Starting to Research Outside US - How Do I Begin?

+7 votes
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I am adding my husband's family and planning to surprise him with it for Christmas.  His father's side came from Ireland and his mother's side came from Hungary/Austria/Romania/who-knows-where!.  That's where I'm trying to start because I can find absolutely nothing about the Irish side.  They are Bachmann-116 and Eichert-13

I found the names of towns where his grandparents came from (document is stuck in grandmother's profile just as my notes - I haven't started to write it yet).and got a map from google.  It turns out one is in Serbia and one is in Romania.  I believe (but not certain) that they were married before they came to US,  I found 1940 and 1930 census records for the family.  They had a lot of children - one, named Richard, appears in 1930 census, but is missing in 1940.  Their children were all born in NJ, US, starting in 1908.  I would expect to see 1910 and 1920 census records, but can't find them.  I also can't find any immigration records, birth records, or marriage records for them or their children.  I know the children all stayed in NJ except 1 that lived in MA as an adult.  I know many of the children's spouses and their children's names, but can't find any documents for any of them - and this is all US!

Profile linked below is of my husband - I'm starting to write that one, but haven't gotten too far.  Although I need to do this, I somehow don't feel like I'm up to the level needed to do it.  All help will be greatly appreciated.
WikiTree profile: George Connolly
asked in Genealogy Help by Gaile Connolly G2G6 Pilot (487k points)
http://feefhs.org/

http://www.rodoslovlje.com/

http://www.archives.org.rs/ (you will want to translate this page with a site such as Google unless you read Serbian, there is not much digitized content but it links to many local archives that might have a different mix of materials)
THANX Rob.  I have just completed searching at all those sites, with no luck.  I was thoroughly amazed at google's translation, though - WOW!!!

I also see info from Helmut (below) that is great news - He says that Folnak is in Romania, very near Billed, so at least I've got this narrowed down to only 1 country now and can forget about Serbia..
You can find lots of informations about names or surnames (croatian origin) in historical documents (such as  Catholic Church Parish Records, old censuses, list of dignitaries, Officials and Public Notaries of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia and so on) on page called Acta Croatica. You can also find ancestors and preserve your memory of some person or event. It is completely free and available in english :)

https://www.actacroatica.com/en/

6 Answers

+1 vote
Hello again, child. SERBIA from the Balkan war in the early 1900s until the break up of the Soviet Union a few years ago, was part of YUGOSLAVIA.  Records may be hard to find as the former Communist countries refused the Church of Latter Day Saints, who secured the records of other nations, admittance until just recently.   Romania also was a Communist satellite of the Soviet Union.
answered by
My husband's grandparents, who I'm looking for first, were born about 1890, one in Folnak (with umlaut on the "o") and the other in Billed.  According to google, the first is in Serbia and the second in Romania, but that's now.  I'm too geographically challenged to begin to guess what country(s) those were in back then!  My husband has been under the impression they both came from Hungary.

Thank you for the information you provided - it might at least help point me in the right direction.
Fölnak, now Felnac, is in Rumania near Arad, and near the present day border to Hungary. Billed, now Biled, is also in Rumania, a little to the South-West of Felnac, closer to Timișoara. The area is also called the Banat which is a region in the border area of Rumania, Serbia, and Hungary. In the late 19th century the Banat was part of Transleithania, the Hungarian part of Austria-Hungary.
Helmut,

Thank you soooooo much.  You have just simplified my task immensely.  Google maps had identified a different Folnak, in Serbia.  Since I believe this couple were married before coming to US, it makes much more sense that their towns were very close to each other.

Also, my husband's handwritten notes of what he knew to begin with said that both were from Timisoara, so your information fits right in with that, too.

Where I found the names of Folnak and Billed was in something that looks like a phone directory but calls itself a German Calendar.  It was apparently a magazine of sorts, published in the United States, for the purpose of keeping German-American families in contact with each other.  I found a listing for my husband's grandparents - the right names and right US location - that indicated Folnak and Billed as their places of origin.  That document is copyrighted, but I put a link to it in my notes on Bachmann-116
+1 vote
Hello. The antique is back. Maybe you can get a few clues here.

https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Serbia
answered by
Thank you.  I had found that page and looked at a few of its links, but didn't find anything.  I will look at everything, but in the morning.  I'm about to turn into a pumpkin now!  Good night and thank you again.
+1 vote

Serbian spellings of PETER

PETAR   Петар   m   Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian, Macedonian
Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian and Macedonian form of PETER
answered by
+1 vote
the BACHMAN surname in that area is likely derived from the Hebrew [Yiddish]  ben Chayim

also found in records of that area and era, a few alternate spellings

BACHMANN, BAUGHMAN, BACKMAN, BOCKMAN, BOCKMANN, BECHMANN, BECHMEN, BECMAN, BAUCHMAN, BOUCHMAN
answered by
Thank you, but I am absolutely sure that this family was Protestant, definitely not Jewish or Catholic.
+1 vote
Hi Gaile,

There are some good links for researching Ireland in the Irish Roots project here on WikiTree.

All the best

Billy
answered by Billy Wallace G2G6 Pilot (209k points)
THANX Bill.y, I will definitely start right here at home (on WikiTree) for the Irish side.  I'll be more than ready for an easy success experience after this mess where I don't even know for sure what country it was then or is now and have to cope with a foreign language that I know nothing about (not even what language, since I don't know what country).
+1 vote

Try Cyndi's List at http://www.cyndislist.com . Don't search the site instead go through the categories. She has an amazing list of links.

answered by Rosemary Jones G2G6 Pilot (221k points)

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