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Dunda from Balnica and Cigan from Solinka search

DJDunda 1 | 10
31 Mar 2010 #1
I am trying to find information on the Surnames Dunda and Cigan.

My Great Grand Parents are John (Ivan) Dunda - Date of birth 1867, whose parents were Ivan and Petruska Dunda from Blanica, and Helen (Olena) Cigan - Date of birth 1877, whose parents were Olina and Semka Cigan from Solinka.

Other than the fact that John arrived in US in about 1887 and Helen in about 1894 and their parents names, we have nothing. Helen had at least one sister already in US, but we can not even find her people.

Hoping someone has information about these families (family members, where the went etc) that can clear up our ancestry. Information about their villages (I have found information about current day abandoned villages) of Balnica & Solinka and methods used by other genealogy researchers would be helpful.

Thank you in advance for any help you can give.
Polonius3 983 | 12,333
31 Mar 2010 #2
DUNDA: origin uncertain; possibly regional dunder (from German Donner= thunder) as in Niech cię dunder świśnie (May a thunderolt strike you)

CIGAN: mispelling or respelling of cygan (gypsy); from German Zigeuner
5 Apr 2010 #3
I don't know if I can help my my sirname use to be Cigan and my parents are still alive
they come From slovenia. and my Dad is the Cigan his name is Karl. I hope that we can also find out about our heritage, we can only trace back the Hungry... Karoline Eisnor
OP DJDunda 1 | 10
5 Apr 2010 #4
Well Karoline, where in Hungary and when? The Name Cigan (and Dunda for that matter) is a Carpatho-Rusyn or Rutheian surname. That is an ethnic group and not a nationality as it depend on when your people where there and who held power. Polish, Austrian, Hungarian, etc are both nationalities and ethnic groups but culturally, language and even mtDNA different from Carpatho-Rusyns.

Balnica and Solinka were part of Poland, Austria, Galacia, Hungary, Ukaraine and Germany (probably Russia too) from 1772-1946 at least. So you could be Austrians and Carpatho-Rusyn as my people were (but their villages are now in Poland) or Hungarian and Carpatho-Rusyn.

So finding out exactly where and when your people were in Hungary is imporatant and if they ever lived in the Carpathian Mountain region or not. Ask your parents for town names while you can. I can not tell you how hard it is to piece together later.
Anna Dunda
13 May 2011 #5
I'm from Hajnówka in Poland. My surname is DUNDA. I and my family live near abroad with Belarus (5 km). We using dialect Carpatho-Rusyn. This is strange because people around us using little difrent dialect. Our region was settled in the XVI-XVII. Displaced people from other Russian peasant village.The peasants were like slaves in the U.S.We do not know where we came from. Our name is unheard of in Poland. Almost all Dunda in Poland are the descendants of my family.

My grandfhather's name was Michał (Mishka) - date of birth 1910. My great grandfhather's name was Jakub(Jacov) - date of birth 1890(probably). He had three brothers Maxym, Kundras and Vasyl. Their father is Gryhor (Greg)- date of birth 1870(propably). I don't know more.

I checked and Solinka- Balnica (not Blanica) and were close to each other villages in the Polish Carpathians. Balnica no longer exists after the displacement of the Ukrainian population in other regions of Poland in action "Wisla" in 1947.

Anna Dunda
OP DJDunda 1 | 10
13 May 2011 #6

Thank you for responding. Always nice to find another Dunda! I pretty much assume all Dunda are related...LOL! It is more common a name then I ever expected before starting my genealogy research and like so many slavic is spread to the four corners of the world! I realistically would imagine if we are truly related it would be long before either of our great great grandfathers were born. I will still call you cousin though...LOL!

Since my original post I have found out much of what you explained in your post about Balnica and Solinka. Actually found a wonderful family with our surname in Bialystok who have sort of adopted me. They have done a great deal of research for me and even found my direct realtives that were relocated to Sambir Ukraine in 1947. As with you, I can only assume I am really related to them somehow.

I will try and use the private mail function of this site to get you my email address so we can talk more. You can check out my Dunda Family website to learn more of my family (dundafamily.) if you are interested.

I hope to converse with you more and learn more about the Dunda family!
Polonius3 983 | 12,333
13 May 2011 #7
DUNDA: variant version of dynda (something that dangles); in old peasant slang a dyndałek (dangler) was a humorous way of referring to the phallus.

CYGAN: Gypsy (Cigan most likely was an American respelling).
OP DJDunda 1 | 10
13 May 2011 #8

I could not find you in the private mail function and can not send you my email address that way. Hmm...since neither of us probably wants to post our email address on the forums, you could use the Contact Us function on the website I listed in the previous reply. Those all go to me so only I would get your email address if you want to share it with me so we can talk more.



You first name explination from March 2010 was more "flattering". Phallus?? Ouch! Of course the Urban Dictionary has a worse definition of Dunda but it is based on a word from India...

As always thank you for sharing your knowledge of name origins...even if it was a bit painful this time. LOL!

Thank you!!
Polonius3 983 | 12,333
13 May 2011 #9
But it is not a bad or coarse word for phallus, it is on the cute or funny side like dangler in English. Besides, this is all highly speculative. For what it’s worth, there happens to be a locality called Дундай (Polish transliteration: Dundaj) in Russia’s Buriat Autonomous District – a possible toponymic source. Considering all the things that have happened to surnames over generations of manual recopying by often semi-literate scribes, it is frequently difficult to pinpoint a single source with any degree of accuracy.
OP DJDunda 1 | 10
16 May 2011 #10
I hope you did not think I was upset or anything. I did not take offense, I was just making a joke of of it. Your efforts are most definitely appreciated and your knowledge base is quite amazing at times.

I will have to do some research on your latest tidbit of information on Dundaj. LOL, heck I did not even know what "toponymic" meant until I looked it up after you used it in your explination. I always learn something new from you!
ewcigan - | 1
18 Jul 2012 #11
Hello Darren--

I just came across your posting concerning the surname "Cigan" -- in fact, that is my surname. What really excited me about your posting is that I recently discovered that my great-grandfather and great-grandmother came from the village of Solinka in Galicia, too. They both identified as Ruthenian (though I was raised being told they were Ukrainian).

Below are some specifics to start with.

Name: Michal Cigan (later known as Mike)
Born: 1879
Died: unknown
Immigration year: 1902
Residence: Leetsdale, Pennsylvania (as of 1910 US Federal Census)

Name: Ewka Szalak (later known as Eva)
Born: 10 Aug 1887
Immigration: arrived 01 Nov 1910 in New York City on the ship Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse

Eva Szalak Cigan arrived in the US with three children: Marie (age 4), Michal (age 2), and Iwan (age 11 months).
My grandfather was the younger Michal Cigan, who was known thereafter at Mike.

I would be very happy to correspond further if you are interested. I have not tried to find any information about the family earlier than my great-grandparents, but naturally I'd be eager to learn more. I don't know Polish, Ukrainian, or any such language so I'm at a bit of a disadvantage here.


--Eric Cigan
19 Mar 2014 #12
I too am doing some family history with the "Dynda" family. My mother in laws maiden name is Dynda & to my understanding the spelling may possibly have been Dunda. The history I have starts with George Dynda born March 20, 1888 and died in Pennsylvania, America in 1954. I have documents stating he was born in Goricza, Poland & I also have some documents stating he was born in Gornice, Austria. He married a (Maria Krepka) Hellena Kierepka born in Galicia, Poland (Austria?) on March 17, 1888. She stated on her naturalization form that her last place of forign residency was Majdan Sieniawski, Poland. She and George had 7 children (Julia, Ann, Joseph, Edward, John,Stanley & Celia. George possibly had a brother Peter of Poland 1882 and possibly a sister Victoria of Poland 1883. Georges Dyndas father may have been Tomaz (Thomas) Dynda. Feel free to email me b2sday@yahoo

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