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    I have been trying to locate birth records for my grandparents. With Americanization of the names I am  not having much luck. I have the following spellings: Kaufchak, Kaufcac and the Americanized version – Kowchuck.  My grandfathers paperwork from Ellis Island and his citizenship paperwork all have him coming here from Austria and his language spoken is Slovak.  Any help would be appreciated.  Thank you in advance!



    If you’re on Facebook, there are fantastic Czech, Slovak, Polish, Ukrainian, and even Hungarian genealogy groups, who are usually incredibly helpful.



    @Andi2866 depends on the year of those documents, he might be really from Austria, but most likely from Austro-Hungary. I tried googleing versions of that name, there are people with Kavčak, Kaučak and Kafčak surnames, not so many Kaufčaks. Those definitely sound Slovak. I just searched a database (all data is from 1995) on one site for Kaučak, Kavčak and Kafčak,
    it says that there were two people with Kaučak surname in Slovakia, both in VEĽKÉ ZALUŽICE
    eight people with Kavčak surname in Slovakia, three in ŇAGOV, two in ČEMERNÉ, two in NOVÁ KELČA and one in HUMENNÉ.
    no people with Kafčak surname.
    All of these places are in eastern Slovakia, close Polish and Ukrainan borders. Veľké Zalužice is in Michalovce county. Čemerné and Nová Kelča are in Vranov nad Topľou county and Ňagov in Medzilaborce county (part of Humenné county before 1996) and Humenné are in Humenné county. And a interesting fact for end Andy Warhol’s parents are from that area, some 15km from Ňagov.

    I just figured their last name could be accented differently so I searched for Kaučák, Kavčák and Kafčák too.

    Kavčáks: 77 in Slovakia on 25 locations. 10 in Veľká Trna (Trebišov County), 8 in Medzilaborce(), 8 in Západ, Košice (Western part of Košice city), 6 in Vranov nad Topľou(), 5 in Snina (Snina county, Humenné county before 1996), 4 in Kysucké Nové Mesto (Kysucké Nové Mesto county, Čadca county before 1996), 3 in Žilina(), 3 in Humenné(), 2 in Andrejová (Bardejov county).
    Kaučáks: 7 in Slovakia, 6 in Michalovce  (), 1 in Chlebnice (Dolný Kubín county).
    Kafčáks: 2 in Slovakia, both in Kysucké Nové Mesto().

    Most of these places are in Eastern Slovakia (all except Žilina and Kysucké Nové Mesto which are in western Slovakia). As you can see many of them are from same places or county, so I think it’s safe to say that the surname is originally from eastern Slovakia, no matter which one is it.

    There are a lot of Rusyns in that area, so your grandparents could be Rusyns. Their denomination would be crucial in that, since most Rusyns are Greek Catholics and most Slovaks are Roman Catholics.
    The site I used:



    Do you have his Naturalization Papers?   They should state his birth village which will help in research.  Also even if some records state he came from Austria, Austria territory extended all the way to the Province of Galicia.  Galicia was in modern-day southern Poland.  It is possible your grandfather came from this area but would have spoken Rusyn or East Slovak.  Also helps to knowIif your grandparents were Greek Catholic or Orthodox religion :) 

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