Friday, April 8, 2016

A to Z challenge – G is for Ganas

My mother’s maiden name was Ganas. Her father immigrated to the US from Poland. But Ganas is not typical of Polish surnames. I’ve traced the family back as far as my 3X great grandfather who was born in 1779 in Czerlejno, Poland so I know that the family has been in Poland for more than 300 years.

But I wonder where they originated.

When I’ve done searches on that surname, the results seem to be predominantly of Greek origin. Did my Ganas ancestors originate in Greece?  When and why would they resettle in Poland?

My reading of Polish history tells me that in past centuries, Poland was a melting pot.  There were immigrants from many other nations.

There are also the many wars that occurred in that part of the world over the centuries as various kings sought to enlarge their empires. Foreign soldiers could have stayed in Polish territories.

I also read that in the late middle ages, there were many Greek and Turkish merchants and traders doing business in Poland. 

Did one Greek trader decide to remain in Poland?  In love with the land? In love with a girl?

I have 3 male Ganas first cousins and with any luck I’ll be able to convince them to do DNA testing. I’d like to see what that Y chromosome has to say.


  1. I am enjoying your posts, visiting from AtoZ challenge
    My Genealogy Challenges

  2. Far and wide! You've got me thinking about my ancestry as well as I'm also the product of old world blood mixing in the new world...
    AJ at Ouch My Back Hurts