Is it Getsch or Gaige or something else

+3 votes
I am still searching for information about my grandmother’s Russian heritage/family. On the passenger ship log for August 1933, her father’s name is Aleksej Getsch. I think that is phonetic spelling of her name. I found a NY marriage record that showed it spelled as Gaige. Again, probably phonetically spelled. I thought I find the answer by requesting a copy of her Naturalization papers. But wouldn’t you know it ... it doesn’t have her surname listed. Just that she was born in Moscow in June 1913. I even got a copy of her Alien Registration form and again, no information on surname. Can anyone help figure out what her last name is? I running into dead ends.
in Genealogy Help by Sandra Buranen G2G2 (2.6k points)
Götsch maybe. Russian spelling does some weird things to German names.

2 Answers

+3 votes
Getsch looks German to me. There were a lot of Germans in Russia (for example, the Volga Deutsch) so perhaps the name is correct.
by George Fulton G2G6 Pilot (416k points)
+2 votes
Hello, my name is Yuri Ermolaev. I am russian historian genealogist from Moscow. I think I could help you.


by Yuri Ermolaev G2G Rookie (260 points)
Hi Yuri

Thank you for offering to help. It’s been very difficult to find any information on Valentina’s proper surname. What information would you need to help us in our search
Dear Sandra,

You could send me copies of documents of Ms. Getsch. I mean her Naturalization papers and other documents - all what you know about her and her parents. Place of her birth, confession and so on. Are they orthodox christians or other confession? I try to find information about her family - church, address and so on. At the moment it seems that the name was "ГЕЧ" (in russian cyrillic alphabet). This is not-typical south-russian or western-russian name. In German transcription will be Getsch, in modern English I think Gech or Gaige. I can visit archival depositories in Moscow and try to search all the families ГЕЧ at Moscow in 1913.

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The passenger manifest log, shows her name (Valentina Konola), my father’s name, her son Walter Konola, and also her father’s name as Aleksej Getch

Valentina was born in Moscow, June 1913. She has two sisters, Antonina and Nina. Her youngest sister Antonina died of pneumonia as a teenager. 

Her father Aleksej was employed as a train conductor.  We are not sure of her mother’s name, but believe it to be Marina. We are also told one of her cousins was a ballerina, but we can not find any information.

Valentina met and married Walter Konola in Moscow in 1931. Walter was a US citizen (of Finnish origin) working in Russia.She gave birth to my father, Walter Konola Junior  on June 11, 1932. Her husband Walter returned to the US in January 1933 as visa requirements.

Valentina Konola traveled to the US in August 1933 on the ship USS Europa with her son Walter Konola junior to reunite with Walter senior.

Unfortunately Walter and Valentina’s marriage did not last. In 1937 they divorced. 

In anger, Walter senior took my father away from Valentina. The last time my father saw his mother was age five in the summer of 1937.

She remarried later that year to her second husband. She divorced her second husband and re-married a 3rd time and remained married until her death in August 2009 at age 96.

To complicate matters, on her death certificate her surname is spelled Chage, which I am told is pronounced similar to Getsch. So we are not certain the proper surname … Chage, Getsch, or Gaige. I believe all of these are phonetic spellings.  

She was orthodox christian and celebrated Christmas and Easter in traditional Russian ways. All her naturalization papers do not list surnames. It lists Moscow as her birth place but nothing else is noted that relates to her relatives in Russia. 

As you can imagine, my father is very sad not to have known his mother. He loved her very much.

Thank you for generosity in helping us in this search. 

Dear Sandra, I have sent you an email, could you please check

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