Question of the day: If Joe & Sophie are both from Russia, why did they tell me I'm half Polish?
THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION HNT
If any of you have an answer for that question, I'd be very interested to know what it is.
EDIT: The question was driving me crazy, so this morning I started search on line for the answer. So with the help of Google, I have the answer. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Poland
In 1569, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was established. In 1795 the territory was invaded and divided up between Russia, Prussia and Austria. From 1795 until 1918 there was no independent Polish state. Joe came to the USA in 1911 and Sophie came around that time too. So it looks like when Joe and Sophie lived there, they were both living in Russia, but since their ancestors were Polish, they called themselves Poles.
This jogged my memory and with things my mom told me and again with the help of Google, I know why Sophie called herself White Russian.
Sophie's father was the mayor of a town in eastern Europe and a member of the White movement (White Russian), which at some point opposed the communist (Red Russian) take over of Russia and the White controlled territory of Eastern Europe. At some point, Sophie's father saw a civil war coming, so he sent Sophie along with her 11 brothers and sisters and their nanny to the USA for their safety. His wife and him stayed behind. The Russian Civil War broke out in 1917 and lasted until 1921. In 1922 the Soviet Union was established under Communist rule.