Monday, November 19, 2007

Just when you think you know someone...

I am named after my father, Jesse Piszczor. So you would think I would know his name. Granted, I never could find out why he was named Jesse or who he was named after. Now when I was very young I remember my grandfather, Andrew Sr., calling my dad by the name 'Jacek'. Slightly confused I asked him why he called him that and was told that was his name in Polish. Knowing that Stanislaw is Polish for Stan and Jan is the equivalent for John it made sense to me and I bought it. So I went for about 40 years thinking that if I was in Poland I would be called Jacek. But I never saw this in print anywhere.

As chance and the Internet would have it I happened across a fellow from Poland while doing some research by the name of Jacek. Cool! It was the first occurrence I had and I wrote him to confirm this name translation. He wrote me back and said, "Uh, I don't think so." What we figured out is that the English name for Jacek is Hershell (?!?) and there is no Polish equivalent for Jesse! Now I'm a bit confused, but what's new?

So a couple years later I finally am able to start searching U.S. Census records and of course working to find my dad and nothing comes up in the 1920 records. I try a different tack and search for Andrew and believe I found him, but going through the names of children I can't find my dad but the rest of his brother's names fit! But there is entry for a 'Jacuces' that is just about his age so it must be him! (Just to make it more interesting I discovered he is listed in this database as James!)

Now if all this sounds banal enough I just happened to find my parents marriage certificate and my dad's baptismal certificate in a long forgotten box yesterday (which both will be their own blog entries soon!) and he is listed under another name, Hyacinth! Of course there is no English equivalent.... sure wish I knew about this years ago when I could have asked someone who might have knew what the hell was going on here while they were still alive.

(BTW-Just in case you're wondering, the earliest document I found with my dad listed as Jesse was Andrew's citizenship filling in 1924.)

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