Archive for March 25th, 2013

March 25, 2013

A BANAS marriage record from the METRYK project …

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

BANASThis bit of blog is for Michelle Ann Kratts.

банас =  BANAS . The first set of characters(банас) is the RUSSIAN written in CYRILLIC characters.  Look at the name in the RED Boxes in the image. This is a marriage record (#9 from 1869 in STASZOW powiat of old wojewodztwo Kielce/Kieleckie):

From the METRYK project on the PTG website ( You need to know how BANAS/банас looks in Indexes so that you can find your family records. Archaic Russian Cyrillic handwriting is difficult to read. The Russians reformed the CYRLLIC character set in 1918, so they no longer write Russian like you see in these church records — so Russian Language experts may struggle a bit. I taught myself to read Russian from the Hoffman/Shea book, I am far from fluent in Russian, but I have mastered enough Russian to read genealogy records (with their limited vocabulary). You can too!

I wanted to mention that you see Janem Banasiem (Latin for the Polish name Jan Banas ) following the Russian version of that name. That and the ‘Maryanna Glibowna’ are the only little bits written in the Latin alphabet, the rest are written in Russian, using the CYRILLIC character set.

As you may or may not know the ‘-owna’ ending on Maryanna’s name indicates she is an unmarried maiden. So her name is really Maryanna GLIB (not GLIBOWNA). The ‘owna’ ending is a grammatical construct. OWNA (single woman) – OWA (married woman) -KICH or -OW (family name plural).

In my family:

ELIJASZ (a man), ELIJASZOWNA (an umarried woman), ELIJASZOWA (a married woman), ELIJASZOW (the ELIJASZ family).  I record the name as ELIJASZ in the family tree. Actually, my family name has evolved a bit so I find it as: ELIASZ or ELIJASZ or ELJASZ or HELIASZ . Sometimes a priest will leave off the ‘Z’.

I do not think the BANAS name will show such variation, but you never know. I could imagine finding a BANAC  or BANASZ too. In practice, I have always seen your name written as:



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