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37704Re: [S-R] Re: Travel from villages to departure ports of Bremen, Hamburg, and Antwerp

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  • William C. Wormuth
    Mar 23, 2014
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      I would like to explain something to you and others, concerning your question.  this is not the first time I have witnessed someone trying to understand lives of your relatives, using a comparison to you live here to those of ancestors.
      You must understand that their lives were different than yours and not comparable.  You consider them poor but their lives were as normal as  family, neighbors and friends.  They knew from rumor, that Americans "had it better" and for that reason were tempted to come here to "better" themselves as you might move from Idaho to NY for a better paying job. They had no chance to improve their economical level at home.
      Some left because they did not want to enter the army but most whom I have known, wished to come to Amerika, make a lot of money, return home and open a business.  Most did not consider they would stay here forever. 
      When they had lived here for a long period of time they became Americans, following our way of life.  When they had "a lot of money" their parents wrote, asking them to return home. 

      When they did go home they found it to be socially different, paid their parents and returned to the USA, marrying and sometimes bringing their families, friends and the same for their wife's. Even though they worked and made "enough" money, they were actually, paid slaves. Here in Johnstown, NY the main business was leather tanning and glove making.  Our young girls worked as maids, washing ironing clothes, cleaning the homes, cooking and serving.  the woman of the home lived like a queen, being served by hand, entertaining an spending her days on the front porch dressed in her finest.

      Men worked in the mills for less than $1.00 per day.  They also did odd jobs, (mostly hard labor), for other citizens.

      They were still considered "rich" by their families back home.

      Traveling great distances was not a problem.  they walked or rode a wagon to the nearest large City, then boarded a train to The nearest Port of departure.  They didn't need permission, with the exception, (I think) of the young men eligible to enter the Army.

      My Grandfather came here in 1903, after being formally schooled in Vienna as a cabinet maker. His father paid his way to the USA telling him his life would be better. He brought his ten brothers and sisters,plus his Mother and Father, the last coming in 1921.

      I hope I have helped by giving this rather rambling explanation.

      On Sunday, March 23, 2014 11:48 PM, "amiak27@..." <amiak27@...> wrote:
      Trnkov/Presov District Should have been Kökény, Saris county.
      I think I will repeat this posting under the title "Maps, RR Maps" so it can be found by a search.
      * * * *
      Here is a general answer to 'how my ancestors got to embarkation port' by railway, basically by the easiest and cheapest way possible. The railroads, as they were built, were that method, and generally the shortest route would be the cheapest, since they charged by the mile. Complications would be, of course, whether they took fast train or slow train. Class of passage likely did not enter into it.

      In the 1840's Hungary was in the first stages of working out the monumental cost and politics of the Chain Bridge across the Danube. We can imagine the political debate and horrendous financial challenges of building a railroad at that time. They were, as matter of fact, speculating on a railroad along the Tisa/Thies river, which would catch Slovakia in the extreme SE corner. They had all of the physical barriers to overcome, from swamps, floods and bridges and drainage to property ownership and politics.

      Once you see the railroad maps, you will see your challenge is beginning, as you have to locate your village and then estimate the easiest or best route your ancestors may have taken in leaving Hungary.

      A map of Austro-Hungarian Railways 1902 is at

      Lower on the same page, you can click on a 1911 map.
      * * * *
      1883 Map of the Austrian Empire Railway & Steamboat Communications & Routes from Karl Baedeker's book: Southern Germany and Austria, including Hungary and Transylvania

      * * * * *
      In another thread there is the question of Starina Village  and now Reservoir, which can be located on the map at
      roughly in the center of the map. It seems to show Czirokabela instead of Sztarina as indexed in the 1877 gazetteer.

      To choose any part of Hungary-Galicia from that era, the interactive mother-page is at

      Eperjes/Presov is about in the center of the detailed map at

      These maps were published about 1910, and it is easy to expect military maps in WW 1 would be quite similar. In one history of WW 1 they recorded complaints that the maps were often not up to date, and that they did not show all of the local roads and bridges.
      * * * * *
      The answers to Trnkov/Presov and Starina and railroad or transportation for emigrants all seemed to blend together. I hope I didn't chop them up and mix them too much. Your challenge is getting oriented and reading the maps and recognizing the various geographic names in Slovak, Hungarian and German!


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