Reading Cursive and Geography - can anyone figure out where this is?
November 16, 2022 12:28 PM   Subscribe

I'm doing ancestry research, and I'm trying to figure out where an ancestor is from. This person was born in 1901 - in then Russia. My genealogy records where she is from what is now Poland or Lithuania. However, I can't read the handwriting or figure out where she is from. Her Mother is from BiaƂystok, Poland and her father is from "Volnynia" - which from my research seems like a huge regon, now spread across Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine. The document I have is a US Naturalization form from 1924. It says on it she is from: "Yas*****orska, Russia" (perhaps "Yassorrorska, Russia"?), but I'm not great a reading messy cursive. By the way this was written down in the US state of Georgia. I've attached the handwriting here but I'm not at all sure what it means. Anyone have any thoughts on where this might mean she is from? Thanks so much!
posted by cazcazcaz to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Any Mennonite ancestors? One side of my family comes from what was Volnynia and they were german mennonites that moved there for religous and agricultural reasons. I can't help with that town name, but can say i undertand that Volnynia region to be the northwestern most part of what is now ukraine. might start looking at town names in that area.

that was in the mid to late 1800's
posted by domino at 12:55 PM on November 16, 2022

I'm also into genealogy and it helps to see the entire page so you can compare how that writer wrote letters in other words. Could you share the entire page?
posted by Nickel at 12:57 PM on November 16, 2022 [6 favorites]

It looks to me like it reads "Yassonovaka," with the middle A struck through. That could be a phonetic rendering of Yasinovka, which is in Voronezh Oblast near the Russian-Ukrainian border.

That seems a plausible guess, at least, but I'd want to see more samples of that writer's script, as Nickel says, to be sure.
posted by brianogilvie at 1:17 PM on November 16, 2022 [4 favorites]

Agreeing with everyone that more examples of this handwriting would be very helpful.

One reading I get from this is Yassonovka or Yasionovka, but that is a guess/almost speculative at this point and I believe that Yasionovka is now Jasionowka in Poland, so maybe Yasinovka makes more sense?
posted by gudrun at 2:13 PM on November 16, 2022

This is another way of answering the question, but if her naturalization form lists her arrival date and ship name, you can use Stephen Morse's website to search for her ship manifest, which in turn will say where she arrived from (as well as her destination in the US, which can point to other family members who arrived previously, which can in turn point to where they arrived from, and perhaps get a consensus on the town or area.)
posted by xo at 3:11 PM on November 16, 2022 [3 favorites]

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