Where did your family come from, originally? Do they still live in that country, or did they emigrate somewhere?
My Dad’s family has some far Germanic descent, most probably German. My Dad is quite interested in his ancestry and a few years ago we sat down for a while just to see how far we’ll be able to trace back our ancestry. While we didn’t get to know much more relevant info that what my gramma had, and she knows a lot, we found that it’s very likely that our far ancestors originated from Saxony. Also our surname seems to be German. I wanted to get to know what it means, but the only thing I got to know, is that besides our region of Poland, this surname is also found in Germany. My cousin’s husband though is sure we must have Norwegian origins, even though he’s not genetically a part of our family as he married my cousin. He says that for him our surname sounds Norwegian and not Polish at all and many of us look “quite Nordic-like” which is actually true, as for the latter. But I’m afraid that Norwegians or any other Scandinavians would have a little bit of a trouble even reading our surname correctly. It begins with Z and Z is not used in Norwegian. It is in the alphabet, but they have it only in loanwords and often pronounce as “s”. There are Norwegian surnames with z in them, but they aren’t of fully Norwegian origin. Plus then there is ch, a sound also a bit unfamiliar in Scandinavian languages. So no, even if we might have some Nordic roots, ’cause my Dad really looks like a Viking apparently and I often call him so and me and my sister look quite Scandinavian too in some people’s opinion, I don’t think our Norwegian ancestry could be prooved on our surname. Also my Dad’s family is Kashubian. It’s an ethnic minority, not a separate nation or anything, but thought it’s maybe worth mentioning. I though don’t feel very Kashubian myself. I don’t feel like I am one of them and I don’t find their culture familiar or like I’d resonate with it in any way. I could even say that as much as I feel Polish, I don’t feel kashubian.
My Mum’s heritage is very diverse. My maternal gramma was born in Russia. My great grandmother was partly Polish, Ukrainian and Belarussian, and my great grandfather had some Russian roots, although was mostly Polish. They migrated to Poland a few years after my gramma was born, but she and some of her siblings still have that soft, Russian accent with prolonging vowels, which some people laugh at and some say is cute. My grandad in turn was born cquite close to the Lithuanian border and has some Lithuanian descent as well as Russian.
From what I know, some people of my Dad’s family live in Germany these days, but as far as I can remember they migrated there from Poland, they weren’t there all the time.
Some of my relatives from Mum’s side live in Belarus and I met them when I was younger, we don’t have much contact with them though.
How about your family’s origins? 🙂