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Wlaz and Petraszczuk, Piotrowski

singingfalls 3 | 50
13 Jan 2015 #1
Looking for genealogy advise. Please excuse the long post.

I'm old. A month ago, out of the blue, a relative Poland contacted me on FaceBook! I have been looking for years for some way to find the roots of my past. He sent me a picture of my great grandfather and a photo album of our family tree with a picture of my grandmother included from when she visited Poland in the 1950's or 60's. 0_0 I was excited.

Since then I have found her birth certificate and many other interesting facts about her side of the family going way back to close to the late 1700's. Names and dates included. She is from Adamówka, Poland. She came to the USA at the age of 16 in 1913 according to the Ellis Island ship manifest. The relative is very much into genealogical studies for his family which is helpful. Success with Katrazyna Kyć!

Dzjadek on the other hand was very difficult to pin down and the story is still not complete. Nevertheless I am hot on the trail. I found census information from 1920, 30 and 40. Very helpful and confusing at the same time. Each census spelled his name differently. I always thought I was Petrowski through and through. The census had him down at Ludwik Petroski, Loius Petrowski and finally Ludwig Petrowski. His naturalization papers were the shocker. His real name was Ludwik Petraszczuk! He changed it formally in 1943 to Ludwik Petrowski. Everywhere I could find he proclaimed himself Polish and his nationality Russian. His Soviet era birth record tells an interesting story. His father's name was Stanislaw and his mother's name was Anastasia. He was from Khrabuzna in what is now Ukraine. So am I Russian, Polish or Ukrainian? I claim Polish. I am unable to find the ship manifest that records his entry to the US. He departed from Hamburg in 1912 is all I know. No Ellis Island record that I could find. Naturalization papers say he arrived in Philadelphia and I have been looking everywhere on this.

My mother was Polish also. Her maiden name was Wlaz (Wlas or Wlasz). I have not been able to track down her lines at all. There is a clue from a very elderly aunt that she may have relatives in Poznan who once taught at the university there. I am not succeeding at all with that half of my house.

I have become obsessed with this and have not done anything else for a month. (Guilt over neglected duties). I have stored dozens and dozens of web site links and have four DNA tests I am waiting on.

Guidance would greatly be appreciated.
TheOther 6 | 3,692
13 Jan 2015 #2
So am I Russian, Polish or Ukrainian? I claim Polish.

No, you're an American with some Russian, Polish and maybe even German heritage... :) (look for Adamowka)

Immigrant ships:
OP singingfalls 3 | 50
13 Jan 2015 #3
Hahahahaha! That is close to what my babush told me when I introduced her to my Russian, Molokan wife. :) "No! She is American", she said. But she said that the landlord in Poland only took 10% and the .govs etc take much much more. That said, I am American by nationality not ethnicity. Though I have voluntarily fought in a US war, I always described myself as Polish American. Thank you so much for the leads. I am grateful for your attention.

TheOther, WOW! Great tool that village list. Great tool. Thanks again.
TheOther 6 | 3,692
13 Jan 2015 #4
Glad I could help. Some more info, in case you haven't seen it yet:

Is that you ancestor? It looks like.
OP singingfalls 3 | 50
15 Jan 2015 #5
I had a copy of that one but there are some inconsistencies. The couple of blazing CONSISTENCIES is that the my grandfather's mother's name was Anastasia and his port of departure was Hamburg! On the other hand his naturalization papers say his port of entry was Philadelphia and that he arrived in Sept 1912. Then again, he signed his naturalization papers 30 years after his arrival. Thirty years ago is pretty foggy for me. I remember the big picture but details? Nah.

His naturalization papers also say he is from Khrabuzna, Russia. Here are some links. Tell me what you think.

Naturalization paper Ludwik Petrowski.pdf broken link

Naturalization paper
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
16 Jan 2015 #6
Your case may also be one that falls in the translingual confusion category. In a partitioned country like Poland names were written in Polish, Russian, sometimes Ukrainian and German. Cyrillic was differently tranliteratedinto Polish and German, and still differently into English and at times mistrasnliaterated into any of those. Names also got "ellisised" (Anglo-mangled by US immigration at Ellis Island), so it's no wonder there were sometimes multiple spellings. However Pertaszczuk (which is the Polish spelling of a Ukrainian-sounding surname) and Petrowski are rather unusual, separated by a deep chasm. Maybe the name's bearer felt that Petraszczuk was a peasant name, whilst those ending in -ski had a classier ring to them.
OP singingfalls 3 | 50
16 Jan 2015 #7
Polonlus3, Yes, this is the monumental task I have been facing. Even once he settled on Petrowski, the census takers in the US spelled his full name three different ways. On top of that Khrabuzna has been spelled several different ways. There is a lesson here somewhere I am sure. It must be so. I have found several "Petraszczuk surnames in the former Galicia. Very very few in Poland. Even Petrowski is rare there. My grandfather's brother immigrated also and changed his name to Piotrowski. So far it has been all of these names related to him unequivically.

Luwik Petraszczuk
Ludwig Petraszczuk
Ludwik Petroski
Ludwig Petrowski
Louis Petrowski...

Quite the ride.
Now I am searching out the ship manifests and have only found 1 possibility. It is here:


Ludwik Petraszuk. Is this Djadek? He did arrive at Phila. His mother's name was Anastasia. He was a Polish Russian (Czar Russia I believe). But is Ratusno equal to Khrabuzno?

Thank you for your interest.

Mod: Thanks for watching. Link corrected.

TheOther, It turns out as far as initial testing that I am 9.99% East Europe. No Russian. No German.
OP singingfalls 3 | 50
2 Jan 2019 #8

Surnames Petrushko, Petraszczuk, Piotrowski

My surname question is this:
My grandfather claimed Polish ethnicity. He was born in a village in what is now Khrabuzna, Ukraine. He immigrated from his home to the USA when he was 18 in 1912. His birth record surname was Petraszczuk. Both he and his brother changed their surnames in the USA. My grandfather chose Petrowski. My great uncle chose Piotrowski. Through the kind intervention of someone fluent in Russian the records from my grandfather's village in the archives of Zhytomyr were reviewed. The records seem to indicate that my grandfather's surname was a mutation over time from the surname Petrushko (Петрашко) to the surname Petraszczuk (Петращук). Was this a historically common practice in the Russian partition?
terri 1 | 1,665
2 Jan 2019 #9
Chances are that the person writing a name changed a letter through writing the surname by sounds only. In those days very few had any education at all and depending on how the name sounded in different parts of the Ukraine it would be written differently. There maybe also a historical angle. Sometimes names sounding in a way which was not 'sounding correctly' to the authorities were changed to change the perceived ethnicity of the person.
OP singingfalls 3 | 50
2 Jan 2019 #10
Thank you Terry. That seemed to be the same persuasion of the records reviewer. They postulated that the Petrushko in the village was the same family as the Petraszczuk in the village. I appreciate you thoughts on the matter.

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