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Old 11-16-2017, 11:18 AM
 
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My great-great-grandparents were from Lithuania, Poland, and Austria. What's the best way to go about finding birth and marriage records? I do not speak a second language, so I would have to have the records translated. How/where can I do that?
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Old 11-16-2017, 11:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GiveMeCoffee View Post
My great-great-grandparents were from Lithuania, Poland, and Austria. What's the best way to go about finding birth and marriage records? I do not speak a second language, so I would have to have the records translated. How/where can I do that?
Do you know what towns they came from? Availability of records can vary greatly from town to town.


Check www.familysearch.org
LDS has records from around the world.


You can search for databases by geographic locality on CyndisList:
https://www.cyndislist.com/categories/


For Jewish records look at the databases at:
www.jewishgen.org


Those are just a few ideas. Also, keep in mind the ever changing borders of that region. The town they came from could have more than one name in different languages, and have been within different country's borders at different times.


Their first and last names may have changed also after arriving in the U.S. Good idea to find their passenger manifests first.


It's best to start with what you know and work your way back in time slowly. Have you found them on U.S. census, vital records, passenger manifests, U.S. naturalization records? These can give you vital clues as to their precise origins.
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Old 11-17-2017, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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Originally Posted by GiveMeCoffee View Post
My great-great-grandparents were from Lithuania, Poland, and Austria. What's the best way to go about finding birth and marriage records? I do not speak a second language, so I would have to have the records translated. How/where can I do that?
As you are just starting out in genealogy, it would be best to walk before you run. First document your family in America, working your way back to your immigrant ancestors. Often, you may need to know/find the specific town they were from before you can go looking for records of them in their mother country.
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Old 11-17-2017, 02:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
As you are just starting out in genealogy, it would be best to walk before you run. First document your family in America, working your way back to your immigrant ancestors. Often, you may need to know/find the specific town they were from before you can go looking for records of them in their mother country.


Very good advice!


Doing your research this way can save you from following many false research paths.
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Old 11-17-2017, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Originally Posted by GiveMeCoffee View Post
My great-great-grandparents were from Lithuania, Poland, and Austria. What's the best way to go about finding birth and marriage records? I do not speak a second language, so I would have to have the records translated. How/where can I do that?
I can probably help but the information you’ve given so far is too vague.

Are you talking about the 1800s?

Specifically, how do you know your 2nd great grandparents were born in Poland and Austria? Example: Was the information from records created pre WWI, after WWII or between the wars?

Nineteenth century continental Europe genealogy research is complicated.

- my German speaking father was born in the same village in Austria as his 19th century ancestors. Yet I had to search Hungarian birth and records to find them.

- my German speaking grandmother place of birth was listed as Austria in the 1911 Canada census, Poland in the 1921 census, and if alive would have listed the Ukraine in the 1951 census.

- my German speaking paternal great uncle listed his place of birth as Russia in 1911, Poland in 1921 and if alive would have listed the Ukraine in 1951.

The key records for you are those created pre WWI which list place of birth.
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Old 11-18-2017, 03:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
As you are just starting out in genealogy, it would be best to walk before you run. First document your family in America, working your way back to your immigrant ancestors. Often, you may need to know/find the specific town they were from before you can go looking for records of them in their mother country.
I can trace the Russian great-grandparents (Minsk, which I know is in Belarus now) because of Ancestry.com's census data. The Lithuanian set (Kovno and Panevezys) was already traced by a dedicated genealogist cousin.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cdnirene View Post
I can probably help but the information youíve given so far is too vague.

Are you talking about the 1800s?

Specifically, how do you know your 2nd great grandparents were born in Poland and Austria? Example: Was the information from records created pre WWI, after WWII or between the wars?

Nineteenth century continental Europe genealogy research is complicated.

- my German speaking father was born in the same village in Austria as his 19th century ancestors. Yet I had to search Hungarian birth and records to find them.

- my German speaking grandmother place of birth was listed as Austria in the 1911 Canada census, Poland in the 1921 census, and if alive would have listed the Ukraine in the 1951 census.

- my German speaking paternal great uncle listed his place of birth as Russia in 1911, Poland in 1921 and if alive would have listed the Ukraine in 1951.

The key records for you are those created pre WWI which list place of birth.
Ancestry's 1910 and 1920 census data helped me find the nationality of my Polish and Austrian great grandparents. I don't have town names, though.

Everyone seems to have come over between 1890s and 1915. We're Jewish, and I'm sure they were running from the increasing hostility... and part of why I'm trying to trace them is to find out if there was any relatives that didn't immigrate, what happened to them, and if there are any descendants.
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Old 11-18-2017, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Originally Posted by GiveMeCoffee View Post
Ancestry's 1910 and 1920 census data helped me find the nationality of my Polish and Austrian great grandparents. I don't have town names, though.

Everyone seems to have come over between 1890s and 1915. We're Jewish, and I'm sure they were running from the increasing hostility... and part of why I'm trying to trace them is to find out if there was any relatives that didn't immigrate, what happened to them, and if there are any descendants.
Poland did not exist as an independent country for 123 years until just after WWI.

The European superpowers of Russia, Prussia and Austria split Poland between them in the late 1700s.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partitions_of_Poland

It's been my experience that, between 1900 and 1911, immigrants from the no-longer-in-existence Poland, would list their place of birth as follows:

- Austria if they were born in Galicia/Galizien (controlled by Austria)
- Russia if they were born in Volhynia (controlled by Russia)
- Poland if they were born in Russian Poland also known as Congress Poland

What languages did your great grandparents speak? I believe it would be listed on at least one of the censuses.

By the way, some ship passenger lists show town of last residence. That can be a huge clue.
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Old 11-18-2017, 06:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cdnirene View Post
Poland did not exist as an independent country for 123 years until just after WWI.

The European superpowers of Russia, Prussia and Austria split Poland between them in the late 1700s.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partitions_of_Poland

It's been my experience that, between 1900 and 1911, immigrants from the no-longer-in-existence Poland, would list their place of birth as follows:

- Austria if they were born in Galicia/Galizien (controlled by Austria)
- Russia if they were born in Volhynia (controlled by Russia)
- Poland if they were born in Russian Poland also known as Congress Poland

What languages did your great grandparents speak? I believe it would be listed on at least one of the censuses.

By the way, some ship passenger lists show town of last residence. That can be a huge clue.
I think itís Russian Poland; I remember my grandmother mentioning that. Also, he listed Poland as his country of origin on one census and Russia on another.

They spoke Yiddish, which was the language of most Eastern European Jews, so that doesnít help lol.
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Old 11-18-2017, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Canada
3,676 posts, read 2,484,076 times
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Originally Posted by GiveMeCoffee View Post
I think itís Russian Poland; I remember my grandmother mentioning that. Also, he listed Poland as his country of origin on one census and Russia on another.

They spoke Yiddish, which was the language of most Eastern European Jews, so that doesnít help lol.
- There are websites specifically for Jewish genealogy research in Poland. Do a Google search using the words - Jewish genealogy Poland

- I'm not sure if you've picked up all the clues as to origin which might be available in North America. For example, death records and obituaries may list a place of birth which is more specific than a country.

- Your ancestors may already be in the Family Tree at FamilySearch: https://www.familysearch.org
You need to be signed in to search it.
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Old 11-18-2017, 08:48 PM
 
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Have you located naturalization papers? Post-1906 nats should list town of birth.


Passenger manifests 1900 and later usually list town of birth. In the 1890's it can vary by shipping line.


Your best bet is to check the many free databases available at www.jewishgen.org


There is also a discussion list you can sign up for and post questions.
If you sign up for the digest format than you only receive one email per day, so it's easy to manage.
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