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George & Mary "Faynick" (Fenic) of 1940 NY City

George & Mary "Faynick" (Fenic) of 1940 NY City

Posted: 7 May 2013 1:32PM GMT
Classification: Query
I seek info about the family of George "Faynick" (Fenic) who in the 1940 census lived on W. 100th Street in New York City. The listing includes:
George age 36 b. Yugoslavia
Mary age 27 b. NJ
Dorothy age 10 b. NY
John age 1 b. NY

Please reply directly to:

John Bierman
Dayton, OH

Re: George & Mary "Faynick" (Fenic) of 1940 NY City

Posted: 9 May 2013 12:08PM GMT
Classification: Query
Cannot offer any real help but there is a small point which could be important. You say the 1940 census says that George, age 36, was born in Yugoslavia. Quite impossible - Yugoslavia did not exist then. He was probably born somewhere in the Balkan Austro-Hungarian Empire - Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia which came to an end c. 1919. Suggest you Google up Austro-Hungarian Empire which would give you an idea off the size and variety of the nationalities living there. A very important point could be if you know the Language he spoke at home and also his religious denomination. Good luck.

Re: George & Mary "Faynick" (Fenic) of 1940 NY City

Posted: 11 May 2013 12:19PM GMT
Classification: Query
The census takers (or their supervisors) did not accurately report where you were born, if it did not politically exist any longer. I have seen entries that said "Moravia" which was crossed out and Austria written over -- in a different hand, so I assume it was a supervisor "correcting" the entry. After 1919, "Czechoslovakia" was written in when the real birthplace was Bohemia. So we can assume that George Fenic was born in the geo-political area that was Yugoslavia's boundaries in 1940.

I once did some research for someone, and his grandmother's birthplace changed every census. Then I looked at history, and it was that little part of Poland that changed hands about 3 times from 1880 to 1920, and it then made sense.

According to

the name Yugoslavia started being used in 1929.

Re: George & Mary "Faynick" (Fenic) of 1940 NY City

Posted: 11 May 2013 2:25PM GMT
Classification: Query
Moravia (Germ. Maehren) was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, i.e. "Austria" and people of any ethnic group would be "Austrian" by citizenship, so that would be correct for that time. Bohemia (Germ. Boehmen) was also part of the A-H Empire and both these became part of Czechoslovakia c. 1919. Yugoslavia was created, as said, from a group of Balkan Austro-Hungarian states - Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia which are now independent states as Yugoslavia no longer exists. If the person is to be traced, as said again, the most important thing is the language spoken at home, Serb? Croat?, Bosnian? with the religious denomination also being good for a clue. History is very important for Central Europe but sorting out the history is complex and ethnicity is often the best starting point.
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