Author Topic: Russian or Lithuanian surname  (Read 1630 times)

Offline daparker78

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Russian or Lithuanian surname
« on: Thursday 28 July 16 21:18 BST (UK) »
I have an ancestor whose Americanized last name is Potts. The family story is that he was born in Lithuania, but we don't know for sure if it was there or Russia or maybe even Poland. Both he and his wife died within a couple days of each other in the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918, and left nothing of themselves except 2 daughters (both of whom passed away some time ago).

Does anyone have any guess as to what his original last name could have been? The only other name I have to go on is his father-in-law, who was listed as Andrew Serbiko from Russia on his wife's death certificate. Serbiko became either Zeberka or Chibeika, depending on where you look. Thanks for any guesses!

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Offline Spidermonkey

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Re: Russian or Lithuanian surname
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 28 July 16 21:28 BST (UK) »
Did you ancestor formally nationalise?  If so, there may be a record of his original surname there.  Do you have his death cert?  Does that give any clues?  Have you seen his marriage cert - does it list his father's name?

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Offline Spidermonkey

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Re: Russian or Lithuanian surname
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 28 July 16 21:29 BST (UK) »
And welcome to Rootschat!! :D

Offline daparker78

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Re: Russian or Lithuanian surname
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 28 July 16 21:57 BST (UK) »
That's really all the info I have - Louis Potts 1878 - 10/24/1918, married to Elizabeth Zeberka 1886 - 10/22/1918. Only additional info was on her death certificate, which listed her father as Andrew Serbiko of Russia. No idea if either were naturalized or when/where they were married.

Offline daparker78

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Re: Russian or Lithuanian surname
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 28 July 16 21:59 BST (UK) »
And thank you! Quite new to this, but this has been a family mystery for my whole life...

Offline jorose

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Re: Russian or Lithuanian surname
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 30 July 16 09:55 BST (UK) »
Start with finding as much info about them as you can in the US.

For example, I see that they died in New Jersey, is this them in 1915?
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QV9W-7Q1Z
Louis Potts b. Jan 1884 on this record, Elizabeth born May 1889, a daughter born Jul 1914

By 1920, the daughter and her younger sister appear to be living with an uncle and aunt, Joseph and Margaret Kaladim/Kaladiz
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MJYQ-PQQ

By 1930 the uncle and aunt have adopted them:
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X4JX-T1Q

By tracing the aunt and uncle who took the children in, it will help figure out the rest of the family.
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Offline Ruskie

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Re: Russian or Lithuanian surname
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 30 July 16 10:11 BST (UK) »
Depending on when they came to the USA, they may appear on immigration or census records.

Offline Alex017

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Re: Russian or Lithuanian surname
« Reply #7 on: Monday 10 December 18 14:04 GMT (UK) »
Potts could have been a German surname. There lived many Germans in Lithuania at that time.
Zeberka means a kind of pail/bucket. It's a German transliteration of Цеберка.
In English it can be pronounced like Tseberka.