Letter From Olivier – #Genealogy, #Polish, #Russian

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Olivier, first thanks for reading/writing the blog …

I’ve been reading your genealogy blog for a year now and I’ve found some nice infomration from and a lot of good humour as well, thank you and good job.
I trying to research my in-law’s side of the family. They come from Lomza and Grajewo region of Poland, I believe it is the Podlaskie District. The names are Bruszkiewicz and Jurkowski, and Trepanowski (a cousin).

I registered with GenBaza.pl and genetyka.pl and metryki but it doesn’t look as easy as how you made it look in your blog stories to find available scans. And then when I go to the Polish State Archives, well the short of it is I don’t read Russian (and I don’t read Polish either but I can read indexes, I can’t in Russian) and I don’t know how to spell Bruszkiewicz in Russian. So when I am faced with an index or i’m looking at a page of 4 birth certificates, i don’t even know what I’m looking at.


Then I will need to find help with translations.

Do you have any tips on how to translate a Polish family name into how it would be spelled in Russian? And written by hand in a civil register?

As anyone indexed these parishes?

Any encouragements or tips would be welcomed if possible 🙂 The whole thing feels like a brick wall!

Thank you for any help, and good job on the blog!

Best, Olivier

Ok let me see in what ways I can help you:

  1. First I am self taught in Russian and Polish from books written by William F. Hoffman and Jon Shea. So I’d recommend purchasing & reading their books, “In Their Own Words …” .  Volumes I & II.
  2. Also it is helpful to know Polish and learn the families and village names in Polish as this will help when you learn to read Russian. Translating names back & forth between Polish & Russian is more art than science.  So knowing family names  before tackling helps. Lets try a few names: Eliasz became Elijasz under Russian (1868-1918) in Russian-Poland partition. So I was expecting to see: елиашь  or элиашь but was surprised to see it as: елияшь  or элияшь in Russian/Cyrillic. So learn the Cyrillic “alphabet”  and the sounds of those letters so you can transliterate Polish/English/Latin letters into Russian/Cyrillic.  SteveMorse.org has a good English-to-Russian (and vice-versa) tool at:   http://stevemorse.org/russian/eng2rus.html

So if we try, “Bruszkiewicz”, we get (try the first one, but keep in mind that you are liable to see any below):

Брушзкивич, Брюшзкивич, Бружзкивич, Брюжзкивич, Брушжкивич, Брюшжкивич, Бружжкивич, Брюжжкивич, Брушзкиевич, Брюшзкиевич, Бружзкиевич, Брюжзкиевич, Брушжкиевич, Брюшжкиевич, Бружжкиевич, Брюжжкиевич

  1. You are correct about Lomza/Grajewo current wojewowdztwo. Both appear to be indexed in Geneteka. You can try the website: http://www.ksiegi-parafialne.pl/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=236&Itemid=331
  2. Grajewo is in Szukajwarchiwach (1890-1912): http://szukajwarchiwach.pl/5/525/0/str/1/15?sort=4&ps=True#tabJednostki . Have you read my documentation for using Szukajwarchiwach?
  3. Let’s see what “Bruszkiewicz” looks like in 1890 index in Cyrillic cursive writing: … ok I could not find Bruszkiewicz in a handful of years that I searched in both Grajewo and Lomza. Perhaps you need to verify the locale.
  4. So I went back to Geneteka and found a Bruszkiewicz in the index that I could locate online. I wanted to show you what it looks like in cursive Cyrillic:

Bruszkiewicz

 

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