Polish Genealogical Society of America Members Log in/Log out

Header Left  Ceil's Notebook Header Right

Ceil's Notebook | About Ceil | Notebook Items

Ceil Wendt Jensen CGRS (SM)- cjensen@mipolonia.net

Internet Correspondent - Polish Genealogical Society of America

Beyond Basic Genealogy - A Lecture Series with Ceil Jensen CGRS
Speaker-Writer-Designer MICHIGAN POLONIA

Hello Polish Research Colleagues,

May I ask you to submit your Polish surnames that have suffered "Aliases, Adulterations and Anglicizations"?

I'd like to develop a Polish Surname Finding Aid on my Michigan Polonia website  to help colleagues identify the earlier / proper Polish surname for their ancestors. The list will include spelling changes as well as anglicized Polish surnames. A column can be added that indicates the area the family came from in PL and
resided in the US -say- 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930. I hesitate to add emails since Spamming is so prevalent.

I have head Fred Hoffman lecture on this topic before. Recently I used a great site to figure out my husband's French Canadian surnames. It's based on Robert E. Chenard's compilation:

So, to start off I have my ancestor's surnames:

Przytula/ Przytulski, Kling
Wojtkowiak / Voight
Zdziebko / Jepko, Japko, Zipko

Please see my sample webpage:



My last notebook covered online European maps for Polish research. This notebook entry highlights online maps for North American research.

Successful researchers will access current as well as period maps.

The Library of Congress is a great place to find 19th century maps.
The panoramic map selection has a range of U.S. and Canadian cities and towns during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The collection includes many panoramas of large and small communities that Poles settled in including 18 for Chicago, 2 for Michigan City, Indiana, an 1878 map of Chicopee, Mass. The mining areas in Michigan like Red Jacket and Ironwood are also represented.

Animated Census / Surnames

The Hamrick Software website uses government census date to show the frequency and distribution of names in the continental US. The maps use data from the 1850, 1880, 1920 and 1990 US Census.

I created a set of maps for the surname Adamski. The surname did not appear in the 1850 nor 1880 database. (it uses the 50,000 most commonly occurring names in the US) The 1920 and 1990 distribution maps appear below. Once the maps are created you can animate them on the website.

Animated county lines maps software is available. They use 2,300 maps to show the changing state and county lines from 1776 to the present. They explain why these maps are useful: Just about every researcher deals with the problem of finding an old town that has long-since disappeared from the map. The software also had SiteFinder a guide to locate cemeteries, farms, country schools, mining camps and railway stations.

Sanborn Maps
Sanborn maps were created by the insurance industry to identify the location and materials of structures in communities across the US. Many researchers have accessed these maps at archives and libraries. These maps are now available online. The most common access is via a local library. Since the annual membership for the collection is pricey your local library is most likely to offer just your state. Sanborn Maps are excellent references for identifying older neighborhoods that our ancestors settled. I understand from a colleague who attended the 2004 Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research that the whole US collection can be accesses at the Samford University Library in Birmingham, Alabama.

There are several hundred maps for Detroit that range from 1884 to 1951 while out state regions such as Negaunne has 7 maps available. Access to the maps of the Polish neighborhoods of Detroit provided long sought information that there were two churches side by side at St. Casimir and there was a notation on the Felecian Sisters Convent that their orphan accommodated 100 girls.

Many researchers use Heritage Quest Online at their local library and now can buy an inexpensive membership to the Godfrey Library (as a Godfrey Scholar ) and access heritagequest online via their home computer. The Books online have histories and city directories for the regions common the Polish American community. A quick search yielded great maps for Pani Maria,Texas, East Chicago, Indiana and Buffalo, New York.

Canadian Maps
Colleagues whose ancestors settled in Canada will find useful maps on the Library and Archives of Canada website.

Kashubian researchers will find maps Wilno, Renfew, Ontario. View both sections B8 and B9 for the full view of Renfrew. Renfrew farmers are listed in the 1880 Atlas of Ontario hosted on the McGill University website.

Using the people search I found five residences born in Poland including Jacob Zielinskie living in Kleinburg, Vaughan Twp.,York. He was a druggist. Search results for birth place GERMANY brought up 459 matches.

Michigan Plat Maps are available online. I searched for a Polish framing community of Freesoil, Mason, MI. Two maps were online for the location. There are 6 online maps for Calumet, Houghton Co., MI.

Top of Page


Home | Directory | About Us | Membership | PGSA Store | Contact Us | Site Map
© 1978-2015 Polish Genealogical Society of America, All rights reserved.
Website questions: webmaster@pgsa.org