Genealogy  of      
        Halychyna /
              Eastern Galicia

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Halgal Links           Disclaimer         Contact Photos Bilyi Kamin / Biały Kamień parish
Repatriation and Resettlement of Ethnic Poles Maps Immigration to Ellis Island from Czeremosznia and Usznia
Greek Catholic Records of the Central State Historical Archive of Ukraine, Lviv Emigration from Bialy Kamien through the Port of Hamburg
Roman Catholic Records of the Central State Historical Archive of Ukraine,  Lwów / Lviv   Bielawa Family (of Poznan region, not Galicia)
Great Books: Ukrainian Genealogy: A Beginner's Guide                                                              -Older Bielawa Generations    -Newer Bielawa Generations
Going Home: A Guide to Polish American Family History Research

Passenger Lists

Finding the Lists, Searching the Lists, Getting the Most out of the Lists


One of the most exciting new genealogical sites to hit the internet is the Ellis Island Foundation, found at . At this site, you can search for your ancestors who immigrated to New York City between 1892 and 1924.  Use Stephen Morse's search engine, now hosted by Avotaynu Inc., to search the Ellis Island records using greater filtering tools based on race, ethnicity and other criteria.  You can even search names using just the first few letters of the name. Click here to get to Stephen P. Morse's "Searching the Ellis Island Database in One Step" website.

Type in your ancestor’s last name. At first, don’t put in a first name, to keep the search as broad as possible. If it’s a very popular surname, then you can add the first initial of the first name.

Be careful! Not only are the names often anglicized, they’re often written sloppily, thus making it difficult for the volunteer data entry specialists to index the record properly. Keep in mind that most of these data entry specialists were not familiar with Slavic phonetics. So what spelling may seem obvious to someone familiar with Polish and/or Ukrainian, played no role in the data entry process. Though Szczepanski is easy for a Polish speaker, Scosapamki is not. But to the data entry specialist, both are just as evenly incomprehensible. (Mind you, this is NOT an attack against all of the hard work and dedication of these data entry specialists. Their work is a great success!)

In the case where the typed name in the index is very bad, there’s little you can do to find the names. But here are some clues that can help.

Make a list of all of the possible alternatives. Keep track of which ones you’ve searched on so you won’t needlessly repeat your efforts.

If looking for a last name ending in –SKI, try –SKA (the feminine ending).
Likewise, if you’re searching for a woman’s surname ending in –SKA, try –SKI.
If the name ends in –WICZ, try –WYCZ, -WICH, -VICH, -VYCH
If the name ends in –IK, try –YK, -ICK, -YCK

Say the name properly in Polish/Ukrainian, now try spelling these sounds in English.

If looking for Drabczak, try Drapchak

For Ukrainians, we have a much harder time since the native alphabet is written in Cyrillic, which is different from the English and Polish alphabets. You’ll have to write up a much longer list of Ukrainian names for which to search. In addition to the obvious alternatives, you should transpose your Ukrainian name into Polish spelling. Often, Ukrainian immigrants spoke Polish as well. And they may have found themselves in front of a Polish speaking clerk when giving their information on the ship.

Here’s a transliteration table of Ukrainian sounds into English and Polish spellings:







а a A
б b B
в v W
г h G or H
д d D
е e E
є ie E
ж zh z or ż or ź
з z z
и y y
і i i
ї i ji
й y j
к k k
л l l OR ł
м m m
н n n OR ń
о o o
п p p
р r r OR rz
с s s or ś
т t t
у u u OR у
ф f f
х kh ch OR H
ц ts c
ч ch cz
ш sh sz
щ shch szcz
ю iu ju
я ia ja

Examples of Polish transliteration of Ukrainian names:
            Voloshyn could be spelled Woloszyn
            Kuchma could be Kuczma

For Poles, consider the following Polish variation spelling:
            If "у", then try "o" or "u"
            If "
ł", then try "l" or "t"
            (sometimes, data entry specialists confused the "ł
" with a "t")
            For the "sh" sound, try the proper Polish "sz", or German "sch" or English "sh"
            For the "ch" sound, try the proper Polish "cz", or the French "tch" or the English "ch"
            For the "ts" sound, try the proper Polish "c", or the German "z" or the English "ts"
            If the name has a W, try the letters V or F


For a detailed analysis of the passenger lists, visit jewishgen.

First Names

You must remember that when your European born "Uncle Willie and Aunt Pearl" came to this country, they were NOT know by the English names Willie and Pearl. The vast majority of our immigrant ancestors came to this country knowing only the local dialect of Polish and/or Ukrainian. If Polish, their names MAY have been Władysław and Paraskiewia or if Ukrainian, Volodymyr and Paraskovia. Enter Polish/Ukrainian names, both in their proper form, then in their phonetic form, then in any common diminutives (In Polish, Wład or Władek, in Ukrainian Paraska or Paraskeva.).  For more information on names, visit my page on language.

Once you are looking at a particular immigrant’s record, detail in to look at the original manifest. Sometimes this feature is not available due to the poor condition of either the actual manifest or the scanning of the manifest.

The forms used by the immigration officers changed over the years. Look at each column very carefully. There’s a lot of great information found in these records. For now, we are concentrating on locating the ancestral village. Depending on the form being used, there can be several columns with village information:

                    Where the immigrant came from.
                    The closest relative/friend left behind.

Once you get the place, check gazetteers to find out more about the place. There are several gazetteers which are invaluable to our region’s research.  Visit my page on gazetteers, or visit each of the following pages:

Genealogical Gazetteer of Galicia, by Brian J. Lenius. 1999 revised edition with expanded data. A compilation of various gazetteers. Best English language source.

Gemeindelexikon der im Reichsrate vertretenen Königreiche und Länder. (Gazetteer of the Crown Lands and Territories Represented in the Imperial Council). An Austro-Hungarian gazetteer from 1907.

Słownik geograficzny Krуlestwa Polskiego I innych krajуw słowiańskich (Geographic Dictionary of the Kingdom of Poland and other Slavic Countries). Volume Galizien (Galicia). A Polish language gazetteer focusing on all of the lands once ruled by the Kingdom of Poland. Data based on information compiled between 1880 and 1902.

Skorowidz miejscowości rzeczypospolitej polskiej (Index of places of the Republic of Poland). A Polish gazetteer of 1934.

Istoriia mist i sil Ukrainskoi RSR (Istoriia gorodov i sel Ukrainskoi SSR in Russian. A History of Cities and Villages of the Ukrainian SSR in English). Written over a period from 1967 to 1974 (and later translated into Russian), there is a volume for each Ukrainian oblast (province).

Many village names are popular and are found in several regions. (Similar to the name Newtown, which is found in nearly every U.S. state.) In such cases, you’ll have to check all these various resources covered here in this chapter to see if anyone of them gives more details about the parish or county.            Questions and Comments to Matthew Bielawa
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