Re: Searching GORDON family, Libau -> Londonderry, Ireland c1884 #courland #latvia #general


Mikkitobi@...
 

There are 2 often-quoted theories about the GORDON surname in Lithuania.

One suggests that it is a mangled version of the town name Grodno - I doubt it.

The other is the one I think more likely.

In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth there was significant contact between that country and Scotland. As well as some Scottish merchants, some of the Lithuanian Princes employed mercenary soldiers in their private armies and some of them were Scots. In part payment for their services they were often given land.  When Jewish families living on those lands had to choose a surname some may have chosen the name of their landowner. 

In the town of Kedainiai there is a 'Scottish Quarter'.  See http://polishscottishheritage.co.uk/?heritage_item=scots-in-poland which as well as documenting many of the early connections between the two countries also mentions Alexander CHALMERS who was four times mayor of Warsaw in 1691, 1694, 1696 and 1702. His Polish name was Aleksander CZAMER (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Chalmers_(mayor_of_Warsaw) ).

Michael Tobias
Glasgow, Scotland

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