[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Ratz Family - City/Province of Origin?

Robin alphaf1 at yahoo.com
Fri May 17 14:47:35 PDT 2013


Thank you for the insights. The maps are great, too. It is all much appreciated.

I missed that Joseph was a fisherman as I thought it said farmer. After a closer look, I do believe you are right about that. Good thing, too, as it may help narrow down his home town.

I have tried to figure out the city named as his final destination. It certainly could be Shawano, as that is fairly close to where he did end up. At this point, I do not know who the brother-in-law is that met him in New York nor what other family members may have preceded him on this journey or where they may have settled. That said, it would not be unreasonable to assume that he may have been heading to family living in or near Shawano. The 1900 Federal Census shows him living in Underhill. In 1910, he was living in Gillett, which is about 5 miles away from Underhill. Gillett is where he died in 1911.

Robin Prigge

 From: Albert Muth <albertmuth734 at gmail.com>
To: Rose Ingram <roseingram at shaw.ca> 
Cc: Robin <alphaf1 at yahoo.com>; ger-poland-volhynia at sggee.org 
Sent: Friday, May 17, 2013 1:37 PM
Subject: Re: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Ratz Family - City/Province of Origin?

I see little here to disagree wtih; quibbling, I see Brzizis as the village of residence.  
But it is still "a mess".  I have no idea what this could be and still be within the 
boundaries of "Sherlitz".  It looks badly mangled; do not place too much reliance
on spelling or even a reliable phonetic rendering.

I am going to take a stab at identifying the province "Sherlitz".  We are talking
about the gubernia level, and these are quite limited in number.

In the Kingdom of Poland (Russian Poland, Congress Kingdom of Poland)
I refer you to this map:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Polska_1907_adm.png

For the Western areas of Russia, I refer you to

I am ignoring the Volga German region on purpose, as it is quite separate 
from the rest of these.

My hunch is that Sherlitz is a badly written version of Siedlce.  Keep in
mind that we are seeing a single word that is filled in to a box.  We need
to imagine the conversation that might have gone on.   The question "What is the name 
of the province you were born in?" would yield a one word answer.
If the question yielded a full sentence, the Ratzes might have answered
I was born in Sherlitz gubernia.  In any case, Sherlitz is AWFUL.

for the pronunciation, open this URL in another window: http://translate.google.com/#pl/en/Siedlce.%20%20Gubernia%20siedlecka

Turn up the volume on your computer.  In the left box, In the bottom right corner, you
will see an icon for volume (if you hover your mouse over it, it'll read "listen").

If you can imagine one of our Germans trying to answer the question of where
he was from to a hostile bureaucrat processing immigrants in New York City,
this might be our place.

Joseph Ratz is a fisherman by profession.  This ought to limit you
to towns and villages on the rivers of that gubernia.

Could the destination be Shawano in Wisconsin?  It's adjacent to Oconto Co.

al muth

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