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Czech and Slovak Personal and Place Names
8/1/2005
Success in Czech and Slovak genealogy hinges on two essential details about your ancestors. We offer tips for tracking them down.

To successfully trace your Czech or Slovak ancestors in Europe, you'll need two key clues: the immigrant's original name and hometown. Prepare yourself for a challenge — the changing town and county names, confusing geographical borders, exotic-sounding surnames and unfamiliar languages can frustrate even the most experienced researcher.

Turn first to your family members for clues — they often can help you determine your ancestors' names and village, and perhaps supply supporting documents. Remember to ask where events occurred, so you get a better sense of location. Pay close attention to the place of residence column in US passenger arrival lists and the state of origin listed in departure records. Clues in the census — such as birthplaces and languages — can focus your search. So will these strategies:

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