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Borowski - Burowski - Buruffski
Created by Administrator Account in 3/14/2010 5:02:25 AM

 


...I recently found your web site through a link from genealogy search web site. After reading your page I thought perhaps you could help me. I am trying to find information on the Polish surname Buruffski. The name belonged to my maternal grandfather (who I never knew)...

As of 1990 there was no one in Poland named Buruffski, and that spelling looks all wrong to me. Most likely the spelling was changed at some point, to make it easier to pronounce; this may have happened during the course of emigration, or it may have happened while your ancestors were still in Europe. If, for instance, they lived in the areas ruled by Germany about 1772-1918 the Germans, who tried to wipe out the Polish culture and language, may have changed it without asking. In any case, that spelling is not likely to be the correct original spelling, which you will probably need to get anywhere with your research. The question is, what was the spelling? I can't be sure, there are many possibilities. The two most likely, from a phonetic point of view are Burowski or Borowski -- the first is pronounced something like "burr-OFF-skee," the second like "bore-OFF-skee." It's not hard to see how either could be mangled into Buruffski. Going by numbers alone, Borowski is the more likely choice: as of 1990 there were 24,889 Poles named Borowski, living all over the country, as opposed to only 84 named Burowski (of whom 55 lived in Krakow province, and a few scattered here and there in other provinces). In some ways, that first syllable of Buruffski suggests it was Burowski, and that might be easier for you -- the other name is so common it's hard to get anywhere with it. Still, with names you really can't jump to conclusions, sometimes you look at the original form and what it ended up as and you're left scratching your head and wondering "How on earth did it get changed to that?"

I'm afraid you'll have to try to find some other records that give the names and especially the place of birth in Poland for your ancestors - the surname alone just doesn't give you enough to go on. That's usually the case, by the way, folks often contact me hoping I can give them a hot clue that'll take 'em right where they need to go. Usually I have to disappoint them (and I hate disappointing people). Still, better to tell the truth than encourage them with false hopes that will inevitably be dashed!

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

 

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