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How can the surname Drzewiecki be both Jewish and Catholic?


Levanna 2 | 5
1 Jan 2012 #1
I just checked on the Holocaust/Yad VaShem site and found at least a dozen who died with the Drzewiecki surname. My great-grandfather with this came over from Poland in the late 1800's and my family is a dyed in the wool Catholic family. I know that this is a common Polish name, but how does it represent two different religious groups. Thanks for your help.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,857
1 Jan 2012 #2
Well for example Taylor and Morris are very common surnames in the UK, among Jews and Gentiles alike.
I do not think things are that clear cut.
archiwum 13 | 125
16 Jul 2012 #3
In the year 1800. Jewish people were made to take names. For tax reasons.

Go to the registry.
Nickidewbear 23 | 584
16 Jul 2012 #4
I just checked on the Holocaust/Yad VaShem site and found at least a dozen who died with the Drzewiecki surname. My great-grandfather with this came over from Poland in the late 1800's and my family is a dyed in the wool Catholic family. I know that this is a common Polish name, but how does it represent two different religious groups. Thanks for your help.

You might be in for a surprise--are they Catholics or Anusim?
pip 10 | 1,659
16 Jul 2012 #5
a persons surname doesn't denote their religion. do you know anything about the history of Poland?
Slavicaleks 8 | 98
16 Jul 2012 #6
it is a polish catholic surname that some polish jews adopted because real jewish surnames are like Ben- Avraham as an example all come from Hebrew or Aramaic.
OP Levanna 2 | 5
1 Dec 2012 #7
Nickidewbear
I had never heard of the term Anuism and had to google it. Wow...it could be--I'm trying to find out. Any advice would be appreciated.

Pip, you are so right. I find Polish history confusing, but I want to learn.
berni23 7 | 379
1 Dec 2012 #8
I just checked...

Jan 1, 12

You might be...

Jul 16, 12

Pip, you are

Dec 1, 12

Now thats patience. :D
OP Levanna 2 | 5
2 Dec 2012 #9
Not patience, just stupidity that I didn't check here more often or have the messages sent to my email. My apologies to all.
20shmilek12
17 Dec 2013 #10
Funny how the first terms of jewish synagogues always resembles a Russian word Yad means poison in Russian so I guess vashem means wash them in english meaning wash them in poison lol.
jon357 67 | 17,052
18 Dec 2013 #11
Funny how the first terms of jewish synagogues always resembles a Russian word

No they don't.

so I guess vashem means wash them in english

You guess wrong.

meaning wash them in poison lol.

It means 'a place and a name'.
OP Levanna 2 | 5
18 Dec 2013 #12
Do you know why YAD means place? In Hebrew, YAD usually means hand. thanks.
jon357 67 | 17,052
19 Dec 2013 #13
The spelling is different in the original.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
19 Dec 2013 #14
From my understanding Drzewiecki comes from drzewo - tree, so It's not any Christian saint and it is a Slavic word, so perhaps the name was popular between Jews living in central Europe.
OP Levanna 2 | 5
19 Dec 2013 #15
But right in time for Christmas... thanks and Merry Christmas to you and yours
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
19 Dec 2013 #16
so It's not any Christian saint

so all Polish surnames that do not come from Christian saints are Jewish? considering the majority of Polish surnames have nothing to do with Christian saints... maybe Poles simply ARE Jews?
Nickidewbear 23 | 584
19 Jan 2015 #17
Many of Spain's "Spaniards" are Jewish, and roughly 20% are. Did you ever think about that?

By the way, Levanna:

I had never heard of the term Anuism and had to google it. Wow...it could be--I'm trying to find out. Any advice would be appreciated.

Go to JewishGen, Yad Vashem, etc., and look for records. Talk to family as well. Also research Jewish and Anusi customs.
jon357 67 | 17,052
19 Jan 2015 #18
Many of Spain's "Spaniards" are Jewish, and roughly 20% are.

We aren't talking about Spain, however rather than "20%", the accurate figure is between 0.26% and 0.39%, between 12,000 and 18,000 people.
Nickidewbear 23 | 584
20 Jan 2015 #19
Source? e.g., Spain 20% Jewish.

Here's what I wrote about the father of Mom's paternal grandmother's mother, too (He's not a Poylisher, though he counts as an Anusi):

Her father "John McCoy" took his wife's surname and was born in Portugal during the Peninsular War, from which his parents fled to the United States; and he met his Ireland-born wife (Mary Ann Elizabeth McCoy, from whom Nana Allen's middle name comes] there. Long story short, he and his wife had a very-nasty divorce (They had some nasty property fight and he is not buried in the McCoy Family Plot in their locality.)
trees.ancestry.com/tree/1509430/person/-1243489837/media/917b3730-7316-428b-88ba-2d5b87723392?pg=32768&pgpl=pid

Incidentally, none of Mom's paternal aunts or grandaunts had "Mary", etc. as a first name; and Nana Allen's aunt Mary was named for her mother, as her uncle John was named for his father. Other factors (i.e., besides the naming patterns, nasty divorce, etc.) lead me to believe that he was a Sephardic Crypto Jew. One other factor is that Nana Allen passed down the bubbe meise that we were descended from the Armadan Dark Irish to her younger children [my maternal granddad and her youngest children] though not to the older ones (to whom she told that their great-granddad fled a war from Spain. I found this out when I found Census records and talked to one of Mom's aunts.)

I was writing this, incidentally, when I was explaining why my dog is named Reilly Rosalita. I decided against sending the whole writing because, being a Messianic Jew, I would have risked not getting the tallit that I'm having made for Reilly's bark mitzvah.
jon357 67 | 17,052
20 Jan 2015 #20
Source? e.g., Spain 20% Jewish.

That's a source for something else entirely - people's historical genealogy. To say that all descendents of people who either convetrted in the middle ages of became for a while Marranos are Jewish is a bizarre fantasy. I prefer the census returns, which show less than 1%.

There are no longer such a thing as 'crypto Jews' in Spain. They have had religious freedom there for a long time and no need to hide religious observation. Other people have "nasty divorces" too, by the way.
Nickidewbear 23 | 584
21 Jan 2015 #21
You have no idea about history, then. There are modern Anusim (not counting my family) and bnei-Anusim such as John Kerry's family. Also, Anusim and bnei Anusim are continually being discovered.
jon357 67 | 17,052
21 Jan 2015 #22
Hmm. You're confusing people's ancestry with their identity. To say that anyone in Spain descended from a Marrano (or a Muslim) who converted hundreds of years ago has an automatic connection to the culture of their ancestors is pure fantasy.
R.U.R.
21 Jan 2015 #23
How can the surname Drzewiecki be both Jewish and Catholic?

Jews in Poland and the former Lithuania (now Byelorussia, Ukraine and Lithuania proper)
simply adopted Polish surnames ( took and use as their own ).
TheOther 5 | 3,682
21 Jan 2015 #24
You're confusing people's ancestry with their identity. To say that anyone in Spain descended from a Marrano (or a Muslim) who converted hundreds of years ago has an automatic connection to the culture of their ancestors is pure fantasy.

Reminds me of some of our American and Canadian friends here who believe they are Polish through and through because a distant cousin of theirs came to North America hundreds of years ago... ;)
random-1
21 Jan 2015 #25
R.U.R

Are you sure about that? I noticed there is no mention of Yiddish, which uses modified German words. Yiddish is a language that many people would associate with central European Jews. I would think many Jews would have Yiddish surnames (along with some Polish surnames).
random-1
22 Jan 2015 #27
I haven't read the entire post, so maybe I'm jumping in too quick (sorry if I misunderstood something)... but to make the conclusion that most Spaniards descended from Muslim Moors is completely inaccurate. Islam was founded in 7th century AD. Before its foundation in 7th century, Islam did not exist even in the Arabian peninsula.

Spain was occupied by various Celt-Iberian tribes, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, and Goths (and others) even before 7th century. These people had their own cultures and religions. History of Spain does not start with the Moorish Epoch; therefore, it's historically inaccurate to claim all Spaniards descended from the Moors.
TheOther 5 | 3,682
22 Jan 2015 #28
Identity does not change ethnicity.

Why is ethnicity important given the fact that every single one of us is actually a mix anyway? Isn't your identity defined by your daily life, by the people you meet or you surround yourself with, by the things you experience? In my eyes, ethnicity is a rather theoretical concept - especially when your ancestors emigrated from the old country centuries ago. There are no real ties, even though some people love to pretend that there are. If there were, every human on the planet would be having warm and fuzzy feelings about our original home on the savannas of Africa. Religion is a whole different beast, of course.
Nickidewbear 23 | 584
22 Jan 2015 #29
I haven't read the entire post, so maybe I'm jumping in too quick

Too quickly. Did you even read the original links?

Why, then, are there, e.g., DNA markers? Ethnicity can't be that theoretical. Besides (at least for Jews), returning to the homeland somehow (by no coincidence, might I add) has become a reality for many.
random-1
22 Jan 2015 #30
What links?

Sorry, I don't share your passionate interest in Jewish history or culture. I just saw the last few posts about Spain, and felt I had to say something.

As far as ethnicity goes, I think it depends how you define it. Obviously people from different parts of the world can be different in appearance based on their ancestry, genetics, and other factors. There has to be a genetic/biological basis for these differences.

Regarding DNA... sorry to break it to you, but "Jewish" genes have not been discovered. Genetic tests could tell you only if a possibility exists...

This is from the FAQs of a company that does personalized genetic tests (you may have heard of them): 23andme.com
The information at the end is quite specific to the actual tests so can be disregarded.

"Can 23andMe identify Jewish ancestry?
There are no definitive ways to tell for certain if you have Jewish ancestry based on your DNA. However there are a few ways you can determine whether the possibility exists.

First, you may have evidence of Ashkenazi ancestry in your Ancestry Composition results. DNA shows clearly the connections among those who consider themselves to be Ashkenazi Jewish: two Ashkenazi Jewish people are very likely to be "genetic cousins," sharing long stretches of identical DNA. This sharing reflects the close knit nature of this population.

Another source is your haplogroup. There have been several well-supported studies chronicling the genetic ancestry of Ashkenazi Jews, which we do report in the Maternal Line summaries. The maternal haplogroups associated with Ashkenazi ancestry are N1b, K1a1b1a, K1a9, and K2a2a. If you fall into one of these haplogroups, it is still possible that you are not Jewish, but it is probable that you are.

The final way to determine whether you may have Jewish ancestry is through the Countries of Ancestry tool. You can get there by selecting "Ancestry Tools" from the My Results menu. In this feature we combine information from your DNA Relatives (regardless of whether you have made contact or revealed your identities to one another) and those matches' answers to the Where Are You From? ancestry survey. The survey allows for people to self-identify as having Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry."


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