This is Major … Major = Maycher (also Majcher, Maicher)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Jakob MAYCHER from Biechow Parish 1880

Stanczyk has been trying to find someone to help him confirm that MAJOR (pronounced by my family in USA as My-Her and misspelled in USA as Meyer) was the Russification of the Biechow family name that has been in Biechow at least since the 1670’s (as far as the record goes back) of Maicher/Maycher/Majcher. In fact the Maicherowich have married the Eliaszow for many years.

Now I have a good friend Jasek of Krakow (a native Pole) who has helped me with my genealogical research (since we both have family from the same ancestral villages). I first proposed to that ELIASZ = HELIASZ = ELIJASZ and after some time and mutual research he agreed with me. I said that ELIJASZ was just the Russification of ELIASZ due to Russian/Cyrillic transliteration. As I said, Jasek accepted my findings and blessed what he called this name “evolution”.

So when I proposed that MAJOR=MAICHER/MAJCHER/MAYCHER and gave my reasons (i.e. no MAJOR before Russian Partition and no MAICHER after the Russian Partition, etc.). I was taken back by my friends, “Perhaps”. If it is one thing I knew about the very polite Poles, is that they will not say you are wrong — unless they know you very well. So instead of a “I don’t think so” or an outright, “I believe you are wrong”, Jasek said, “Perhaps” in an unconvincing fashion that crushed my hopes.

So today as I was looking at microfilm images verifying the Priest names, I was looking at Biechow parish  Marriage Record #4 from 1880. I was interested because, I saw the groom’s name was MAJOR and I thought perhaps he was a brother to my great-grandmother (Aniela Major Leszczynska). So I looked at the record closely to see who the parents of JAKOB MAJOR were. Now when I did, I got excited, because I found the mom was Sofia Heliasz (always good to find those female relatives and their married names). I then noticed that the groom’s father was Antoni MAJOR. I then tried to find a Sophia/Zofia Eliasz/Heliasz in my family tree in the appropriate era and see if I had one that married a Maicher. Lo and Behold, I had my long sought after proof.

I had a Zofia Eliasz married to Antoni Maicher and that they were born about 1814. So when I saw that their Jakob was age 39 in 1880 (implying birth about 1841, when the parents would have been about 27) and I saw that he was born in Piestrzec, the same village where the parents were married, his birth of 1841 is after the 1832 marriage date of the parents.  I knew I had a match. Not only did  I have MAJOR=MAYCHER, I also had a bonus of HELIASZ=ELIASZ [long since convinced of this]. Now this was significant as I had my first proof across the Russian language boundary to the pre-1868 Polish language days.

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