walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Volhynia, Galicia and the Russian Empire. Again.

A friend of mine was kind enough to give me his grandparents' names, birthdates and birth places so I could poke around in his ancestry. And they included unusual last names, which I always love. Alas, they were _really_ unusual last names, the most unusual I have encountered so far.

I've posted before about the path my Mennonite ancestors took from the Netherlands, to the Vistula Delta and Vistula River, and then to what is now the Ukraine. From there, my particular group went to Manitoba, where my mother was born, but about 2/3rds of the larger community went to places in our Prairie states, like Kansas. When I was researching my then step-father-in-law (divorced, so no relation now), I was a little surprised to learn more about Galicia and the Jewish part of the migrations in that part of the world.

Once again, I'm back looking at Volhynia/Wolyn and the general area (one person came from Slutsk, which is part of why I'm so convinced they were Jewish). As with my step-father-in-law, I suspect that at least some of these people are Jewish, but their descendants were not, which makes it all the more confusing. I eventually found my Mennonite ancestors on maps in books about Mennonite history, but it dawned on me I own a relevant atlas: Paul Robert Magocsi's _Historical Atlas of East Central Europe_, which I bought back in the 1990s not too long after it came out. It's got amazing stuff (including maps of the canals and railroads during 1914, the year the two people I am tracing left the area to come to Connecticut -- I know! Weird, right? But that's where at least one of them went directly; it's listed as the destination on the ship's manifest).
Tags: genealogy
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