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Border changes - SAVKA family from Hungary/Czechoslovakia/Austria

Border changes - SAVKA family from Hungary/Czechoslovakia/Austria

Posted: 21 Apr 2008 9:20PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Savka
I am looking for an area that changed hands over time. I am looking for the SAVKA family who came to the US in 1914. On the 1920 census they say they are from Hungary, in 1930 they say they are from Czechoslavakia, various obits say they were born in Austria. The family spoke Russian when they came to the US. Is there an area that would have fit the criteria of Hungarian to Czech or Austrian and Russian speaking? I know areas changed hands over the years, am just looking to narrow down the area that might be involved and who it belongs to today. Any help with this riddle would be appreciated.

Re: Border changes - SAVKA family from Hungary/Czechoslovakia/Austria

Posted: 21 Apr 2008 9:34PM GMT
Classification: Query
The Savka family could have come from pretty much anywhere in what is now Slovakia. If you give us their given names and where they lived in the U.S., we could probably help you more easily. How do you know they spoke "Russian"? Could it have been Rusyn? The two are frequently confused. Knowing their religion would also be helpful in this regard.

Re: SAVKA, SZAVKA, SZAFKA

Posted: 21 Apr 2008 9:57PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Savka, Szafka, Szavka
PeggyDoyle58

Few maps to take a look at :
www.progenealogists.com/hungary
www.cgsi.org (old) Czechoslovakia
Can not pinpoint location only by a surname. More information about your ancestor would help.
SAVKA surname does show up in Slovakia (Czechoslovakia)
22 SAVKAs, 17 SZAFKAs and 33 SZAVKAs in www.ellisislandrecords.org
One of them your ancestor?
www.tccweb.org
www.c-rs.org
www.iabsi.com/gen/public
www.cisarik.com

Re: Border changes - SAVKA family from Hungary/Czechoslovakia/Austria

Posted: 21 Apr 2008 9:58PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Savka, Derbak
The names are Simon SAVKA (b. 1881)and his wife Anna DERBAK (b. 1882). They had 3 children born in Europe: George, Mary, and Helen. Simon emigrated in 1910 and Anna followed with the children in 1914. The information that I had on language is from the 1920 and 1930 Census and from family accounts that they spoke Russian..They attended Russian Orthodox Church in Southern Illinois where they ended up. Thanks for your help.

Re: DERBAK

Posted: 21 Apr 2008 10:24PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Derbak
Peggy
DERBAKs in www.ellisislandrecords.org few of them from Nizni Kolcava, Czechoslovakia
Locate Kolochava/Kolocava with www.jewishgen.org/ShtetlSeeker/loctown.htm which is (now) Ukraine (Ruthenia/Zakarpatska Rus in old Czechoslovakia) www.cgsi.org
http://all.zakarpattya.net/index.html
www.ukraine.com/forums/genealogy

Re: Border changes - SAVKA family from Hungary/Czechoslovakia/Austria

Posted: 22 Apr 2008 2:15PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Savka, Derbak
Dear Peggy,

If you look again at the 1930 Census for Six Mile IL, you will note a number of families are listed as coming from Czechoslovakia and speaking "Russian." One is listed as "Carpatho-Russian." If you then go back and look at immigration records for people with these family names, you will see that none was listed as speaking Russian. But a considerable number were listed as speaking Ruthenian. In addition, looking again at the census, not one was listed as speaking Rusyn or Ruthenian. In other words, the census taker confused the two.

The terms Ruthenian and Rusyn are interchangeable and refer to a specific group that mostly comes from the area of present-day eastern Slovakia and western Ukraine. Most of them are practicing Greek Catholics. However, there was considerable splitting among religious groups in the U.S., and some formed the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese, as well as some other splinter churches. These churches all follow the Greek rite rather than the Latin rite, which is why they are called "Greek Catholic."

Obviously "Rusyn" and "Russian" sound very much alike, and indeed the two languages are related. But they are not the same.

The evidence, therefore, strongly suggests that your Savka (and Derbak) ancestors were Ruthenian/Rusyn. The area they lived in indeed had many border changes and at different times were part of Hungary, Austro-Hungarian Empire, Czechoslovakia, and (now) Slovakia. Some of that area is now in Ukraine as well.

I have not been able to locate their 1920 census record. Under what spelling did you find it?

Clearly you cannot proceed until you identify a village of origin. The 1930 Census indicates that Simon had filled out his "First Papers." If you can locate his Declaration of Intent, it may give you his birth village.

Janet

Re: Border changes - SAVKA family from Hungary/Czechoslovakia/Austria

Posted: 22 Apr 2008 2:28PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Salki
I found the family under the name Salki in 1920. A few of the family had misspelled names in 1920, ie:Sam for Simon, Dan for Ben. I have applied for a search of Naturalization records for Simon under the Freedom of Information Act, but I know that will take time if they find it at all.
Thanks for your help.

Re: Border changes - SAVKA family from Hungary/Czechoslovakia/Austria

Posted: 22 Apr 2008 3:36PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Szavka
I found Simon's immigration record! He was on the Hamburg Passenger List under the spelling Szimon Szavka, age 28. (The reason for this spelling is that the Hungarian language uses sz for our s sound.) He sailed on the Graf Waldersee on October 28, 1910, arriving in Philadelphia on November 10. He was from Also Kalocsa in Maramaros megye (county), now Kolochava, Ukraine. He spoke Ruthenian. His destination was his cousin Moritz Polin in Waltersburg PA, leaving his wife, Anna, behind in Also Kalocsa.

The date July 24, 1924, is stamped on his record, which is probably the date of his Declaration of Intent. (I think if it were the date of his naturalization, the 1930 census would have indicated Na instead of Pa.)

Unfortunately, Ukrainian records are not readily available as yet, unless you hire a researcher there. However, Ukraine is beginning to open its records for microfilming, so some day you may be able to view them yourself.

In the meantime, if you search on Kolochava you will find a wealth of photographs of this incredibly beautiful, mountain region, including a very charming water mill.

Janet

Re: Border changes - SAVKA family from Hungary/Czechoslovakia/Austria

Posted: 22 Apr 2008 4:13PM GMT
Classification: Query
Excellent! I had looked for him at the Ellis Island site but he was not there, now I know why. Maybe that is why his wife wasn't on the site either in 1914 when she came over with the kids. Thanks so much!

Re: Border changes - SAVKA family from Hungary/Czechoslovakia/Austria

Posted: 22 Apr 2008 7:09PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Mandzink
I made a minor error. Simon was not going to a cousin Moritz Polin. That name belonged to the next passenger. His destination was a friend whose last name was Mandzink.
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