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Krejpcio
Created by Administrator Account in 5/1/2012 1:26:49 PM

 


… As far as I know, it was Boleslaw Krcipczio, altho his immigration papers showed it as Krejpcio, The latter is what I used when I was in grade school. It is now spelled Krepshaw. The passenger list indicates he was from Biala Wala, Russia. I guess that is/was a Polish province taken over by Russia. He immigrated to Phila., PA.

Well, there are so many Polish surnames that it's tough to say anything definitive about them if you don't have a correct spelling -- and Krcipczio makes no sense phonetically or linguistically, it's surely a misreading or misspelling somewhere along the line. However, there is a name Krejpcio which might fit -- it's close to some of the variant spellings you gave, and would be pronounced roughly "CRAPE-cho" (rhymes with "scrape-snow"), which could easily become Krepshaw in America. I can't be certain that's the right name, but it's close enough to be worth mentioning.

As of 1990 there were 172 Polish citizens by that name, of whom the vast majority (141) lived in the province of Suwałki, in northeastern Poland, on the border with Lithuania. And Krejpcio is almost certainly Lithuanian in terms of linguistic origin. It appears to come from the Lithuanian word kreipti, "to turn, make crooked." I would suppose the name might have referred originally to someone who had something crooked about him -- not meaning he was a crook, but rather that he had a crooked leg or back or something like that. We see a lot of Polonized forms of Lithuanian names near the border, so that makes sense in terms of what you said. The area was originally Polish, but was taken over by Russia in the 1800's. And vast numbers of Polish-Lithuanian immigrants settled in Pennsylvania, so that fits too.

… His papers also had last spelled as ....Krepcio, Krepshio. I cannot find Biala, Wala anywhere on a map that I have. Can you help me??? This info. is necessary, as I want to find his birth certificate so I can find out who his parents were.

Place names with bial- in them are very common -- the root just means "white." Biala Wala doesn't seem right, but Biala Wola could well work. There could be quite a few little villages or communities by that name, but I notice there is at least one on the map, a little village called Biała Wola (the ł is pronounced like our w) in the extreme northern part of what is now the province of Olsztyn. This is some distance west of Suwałki province, but not so far as to be implausible -- and it is still quite near the border with Lithuania. So geographically speaking, it fits -- it was in the Russian partition, and it's close to Lithuania. I can't guarantee it's right, but I think the chances are good enough to make it worth a look... If it doesn't pan out, I'd try "Biala Woda" (literally "white water"), but I'd try Biala Wola, Olsztyn province, first. The only problem is, my sources list no Krejpcio's in Olsztyn province, so if they did live there once, they seem to have moved or died out. But some of the Krejpcio's in Suwałki province may well be relatives.

To find birth certificates, you need the parish church that served the community in question. I can't find anything that says for sure which parish serves Biała Wola, but on the map it appears Lubomino is the closest -- it's only a few kilometers away, that probably is where folks in Biała Wola would go to register births, deaths, and marriages. I don't know if the LDS Family History Library has microfilmed the records for Lubomino parish, but I'd suggest going to the nearest Mormon Family History Center and seeing if those records are on file. If they are, you can have them loaned from Salt Lake City to your FHC and can look through them there -- much faster and cheaper than writing to Poland. If it turns out the records you need aren't available through the FHL, then you may have to write the parish in Poland, or the Polish National Archives.

As I say, there are too many variables here for me to be sure I'm right. But if I were you, I'd try looking for a family named Krejpcio living in or near Biała Wola, Olsztyn province, probably served by Lubomino Catholic parish.

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

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