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Hamm - Kaider - Kajder
Created by Administrator Account in 5/12/2010 1:40:31 PM

 


... I am currently (4 yrs.) researching my Polish roots. I checked your surnames and found Kajdasz, however, my research found Kajder changed to Kaider. Could this be the same? My grandfathers papers read Galicia. Grandma is a mystery....Maiden name Ham or Hamm also from Galicia. My father was fostered as a child.....deceased now and I know very little about my Polish Roots.

Kajder or Kaider (just different ways of spelling the same thing) would probably not be the same as Kajdasz; it probably started out as a German name, rather than Polish. This is not unusual, there were many Germans who came to Poland in the 12th-15th century, settled down, and became "Poles"; their names often stayed the same but were spelled differently, according to Polish rather than German phonetic values. Just going by the sound, I'd say the original German name was probably spelled Kaider, Käuder, Keider, or Keuder. I can't find any of those names in my sources, but I don't have as much on German names as I do Polish.

As of 1990 there were 163 Polish citizens named Kajder; they were scattered all over the country, with no real concentration in any one place. We must also remember that "Galicia" was that part of the former Commonwealth of Poland that was ruled by Austria, and it covered what is now southeastern Poland and western Ukraine. So you may find your ancestors came from what is now Ukraine.

Ham or Hamm is probably also German, although it could also come from Polish cham, "yokel, rustic." As of 1990 there were 8 Polish citizens named Ham, living in the provinces of Lodz (1) and Tarnów (7). There were 7 named Ham, living in the provinces of Katowice (3), Lodz (3), and Zielona Gora (1). Unfortunately I only have access to this data and no more, so I can't get first names or addresses of individuals by those names.

Copyright © 2000 W.F. Hoffman. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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