Before my great gran died, she tasked me in finding out more about her mothers Russian heritage. I have deducted that, before she immigrated to America, she lived somewhere called Ponisci, Russia. Although, apparently there is an alternative spelling, which is “Pouiszi”. I don’t think this place exists anymore, because I cannot find any information on it. I have found out that it was possibly in current day Tajikistan, but because I can’t really find any information proving this, I have my doubts. If anyone can help me find this place, it would be huge help!

As an extra, I’d like to try and get an idea of the journey that my great great gran would have to take to get from her town to Rotterdam, Holand, which is where she got on the ship that took her to Ellis island. She arrived in Ellis island in 1910, so I hope that helps.

  • 1
    Hi, welcome to G&FH.SE! I assume you have a passenger arrival list from Ellis Island. Do you have any other records? Are there any other passengers on that page (or elsewhere on the manifest) that seem to be from the same place? Having more examples of the place name can help.
    – Jan Murphy
    Nov 20, 2021 at 22:00
  • According to the ship manifest, out of the thirty passengers listed, there were no other passengers from Ponisci. From what I have been told, my great great gran immigrated alone, because she had a sponsor in America. Other than this, I do not have any other records. As far as my family and I know, all of the records about her past in Russia were lost, and she had never discussed it with her children.
    – Laney13
    Nov 20, 2021 at 23:35

1 Answer 1


It's written on the manifest three times: line 4, columns 10 and 11 on the first page (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9T3-P84V-C?i=141&cc=1368704&personaUrl=%2Fark%3A%2F61903%2F1%3A1%3AJJXV-2M5), and line 4, last column on the second page. I would read all three as Poniszi.

Judging by the people's names (Marya Warawka, nearest relative left behind her father Jan, surname looks more like Marowka in that column), the correct place is most likely in Poland.

I wonder if it's Ponizie, a village in extreme northeasternmost Poland?

  • Omg thank you so much! This is a lot of help. I can say the spelling of the village name is extremely similar to those that I was given. It wouldn’t be unreason able to assume that there was a lot of mistranslation during that time. But seriously, thank you!
    – Laney13
    Nov 27, 2021 at 21:15

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