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Stąpor: Questions about my family


mstapor1 4 | 8
2 Oct 2010  #1
From what I can gather, the last name Stąpor apparently means a "Grinding tool" like a pestle, or a log to crush grain (According to Polonius3). However, searching this- while I can find others with the same last name, I cannot really find a 'history' to it, or seal, or anything.

What my grandma tells me, is that my grandpa's father came to America when he was.. either 16 or 18, when Poland was part of Prussia. Apparently he switched names with his younger brother, and came over, then the younger brother came over as the older brother's name- or something along those lines. My grandpa's mother, however, came over when she was 14 to live at her sister's dairy farm. Eventually her sister said "Okay, I've found a nice polish man, you're marrying him." and thus, my grandpa's family was created.

I am completely unsure of the historical accuracy of all of this, and would like to go back further, but I just have no information to start with really, or where to look. Any information anyone could provide would be greatly appreciated.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
3 Oct 2010  #2
I knew an Ola Stąpor here. Lovely girl!
OP mstapor1 4 | 8
3 Oct 2010  #3
See! People know of the last name, is it just some occupational peasants name and my geneology is lost to obscurity?
Seanus 15 | 19,706
3 Oct 2010  #4
She is certainly not a peasant. She has changed her name now but I could only give you that with her consent. Very elegant girl!
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
3 Oct 2010  #5
No coat of arms accompanies the Stąpor surname or any of its many other spellings.
OP mstapor1 4 | 8
3 Oct 2010  #6
I understand that Polonius, but what could that mean about my family? That we were just generic run of the mill people somewhere in Poland?
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
9 Oct 2010  #7
Yes, they were commoners. No more than 10-12% of Polish society were of noble birth. The meaning of the name itself has absolutely no bearing on what they did for a living or what they were like. Always bear in mind the Tom Smith, Bill Baker and Mary Shepherd syndrome. None of those people today shoe horses, bake bread or herd sheep. Thery are just names passed down over many generations if not centuries.
purplelady 1 | 32
9 Oct 2010  #8
mstapor1, in researching my family history, I find it most fruitful to start from the present and work backwards before I "hop the pond". Do you have enough information about your ancestors' names, dates, and locations to search US census records, newspaper obituaries, immigration records, military records, Homestead Act land recipients, LDS records? It is surprising how much information is there.

The small successes are well worth it--after three years of research, I finally discovered my Polish grandfather's entry record at Ellis Island. He and his four siblings immigrated at different times in the early 1900s. Their family name is KAWA, and it was spelled five different ways on the five ship records--only one time was it correct! I wish you much success in uncovering your family history.
OP mstapor1 4 | 8
12 Oct 2010  #9
Oh okay, thank you very much all of you. : )
I will keep this in mind as I continue my search.

Time to start looking, I suppose!

Thanks again!

- Michael


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