Where is/was "Sasia Sowice"? (Poland)

Mom says if I can find out where her family is from in Poland we can go on vacation there, so I’ve been applying myself to the problem. The census says my great grandfather emigrated in 1905 (and since he isn’t on the 1900 census, it’s probably at least in the ballpark), but half the time it says he’s from Germany and half the time from Poland. (Well, and both might be true, considering.) I found his “You’re Way Too Old” draft card from WW2, which says he’s from “Sasia Sowice”, Poland. I’m assuming that might be, you know, phonetic. And possibly not there anymore. Google has no idea, except for a few pages in Polish.

They definitely spoke Polish at home, and although my grandmother doesn’t speak it she does understand some. My other hurdle is figuring out how to spell Kaczmarek? Kaczsmerek? I don’t know, we don’t have Polish people here in the South. (Seriously. The cemetery these people are buried in blew my spelling mind. We don’t hold with none of that foreign talk down here in Columbia. We also have nothing like such a homogeneous cemetery - there might have been one Italian name in that whole place.)

And I IMMEDIATELY found a naturalization form that says he’s from “Sasiadowice, Austria”. God, it must suck to be from one of those places that only exists between wars.

To make things even more interesting, Sasiadowice is now part of Ukraine.

This may be of interest to you, Zsofia, unless you were the OP for that question on the other board.

Between the 1770s and 1918, Sasiadowice was a part of the autonomous Austrian province of Galicia, a porkchop-shaped section of land occupying southeast Poland and northwest Ukraine on modern maps. Between 1918 and 1939-40, it was a part of Poland, as it had been before the First Partition. In 1940, Stalin incorporated it into the Soviet Union, and after German invasion and occupation during World War II, it remained a part of the Ukrainian S.S.R., becoming a part of the independent Ukraine when the Soviet Union broke up.

I assume it’s Соседовічі (Ukrainian alphabet: Соседовичи in Russian, Sosedovichi transliterated).

On preview: Curse you, Polycarp, for being faster on the links.

I hadn’t even thought about that stuff on the other side of Poland. It must be awkward when people ask where you’re from. “Well, the Ukraine, but I’ve lived in the USSR, greater Germany, Poland, and Austria.” “So you moved around a lot as a kid?” “Not exactly.”

Google Maps doesn’t know any of those spellings - is there another way to spell the modern place?

That’s because Google Maps doesn’t have much of Ukraine indexed, apparently.

According to that link provided by Poly, it’s that long community between two orangey fields shown here.

It’s a wide spot in the road. No wonder it’s hard to find. :slight_smile:

If anybody’s curious, it isn’t in the Times Atlas of the World, but Sambor and Stary Sambor are. If you know where any of those places are, chances are we’re related. :slight_smile:

Would anybody like to weigh in on how hard it would be to go visit a place like that in today’s Ukraine? (Keeping in mind that obviously neither I nor my mother speak or read Russian, or can even pronounce Cyrillic at all.)

I’d advise learning the alphabet before you go — it can be done in about an hour, while you’re waiting in the airport, and will make things much easier. Learn the Ukrainian alphabet specifically: once you know it, you’ll also be able to get through words written in Russian, with a bonus of being able to distinguish between the two. Wikipedia. The language itself is hard for English-speakers, but the alphabet isn’t nearly as difficult as, say, Arabic or any of the Japanese syllabaries. Technique: copy the alphabet, dividing it into “roughly the same as English,” “look like English letters but sound different,” “totally unfamiliar.” Then work on them in sets. Many of the international words that you need will be cognates, and you can sound out things like “hotel” and “phone.”

I’m also guessing that you’ll have to rent a car, but I have no idea how easy or hard that will be. It doesn’t sound like it’s too far from Kiev, where you’ll be able to find plenty of people who speak English. There are a ton of Ukrainians in Canada, so they’ll be used to at least some English-speaking heritage tourists, especially since the early 90s.

I don’t have any firsthand experience travelling there, though.

PS: The “Stary” in “Stary Sambor” means “Old,” as in the original settlement.

Those useful Canadians. They’ve provided a nice phrasebook in .pdf to practice on, and it’s for Kindergarten through third grade so it’s not too complex: http://education.alberta.ca/media/831567/q_uklak3appb.pdf

It actually looks like it would be easier to get to from Poland than from the Ukraine end of things. I’m assuming that it’s not like going to Copenhagen where you couldn’t find a non-English speaker if you tried to, though. It would be, you know, serious traveling.

Heh - the vocab list is a little… culturally slanted. If I ever need to ask a Ukranian person about mountain goats, walruses, elk, or moose, I will be so ready.

Well, remember that at one point speakers of Ukrainian constituted the largest ‘language minority’ in Canada – counting English and French as dominant languges. Naturally a Canadianphone vocabulary is going to be rich in Canadian terms. (What’s Ukrainian for poutine?)

when i saw your op i wondered if your family was from the wonderland of galicia! my grandfather was from that wonderland. he always claimed he was from the austrian-hungarian empire, didn’t speak a lick of german, austrian, or hungarian, he had an odd mix of ukrainian and russian with a bit of polish tossed in.

if you can wait until after sunday i can speak to some of the people in my church from the ukraine and get you an idea of how tough it is to travel there.

It’s kind of tough to find information on that end of the Ukraine, it seems. Do they still speak Polish there? Dual language? Did the Soviets not allow it? What about the Catholic church in the area - could there be records there, or would it have fared poorly under Stalin?

I had no idea there were so many Ukranians in Canada, actually. That’s very interesting. Why specifically?

Judging from this image, it looks like the area is almost exclusively ethnically Ukrainian now.

Austrian Galicia was roughly broken into two - the western, largely Polish half went ( eventually ) to Poland, the largely Ukrainian eastern half went to the the Ukraine. Looks like current Ukrainian demographics cite .3% Poles. So some still around, but not many.

But I suspect the “ethnicity” of the region is far less homogenous than that sounds. The difference between West Slavic Poles and East Slavic Ukrainians would have been rather less in the past and probably more mediated by religion - Polish and western Ukrainian dialects for example apparently transition into each other, despite being from ostensibly seperate branches of the Slavic linguistic group. Similar to how the differentiation between modern Serbs and Croats in Croatia mostly dates to the 19th century and was based entirely on choice of faiths.