Proof the earth is flat - I just fell off the edge - need rescue from the 1800's Eastern Europe mess

+4 votes

Just when I thought I finally had it straight about Hungary (thanks to J Palotay), I'm now floundering in I-don't-even-know-where - seems most likely to be Ukraine, but could be Poland, Hungary, Austria, or maybe even someplace else.  In the late 1800's the place was called "Sinjava, Galicia" on Hungarian birth and marriage records.  My great-grandfather was apparently born there, although he married (twice, in fact - the second time to the half-sister of his widow) and lived in Vásárosnamény, Hungary, where his 14 children were born, before immigrating to the United States.

Between all the different languages, none of which I can even say "hello" in, there is no way I can figure this out.  Good heavens, English is my native language and I can't even manage to articulate the extent of my problems in that!!!

I have a cousin who is not geographically challenged like me - she tried to explain it all, but I only feel more confused now.  Could someone please NOT try to explain anything about the history or geography, but just tell me what to put in the location field for that place in whatever language it should be in 1840 and also what to call its current location in English when I write about it in the biography?

Please see linked profile for what I wrote about it in the notes, which is probably all wrong.

WikiTree profile: Herman Deitel
asked in Genealogy Help by Gaile Connolly G2G6 Pilot (534k points)
No answer here, but, Gaile, I just have appreciate the honesty!

Based on the results from the Galician Town Locator (highly recommended resource-found here), I think he came from either the town of Sieniawa found on Wikipedia, or from a village nearby the modern-day town by that name.  If that's the case, then I would use Sieniawa, Königreich Galizien und Lodomerien, Kaiserthum Oesterreich for the location field.

Fear not terrestrial,

Surly you discovered the earth is not flat while standing upon, but your clue is from the vastness of the universe looking back.  Should this not be enjoyable?  Are we all having fun, or are we being teased from a higher power?  Grasshopper,  Go forth and endure.  We are all seeking answers, and they are hiding nicely.  Your co-sufferers are here enduring with you.  It is sweet to get to eat a little fruit off a tree that is almost always bare.  Keep seeking, as some of us are trying (as you are) to get those hidden gems.  Don’t forget to look back and you go forward to find answers.  Enjoy the difficult, as it gives you time to reflect on the past.  You are not alone.  I have noticed a common practice.  We are all trying to solve this by ourselves, and that may in fact be the problem.  I am fairly certain that DNA will in short catch up to us.  We my friend, are way out there in space searching the universe, while mere mortals are upon the earth looking under rocks.  Patience or time is needed to let software engineers catch up to us, to crunch the endless numbers of chromosome strand comparisons!  We crunch numbers manually, while a super-computer will do a million times what we could do in our short lifetime.  Be patient, and set it down to be worked on later.  You have many branches in your tree.  Take time to smell the roses.  Think about an ancestor and what life must have been in there time periods.  You are a miracle!  You exist because everyone of your ancestors since the beginning of time lived to produce a child leading up to, and most likely past you.  Enjoy it.  We are here, but do not grow impatient.  It’s not a brick wall, but a doorway not yet opened.  The keymaster will come, and what was once thought impossible, is shortly going to become a flood of DNA proven relatives waiting to be found.

Hahahahaha! This is blazin’!!! What a mind!!
I am with Pip on this - quite lovely
THANX ever so much, Kirt - I *NEEDED* that!!!  You are absolutely wonderful.
Pip:  Give me Month Day year of birth person you are looking for.Not for

research,but figure place and if it belonged too Russia,Austria Hungarian

Empire,Do you know religion.Because few could read write or spell.The

name spellings are many.The person taking info had too guess.
I feel for ya.  But I can't help.
I love this comment. I have German Ancestors who lived in Congress Poland and ancestors who lived in Austria-Hungary. Yesterday I spent 3 hours on Wikipedia searching about the places they had  lived. Well, it was a big lesson in history, for sure.  No wonder everyone is at a loss. It was difficult, though. I don’t speak/read Polish, Russian, Hungarian or German. A lot of what appear to be websites with pertinent information are in another language. (Translation apps drive me mad). I bookmarked the sites for later reading. The Germans in Poland were lured there by giving them tax-free residences. I understand now the dislike the Polish people have for Germans. It wasn’t just because of the war. I enjoyed the comments in this post. What a way to brighten my day! Ask away, there are many people on the same journey!

3 Answers

+3 votes
Gaile, no need to panic, I found something:

1. According to the Wikipedia-entry of Seniawa ( it fell in 1772 to Austria-Hungary.

2. On google books I found a book from 1882 which is called "Hof- und Staats-Handbuch der österreichisch-ungarischen Monarchie für 1882", which is translated something like: "Court- and State-handbook of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy for 1882". It was printed in what seems to be the official State print office. There the name of the town is written "Sieniawa", the first time on page 62. Here is the link under which I found it in google books:

I hope that helps
answered by Jelena Eckstädt G2G6 Mach 8 (88.6k points)
edited by Jelena Eckstädt
Oh, Jelena, thank you for the encouragement, but I'm already beyond panic and not capable of absorbing any more history or geography.  I have completely given up on ever being able to make any sense out of it all and just want someone to tell me what to put in the birth place field - the right name of the place in the right language for the time and what to call it when I state it in the biography.  Better yet, just go and make the change - the profile is open!

Alright Gaile, I entered the birthplace I found it the way in the book of 1882, At the end of Herman's biography I mentioned that and linked to the book. You might want to clean the bio now though blush 

+3 votes
First you need too establish,where ukraine belonged in that time period..

Pip research there is a disaster.Some records held by Churches,some

'records held by Org. Most records must be purchased or make a donotion.
answered by Wayne Morgan G2G6 Pilot (792k points)
Wayne, I'm not asking anyone to find more records - although I am missing some, I do have quite a lot.  All I need is to know what to call the place I already have the name of, in the right language for that date.  The country (and, therefore, language) seems to change midnight on alternate Thursdays.
+1 vote
I believe Galicia is Croatia

Sinjava Bay, Hvar, Croatia. Hvar is an island
answered by Marion Poole G2G6 Pilot (181k points)
edited by Marion Poole
No Marion. Galicia is either the region in Northern Spain or the region that was Austria-Hungary in the time that is in question here. I just went on the Serbian version of Google Maps (my preferred version when looking up things in the Western Balkan region) and there I didn't find anything of Sinjava.
No, the Galicia talked about here is basically the Polish part of Austria-Hungary. Looking from Vienna, Croatia is in entirely the opposite direction.

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