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11281Re: Re: [S-R] Re: Poprad area (German settlement)

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  • Bill Tarkulich
    Dec 6, 2004
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      I agree wholeheartedly. To truly understand the puzzle, you must take into consideration the political, ethnic, religious, language, geographical and historical perspectives for BOTH America and the village in question on:
      1. The date of reference
      2. The date the reference was given
      3. The present day

      Then you must also understand the agenda of the person providing the information: did they have an axe to grind? Were they ignorant? indoctrinated? mistaken? Where did their information come from: family, government, etcetera? Some people just became frustrated with questions by Americans who didn't understand and chose to "Simplify" their origin. Others simply didn't really care what you called them as long as they got what they wanted.

      The only way to make sense is to put it into the perspective from which it was given. As we all know, a reference to "Hungary" in 1910 has vastly different meaning than in 2004. Terms such as "Ruthenian" are obsolete.

      "Hungarian" could mean the nationality, ethnicity and/or language. We tend to try and simplify things in Europe by generalizing within a country: Spanish citizens are ethnic Spanish, speak Spanish language and come from Spain.

      Immigration agents often used the spoken tongue of an immigrant to identify their ethnicity. Better than nothing I suppose, but always room for big errors.

      When I was in my ancestral village, I brought a tape recorder and brought back a half-hour of conversation. I played it to my Aunt, daughter of immigrants from the same village. While she could understand it, she had enough education to be able to recognize that there was a bit of Polish, Ukraine, Slovak and Magyar (Hungarian) all mixed in. The indigenous language taught to her by her parents appears to have morphed in the 100 years since their emigration.

      Whatever you do, assume nothing, postulate, but always corroborate your data before drawing conclusions.

      Bill

      >
      > From: krisstrot@...
      > Date: 2004/12/06 Mon AM 10:56:43 EST
      > To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: Re: [S-R] Re: Poprad area (German settlement)
      >
      >
      > In a message dated 12/5/2004 8:45:37 PM Eastern Standard Time, WHew536674@... writes:
      >
      > >...So her claim of being Hungarian was based
      > >on the fact that she lived there but was not really Magyar.
      > >
      > >Joyce
      >
      > I always considered my Grandmother "German." When she came over in 1910, she listed her ethnicity as "German" and her place of birth as "Hungary." When HER mother came for a visit in 1913, she listed her ethnicity as "Magyar" and place of birth as "Hungary." (I always thought she was of German origin, her maiden name being Weber.) She was traveling with her 16 year old daughter (my grandmother's sister), who also listed her ethnicity as "Magyar." I suppose she followed what her mother had said two lines above, while my grandmother, traveling on her own at age 24, listed her ethnicity as "German." Interesting. My sister and I often talk about the huge "jigsaw puzzle" this genealogy research truly is, and I'm glad to have a "partner in crime" to help keep my eyes open to ALL possibilities and to not be so LITERAL when reading ship and census records.
      > Kris
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