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Zelem family - Southeast poland

badether Threads: -
Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 13, 2007
  ♀   Nov 13, 2007, 03:22am  #

My grandad was John Hlywa, married to Mariam (MARY) Baronowski. We have an entire cemetery full of East Coast Hlywa's (Connecticut river valley) There is a lot of dispute amoung the grandkids as to exactly where we're all from... We were always told "We're from Ukraine & Lithuania...they used to call it White Russia" Obviously Belarus but also have Aunts from Poland... I have many photos from that graveyard, might prove to be some use.

genekpolak     Nov 16, 2007, 03:44am  #

Hi Genek .
My name is also Genek Zelem and my Late Father came from Bodaki. his name was Stefan. My mother Jozefa maiden name was Sabat and she came from the Przemysl region.They met while in forced labour in Austria in 1942.I know I have relatives on my fathers side in UK, USA, Canada and Poland. On my mothers side in Poland and Ukraine. Would be interested in hearing from anybody that is related to me ,I live in Leeds UK. Grandfather Zelem is buried in Bodaki and Grandmother Zelem is buried near Wroclaw. Grandfather and Grandmother Sabat are buried in the Ukraine.

wozzy Threads: 10
Posts: 228
Joined: Jul 12, 2006
  ♂   Nov 16, 2007, 09:46am  #

genekpolak Hi.

Good to hear of you, but you just missed a hell of a opertunity, I just got back from Poland and Bodaki. I was told that there was another family of Zelems who were from Bodaki or Bartne but not related could have been your dads family.

My surname is not Zelem that was my mothers maiden name. Grandad and Grandma Zelem are both buried in the same grave in a cemetry near Wroclaw, visited the site also two weeks ago. There are other aunts and uncles buried in the wroclaw area.Lots of cusins and extended family around there too.

Strange how the names reacur within a family, Had a cusin Stefan he died in america some five years ago. Had two uncles in Canada Michael and Paulo they are now dead also. There is some family in America also but don't know much about them as yet.

There is lots more to find out, and will return to Poland again in the spring.

Hello again Genekpolak.............just a quick update ifyou'r still around. I had a word with my mother last week and I mentioned your family to her, and behold it is very possible that your family, although not related have been visitors at our home near Manchester.
Apparently after your family had visited Bodaki you came to visit bringing my mother a jar of honey from her brother Piotr's bees.
If you have a sister called Soscia then you'r the one.

genekpolak     Dec 5, 2007, 04:27am  #

Hi Wozzy
Yes it was my Family which visited yours in Manchester.
My late Father told me your family were cousins from the Bodaki area in Poland.
The Zelem farmhouse is still there,I think still in the family, because it was a historic listed building.
Please keep in touch

Hi Wozzy
Just to inform you that Unharmonic Natasha is my elder daughter.
Genek Zelem

Wroclaw Threads: 71
Posts: 7,237
Joined: Apr 1, 2006
  ♂   Dec 5, 2007, 07:39am  #


If you sign up/register to the forum, you will be able to send a PM.

Just trying to help.

wozzy Threads: 10
Posts: 228
Joined: Jul 12, 2006
  ♂   Edited by: wozzy  Dec 5, 2007, 12:56pm  #

genekpolak, there is also a zelem family around oldham district in manchester. Do you have any family links with them?

Bodakiman     Dec 8, 2007, 03:48am  #

Hi Wozzy
Changed my username to Bodakiman.
Yes Soscia was related,but my Aunty
My late Father's sister who lived in Bodaki ( Married surname Novak )
My Father had 1 brother and 3 sisters saddly all have passed away. My 1st cousins now live in Poland, US and Canada.
My family do not have any links with the Oldham Zelems. I did not know of their exsistance.
Kindest Regards

bobby Threads: 7
Posts: 32
Joined: Dec 4, 2007
  ♂   Dec 8, 2007, 05:12am  #

I'm rather envious of you guys that manage to find other 'relations' of the same name simply by mentioing it here.

I've got surnames i'm looking for, that i've posted in every hole, nook, and cranny. But thus far, havent recieved any feedback.

Anyway, good luck to you all.

I'll just keep searching, hoping, and being proactive.

kaliszer Threads: -
Posts: 100
Joined: Dec 19, 2007
  ♂   Dec 19, 2007, 08:46am  #

About the possible Hebrew origin of "Zelem". The word means "image" in Hebrew, and it's also used to mean a graven image (idol or icon). In Yiddish, which uses many hebrew words, "zelem" means a crucifix. So maybe one of your ancestors was called "zelem" by Jewish neighbors referring to the cross he might have worn. You never know.

One of the other messages on this forum mentions a "Sabat" family. That very likely has a Jewish source. There were sabbath observing Russians (non-jewish) who were known as sobotniki. Maybe they weren't really russian but Rusyn.

kaliszer Threads: -
Posts: 100
Joined: Dec 19, 2007
  ♂   Dec 19, 2007, 08:49am  #

About the possible Hebrew origin of "Zelem". The word means "image" in Hebrew, and it's also used to mean a graven image (idol or icon). In Yiddish, which uses many hebrew words, "zelem" means a crucifix. So maybe one of your ancestors was called "zelem" by Jewish neighbors referring to the cross he might have worn. You never know.

wozzy Threads: 10
Posts: 228
Joined: Jul 12, 2006
  ♂   Dec 19, 2007, 12:12pm  #

Quoting: kaliszer
About the possible Hebrew origin of "Zelem". The word means "image" in Hebrew

Thats realy interesting, thanks a lot Kaliszer great post.

I had a thread on the subject but it seems to have been wiped out.(those damn americans will shoot at anything when there bored).

Admin...... What did hapen to that thread ?

kaliszer Threads: -
Posts: 100
Joined: Dec 19, 2007
  ♂   Dec 27, 2007, 06:50am  #

Anyone from Kalisz or Warta? I'd love to see old pictures of these towns where my grandfather came from.

lesser Threads: 5
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Joined: Oct 19, 2007
  ♂   Edited by: lesser  Dec 27, 2007, 08:47am  #

<div class="quoting">kaliszer wrote:

Anyone from Kalisz or Warta? I'd love to see old pictures of these towns where my grandfather came from. </div>

Here is Jewish synagogue and cemetery in Kalisz. (mostly from WWI period, begin of the XX century)


Other photos from Kalisz

kaliszer Threads: -
Posts: 100
Joined: Dec 19, 2007
  ♂   Edited by: kaliszer  Dec 27, 2007, 09:39am  #

Thank you. I saw those pictures too. I visited kalisz and the synagogue wasn't there anymore (Germans destroyed it.). But I did see the school building where my grandfather studied, which is now a municipal tax office. It's a beautiful little city. My great-grandfather was bit of an artist and he used to make pictures out of cork of buildings in Kalisz (from memory). This one was apparently the firehouse on the Nowy Rynek. I'm also attaching a photo from the stary-kalisz site. Ok, he added a few more trees and birds, but i think it's the same building. It's not there anymore either (destroyed in WWI I think).

  • Photo of old kalisz firehouse
    Photo of old kalisz firehouse

willesden     Mar 15, 2008, 11:21am  #

My paternal SCHWALBE/PATT ancestors were from Kalisz and Warta.
I am interested in learning if any records survive from the Jewish Cemetery
which still exists near the Jewish Museum, and if and where I can access them.
Any direction will be greatly appreciated.
Ena Jacobs

pm80 Threads: -
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 5, 2008
  ♂   Edited by: pm80  Jul 5, 2008, 05:02pm  #


Its a coincidence that your father changed his name to Helewa. There is already a large Helewa family that came from the Middle East in the past century. So there are now, at least, two unrelated Helewa families. But I did find some records you might want, you can contact me at fox_brevyo@trashmail.net or send me a message.

Stefansm Threads: -
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 21, 2009
  ♂   Feb 21, 2009, 11:53pm  #

Thread attached on merging:
Zelem family - Ruska Ropica-Gorlica

My great-grandfather Theodor Zelem came from the Russian Ropice 1900 year (then it was in the Austro-Hungarian Empire) in Sremska Mitrovica. I would like to know more about the origin of this family of Napoleonovog time and rodjacima.Poznato me that my grandfather Theodor came to Vojvodina (Sremska Mitrovica-Republic of Serbia), with his brother Konstantinom who had five daughters, of which three went to SAD.Dugo we were in contact with Ana (Constantine) Zelem, her grand-children are the 1960 year came in Sremska Mitrovica, because they served in the military term Nemackoj.Zeleli would continue to correspond with descendants Anne Zelem.

LCBohio     Aug 2, 2009, 05:24am  #

Zelem ancestors include Stefan Zelem (1855-1915) married Teckla Zagorsky (1860-1935).

Stefan's parents: Danko Zelem married to Marje? Myzyk (Mizio).

Mecina Velyka. I'm told that there are grave markers there for Zelems.

Operation Vistula: Family members left for Boryslav, Ukraine. Stefania Zelem married Ignacy Szopa in 1927 and I believe the ended up in Boryslav.

Olga Zelem married Szymon Lopata. She died 1944.

Two immigrated to the USA: Siblings Theodore (Fedor) Zelem, and Anna Zelem in 1913 (my grandmother). Zelem Siblings remaining in Macina Velyka: Lev, Ignat, Olga, Maria, Stefania.

Other names: Joseph Zagursky, Maria Kretyk.

Do any of theze names attach to the rest of the Zelems on this site?

LCBohio Threads: -
Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 4, 2009
  ♀   Aug 4, 2009, 04:34am  #

Addition to message #88 concerning the Zelem name in Mecina Velyka and surrounding villages........

....add other names of those who served as Godparents, marriage witnesses or who married Zelems: Lopata, Kaczmarczyk, Smakula, Szopa.

Also, immigrants to America spent some time in Philadelphia then settled in Somerset County, PA....Listie area.

E-mail for response lcbohio@aol.com

wozzy Threads: 10
Posts: 228
Joined: Jul 12, 2006
  ♂   Aug 4, 2009, 02:02pm  #

Hi All.......Not been around for a while, but I'm still alive......

To all who are interested I'll be going to a Żelem family wedding in September.
I'll be around Bodaki, Ropica, sękowa area's with Męcina Mała and Męcina Wielka just over the hill......So if anyone want's I could ask some questions or kick up some dust while I'm there.. :0)

Rakky Threads: 9
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Joined: May 23, 2007
  ♂   Aug 4, 2009, 07:12pm  #

the Gorlice district of Bodaki, Malastow and Bartne, where according to Dziaducz Zelem " the world like the road ends."
From what I'm told most of the family were dispersed during 1947, although at least two homesteads still remain, I hope that this is true.
Any help with the district or the family whereabouts would be greatfuly apreaciated.

I highly recommend you contact these people before you travel to the Gorlice district:
Tell them their American Lemko friend Shtefan sent you. If you do not receive a prompt response, give it a few days - they are not on their computer each day.
They live in Gorlice and are thoroughly immersed in the Rusyn culture in southeast Poland. Through them you will learn more than you can imagine right now. Enjoy the adventure. I sure did. And it continues to this day.

LCBohio Threads: -
Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 4, 2009
  ♀   Aug 4, 2009, 11:46pm  #

wozzy....hello! Really neat to hear that you are going to a Zelem wedding in September.

Bodaki and Ropica, along with Mecina Velyka, are villages intertwined with my family.

If you could print the above messages #88 and #89 and takes those names with you perhaps some Zelem there may recall the Stefan and Teckla(Zagorsky) family and their 7 children, two of whom came to America.... I know it's a long-shot, but maybe....

I would really like to know where any of the named people in messages #88 and #89 ended up after Operation Vistula...Boryslav? ...any one have an address or names....

I look forward tohearing from you. Have a great time on your trip! I'm jealous!


Rakky Threads: 9
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Joined: May 23, 2007
  ♂   Aug 5, 2009, 02:02pm  #

I'm jealous!

Me, too. And I was there last year! Let me know what villages you'll be visiting - we can compare notes.

wozzy Threads: 10
Posts: 228
Joined: Jul 12, 2006
  ♂   Aug 17, 2009, 02:21am  #

ok. lcbohio will do what i can .

setting off in the motorhome next wekend will be missing for a month or so. I'm not in any rush but I will be back.

Rakky Threads: 9
Posts: 276
Joined: May 23, 2007
  ♂   Oct 14, 2009, 01:51pm  #

wozzy - we never heard about your trip. How about telling us about it?

dljjhaneyclan     Dec 27, 2009, 03:42am  #

I understand my grandmother came from Mecina Wielka by the name of Marya/ Maria Smakula, she married my grandfather Gregorz Stabach and briefly settled in Glinik Mariampolskie, (near Gorlice),before immigrating to the US in 1914. Don't have much info, but happy to share what I've got.

Sandra LaRouche     Jun 4, 2010, 08:33pm  #

I am researching my husband's grandfather, Theodor Zylka who emigrated to New Jersey in 1898. I have not found his passage but others by that last name seem to have come from
Ropica. Theodor married Anastasia Natika Macik whose family came from Zyndranowa.

Is Zylka is a Lemko name? Does anybody know the name in conjunction with your own research.

My husband's Mother, Olga Zylka LaRouche spoke several languages among which was Ukrianian, Polish. Bob, my husband. was orphaned (dad died when he was 2/mom died when he was 9) no history available as he went into foster care system.

He remembers that they went to an Orthodox Church but doesn't remember much else.

Polonius3 Threads: 1,214
Posts: 7,142
Joined: Apr 11, 2008
  ♂   Edited by: Polonius3  Jun 5, 2010, 10:03am  #

HLYWA: possibyl Ukrainian fem. form of the adj. gliwy (dirty-chestnut colour, usually used in describing horses)

BARONOWSKI: Are you sure it was Baronowski (baronial) not the more common Baranowski (from Baranów)?

KCMizzou     Jun 10, 2010, 01:49am  #

My grandfather's name was Gregyorz Zagursky. He was born in Mecina Wielka in 1884 and came to the U.S. around 1903 for the first time. His father's name was Peter and his grandparents were Gorki and Josephine (Hvet)Zagursky or Zagorski. His mother's maiden name was Maria Chomikand her parents were Paul Chomik and Anastasia Boryk. My grandfather, we called him Harry, had two brothers, Lukasz and Paul and three sisters, Teodora, Anastasia and Theodoja.All of them came to the U.S. except Lukasz who was killed during the war. My grandfather married a Julia Telawska (Telawsky?) around 1910 and I think she came from Mecina Wielka also. Her father's name was John and my dad was named after him. My dad's brother's name was Peter and his sisters' names were Anna and Mary. Each one was named after a grandparent. I'm trying to track down more info on these family names for my family tree. Can anyone help me? I have a picture of a church in Poland that is supposed to have the town's birth, marriage and death records. The name of the church I think was Saints Kosmas and Damian built in 1807. My dad's godparent's name was Theodor Kovalchyk. Thanks for any help.

LCBohio Threads: -
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  ♀   Jun 23, 2010, 10:31pm  #


Good luck in finding out more about the Zagursky family tree.

My great-grandmother was Teckla Zagursky from Macina Velyka, born in 1864. I cannot make any direct connection between your Zagursky tree and my tree, but chances are that there is one....perhaps cousins.

...do you have birth dates for your Grandfather's siblings?... let me know...

...the 1787 Austrian Cadastral Records list only one family of Zagursky...the earliest Zagursky on my list is Jan Zagurski (lived around 1750's...1780's...) and then Blazej Zagursky ( lived around 1780...1810...) ... I can go back to 1818 /1821 to my Great-Great Grandparents' birth in Macina Velyka.

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Zelem family - Southeast poland

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