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    So I did more research and asked around my family, turns out that my grandfather was actually born in the Vilnius region of the 2nd Polish Rep. (Under Soviet occupation at the time). The village straddles on the border of Belarus and Lithuania (in the present day), and it’s right next to Sobotniki.

    Sobotniki (or Subotniki), has always had a large Polish population, also the fact that my uncle said we “Were Polish.” Led me to believe that we were infact of Polish descent. However, upon finding family photos and speaking with my grandmother (late grandfather’s wife), I found out that they could not have been “pure” Polish as my paternal great grandmother only spoke Russian, and not some off-Spring dialect or other East Slavic language: but clear-as-day Russian. She was also fairly rich (unfortunately losing most of her fortune due to my great grandfather’s debt), and had: what my grandmother described as red, Russian coins (which I believe are known as Czerwonce/Czerwoniec). My great grandfather also spoke Russian and only a tiny bit of Polish, he could count up to 10 in Polish :D

    Seems simple right? Well, not really.
    Turns out that they were Catholics and my grandfather’s brother was even buried in the Polish, Sobotniki Catholic Cemetary. This has caused some debates in the family and nobody seems to actually know where my family originates from, my grandmother insists that they were Ethnic “Russians” and my uncle just states that they were “Poles”. Does anybody have an idea of where my ancestors could really have been from? I apologise for the long post lol.

    Thanks in advance,



    They could’ve been Russified (linguistically) Poles or Russians living in a majority Polish community. What does your grandmother say? Does she consider her parents Russian or Polish? What identity did they impart on her?



    Well it’s my grandfather’s parents. I can’t ask him as he has been dead for several years, they did have a Polish/Belarusian surname (Bernatovich) which got passed down to me. His family history never interested my grandfather. My grandmother does say that they were “Russians” and that my grandmother’a mum is probably of “Tatar” descent as she was rich and had a “slight” Asiatic appearance. That’s all I know.



    Personally, I think they were Belarusians with Polish citizenship. Makes sense right? Russian speakers, Catholic (Belarus is mostly Orthodox but it has a Belarusian Catholic minority), Countryside and had Polish citizenship because they lived in the 2nd Polish Republic. Oh, and they had a Belarusian surname.



    You would know better than me. I’d say any one of those Slavic groups is possible as well as more than one.

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