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Mentus - Miętus
Created by Administrator Account in 9/27/2010 9:00:39 AM

 


… I have additional information on the surname of my Grandmother. Her maiden name was spelled Mentus but she told my aunt that it was originally spelled Mietus and that her father had come from a part of Poland ruled by Germany.

It was almost certainly spelled Miętus, where ę is pronounced like "en" -- so it would sound a lot like "Mentus," and that's why it came to be spelled that way. This name comes from a word miętus, the burbot, a kind of fish (Lota vulgaris). Surnames from the names of animals and fish are quite common in Poland; this might mean an ancestor caught or sold this fish, or somehow reminded people of it -- all we can know for sure is that there was something about him that made this name seem appropriate.

As of 1990 there were 859 Poles named Miętus; the largest numbers lived in the provinces of Warsaw (110), Nowy Sacz (209), and Siedlce (133), but there were people by that name all over the country (I'm afraid I don't have access to further details such as first names and addresses). Germany ruled most of northern and western Poland before World War II, so I'm afraid that doesn't narrow it down much.

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

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