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Created by Administrator Account in 10/18/2009 8:15:29 AM


... Your Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings, Second Edition is a real hit at our house!

Delighted to hear it! If people pay good money for the book, I want them to feel they got their money's worth. It's gratifying when folks tell me the book really did them some good.

... Lo and behold there is Kiełton on page 289. We have never seen that name anywhere!! We found about three Kieltons in the People Search of the US. John's mother's maiden name is Kielton. Now, I have a question. There is the number (8) next to the Kielton name. If I understand this correctly - that is the number of Kieltons living in Poland???

That is correct, as of 1990 there were 8 Polish citizens by the name of Kiełtoń: 1 in Krakow province, 7 in Nowy Sacz province... Actually, it was sheer luck that name appears in my book. I noticed there were 1,518 Poles named Kiełtyka, so I resolved to include that name, especially if I could find any good sources on its derivation (in general I wanted to include any name with more than 1,000, unless I had absolutely no idea what the name came frm). Then I noticed Rymut had an entry on Kiełtyka, giving its derivation, so that meant that name was definitely going in! When I typed that entry, I noticed there was room in the line for another name; and I believe I remember I had seen somewhere that a PGS member was researching the name (presumably you!?). I felt fairly sure Kiełtoń comes from the same root, so I went ahead and included it. That name got in there simply because there was enough room in the line for another name! I was trying to hold the size of the book down, I might not have included it if it had required a second line... The funny part is, now I notice that Kiełt has 304 bearers, and if I had noticed that I would have included it, and maybe omitted Kiełtoń, and you'd have missed out. So let's be glad things worked out the way they did!

......Where would I find these Kielton names? John's grandfather listed Poland-Austria as his birthplace on the 1900 Census. We have no other info about him except that he came to South Bend, Indiana about 1910.

Ah, that's the tough part. The organization that maintains the database from which those figures are taken will not share any other data with anyone. Part of the deal with Rymut was "Yes, you can use our totals for each surname and our breakdown per province -- but nothing else!" So we know 1 Kiełtoń lived in Krakow province, and we know 7 lived in Nowy Sącz province -- but that's as far as we can go. Frustrating! For what it's worth, Nowy Sącz was in Galicia, so "Poland-Austria" fits; the Kiełtońs in the Nowy Sącz region are very likely to be relatives.

What might be worth a try is to take a look at a telephone directory for Nowy Sącz province. Phones in private homes are far less common in Poland than here, so there's no guarantee any of those Kiełtońs would be listed. But it's the only thing I can think of, and with 7 of them, just maybe 1 will be listed! The problem with Polish directories is, they are organized by province, and they go through each community, one at a time. So you can't just consult a master list for "Kiełtoń", you have to check this village, then the next one, then the next, and so on, to the end. It makes it a long and tedious process; but it can be done, and it just might pay off.

The Polish Museum of America Library has some of the provincial phone directories, but I don't know if it has Nowy Sącz province. If not, the PGS-Connecticut/ Northeast has the complete set. I don't know how much they'd charge to look through the Nowy Sącz directory for Kiełtoń listings, but it might be worth asking. I think you have their address (if I remember right, you're a member, aren't you?) but in case you don't, it's PGS-CT, 8 Lyle Rd., New Britain CT 06053.

This is not a sure thing, it may lead nowhere. But I'm afraid I can't think of anything else to do. I hope some day the Polish government will realize the benefits of sharing info, and maybe then getting in touch with relatives will be easier. But for now we have to use what resources we have, even though they leave a lot to be desired.

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




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