Genealogical Oddities (LVI): Polish Child’s Baptism in C18th Jaén

On 25 October 1810 at San Ildefonso Parish in the City of Jaén was baptised Francisca Millana, daughter of “Diego Gascirizu” and his wife Francisca Neimanovna, both stated to be natives of “Calin”, Poland. The godmother was María Francisca Ocáriz (or Utáriz?), Marquise of Navasequilla.

Sadly my language skills do not extend to Polish so I cannot guess what actual names the priest was trying to enter into the register. Diego, James in English, would be Jakub; the mother’s name, Neimanovna, was easy enough to make out, but Gascirizu seems a very desperate attempt by a speaker of Spanish to phonetically spell a surname he’d never previously encountered.

It seems likely this man’s presence in the Andalusian city of Jaén had something to do with the Napoleonic wars. On the other hand, the fact he was with his wife, who presumably came with him from Poland as opposed to having married him here, suggests that perhaps the couple were employed by the Marquesa named in the record. Over the past 15 years I’ve seen a great many foreign settlers and visitors to Spain in records of the 18th and 19th centuries – French, Swiss, Hungarians and Germans being among the largest groups – but I believe this is the first Polish couple I’ve ever run across!

SOURCE: Archivo de la Catedral de Jaén, San Ildefonso, Bautismos 35 (1802-1811), P. 664 verso