Can’t figure out what the real name of a town is?

Towards work on a future post, I’m looking for people who have found a name of a town in their research that they haven’t been able to identify.

For example, I found the town name Tazscharwitz in naturalization papers (shown in my article Finding Information on US Immigrants). It took me a long time, and help from professional genealogist and IAJGS President Michael Goldstein, to figure out it was Tyszowce. By the way, for those of you who live in Israel, Michael is speaking on July 13th in Raanana, giving his amazing ‘Breaking Through Brick Walls’ lecture which I highly recommend (more info on the IGS calendar).

In an attempt to help people decipher town names, I’d like some examples to work with so I can show possible ways to determine what the real town is for those who can’t figure it out.

So if you have such a name, either e-mail me or post it in the comments to this post. Include the following information:

  • Spelling of town name as you have it
  • Source of the town name (naturalization papers, military records, just overheard, etc…)
  • List of people who you know (or think) lived in the town, and when (include significant dates like birth dates)
  • Any other information that might be helpful. In my case I had heard the town was ‘near the Bug river’ and even though the Bug river marks the entire border between Poland and Ukraine, that was still useful information.

So send me the towns you’re looking for, and I will see what I can do to figure them out and the results will show up in a future article.

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