I still can't locate that town!
Apparently, you've been unsuccessful in finding that town. Well, let's see if we can suggest a few things to narrow down your search. Below is a list of possible difficulties you may have encountered and some suggestions for solving your dilemma. Please, keep in mind that I am not an expert at this. Any additional suggestions are most welcome!
Q. How do I determine which province the town is in?
A. Mapa.Szukacz will display the province name along with the name of the powiat (county) and gmina (district) where the town is located.
Q. I checked several online maps and discovered that there is more than one town with the same name! How do I figure out which one is the right one?
A. If you're lucky, at least one of the towns will be in a different part of the country. Remember, Poland was partitioned until World War One. If the U.S. Census record you have for your ancestor states he was from Russian Poland (and you know this to be true) and only one of those towns is in the former Russian territory, it is very likely that is the town you are looking for. Likewise, if one of those towns is not in the Russian part of Poland, you can eliminate that one. If you're not that lucky, you'll need to locate other documents that might help you further pinpoint the area where your ancestor came from. Be sure to check your local FHC to see if records were microfilmed for any of these towns. If you've narrowed down the possibilities to just a few, you can order the film(s) and see if your ancestor's record is found there.
Q. All of towns are in the same area of the country. What now?
A. Did you check the records for the parish your ancestors belonged to in the U.S.? Some church records may including the name of the parish where your ancestor was baptized or married, or they may give the region or province name. Take a closer look at your ancestor's passenger arrival manifest. Sometimes, the name of the province or county where your ancestor lived is included. My ancestor's manifest stated his last residence was Lubotyn, Lomza, Russia. Lomza was the name of the province (gubernia) where Lubotin was located at that time.
Q. The town doesn't seem to exist any longer. Where do I go from here?
A. Perhaps, the town is no longer in Poland but in one of the surrounding countries. Maybe you have the old German spelling for the town when it was under Prussian rule. Or it's possible that the immigrations worker (or the funeral director, employer, county official, etc.) wrote the name as it sounded to him. Remember, the Polish alphabet pronounces certain letters differently. Of course, the town may have merged with another town and truly doesn't exist any longer. This is when you should consult an online historical geographical dictionary such as the Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego. You may also want to subscribe to one of the mailing lists for Polish research. There are many knowlegeable subscribers to these lists who may be able to offer suggestions.
More to come later!
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Last Modified: Monday, 13-Dec-2010 09:19:20 MST