which seems to be most frequent in the very area:

But the other part of the story (your grandmother) is more complicated.
Szwilisa could be Silesia - Śląsk. Then you have 4 £ąkas to choose from:

£ąka - wieś w woj. dolnośląskim, w pow. bolesławieckim, w gminie Bolesławiec
£ąka (Wiesau) - wieś w woj. opolskim, w pow. nyskim, w gminie Otmuchów
£ąka (Lenke) - wieś w woj. opolskim, w pow. oleskim, w gminie Zębowice
£ąka (Lonkau) - wieś w woj. śląskim, w pow. pszczyńskim, w gminie Pszczyna

Only the last two villages from my original list can be now skipped as they're located in what used to be West Pomerania, near the Baltic Sea.

Silesia was under the German rule so the name was probably Germanized back then. Might not be £ąka but something else. There's also a place in Estonia called Lauga.

Can't help you more now. Hope at least some of it makes sense.
OP Ellie 1 | 3
12 Jan 2010 #5
I really appreciate the information you have given me, it's more than I ever dreamed of getting in the last 9 years I have been doing family genealogy. My mother's side has been great but my fathers side has been very difficult. At least now if I can find the towns on a map it may just help. My grandparents never spoke of their time in the "old country". They just told their children that it was very very bad conditions and they never spoke of anything or anyone. I never knew them, they both died before I was born. My father and all his siblings are deceased so the road ends on family info. I'm having a hard time finding out where and when they were even married. I know (other than the Ellis Island site) that they first appreared together in the 1910 census in Chester, PA. I've written to 3 counties in PA and no records are found of any marriage. Do you have any suggestions at all of what I can do. St. Hedwigs Catholic church in Chester PA where their first 2 children were baptized will not give me any assistance. Do you know historically how they would obtain money to get to America, and were they ever indentured to someone. My grandmother, according to Ellis Island records was a servant, but I can't read where she was going or decipher the name of the person/place of her detination. My head hurts from beating it against the wall!.... Thank You
markskibniewski 3 | 200
12 Jan 2010 #6
Wow I am very surprized the Catholic church was unwilling to help, every church I have ever inquired about records has bent over backwards to help. Are you sure they were married at this church? When were thier 1st children baptised. If it was close to 1902 , they might have got married at St. Stanislaus,, Philadelphia or The Imaculate Heart Church on Second and Norris st. St. Stanislaus was the popular Polish church at the time. It was far but Polish immigrants tended to flock to Polish priests to marry them.

Good luck
OP Ellie 1 | 3
12 Jan 2010 #7
No it was St. Hedwigs in Chester, PA. I have a copy of both baptismal certificates, one of which I sent as an attachment with an email. Because I don't have a marriage date they won't give me any information., which is so stupid since that is what I am trying to get. If the first daughter was born 12-1-1907 I'm pretty sure that at least 9 - 10 months before that they were most likely married. In the 1910 census it was stated that they had been married 4 years. I was willing to pay them for their time but they wouldn't do it for me. I just wish I knew someone who lived in the town and went to that church or the one that took over when it closed as a parish. It is still used but not for masses. I am going to see if I can get copies of birth certificates from the state archives on them and just hope that they have information on parents and more than just their names. Any advice I would really appreciate. Thanks for responding, very appreciative.
markskibniewski 3 | 200
12 Jan 2010 #8
I assme they became naturalized. You may wish to look up thier petition for naturalization and/or declaration of intent papers they were loaded with information including where theywere before they came over. Is that the correct spelling of name I did a search and found no record? Where did he pass away?
3 May 2010 #9
The Laka you seek is the one near Rzeszow, with neighboring village of Lukawiec in the former Galicia, western part. There is a Tomaka connection to my Wilk family, too. There are records available in any local Mormon research center....none online! I study these two best microfilms and see several Tomakas. Also, my own grandparents emigrated to, were married in, and raised children in Chester County, of Phoenixville. Check with Holy Trinity Church to see if they got married there....many Polish couples did. good luck! Elaine PS The other surname might be Wolos, several of those.

The research microfilms available to order and use at any Mormon research center are #1257435 (Laka) and #1257434 (Laka, Lukawiec and surrounding villages). Both will be of incredible value to your searches!!!! Good luck, Ellie. We might be cousins. You never know. Elaine
KenW - | 4
11 Oct 2010 #10
Greeting fellow ethnic Polish Galician-Americans. I came across this website while surfing the net. My grandfathers came from the Trzebownisko and £ukawiec.
The Friends of Trzebownisko has a website " Nasze Trzebownisko" ( Our Trzebownisko)
(Make sure you put the three w's and the dot before the above link. This site made me remove them before posting this message.)

It's in Polish but with the help of the Google word translator you can decipher what it says. There are articles about the history of the area and people who played some part in its history.

Gmina Trzebownisko contains the villages and settlements of Jasionka, £ąka, £ukawiec, Nowa Wieś, Stobierna, Tajęcina, Terliczka, Trzebownisko, Wólka Podleśna and Zaczernie.

I supplied the website with some information about immigration to Lackawanna, NY from the Trzebownisko area. Many immigrants from that area settled in Lackawanna including numerous Tomakas. So many of the family names mentioned on the website were familiar to me, that after a little reseach, I was amazed by the number of people from my old neighborhood who came from there.

Ken W.
Chicago Pollock 7 | 504
11 Oct 2010 #11
Because I don't have a marriage date they won't give me any information., which is so stupid since that is what I am trying to get. If the first daughter was born 12-1-1907 I'm pretty sure that at least 9 - 10 months before that they were most likely married

Don't be surprised if you find out that your ancestors may have gone to the altar pregnant. So I wouldn't stick to the 9-10 month timeline. It's a myth that the people back than were anymore moral than they are today.
KenW - | 4
13 Oct 2010 #12
Regarding "Szwilisa" , there is a village named Świlcza in Rzeszów County. It is the seat of Gmina Świlcza and lies approximately 5 miles north-west of the city of Rzeszów. It's not very far from £ąka.

Ellie, a further update,
If Maryanna Wros is who you looked up on Ellis Island, the original ship's manifest looks like she came from the village of Turza. You can't just go by what the transcriber put on the text version of the manifest. Sometimes you have to stand on your head and squint real hard to make out what the original manifest says. Turza would also match where Ludwiga Wros came from. Turza is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Rzepiennik Strzyżewski in Tarnów County . It lies 19 miles south of the city of Tarnów, and 55 mi east of the city of Kraków. This would have been part of Galicia. Hope this helps.

To add further confusion , also from Turza are several passengers named Wrosz & Wrzos on the same manifest. So that might indicate that Turza is the ancestral village you're looking for. But then there's a Woros from Smilcza, which looks like it might be a Szymon from Swilcza on the original manifest.
KINGA07 - | 4
5 Nov 2010 #13
Hello, I am interested in your discussion. I am writing from France. My family is in

Trzebownisko region and I also do research. I got Archives RZESZOW acts back and I have a great grandmother born Tomaka. I await the translation of marriages of the 1860 !!

I am going twice a year in this area and am looking for ancestors emigrated to the USA
in the 1850 --- 1904 .Elis Iland after the site there are native and Lukawiec - Trzebownisko
I search on the name PALCOWSKI. I use google tranlation for this message . so excuse me.

I hope, I am very optimist because I got acts polish . my dream : find the family in USA.
KenW - | 4
23 Jan 2011 #14
I checked the the Ellis Island website and found 3 Palcowski listings:

in 1901 Walenty Palcowski from Lukawiec arrived New York , destination Johnstown Pennsylvania to brother Josef Palcowski. He was traveling with Stanislaw Raminski. Josef Palcowski is listed as his brother in law. His last name might be Kaminski , it's hard to tell from the handwriting. My maternal grandfather was a Kaminski, also from Lukawiec and also originally went to Johnstown upon arrival in New York.

in 1904 Franciszek Palcowski from Trzebownisko arrived New York , destination West Seneca, New York to brother in law Andrzej Pietzonka ( Pieczonka?). That part of West Seneca later became the city of Lackawanna, my home town.

I checked the current local telephone book but could find no Palcowskis listed.

in 1913 Wojciech Palcowski from Trzebownisko arrived New York, destination DuBois Pennsylvania to a step brother whose name I can't read. Traveling on the ship with him was Andrzej Tomaka also from Trzebownisko who was going to Buffalo New York to his brother Wojciech Tomaka.

My paternal grandfather came from Trzebownisko and went to Dubois Pennsylvania first , then came to Lackawanna New York . There seems to have been a migration of people from Trzebownisko to Dubois first and then to Lackawanna in hope of getting a job in the huge steel mill that was being built in Lackawanna at the time. There are still many Tomakas in the area and I know some of them. I did a Palcowski internet phone number search and could not find any located in Pennsylvania. So it is possible that these Palcowskis may have returned to Poland with the money they earned in America, moved to another state or they died with no male children to carry on the Palcowski name.

you can email me if I can help in any way.

A check of the Social Security Death Index shows that Frank ( Franciszek) Palcowski was born 26 September 1889 and died in October 1970 at the age of 81. He was a retired railroad worker.

His place of death is listed as Buffalo New York 14218, 14218 is the postal code for the city of Lackawanna.
KINGA07 - | 4
23 Jan 2011 #15
thank you , but I think this personns was uncle in my family perhaps, I can find in Poland
in archivum rzeszow act 1800 - 1850 about brothers and sisters about Palcowski laurentinus
date of death 29 april 1854 and his wife is TOMAKA Agnieska sophie .
10 Feb 2014 #16
Ken, do you ever come upon the surname WILK, also from Laka, in your searches? I grew up in Lackawanna and still live close by. How to e-mail you?
tucson sandi - | 1
1 Sep 2014 #17
For the Tomaskas grandparents also originally immigrated from Swilcza Poland and settled in Chester PA. My grandmother also worked as a servant presumeably to pay off their passage? Perhaps your relatives also came from Swilcza.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
2 Sep 2014 #18
TOMAKA: This nickname-turned-surname was derived from the first name Tomasz. The latter came into Polish and all other Europrean languages (e.g. English Thomas, Hungarian Tamás, Russian Foma, etc.) from the Aramaic word toma (twin).

WOROS; WOROSZ, WOROSZCZ: from dialectal Polish verb woroszyć (to destroy, devastate, upset, disrupt).

WROS, WROSZ, WROSZCZ: probably derived from the old first name Wrocisław.
17 Sep 2014 #19
What is your Wilk ancestral connection to Laka or Lukawiec???? Many of my Wilk family originated in Laka or close by. I also once lived in Lackawanna and now in a near suburb.

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