One benefit researching my ancestors is the process of learning more about the geography and history of various countries. While looking at census records for my Czarnecki great-grand parents there were conflicting entries for country of origin. The 1900 and 1910 records list Russia, and the 1930 states Poland. First thought was the census taker may have made a mistake when entering the data. After further investigation I was lead to political and historical changes to this region of the world.
This is my great-grandfather Adam Czarecki's Petition for Naturalization. As you see his lists his place of birth as Racyki, Russia. After spending many frustrating weeks trying to locate information about this area a wonderful genealogy friend suggested the JewishGen website.
>There I located a map of Raczki in the province of Suwalki. From the site we find that during the time my ancestor resided in the area the country was part of the Russian Empire. From this information the place of birth on the early census records would be correct. By the time the 1930 records were being compiled Poland was once again a free nation. Would love to know if Adam or the census taker determined he was Polish instead of Russian.
Now on to learn more about Poland and the Russian Empire!