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Toboyek Surname Widnace Location Help

19 Jan 2020 #1
Hello, I am a Toboyek from Wisconsin, USA and am researching my family geneology and am requesting help (hopefully from Polonius 3 or someone else with surname knowledge). I was told our current surname was spelled Tabojek or tabojk originally. From what I researched it is most likely a derivative of Tobias, meaning son of Tobias. On the 1908 Ellis Island entry form it states Widnace as the origin city so I thought maybe Swidnica? But my 23andme genetic report showed I am 75% Polish and my DNA most likely originated from 1. Rzeszow (Podkarpackie), 2. Krakow (lesser Poland), adn 3. Warsaw (Masovian) areas. So maybe Widnace is some small village in one of those areas or maybe they lived in Schweidnitz (what Swidnica was called at that time of German occupation) but originated from farther east? Does anyone know if I am correct of the Surname and if there may be some other village to match what the Ellis Island officials recorded? I also have Surnames of Adamski (son of Adam?), Omelian (unknown Polish?), and Kohonuski (unknown Polish) farther up as great grandparents. If anyone knows the origins of those surnames as well? Thank You!
cms neuf
19 Jan 2020 #2
Might be Swidnik rather than Swidnica - Swidnik was in the Russian partition and fits more with he other info.

Omelian is a Ukrainian version of Emilian - a Polish Christian name.
19 Jan 2020 #3
Polish ł is pronounced as English w so and there's no ś in Widnace so I wouldn't think it's Świdnica.
There was a place called Łydnica in present day Ukraine

Or how about Widnice? It's in małopolskie.

Does the Ellis Island entry include any information about the country? As cmf pointed out Świdnica doesn't match since it was in the Prussian partition, whereas the regions you mentioned were in the Russian and Austrian partitions.

Kohonuski might be Kochanowski but that's another guess.
OP toboyek
21 Jan 2020 #4
Thank you both for replying. I was always told be my Grandmother, an Omelian, that she was Polish but I never knew the origin of the surname. I don't think she was Ukranian and my DNA mapping doesn't show any Ukraine DNA in my "recent ancestry" (last 200 years), so I think it was probably originally Emilian and changed during an occupation of Poland?

Thanks for letting me know the w is actually ł in Polish. I do see that łydnica but again don't think she was from Ukraine. So I think you are correct with Widnice and Widnica. I actually looked back at the manifest and it said Race was Polish for the last residence Widnuss or Widuuss, terrible handwriting. I couldn't find any towns with that name so I gravitated toward a mispelling. Not sure how it was written down at Ellis Island. My great Grandmother might have said it with a V sound and they wrote down W? How Is the Widnica pronounced Vidnica?

I asked my father about kohonuski and he wasn't sure and thought maybe kohanowski but said there was no k or ch sound in the name.

Thanks again for your help!
21 Jan 2020 #5
In Polish both h and ch are pronounced as h.

As for Ukraine and Poland, you'd have to read into the Polish history. By and large and not in detail, there were lots of Poles living in the territories of present day Ukraine. Poles and Ruthenians married. People migrated. Others were relocated. Surnames of Ukrainian origin are not uncommon in Poland.

Rzeszów is in Eastern Poland and was part of Galicia alongside with some territories of present day Ukraine.
Check geneteka but keep in mind that it's indexed by volunteers and even though they have indexed hundreds if not thousands of parishes, thousands are not there yet.

Also check as many American documents as possible, death certificates, censuses etc.
When did they arrive? What partition?
21 Jan 2020 #6
How Is the Widnica pronounced Vidnica?

In Polish 'w' is pronounced as English 'v' (in the same manner as 'w' in German)
OP toboyek
22 Jan 2020 #7
Thanks for the replies.

I checked the geneteka site and came up empty. Nothing for my Great Grandfather Toboyek/Tabojek/Tabojk/Tobojek/Tobojk. Found lots of Kochanowski but nothing matching my Great Grandmother's name Anna or the Toboyek name. Did find one Omelian in the mazowieckie province that I need to research farther. Omelian came in my tree from my Grandmother.

But, I think I figured out where my Paternal ancestors are from. The "Widnuss" recorded on the ship manifest at Ellis Island was also recorded for 1 other Pole as well, a 16 year old girl. She was traveling with a woman and her child and they were listed as from Czarnia. I found Czarnia on the map 45km north of Ostroleka and just 13km to the east of Czarnia is small village called Wydmusy. So I assumed the young lady was traveling with friends/relatives from Czarnia and her home was misspelled as was my relatives and is Wydmusy not Widnuss.

Asking my father, who is in his 70's, he remembered his Grandfather speaking of going to Ostroleka but didn't remember Wydmusy. But I am not sure i was pronouncing it to him as his Grandfather would have said it. How would a Polish speaking person pronounce Wydmusy? I wish my father would have asked and documented the ancestry when his parents/grandparents were alive, but alas it didn't happen.

So I guess my Great Grandparents (Toboyek/KochanowskI?) came from the Kurpie peoples of the Wydmusy area to the USA in 1906. Found this "1880-1910 - numerous Kurpie residents emigrated to America because of the inability of the land to support the growing number of people."

Thanks again for your help everyone. Just wish I could find a Toboyek (or however it was spelled) still in Poland but the name may no longer be used and must have had very limited use originally as I can't find any records of it.
22 Jan 2020 #8
When was he born?
There are some records from Wydmusy in the parish of Myszyniec but they're quite recent and as most earlier records were destroyed in a fire in 1914 and then in 1939 - two world wars. The site is in Polish so I guess you'd have to use google translate. The post from October 17th, 2014 by Waldemar Chorazkiewicz. He indexed the available records -births start in 1902.

Among the remaining records there are Tobojkas
In the parish

Who were Omelian się, Adamskis and Kochanowskis to Tobojek? Did they come from the same place?
What were their first names?
What years are you looking for?
OP toboyek
22 Jan 2020 #9
Thank you Kaprys! I am learning more as I travel down this rabbit hole. Tobojka is most likely the original spelling. My dad was wrong about the Kochanowksi and my Great Grandmother was a Zawitowska or Zawitowski. I also see Tobojka's living in Massachusetts that are from the Myszyniec area who are probably relatives.

Here is the info I know so far on the Tobojka/Zawitowski Great Grandparents side:

Arrived from Hamburg, July 14th, 1906 on ship named Batavia
Tobajek, Anna Widnuss 38(34) 1867-1868 (1872 - 1951 on tombstone)
Tobajek, Anna Widnuss 10 1895-1896
Tobajek, Marya. Widnuss 4 1901-1902
Tobajek, StanislawWidnuss 14 1891-1892
Olschewsky, Gosef Widnuss 18 1887-1888
Listed as their destination: Husband Josef Tobojk (1862(8)-1952), Reading,PA in Berks county.
Assuming Josef and Anna (Kochanowski? Zawitowski?) would have married around 1890ish, these would be my Great Grandparents
Their son Joseph (my Grandfather) was born in PA in 1909 died in 1976 I believe, their son Stanley (Stanislaw, Great Uncle) was married in 1912.

Found this on geneteka:

1905RozaliaTobojkaJózefAnnaZawitowskaMyszyniec (assuming one of 2 children that died born 1905 died 1906)

Now I will have to start looking at Grandmother, Omelian ancestry.
22 Jan 2020 #10
There are links to the scans of actual records on the right. Unfortunately, it was in the Russian partition so they are written in the cyrillic. There should be some info (age, sometimes job) on the parents, especially in birth records. However, sometimes it's not precise.

You may try having it translated but get someone who's done it before as even people fluent in Russian sometimes have trouble translations 19th century records.
10 Nov 2020 #11
Hello, fellow Toboyek here in Wisconsin as well. My paternal grandfather is Lawrence. I don't have much to add but am very happy I stumbled across this post. I was always told that Toboyek was spelled something like Tobojak and it was changed to be more American. Thanks for your research!
20 Nov 2020 #12
Thats interesting you mentioned Lawrence. Is the Lawrence side Pole?

The reason i ask(fellow Sconnie i am via Chi Town). I have two sides of Poles/Ukr. Cebulski and Lawrence(supposedly later changed). The name change in my family has always been troubling to as when and how. It was supposedly changed in he homeland. B/c there where to many Lawrences.

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