Old Lithuanian(?) town name in Polish or modern Lithuanian?

Discussion in 'Other Languages' started by eatsbuttersideup, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. eatsbuttersideup New Member

    English - Wango Tango
    My great grandparents came from a town called "Siowleno". Any good guesses what town this is or was?

    There's a Polish geographic names reference from roughly the same time (online) if it helps:
    Slownik geograficzny

    Longshot, but.
     
  2. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    Lithuanian
    Hi. I don't know for sure, right of the top of my head which town that would be. It does not sound Baltic -- the name itself, more Belarusian. I will try to find out more for you, but it may take some time, because the towns' names kept changing -- sometimes they were in Belarusian, in Lithuanian, then in Polish, and again in Lithuanian.

    How do you know it is a town? Blogoslovleno -- means blessed in Church Slavonic, perhaps in Belarusian as well. Are you sure it is Siowleno - not something related to Blogoslowleno. The presence of "w" indicates that it is written in Polish -- there is no "w" in Lithuanian. What time period do the records come form -- if you have any? That would be really helpful, because then we would at least know which country the place belonged to. Do you have the exact location?
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  3. eatsbuttersideup New Member

    English - Wango Tango
    Sorry for the late reply. Thanks very much for your well-informed suggestions. As far as I know, Belarussia today wasn't part of Lithuania in the 19th century, but everyone was probably under mother Russia.

    Lithuania, the town, and family names are the only information I have.

    My best guess after talking to a Lithuanian librarian is that Siowleno is modern-day Siaulenai. Possibly "Szawlany" in the Polish 19th century Slownik geograficzny reference. Insane?
     
  4. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    Lithuanian
    Hi. Belarus (at least a part) was a part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, a part of which was incorporated into the Russian Empire after the partitions of Poland. Some places where some of my relatives from the South were born are in Belarus now, in fact, but they used to be originally Lithuanian. Siowlno is definitely a Slavic word -- just judging by the sound and the presence of the "w", although in some Western Baltic languages there was a "w". I am glad you found out that it is Siaulenai now. I am still doing some research regarding my ancestors -- I even got to 1453, but some part of the tree are missing, and it is very hard to find anything because the records were written in four different languages, the names of the places kept changing, and people kept being moved from those areas quite often. If you need more help, please let me know.
     
  5. eatsbuttersideup New Member

    English - Wango Tango
    Yes, it's an important question: what Lithuanians would have considered Lithuania proper under Russia. I know educated Lithuanians were all speaking Polish, but it's also strange that they would misspell their own town names in a way so out of keeping with either Polish or Lithuanian standards. There were Belarussians (and Prussians and Jews...) all living there too of course. I'm honestly amazed you could work your way back 500 years in family history.

    My great-grandmother's surname doesn't appear to exist anywhere in history. It begins with a W and doesn't have a familiar Lithuanian suffix. It's possible she was from lower mars (I mean venus) and had her own fascinating way of spelling things. Would you recognize the nationality of a surname from the area?
     

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