Widowed New Mother & New Born Child's Last Name in Lodz (1874) #poland #lodz

Marilyn Robinson

I have a birth record for Haim Majer RAJCHMAN with the following information:

Mother: Fajga ABRAMOWICZ (born possibly GAYMAN? or RAJCH/RAYEH or something else---unclear in document); widowed in 1873
Father: Haim Majer ABRAMOWICZ
Place/Date of Birth: June 3, Lodz
Name of Child: Haim Majer

The birth record was filed under the name "Haim Majer RAJCHMAN" [film 007990374, image 467 of 595, Akt 164]
Is it possible that the mother's maiden name, which is unclear in the record, was RAJCHMAN?

Was it common for a mother's maiden name to be used for a newborn's last name, if the father died prior to birth?

Why wasn't the father's last name used?? Because couldn't testify that the child was his (because he was dead??????

If the mother remarried, would she have used her maiden name or her married name??

Thank you,
Marilyn Robinson
Searching: Reichman, Taflowicz, Rajnglas/Reinglas, Zolna, Michalowicz ---all in Poland (Tomaszow Maz, Lodz)

Sally Bruckheimer <sallybruc@...>

Often marriages of Jews were banned or heavily taxed on Europe, so couples married religiously only. The government then considered their children illegitimate - but that didn't bother the Jews who knew the couple married. So this baby was 'illegitimate' and given the mother's maiden name. Sometimes birth records didn't mention the father, but usually he came to record the birth, but there was no 'his wife' who gave birth to the baby, just Sura Szwarc or whatever.

I once transcribed records for a Polish town in WW I and later. When Poland became a state, suddenly there were a lot more marriages than usual (maybe 30 times more), with the couples often having 10 or 15 kids. The couples had married religiously, maybe 20 or more years earlier, and now they could marry civilly.

Sally Bruckheimer
Princeton, NJ

Barry Clarke


My great grandmother Molly Szklarkiewicz (her maiden name) was widowed when her husband died or was killed while serving in the army, around the time their son, my grandfather Samuel, was born; he was born in 1881, we believe in Krakow. We know nothing about this man other than that his last name was Steiglitz (my father's spelling) or similar. Molly was from Jedwabne, Poland. We have thus far been unsuccessful in locating any marriage, birth or military records in Poland. My father told me that Molly reverted to her maiden name Szklarkiewicz, anglicised to Clarke, and Samuel and our family thereafter were known - from her maiden name - as Clarke. This, on the face of it, answers part of Marilyn's question re a baby being given the mother's maiden name after the father died. However, the following complicates this issue! My father had also told me that Molly married a man she met on the ship over when emigrating with baby Samuel to the UK; he died before my father was born, and my father did not know his name. In my research, I discovered this man was Jacob Clarke. From his UK Naturalization Certificate, we know he was from Losice, Siedlce in Poland and it gives his parents' names but, as was the general case the anglicised family name, that is Clarke. Was it a coincidence that a Clarke married a Clarke (meeting on the ship over suggests this was not a relative) or MY QUESTION might Jacob have taken Molly's family name instead of his own, and if so for what reason? Their UK civil marriage record, which clearly consists of misspellings including Mille instead of Molly, does confirm Molly's maiden name was "Shklarkiewitz" and her widowed name was "Staglitz" ("Steglitz" on the Marriage Authorisation). Jacob is recorded only as Jacob Clarke. 

Does anyone have any thoughts/suggestions on this?

Barry Clarke
CLARKE/SZKLARKIEWICZ from Jedwabne and possibly Warsaw, Siedlce, Krakow. Emigrated to Dublin, then Liverpool. Maybe a connection to ELLENBOGENS
STEIGLITZ/SZTYGLIC OR SIMILAR from Galicia possibly. Died in military around 1881.
BARNETT/BIENSTOCK OR SIMILAR from Poland (don't know where). Emigrated to S. Wales, UK
LEVINSON changed to BRAHAM from Kalisz, Poland 
NEWMARK/NEUMARK from Posen/Poznan, Poland
MYERS from Manchester area, emigrated to S. Africa. 
GOODMAN, JACOBS, MOSES Don't know from where but emigrated to UK, some to Cornwall, others to S. Wales