Where to say this person was born?

+6 votes
I'm working on the ancestors of a new POW profile and the Pennsylvania Federal Naturalization Record for an ancestor says he was born in HRUSIATYOZE, GALACIA, AUSTRIA in November 1890. Perhaps the town isn't so important, but Galicia in that time is sometimes called Ukrainian or Austrian or Polish. The man also varies when he gives information as to Austrian, Polish or Ukranian. The man I will be adding eventually was part of the mass emigration just before WWI (arrived 1906). Is someone out there knowledgeable about this time period and what I should call his place of origin?
in Genealogy Help by Darlene Kerr G2G6 Mach 3 (32.7k points)
retagged by Darlene Kerr
Give me his full name date birth and where lived,who married,where lived in USA
Michael Labiak b. 6 Nov 1890 in place stated. Lived in Philadelphia, PA. Wife came with him on the "Batavia" from port of Hamburg, Ger. on 1 Jan. 1906.Wife's maiden name Mary Kachnech.  On the WWII Draft he gave birthplace as Lwow, Poland.
Because all turmoil in Europe,Countries can change ,to be in Galacia,Ukraine,Poland ,Michael Labiak,wifes maiden name Mary Levicki.

1930 Census in Philadelphia.WW2 draft card born Lwow Poland,

6ft ! inch tall,Blue eyes,Blond hair,Light complexion.

The 2nd page of the petition for naturalization says Galicia, Poland.

Death Certificate says Ukraine, but informant was son Peter Labiak.

Again, WWII Draft on 27 Apr 1942 says Lwow, Poland.

1920 Census he says Austria and native language is Ruthenian.

1930 Census he says Poland and language is Ukranian.

Name of wife for son Joseph was Mary Varis (S.S. Application)

Name of wife's father on her death certificate (PA) is Alexander Wares.
Now that's what I call an identity crisis!
No kidding!!  I hope to not run into too many of the Eastern European people in the future, but still have to deal with a lot from this family. Interestingly, Gaile, when you look at the actual census, they seemed to congregate in neighborhoods of all their own people. They did speak and read and write English, but must have been more comfortable with their own. I suppose we also see that with others, like the Irish. Right?
I don't just run into it - I'm buried in it.  My paternal grandparents were Lithuanian immigrants and my maternal grandparents were Hungarian immigrants.  It makes me completely nuts trying to determine locations during the period when that whole region was in such flux, and the absolute last straw is trying to determine the correct language to use in the location field - my ancestors were Jewish and might have used Yiddish at home, Hebrew for formal occasions, and either Lithuanian or Russian or German or Polish for the official country language, depending on who was occupying it, which seemed to change midnight on alternate Thursdays for a while there.

About congregating in neighborhoods of their prior nationality - the lower east side of New York City was where the Jews went when they arrived here and there were several blocks that were literally different neighborhoods - all Jewish, but different original nationalities.  It makes sense - they established a community that had a common native language.
Oh, good heaven!  I can feel your pain all the way in Nevada!!!  That's probably exactly the situation with this family. These people married with people from Poland named Slachcikowski, which changed to Coskey in the next generation. They probably got tired of trying to teach the little children how to spell it! On top of it all that long name varies depending on the document. I chose the spelling on their headstone.
I have learned to distrust gravestones and death certificates for anything other than death date/place when dealing with immigrants.  In some cases, they didn't even know what country they were from, considering that the country kept changing every few months, plus a lot got lost in translation when they told their stories to their born-in-USA children.  The census is pretty much the same way - it's a combination of whatever they're thinking the country is at the time they report it to the census taker, plus the census taker's editorial license on it.  Also, they probably didn't read English (certainly not in the early years they were here) so they had no idea what the census taker was writing.  It's further exacerbated by their lack of understanding the questions being asked in English, as well as their foreign accents being misinterpreted by the census taker.  Think of it as a tower of babel on steroids and all in one household.
I have also found problems with the gravestones; however I have been unable to find a definitive source for the spelling of that last name. That one seems to be the most common one they used or was used for them.
I wouldn't presume to advise you to do what I do, which is usually born of frustration when I'm at the end of my rope working on one of these profiles.  That is to just go with my best guess as to which variant is most likely to be correct, document the questionable nature of it all, and move on to another profile.

2 Answers

+4 votes
Best answer

Wikitree's usual maxim "use their conventions instead of ours" applies here. In this case, follow the style guide for location fields. Wikipedia tells me that in 1890 most of Galicia was part of the Austrian Empire which always gives me fits. I would just leave it at "Galicia" or whatever "Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria" (which is the official name for what the Habsburg's called the area) translates to in Michael's native language.

Eastern and Central European place names transliterated into a latin alphabet or transcribed by native English speakers have given me no end of troubles with a few of my ancestors.

by Geoff Buck G2G2 (2.0k points)
selected by Darlene Kerr
I think the Galicia, Austria will probably be what I go with. I just found still another place he gave on his WWI draft--Bubrker, Austria.  Maybe the guy didn't know WHERE he was born!! LOL . I'm still not convinced I know the wife's maiden name. I have not seen where Wayne found the Levicki surname for her.
What I have done in similar situations when dealing with the Russian Empire is to append that after the country.  In this case, following your plan, it would result in:

Galicia, Austria, Austro-Hungarian Empire
Oh, thank you! That would go in the bio, not up in the place name. Right?
Um, no, I put it in the data section, of course using whatever language I guessed was appropriate.  In the bio, I handle it a little differently - I would say Galicia, Austria, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and I'd write that in English.

See https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Sokhen-2 for an example.
You need to be the poster girl for getting a name right with Sharia. What an effort that must have been.
and what makes you think I got it right?  It's a total crap shoot, girlfriend!!!  If you really want to see a mess that I tried hard to explain, look at one of Sharia's daughters:

Gaile, is this like a use of phonetic spellings for her instead of an exact like on a birth certificate or really just the difference in languages used around her?  Years ago I was finishing up a quilt for a little Jewish friend's 5th birthday and when I wanted to know what to put on the label, I called a friend, Shelly Berman (the comedian) in LA, and asked him Jewish or Yiddish and how to spell the salutation. He gave me 2. They meant the same thing, but one was Jewish and one Yiddish. Looked a lot alike and probably sounded very similar.
No, it is truly different languages.  I'm not sure what language you're calling "Jewish", but I have heard that used when someone really means Yiddish.  I think it's more likely that the second language was Hebrew, which might have sounded somewhat like the Yiddish translation of the same thing, although that's not always so.  Yiddish and German are very similar - almost like a difference between Spanish spoken in Spain and Spanish spoken in South America.

In the profiles for many members of the Sokhen family, I used a link to a page on the JewishGen website that is a name translator.  Although intended for Jewish names, it translates names between any of about a dozen languages of Eastern Europe.  That might help you, too, although it wouldn't help with place names.
Yes, you're correct, Shelly did say Hebrew. Sorry. I didn't realize there was such a thing as the name translator. Very interesting and useful tool. Thank you.
I forgot to mention - in the case of Jewish families in Lithuania in the late 1800's to the 1940's, the births were only registered sporadically and the language depended mainly on where and when they were recorded.  The official language of the country changed between Lithuanian and that of whatever country was occupying the land - sometimes different countries occupied different parts of Lithuania at the same time and the borders literally changed daily.  In places (and at times) when recording of Jewish vital statistics was officially not permitted, the language for those that were recorded might have been either Lithuanian, Latin, or Hebrew - depending on whether the birth was recorded in a Lutheran or Catholic church (they sometimes stepped up to secretly keep records for Jews during times when it was banned), or in a Jewish temple.  That, however, does not mean that the child's name was given by the parents in that language, which is really what I think we mean by true LNAB.  That is more likely to have been Yiddish or Lithuanian, and possibly (but less likely) Hebrew.

I'm going to say goodnight, Darlene, but after I dumped all that confusion on you, let me try to make up for it by offering you some


Dream good things!

SWEET!  Thank you. You've given me much fodder. Good night to you too. My little dog is telling me it's probably time to stop and hit the hay. Sweet dreams, my friend.

In this case, following your plan, it would result in:

Galicia, Austria, Austro-Hungarian Empire

Get rid of that "Austria" in between, its not appropriate at this point.

At their language between 1867 and 1918: "K├Ânigreich Galizien und Lodomerien, ├ľsterreichisch-Ungarische Monarchie"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Galicia_and_Lodomeria. Look at the boxes on the right, there are its predecessor and sucessors listed.

+2 votes
Pennsyvania Death Certificate 0191143-64 Registration # 3449

Michael,Restaraunt owner his father Peter Labiak,mother unknown.

on this record says born Ukraine.
by Wayne Morgan G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
Yes, I have that record, but it doesn't agree with his naturalization petition or other records. He gave many different answers.

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