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Old 04-15-2018, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,105 posts, read 6,486,654 times
Reputation: 9664

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I'm sure a lot of you can relate to my story: I started digging and found out that my grandmother was divorced and that her first husband was from Sampetrul, in Transylvania, Romania. This was not family legend: I found his passenger record to the US, and other public documents, including the marriage and divorce certificates.

This man was my father's father and my biological grandfather, so I would like to find out more about this side of the family. The remaining relatives either don't know anything or just won't talk about it, and I can understand that divorce was highly problematic back then.

I have the name of his parents from the marriage certificate, but that's as far as I've been able to go.

I also don't speak Romanian.

I've been warned by an LDS friend that many Romanians don't like to talk to strangers about their families, so I'd like to do some digging in the records before contacting potential relatives I haven't met.

Any tips?

Added: I'll be happy to share names if you PM me.
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
9,255 posts, read 14,312,034 times
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I'm not finding Sampetrul - is it maybe Sanpetru? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%A2npetru

There are some records from there available at Ancestry.com: https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=5412
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,105 posts, read 6,486,654 times
Reputation: 9664
Quote:
Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
I'm not finding Sampetrul - is it maybe Sanpetru? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%A2npetru

There are some records from there available at Ancestry.com: https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=5412
Yes, it's Sanpetru. Typo on my part. Thanks for the link.
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Old 04-15-2018, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
5,263 posts, read 8,470,056 times
Reputation: 3701
Keep in mind he might not be Romanian. Transylvania has a lot of Hungarians and in the past Germans too. I have no idea what language documents about his life would be in.....how long ago did he live there?
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Old 04-15-2018, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,105 posts, read 6,486,654 times
Reputation: 9664
Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
Keep in mind he might not be Romanian. Transylvania has a lot of Hungarians and in the past Germans too. I have no idea what language documents about his life would be in.....how long ago did he live there?
Early 1900s, and that's a great point about being Hungarian. It says Romanian in the public records but who is to say that was accurate? It's worth looking in the surrounding countries.
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
5,263 posts, read 8,470,056 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meemur View Post
Early 1900s, and that's a great point about being Hungarian. It says Romanian in the public records but who is to say that was accurate? It's worth looking in the surrounding countries.
Most of Transylvania was part of Austria-Hungary before WWI. Plenty of ethnic Romanians lived there.
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Old 04-15-2018, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,105 posts, read 6,486,654 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
Most of Transylvania was part of Austria-Hungary before WWI. Plenty of ethnic Romanians lived there.
You're absolutely right, and I think I found one of his cousins, so thanks for that tip!
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:31 AM
 
Location: NJ
12,624 posts, read 22,572,186 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meemur View Post
Early 1900s, and that's a great point about being Hungarian. It says Romanian in the public records but who is to say that was accurate? It's worth looking in the surrounding countries.

Have you done your DNA yet? If not you should. It's helped me find cousins in the US that I didn't know I had. Both of my parents were Hungarian immigrants in the late 50's. If you do DNA consider uploading to the free databases I have a thread //www.city-data.com/forum/genea...l#post49250127 for info and directions. My Heritage gives free ethnicity, chromosome browser and family matching, GEDmatch and GEDmatch Genesis have a lot of cool tools that will break your DNA ethnicity down and FTDNA gives free family matching. They also have other tools for under $20. If you decide to do your DNA consider doing it on Ancestry. Right now 23 and me uses a new chip, you can only upload to GEDmatch Genesis; so to get the most out of your money, Ancestry would be my pick. They're also decent for family trees.

You also should consider joining the Hungarian Genealogy FB group. There's also a Hungarian DNA group that uses GEDmatch (a free DNA database) to match members to their GEDmatch results. There are also 2 Hungarian DNA groups at FTDNA. Family search also has a Hungarian group

I haven't really dug in with the FB group because I'm going to need a few days where I have nothing going on. IT can be very confusing trying to research relatives in this part of the world due to countries borders changing.

Hit me up on DM if you want links to the groups.
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Old 04-16-2018, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,105 posts, read 6,486,654 times
Reputation: 9664
Yes, I did my DNA via Ancestry. It didn't pick up much of the German families, and I see now I have a lot more German/Hungarian blood on both sides as I'm working on my biological grandfather's line. Thanks for all the tips! I'll look into all of that.

I'm hopeful DNA will pick up my half-sister at some point. This is probably the only way I can track her. Those who knew anything are no longer alive, and they weren't interested in sharing details. She may not even know that I exist.

Thanks, again!
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Old 04-16-2018, 11:09 AM
 
Location: NJ
12,624 posts, read 22,572,186 times
Reputation: 11523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meemur View Post
Yes, I did my DNA via Ancestry. It didn't pick up much of the German families, and I see now I have a lot more German/Hungarian blood on both sides as I'm working on my biological grandfather's line. Thanks for all the tips! I'll look into all of that.

I'm hopeful DNA will pick up my half-sister at some point. This is probably the only way I can track her. Those who knew anything are no longer alive, and they weren't interested in sharing details. She may not even know that I exist.

Thanks, again!
Since you have DNA already, go to my thread and scroll to now to the DNA to grab your raw data from ancestry to upload to the other sites. See what kind of matches you have then take it from there.

Was your sister adopted out? I found my brother in 2004 in one of the adoption registries. These days DNA makes finding family a lot easier if they're in one of the databases already. You have nothing to lose since they're all free for family matching; you just never know where they will test. I have matches on My Heritage that I don't have on ancestry
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