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Any tips for tracing ancestry? Having problems with variations of my surname Skotak


skotak 1 | 2
31 Dec 2013 #1
I have been trying to look into my family's genealogy lately and I am stuck. I understand many Polish immigrants would simplify their surnames when coming to America. However, in the records I have found, I have seen many variations of our name. I was hoping somebody may know if any of these is more traditonal or common in Poland so I know where to invest my time searching.

My last name is Skotak. In the documents I've found, I have seen: Skotak, Szkotak, Szkótak, and Skutak.
Ironside 50 | 10,906
31 Dec 2013 #2
Skotak, Szkotak,

Those are most likely versions of the name.
In Poland there are 356 people with the name Skotak.
TheOther 5 | 3,711
31 Dec 2013 #3
Have you tried the LDS yet? Roughly 20,000 hits for Skotak alone:

familysearch.org/search/record/results#count=20&query=%2B surname%3ASkotak~
Ironside 50 | 10,906
31 Dec 2013 #4
Roughly 20,000 hits for Skotak alone:

There are over 300 people with this name alive in Poland.
TheOther 5 | 3,711
31 Dec 2013 #5
Yes, but how does that help the OP to overcome the brick wall he has hit with his family research? If I understood him correctly, he is not able to establish a connection between his ancestors and the place they emigrated from. In this case, the way to go is to find the first immigrant of his family to the US, find the naturalization record, the ship manifest, census records and similar data, and then trace back the person to the old country. The LDS database is a perfect starting point for that.
LindaWoskalos - | 11
16 Jan 2014 #6
My last name is Skotak. In the documents I've found, I have seen: Skotak, Szkotak, Szkótak, and Skutak.

My family is Majda, but in America was translated , Maida, Meida,Maidan, Machda and even Makda, so to follow the family tree was a real mess.

I wanted to recover the nationality so I was trying to follow the family story with no success, I even werein the the small cities in Poland myself as a turist-reseacher but the lack of the language really makes a problem...

I am not sure if I can post email addresses my I got a guy that help me to build the family tree, he went to the the real state registries and confirmed names and match the story, so even if the birth certificate of my grand father was not existing, he created a new one. So maybe you should try them too. Their contact is office@castaneda.com.pl

Basically I show him some communication letters between the family and some photos, so he could guess the original city, then got a real state document of a land sold and there he got the real name, later he went to the local church and read in Russian the old documents... until they got the name of my grandfather as witness... this was the prove that the person really existed and thanks to that they created the new birth certificate needed to recover my polish nationality

I know that the story sounds crazy, but it worked... I spent too much time myself doing it alone that I was happy to find someone who could help me. I hope can help someone else too.
OP skotak 1 | 2
18 Jan 2014 #7
Congratulations on your success in tracing back into your family roots! It sounds like you put a lot of time into it! Thank you so much for the resource. I actually got in contact with my family in Poland and they were able to fill in a lot of the gaps for me but like you said, that language barrier is fun stuff! haha
LindaWoskalos - | 11
21 Jan 2014 #8
cool! me too, I just met last summer old family , cousins, aunts, it was great. Poles are truly a cool people and I am proud to have some polish blood. ( the liver I will never have it, vodka it's just too strong...)
ShawnH 8 | 1,508
21 Jan 2014 #9
( the liver I will never have it, vodka it's just too strong...)

Practice Linda, lots of practice.


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