Sunday, October 11, 2009

Niwiska on You Tube

Last night I was in a "Polish" mood and thought that I would check You Tube to see what I could find. Usually my first inclination is to think about something related to my grandfather's parish, Niwiska, so I typed that in the search box and found a couple of wonderful videos posted recently.
I was not disappointed in these videos and would like to share one of them here.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Meaning of the surname Warunek

Quite often we like to know about the origins of our surname. For most people, their last name has been derived from a place, person, occupation, animals, nature, food and beverages, or foreign source.
William F. Hoffman's book called Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings, is the best reference for Polish researchers to use when trying to get a grasp on their surname.
The surname Warunek is a funny sounding kind of surname which does not fit any of the above categories. In Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski's Polish-English, English-Polish Dictionary, the meaning of Warunek is condition, requirement, term, stipulation or circumstance.
I can only imagine where or how the surname originated. The earliest records found for anyone with this name were for Josephus Calesantius Warunek who lived in Gura Humora, Bukowina in the early 18th century. Today this is the country of Romania. In the ancestral village of my family, Hucisko which is in the parish of Niwiska, the first Warunek found was Andreas in 1794. The sources for this information was obtained through microfilmed records of the Mormon Church.
In 2002, Kazimierz Rymut developed a database with surname distribution in Poland. According to his research, there were 223 persons living in 37 counties with this surname. This included 106 men and 117 women.
Another online resource which we can use is To use this site, click on the English flag on the top right side and search away!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Selected Surnames

As researchers, we are often interested in the surnames from surrounding area where our ancestors lived. My father's family came from Hucisko, Poland in the parish of Niwiska, near Kolbuszowa.
Before I began researching my grandfather's family, the only surnames that I was aware of was Warunek and Opiela or Zadlo, but as the quest continued over the years, more names were added.
This information came from a baptismal certificate which was issued in the late 1940's and a typed form which gave basic names and dates.
The parents of Jozef Warunek, my grandfather, were Jan and Anna Zadlo, although for many years we thought it was Anna Opiela. It is written that way in some of the church records in Detroit but have no supporting documents from Poland to prove otherwise so I have to go by the names on Jozef's baptismal certificate.
Once I learned about the wonderful collection of microfilms preserved by the Mormon Church, I was able to further investigate my ancestors. I could only hope that all the years I needed to look at were microfilmed by the Mormons. As time passed, I found out that was not the case, but that is another story.
By spending countless hours viewing microfilm 0996700, I was able to extract many surnames connected to my branch of the Warunek family and others. This roll covers the years 1785-1855.
Some of these surnames are: Bialek, Cebula, Cwanek, Dluzen, Dziewit, Guzior, Kasza, Jemiolo, Kuca, Kuna, Mazur, Opiela, Regula, Saj, Staron, Swider, Warunek, Zadlo, Ziemba, Zielinski and Zuba.