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I highly suspect that the Polish name MARIA SLIWINSKI was misspelled in English producing MARIA(ANNE) ZIELINSKI. Pls help if you find some evidence.

in Genealogy Help by
recategorized by Chris Whitten

1 Answer

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It is quite common to find misspellings and alternate spellings in the English written version of names.  In colonial times, many could not read nor write, and the person recording the birth/marriage/death; deeds and census data wrote and spelled  'what they heard'.

For example: a simple name like ADAMS can be found as ADAMMS, ADAMES, ADAMMES, ADDAMES  etc. and Smith can be SMYTH, SMYTHE etc.

In recording later census data and even in recording entry at Ellis Island - those taking in the information and filling out forms- still recorded what the 'heard' and often spelled name phonetically or by sound.  Add an accent to that - and you get many spellings of both first and last names.

I have a friend whose mother is named on her entry papers to the US as 'Anna' and her sister - 2 years older- also 'Anna' because the person recording names at Ellis Island could not understand their parents.  I think she said their real names were 'Anastasia' and 'Penelope" and their Surname spelling was changed also.

So when the two little sisters started school - in different grades - they had the exact same name but diiferent birth dates on their documentation!

The best you can do is compare documented dates and locations and related family members and make assumptions from there.
edited by Chris Hoyt

I lived in the community of Hamtramck, MI in the 1930's -this was an immigrant community of Polish-Catholics that  made up 80% of the 48,000 people there.  Later, I was a postman in this city.  We had a number of Sliwinski's that were not Zielinski's which was my mother's maiden name.

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