Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile


Relatives or namesakes?

Posted by Maxim 
Relatives or namesakes?
January 11, 2014 07:14PM
Hi friends, we live in digital age. It seems Google will soon collect all information on Earth and will make it available in own Search. This gives us breathtaking possibilities and impacts the world of genealogical researches as well.

For example today, in case you want to check if any of namesakes or even possible relatives is still living in your ancestral city or village, it’s enough to know Cyrillic spell and to have Internet connected. Some of those namesakes even may have pages in social nets.

It seems everything is easy and some lighthearted people list names of these namesakes on public genealogical forums. It’s so joyful to know you may have outer relatives, its great feeling - and this is why you ought to be careful. Because there are people who are about to use this situation for own benefit.

I’ve made dozens of genealogical researches in archives on Zakarpattya/Transcarpathia, extended and short ones, on cities and little mountain villages, on Catholics, Greek-Catholics, Reformats and Jews. Feedback on my forum covers only most interesting and remarkable cases.

I know for sure and I can prove it. At dawn of 20th century common surnames even in small villages as usually united 5-20 different family groups. Their kindred connection was very week or no any, and kinship could be clearly established only in 2nd half of 19th century or even earlier.

I remember interesting case described in Feedback forum, here’s link. I’ve researched very, very rare surname which originated from Proto-Slavic language. In outer small village on Romanian border I’ve suddenly found 16 different family groups united by this surname, and only one of them had relation to my client. Now in this village probably there are a lot of people with this surname but 99% of them would appear to be namesakes.

That’s why you have to be careful if one points finger to presently living namesakes and peremptorily states they are relatives. A lot of people especially in small villages of Transcarpathia do not lead luxury life. Every one of them would like to have relatives in US, Canada or Western Europe. If you contact them and ask if they are your relatives, you will tempt them and I bet vast majority will say “yes” without being sure about it.

I remember the case when I’ve been asked to check kinship of a person who insisted on. My client used “help” of some “tourist guide” who proudly reported about found relatives. However, my client still had doubts. He decided to check archival records and to discover truth so he used my service. Again, in rather small village, in 1900s I’ve found 12 family groups of namesakes. Detailed research found no kinship. Btw, man who pretended to be a relative was very intelligent person, a teacher in local village school.

Dozens of “tourist guides” travel to our villages to find lost relatives but in Zakarpattya no one of them has access to state archives. Typically, they find namesakes and try to present them as true relatives. No I don’t deny lucky shots happen sometimes. But if we mean pre-WWI and pre-WW2 immigration waves, chances to spot relatives among possible namesakes are very low mathematically.

So here’s my advice, friends. Even if you’ve found namesakes, don’t hurry. Treat a namesake exactly as a namesake, until kinship will be proved by documents and confirmed undoubtedly. This won’t make your joy lesser but it will help you to avoid not only disappointment but also money losses.

Your Email:


Spam prevention:
Please, enter the code that you see below in the input field. This is for blocking bots that try to post this form automatically.
 **     **  **    **  ********  **     **   *******  
  **   **   **   **      **      **   **   **     ** 
   ** **    **  **       **       ** **    **        
    ***     *****        **        ***     ********  
   ** **    **  **       **       ** **    **     ** 
  **   **   **   **      **      **   **   **     ** 
 **     **  **    **     **     **     **   *******  
This is a moderated forum. Your message will remain hidden until it has been approved by a moderator or administrator