Slovakia Genealogy Research Strategies
Hungarian Place Names Example
Let me illustrate with my ancestral villages in Zemplin county.
Hungarian/Magyar Slovak Rusyn
Ujszek / Novaszelicza Nova Sedlica Novoselyca
Harczos Zboj Zbuj
Utczas /Ulics Ulič Ulyc
Ugar Ubl’a Vublja
Vegaszo / Orosz Patak Rusky Potok Rus'kyj PotukGorbeszeg / Ulicskriva Uličske Krieve Kryvyj
Here is an example to help understand this. Suppose you locate your ancestor's ship manifest on the Ellis Island web site. On it, it says he was from "Hungary" and his place of birth was "Ujszek." We know from history that as a result of WWI, today's Hungary is only a small fraction of what it used to be. So, conclusion one: your ancestor may not be from Hungary as we know it today. Secondly, the name "Ujszek" is no longer in use today and you will NOT find it on a contemporary map. It has been replaced (since 1918) with the Slovak place name "Nova Sedlica." So, to look on a contemporary map for this village, one must seek out "Nova Sedlica" Look for Ujszek on a 1910 map of Hungary and it will appear. Look on a 2002 map of Slovakia and you will find "Nova Sedlica."
The "Rusyn" column is included for completeness only. This is a language spoken in the region, but hardly ever written, so you won't see it on the maps.
I've also constructed a handy reference of Common Place Name Terminology contrasting Magyar, Slovak and English.
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