Ted Gostin: Research of the Gostynski |Family

Messages from Ted Gostyn

 1st message 13 February 1999

My name is Ted Gostin, and I saw your recent posting on JewishGen about Dan GOSTYNSKI. While I can't give you any information on Dan GOSTYNSKI, I wanted to touch base with you since I keep track of Gostins/Gostinskys (Gostynskis) all over the world. I've seen your web page before, and just never had enough time to contact you.

I was puzzled by your comment that you "never thought there is anybody in the world who is named Gostynski." I thought that since you were a contributor to the Family Finder, you had surely seen my listing for the surname GOSTYNSKI. For more than 15 years, I was the only person in the Family Finder looking for GOSTYNSKI, but I've run across other researchers working on the family name before. In fact, one woman even published a small book about her branch of the GOSTYNSKI family from Gabin. In any case, over the years since 1981 I've made contact with or done research on Jewish GOSTYNSKI families from Gabin, Lodz, Izbica Kujawski, Sompolno, Konin, Osieciny, and the cities/towns of Lubraniec, Koniec, Sluzewo, Alexandrow Kujawski, Bresc Kujawski, and Kowal, the places where my own GOSTYNSKI family was from.

Your e-mail mentioned both Lodz and Gabin, and your web site makes clear that your GOSTYNSKI family is originally from Gabin. I don't know if you've made contact with them, but there are branches of Gabin GOSTYNSKIs here in the U.S., in England (Leeds and London), and in Australia (offshoots of the Leeds branch). If you've never contacted them before, I can give you some names and addresses. They are undoubtedly cousins of yours, although without knowing a little more, I can't tell if the information I've collected will help make the connection clear. I have not pursued all of these lines with equal diligence, and haven't done any GOSTYNSKI research for many years. I've never been able to connect the Gabin or Lodz GOSTYNSKIs to my own family, and I suspect that the name was adopted by several unrelated Jewish families in the area. One story in my own family says that our family adopted the name because it was the name of some minor Polish nobility, and they thought that the name sounded important. I don't know if that is true, but I can tell you that about 50% of the GOSTYNSKIs I've researched are Polish Catholics, and not Jews. The name was used by both Jews and Catholics in the Kujawia region of Poland, having its basis in the town of Gostynin. There also appear to be many GOSTYNSKIs from the Poznan region of Poland, and these surnames were probably derived from the town of Gostyn in that province.

In addition to having collected quite a bit of data about GOSTYNSKIs from Gabin, I've also collected some info on GOSTYNSKIs from Lodz. I'd be happy to share some of this with you, but it would be hard to tell you everything in my files. Most of my data deals either with immigrants to the U.S. and England, or with early Polish records (1808-1865). I don't really have any data about the time period you wrote about (1930s & 1940s).

I assume you are familiar with the GOSTYNSKIs mentioned in the Gabin memorial book. While I've never been involved in the group, I have kept track of the Gabin Society and reviewed their web page. Coincidentally, I am originally from San Diego, where I believe Leon Zamosc lives. I don't see any of the names of the Gabin GOSTYNSKIs I have been in touch with on the Gabin society's e-mail list, so I suspect that you may not be aware of them. I'll look over my materials again to see if I can spot any connection to your mother's family. Please let me know if I can be of help in providing information about other Gabin and Lodz GOSTYNSKIs I've researched over the years. I'm sorry I can't help you out with locating Dan GOSTYNSKI, but I thought I should at least touch base with you.


Ted Gostin
Los Angeles, California

 2nd message 14 February 1999

I'm glad to be able to share my information about other GOSTYNSKI families with you. This is likely to be a long e-mail, but I'll try to be concise and stick to the main points.

I began my research in 1981, and one of the first things I did was to search phone books all over the United States and throughout the world for the names GOSTIN/GOSTINSKY and GOSTYN/GOSTYNSKI. I found people by this name throughout the U.S., and in England, Paris, and perhaps a few other places (I don't remember all of them). I wrote to everyone, and got back many interesting responses. I discovered first that the Polish name GOSTYNSKI was not exclusively Jewish, and that it was used by almost as many Poles in the area our families came from as by Jews. Second, I found that not all Jewish GOSTYNSKI/GOSTINSKY families were related, as my father and uncle had always believed. Finally, I discovered that not all GOSTINs in the world were originally GOSTYNSKIs. I found a woman whose GOSTIN name was derived from the Lebanese GUSTINE; and English/American GOSTINs whose name we finally concluded was derived from a misreading of the English name GOSLIN.

In addition to turning up some cousins previously unknown to me, this mass mailing helped me make contact with GOSTYNSKI families from many places, including two different families from Gabin. The first Gabin connection when I contacted a Howard GOSTIN of Baltimore, Maryland, here in the U.S. Eventually I also spoke to his sister Arlene GOSTIN and their parents David and Celia GOSTIN of the Philadelphia area. I believe that David and Celia have passed away within the last few years, but Howard and Arlene are still around.

David was born in Leeds, England, but his parents were from Gabin, Poland. This family immigrated to England around the turn of the century. I haven't traced their arrival in English records, but from the stories told to me by members of the family, David was the youngest of six siblings (born 1912), the children of Hyman GOSTINSKY and Adelaid BERNSTEIN. Hyman was born in Gabin around 1875 and died in England around 1922. His other children were Rachel, Phillip, Isaac (also known as Jack), Nancy Colehy, and Fannie Brightman. Nancy and Fannie married and lived near Boston, MA. The others lived in Leeds, England.

One of David GOSTIN's nieces is Natalie Velleman, and she wrote a family history that included this part of the GOSTYNSKI family from Gabin. Her book was called "The Little Twigs," or "Di Tsvay Gelekh" in Yiddish. I have a section of it that she photocopied for me. While I don't think you can find this book in Israel, it is available in several libraries here in the U.S., and is mentioned in the Zubatsky/Berent book "Jewish Genealogy, a Sourcebook of Jewish Genealogies and Family Histories" published by Avotaynu

The other GOSTYNSKI family I found from Gabin was that of Melvyn Gostin and his sister, Sandra Pirolo, of London, England. He was one of the many GOSTINs I wrote to in those early years. He visited the U.S. about 1985, and I met him then. When we first corresponded, he wasn't sure where the family was from, and I don't have any verification in writing that they were from Gabin. I think he discovered this by talking to family members, and told me either over the phone or in person. In any case, I wrote on the family trees that I sketched out of his family "from Gabin," so I know that I got this information somewhere. Melvyn's father was Joseph GOSTINSKY, and Joseph had siblings that included Samuel (who went to Australia), Louis, Phillip and Golda. Their father was Simon GOSTINSKY, who apparently emigrated from Gabin to England around 1900.

That's pretty much the info I have on the GOSTYNSKIs from Gabin. I have searched many other GOSTYNSKI families, though, including several from Lodz (who came to the U.S.), and in one of those Lodz families, there was also a Gabin connection. There were several sons of Mendel GOSTYSNKI of Lodz who came to the U.S, including Meyer (b. 1 August 1892), Josef (b ca. 1890), Solomon (b. 10 May 1893) and Jacob (b. 10 January 1896). Solomon married a woman named Goldie who was born in Gabin, so it's possible this family may have had ties there. Some of these brothers indicated they were from Lodz (Solomon), others said they had been born in Gostynin (Josef & Jacob). That also ties this family back to the town the family name originated from.

I also found records of a Louis (Leibusch) GOSTYNSKI from Lodz who arrived in the U.S. in 1917. Interestingly, he said on his passenger list that he was born in Koval (Kowal), Poland. This is relevant to me because my own great-grandfather, Lipman GOSTYNSKI, had a sister, Rose, who married a first cousin by the name of Isaac GOSTYNSKI, and this family lived in Kowal. There may be some connection that has yet to be shown between some of the Lodz GOSTYNSKIs and my own GOSTYNSKIs, and this connection might extend to the GOSTYNSKIs from Gabinl. There's still a lot of research I could do, and one day, I may be able to determine if all of these families are related.

You also asked about Zalman GOSTYNSKI of Paris. I did try to contact him years ago, without success. There are still two GOSTYNSKIs living in Paris today, who are probably relatives, and several GOSTINs, who may also be related. A quick look at a Paris phone book in a library or over the Internet will get you their addresses.

Good luck with your research, and I hope that you find Dan GOSTYNSKI.

Ted Gostin

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