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The Brick Wall Of Brick Walls - Finding A Foreign Ancestor

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The Brick Wall Of Brick Walls - Finding A Foreign Ancestor

Postby Joseph_88 » Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:17 am

Hello! I am writing in the desperate hope that someone, anyone, can help me remove even one brick from the massive wall that I am facing!

I have posted on here previously regarding my relative, Vincent. It has long been said in our family that we had Russian roots and, on finding my relative in the 1891 census I was content that this story was true when he was recorded as being from Russia. However...his name is not Russian! It's seemingly an amalgamation of Polish and Lithuanian with even the slightest hint of German. He is, thus far, linked to over ten versions of his surname, in some cases the different version of the surnames don't even match the other variations. The names are, Miloskie, Muluskie, Miecukas, Miecakas, Miklaus, Miecklaus, Mielienckas, Miecueas, Mielianckas, Mieliancas and, eventually, after his apparent death, Miller. I can only assume that my ggg gran got fed up of having to remember which name to use and just united the family under the name Miller. I found him on the 1891 census as Miloskie, but he is on his wedding certificate as Mielianckas. How do I know all the other names? Simple...his childrens' birth and death certificates. His son was born Miloskie, died Miecueas and was buried under the name of Miklaus! Three names in the 7 months he was alive! So you can see the obstacle I am facing! Miloskie sounds the most Russian, but also Polish, Mielianckas sounds, according to people who have helped me here previously, Lithuanian but with Polish roots! I am trying desperately to find any sign of his death but he seems to have completely vanished into thin air! I am 99% confident he died between 1893 and 1897 because his daughter was born in January 1894 and his wife was living with another family by 1897, in fact she had a child with this other family by 1897, so that potentially narrows it to 1896. And that fits with the story my gg gran told my mother about her father (Vincent) dying and them having to move in with another family. They all lived in the infamous Angels Meadow of Manchester! Also - I cannot find anything on the immigration records for Vincent! Nothing! I am beginning to think that in fact he wasn't Russian, but Prussian given the Polish and Lithuanian and slightly Germanic nature of his name...s. I am aware that the Russian Empire was linked heavily to this area but I just wonder whether someone misheard him or was somewhat illiterate and just wrote Russia, not Prussia. I believe Vincent was illiterate or at the least didn't speak English as on their wedding certificate he simply made his mark so he could have made the mistake! So there we go! If anyone, anyone at all, can give me any hints, advice, clues, anything at all I would be massively, massively grateful as at the moment I am baffled! I can account for every other family member thus far, I even know where they're all buried but this one eludes me! Thanks. J.
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Re: The Brick Wall Of Brick Walls - Finding A Foreign Ancest

Postby midshipman » Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:34 am

Hi Joseph, good luck with your search. Could not see a mention of Vincent's religion. Was he Jewish, Roman Catholic or Protestant?

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Re: The Brick Wall Of Brick Walls - Finding A Foreign Ancest

Postby Joseph_88 » Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:41 am

Hi. Well the family story always said that we had Jewish roots. So the assumption was that he was a Russian Jew. Thanks! I need it!
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Re: The Brick Wall Of Brick Walls - Finding A Foreign Ancest

Postby meekhcs » Fri Nov 25, 2016 12:07 pm

We have Russian/Latvian Jews in our Tree and definitely they anglicised their surname when they reached England in the early 1920's, via South Africa. Their christian names had also I think been anglicised.
The advantage we had when researching was that we knew the town they were born in, BUT we still haven't been able to find any details from the town!.....and at different points in history the town had a different name, and was Russian and German as well as Latvian!
There are some very good Jewish websites where you might pick up a lead. www.jewishgen.org is an excellent one, and if you look you may be able to pinpoint the areas where the different names you have come from, and maybe even pinpoint a town. I think the site may be fee paying now but I think they also have free records.

Sally
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Re: The Brick Wall Of Brick Walls - Finding A Foreign Ancest

Postby Joseph_88 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:37 am

Hi Sally,

thanks for that! Out of interest - did your family all originally come from the European side of Russia? I only ask because if they came to England via South Africa I am guessing that they left Russia via Vladivostok in Russia's far east? That's another of the problems I had - trying to pinpoint which port they left from. I wish I could find an area that they came from but so far it's nearly impossible as Google cannot decide if the name is Lithuanian, Polish or Russia! It literally has no idea! One of the names, I forget which, is the name of a former Lithuanian President or Prime Minister I forget which, so that gives me a strong idea that it is linked to Lithuania, but again, I have no way of pinning it down. Throughout all of my research I have found so many different stories, myths and legends that it's almost impossible to work out who was telling the truth, what's real or fake. OK thanks again for your help! I will try those websites! Regards.
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