The request contained a very valuable information – the name of the place of origin of the family that emigrated to the US in early 1900’s. However, our client hit a brick wall – he could not locate that place on a map. That’s a very common challenge because of misspellings, boarder changes, etc. In such cases we usually try to reach the first documents issued in the US – the ship manifests, and spend some time to decipher names of towns and villages.
All we knew was “Grudnik” near Lwów (Lviv). We eventually found a ship manifest from 1912 listing in fact “Grudnik” as the place of origin, but “Bialogora” as the last place of residence.
Using pre-war military maps and our databases we found a small viallage called Białagóra, located in the district of Gródek (what was close enough to Grudnik). The viallage cannot be found on current maps.
The next step was to locate vital records from that parish and checking if our customer’s ancestors were in fact registered there. As you may guess – they were and it made another American family really happy because the place of origin of their Polish ancestors was successfully traced.
As a result they visited Poland & Ukraine a few months later..