The Multilingual Kitten (kali_kali) wrote in linguaphiles,
The Multilingual Kitten

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Chinese placename in German-language records

So I was looking through old Latvian genealogical records (c. 1900), which are in that time period typically written in Russian or German, when I came across an entry where the child in question was not born locally in Latvia, but rather in China (I guess his parents were Imperial Russian diplomats or traders or servants to one of the above or something). Even though this child isn't my ancestor, I am a bit curious as to the specific place he was born, but I'm having trouble finding the place.

I'm not sure whether the scribes (this particular record is in German) would have been using their own version of spelling Chinese placenames, or whether they would have been using Wade-Giles, or what, but since my familiarity with Chinese stops at some rudimentary pinyin and characters, I'm hoping someone else (hopefully someone with familiarity with places in China?) can help.

The place of birth is listed as: "China, Dorf Huang Tschi bei Sin Yu Tschin, Provinz Jeng Sien". I know "Dorf" means "village" in German, and the "bei" is probably also German, meaning "at/near".

It also states that the child was baptized in Haicheng, by pastor John McIntyre of the Presbyterian church (and then I suppose re-baptized into the Lutheran church when they arrived home in Latvia, as evidenced by this church book entry). Google tells me that this pastor worked in the area close to the Korean border, so from there I found a place near Haicheng called Wangshi - is this "Huang Tschi"? I can't find any places that seem close to "Sin Yu Tschin" or "Jeng Sien" near there or as upper-level categories, since this Haicheng is in Liaoning Province.

So, ideas anyone? Thanks!
Tags: chinese, german, latvian

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