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Ciborek - Czciborek
Created by Administrator Account in 10/15/2009 1:38:11 PM


... I realize you probably have many people sending you emails about their surnames from the Genpol group, but I have one that's stumping me, and I thought perhaps you could shed some light. The surname is Ciborek, and a friend has your book, and said he couldn't find it in there. The family came from the Posen region in the mid-late 1800s. I have a copy of a marraige from the original register in Szamotuły, and this is the correct Polish spelling. However, my g-grandmother spelled it Cziborek on the ship coming over, but it remained Ciborek again in the states.


Ciborek isn't in my book, but Cibor is, and the -ek is a diminutive ending. Cibor probably comes from either an old Polish first name Czcibor (from roots meaning "worship, revere" + "battle") or from the noun cibor, the cyperus. Of the two, I think the old name Czcibor is the more likely source, in most cases. The pronunciation of Czcibor is rather difficult, and it is quite credible that it would often be simplified to Cibor (which sounds sort of like CHEE-bore). Then the addition of the -ek would make Ciborek mean "little Cibor, Cibor's son." A great many Polish surnames originated just this way... Cziborek is not possible or correct in terms of proper Polish spelling, CZ cannot be followed by I (only ci or czy- are possible letter combinations); that doesn't mean you'd never see it, but you'd expect to see the "correct" spellings Czciborek or Ciborek more often.


I listed Cibor and Ciborowski and Ciborski in my book because they are very common names. Ciborek is less common; as of 1990 there were only 308 Polish citizens with that surname. Here, from the 10-volume Directory of Surnames in Current Use in Poland [Słownik nazwisk współcześnie w Polsce uźywanych] is the breakdown of how many people lived in each province:

Ciborek: 308; Warsaw 127, Białystok 3, Gdansk 2, Gorzow 2, Katowice 3, Lodz 5, Łomża 22, Nowy Sacz 1, Opole 4, Pila 2, Poznan 80, Siedlce 14, Skierniewice 3, Suwałki 19, Szczecin 16, Zielona Gora 3

Obviously Warsaw province, the area immediately around the capital city, is where you find the biggest concentration of Ciboreks, but there are some scattered throughout the rest of the country too. It's interesting that the second biggest concentration is in the province of Poznan, which fits in nicely with the info you have.


You might be able to get the address of some Ciboreks in Poznan province by writing to the Polish Genealogical Society of America, 984 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago IL 60622, and asking how much it would cost to have them search the Poznan province telephone directory for listings of Ciboreks. This isn't a sure bet -- phones in private homes are far less common in Poland than here -- but it's the only way I know of you might get the address of some relatives in Poland. The Polish provincial telephone directories are not available on-line, you have to order them, and they're expensive -- I think each one is $40 or so. The PGSA has copies of many of them, and I'm sure they have the Poznan one; I don't think the search would be terribly expensive. It costs less to have just one place searched, because the directories are organized poorly; you can't just look up all the Ciboreks in the province, it's not listed that way. You have to go through each individual town and village listed separately. So if you just ask for Ciboreks in Poznan itself, rather than the whole province, that will make the search much cheaper -- perhaps something like $10 or so. But it's best to write and ask them before you have it done. And there is no guarantee any Ciboreks will be listed.


Copyright © 1998 W.F. Hoffman. All rights reserved. Used by permission.




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