Using the patronymic as a surname #poland


My Grandmother came >from Tykocin and her maiden name was Leibowitz. Her
mother's maiden name was variations of the spelling Kshevin, Krzewin,
Kchevin etc.

I hired a researcher to find the marriage record of my great grandparents
giving her the information I had. She sent me the marriage record of a
Josel Slepak, age 36 a widower and Braine Krzewin age 20. I did know that
my great grandfather had a first wife who had died. So when I got the
marriage record I was surprised to find that my great grandfather was
Josel Slepak (not Josel Leibowicz) son of deceased Lejb and living Rejza.

I figured that the researcher had made a mistake but my great grandmother's
name was unusual enough that I realized the researcher must have had the
correct record. The marriage record gave the names of my great grandmother's
parents so using that information to search JRI Poland I was able to find
the birth records of my great uncle Jankel Krzewin's birth and marriage.
That further supported that that was the correct marriage record.

Someone pointed out to me that Leibowitz was my great grandfather's
Patronymic. My great grandfather passed away when my grandmother was about
13 which was around 1906. Her sister was the first in the family to
immigrate in 1904 and she used the surname Leibowice. She was followed by
the oldest brother in 1906 and he also used the name Leibowice. So the
surname Leibowitz, not Slepak, was being used by the family in Poland
before my great grandfather passed away.

My question was why the entire family used the surname Leibowitz or
Leibowicz and not Slepak? Was there any precedent for taking the Patronymic
as the surname and dropping the "real" surname?

Meryl Rizzotti

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