Sniatyn, Galicia

Both my Paternal Grandparents list their birthplace as: Sniatyn, Galicia which is now a part of Ukraine. My Grandmother goes further and lists her nationality as: Ruthenian. The history of Eastern Europe is quite confusing to me. The names and rulers of various peoples and places changed so often that it’s very difficult to get a handle on what was going on at any given time in the past ( or present for that matter).

Here’s a picture postcard from Sniatyn circa 1910:

Sniatyn Postcard c. 1910

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47 thoughts on “Sniatyn, Galicia

  1. Hello, I´´m looking for any Information about Zysza (Zygmunt) Bass, who was a German Teacher in Sniatyn. I know he servived the War and then lived in Krakow. I know that he wrote some books, I know his Family, but not much abt him and his wife. If anyone knows anything. It would be great.

  2. My father was born May 21, 1921 and lived in Sniatyn until WWII..his name was Michael Smietana and his dad was Joseph Smietana, I think grandmother was Katharina which I was named after..

    1. Katharina Smietana,( I hope I did not duplicate this). My grandmother was born in Sniatyn and listed her nationality as Ruthenian as well. Ruthenian was another identification for Russian. Most Ruthenians lived in the Carpathian region between Sniatyn and Krakow in an area also known as Galicia. There is quite a bit of information on Wikipedia here is a brief excerpt:

      From the 9th Century, the main Rus’ state of Ruskaya zemlya (“land of the Rus'”), which was known later as Kievan Rus’ – and is now part of the modern states of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia – was known in Western Europe by a variety of names derived from Rus’. From the 12th Century, the land of Rus’ was usually known in Western Europe by the Latinised name Ruthenia.

      Geographically, Ruthenia is a cross-border region centred on the northern Carpathian Mountains, including western Ukraine (especially Zakarpattia Oblast, part of historic Carpathian Ruthenia), eastern Slovakia, and southern Poland. This area coincides, to a large degree, with a region sometimes known in English as Galicia (Ukrainian: Галичина, Halychyna; Polish: Galicja and; Slovak: Halič). The name Ruthenian is also used by the Pannonian Rusyn minority in Serbia and Croatia, as well as by Rusin émigrés outside Europe (especially members of the Ruthenian Catholic Church). In contrast, the Rusyns of Romania are more likely to identify as “Ukrainian”.

      I hope that helps

      John Ollen

      1. My daughter Mary is heading to this area shortly, and I was looking for information on the area. I was quite surprised to read this post, as my name is John Ollen and my grandmother is from Sniatyn. My grandmother was Helen Laskiewicz (sp). My father was Walter T. Ollen. Are you my cousin John in Cal.? George’s son

      2. Hi John,

        I may be your distant cousin Steve in California, but it depends on who Helen’s parents were. Is she related to Rose born in Illinois about 1915 or Martin born in 1886 in Galicia?

        I envy your daughter going to Sniatyn, one of the things I would most like to do.


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