Gminas, uyezds, and gubernias - oh, my!
Translating documents of genealogical significance from Eastern European languages usually means 19th century or early 20th century - always an interesting experience. For fun and to help out, for friends and acquaintances I have translated Russian items before (curiously, the locations were actually in countries no longer under Russian control - Lithuania, Poland, and Belarus), as well as Ukrainian/Rusyn, Slovak, and Hungarian. Last weekend Chris Harvey of Family Pilgrimage had an internal Russian passport for which he needed a translation. The handwritten entries were in a very ornate script, which didn’t present much of a problem for the regular words, but names were another matter. Chris gave me the Polish version of the passport owner's name, but place names were the main challenge and required a bit of research. The gmina (community) was Serock, but the name of the gubernia (governorate, a fairly large administrative unit) was difficult - I finally figured out through the process of elimination that it was Łomża, aka Łomżyńska gubernia, aka Lomzhinskaya guberniya. And in between the two was an uyezd (district); I am used to this term in documents referring to Russia, but not for documents about Poland, although I knew that it would have been in use there, too, during the era of Congress Poland - when this part of Poland belonged to the Russian Empire. The name kept looking like Moskovskiy, though of course that could not be so; after searching a bit I found a page which listed the “districts” in Łomża Gubernia, and there was Maków uyezd. So a gmina could be part of an uyezd which could be part of a gubernia.
Duh Moment from last week:
When you sign up with online photo services, take a serious look around the website to examine the different options for photo presentation. (Confession: No, I did not do this when I signed up for a photo service. Or during the first year. Or during the second or third....).
I had just been looking at our rows of photo albums (which take up one and a half bookcases) and thinking “We can’t go on this way” when I got an e-mail from Snapfish saying that my account was about to expire from lack of use. I hurriedly tried to put together an order to retain the account and became intrigued by the “photo books” option. This is something that I had always ignored before because I didn’t think I had enough time to look into it or that I would be interested in it.
After submitting my order for some plain old vanilla prints, I clicked to see prices and formats for photo books. There were so many different choices - size, color, cover - and I liked that captions were included in the deal. This is exactly the kind of simple, no-frills presentation of my photos I want to do. Perhaps this format, especially the smaller sizes, can really save space compared to traditional photo albums. But what about price? The thing is, preservation-quality albums are not that cheap, so I would not really save a lot of money by opting for albums instead of books. And I already have a preservation-quality storage box that could hold a lot of these books in addition to loose photos.
So I’ll give them a try, and if I like them, along with my new weekend routine of starting research with bookmark organization (Genealogy Toolbox and Diigo), I will be uploading the photos from my computers to Snapfish and then, bit by bit, creating and ordering photo books.
The reorganization process is really changing the way I look at “stuff,” space, and efficient use of time. It has taken a long time, but the light bulb finally went on.
City Directories Are Fabulous
I get Cyndi’s list updates by e-mail and this week one of the links was for various city directories on Foot-, oops, Fold3. There were several years of the Dallas City Directory, and I was able to use it to track the professions and residences of my Lewis ancestors there. I love city directories!