Archive for the ‘Research News’ Category

In a prior post I explained how I received scanned copies of documents pertaining to my father from Arolsen Archives. I’m still reviewing those documents and trying to develop some type of timeline for my fathers time in Germany.

From my review of the documents that I have I determined that my father was taken from the family farm in 1942 and shipped off to Germany. This is detailed in the card shown below as Card 1 & Card 2. Card one is in German and seems to have been created on the 25th of April in 1966. The English version is Card 2 that looks to have been created on the 16th of February in 1989.

The cards state my father’s name, his father’s name (presumably given by my father to whichever official was taking down the information), my father’s birth year (other documents show a different year), and place of birth. Additionally, the notation states that my father was shipped off (deported) to Germany in 1942. So, the cards establish my father’s presence in Germany from some time in 1942. There are no documents that definitely place him in any specific location or occupancy between 1942 and 1945.

The next card establishes his location in 1945.

Registration Card – 24 May 1954

Another piece of information that I come across is a registration card for my father while he was in Sulmingen, Germany. The card states that he was there as of the 24th of May in 1945. The information on the card states my father’s:

  1. Name (Surname): Iwaniw
  2. Vorname (First Name): Theodor
  3. Tag und Ort Der Geburt (Date & Pace of Birth): 18 March 1919, Lutowiska
  4. Staatsangehorigkeit (Nationality): Polen-Ukrainer (Poland-Ukrainian)
  5. Unterkunftsort (In): Sulmingen
  6. Arbeitsstelle (Place of Work): Theresia Ackermann, Landwirtschaft (Agriculture-farmhand)
  7. Von (From): 1945 Bis (To): 25.5.1945 (25th May 1945)
  8. The following fields were left blank –
    Wurde der Arbeiter restlos entlohnt (Was the worker completely paid)
    Dienstverpflichtet (Service required)
    Freier Arbeiter (Free Worker)
    Seit (Since)
    Anschrift (Address)
  9. Ort (Place): Sulmingen, 6 NOV 1949
  10. Kreis (District): Biberach

Then there is a signature and an embossed stamp.

Yet another scanned document that I received was another registration record in Ulm.

Registration Record – Ulm

Now this document has some interesting discrepancies with the prior registration card. The nationality on this record states Russland (Russian) while the previous one stated Poland-Ukrainian. The other discrepancy is my father’s birthdate – the previous record showed his birthdate as 18 March 1919. This record shows his birthdate as 18 March 1918. Could it have been transcribed incorrectly by the clerk who created the record?

The other item of interest I found with this record is his occupation. It states he was a Cobbler/Shoemaker in Ulm. In Sulmingen he was a farm laborer. His occupation and address in Ulm (Karlstrabe 39) match another document from the Arolsen Archives and an additional documents I received from the archivist in Neu Ulm, Germany.

The registration date is listed as 15 August 1945 and ending/cancellation date is 12 September 1945.

The registration card for Sulmingen states that it pertains to persecutees in the later French Zone. I need to research further information on my father while he was in Sulmingen.

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In my ongoing research of my family history one of the interesting items I seem to have uncovered is that there were numerous Iwaniw families throughout the Galicia in the old Austro-Hungarian Empire. In just attempting to find records about my own grandfather I came across a few records that matched his name but other data on the records didn’t match up.

Specifically, as I explained in my previous post, More mysteries uncovered, I mentioned 2 separate passenger lists that contained a record for a Mychajlo Iwaniw. There was the NY list that showed Mychajlo Iwaniw arriving at Ellis Island in 1912. This Michajlo’s record shows that he was born in Sloboda. Although the age is close to my grandfather’s estimated age this couldn’t be the same person because all information I have is that my grandfather was from Lutowiska, which is about 3 hours driving from Sloboda.

Now, the other passenger list shows a Mychajlo Iwaniw Iwaniw arriving into the Port of Philadelphia in 1911 and the final destination being the Wilkes-Barre are of Pennsylvania to visit his brother Mytro. This record also shows that this Mychajlo was close to my grandfather’s estimated age. But it also shows that his wife’s name was Kasia Iwaniw. Both of these names from this record are a mystery to me. This is the first time I have seen a reference to either Mytro or Kasia Iwaniw. This record is the one that I started to pursue to look if I can find any records in the old church records from my father’s old church.

I attempted to locate these church records online in order to search them. I’m using the records/catalogues from FamilySearch.org and help from members of the Ukrainian & Galician Genealogy groups on Facebook. The problem with these records so far is that they are NOT indexed so I have to manually view each page and try to find the info that I need. So, my search has expanded to include the following names:

  • Mychajlo Iwaniw (with a birth father of Wasyl Iwaniw, my great-grandfather)
  • Mytro (or Dmytro) Iwaniw (with a birth father of Wasyl Iwaniw, my great-grandfather)
  • Kasia (or a derivative) Iwaniw (with a spouse of Mychajlo or Michael) Iwaniw

One of the things that I found out is that there were quite few Iwaniw families but I cannot determine if any of them are related to my family. I found a record referencing a Wasyl Iwaniw but from a village about 2 hours drive from Lutowiska. Can’t be the same person as my great-grandfather because the information I got from my father was that he was a landowner of a large tract of land in the village. There were records of other Iwaniws whose names I didn’t recognize. They very well may be relatives but I can’t make a connection.

In searching out the name of Iwaniw in FamilySearch.org records the search results will return over 800 records of Iwaniws in the United States and Canada. So, it’s important to stay focused on one path/branch in researching the family history or risk being pulled in countless different directions.

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As I was browsing a few of the genealogical groups on Facebook I came across a posting showing a picture of a church. The church looked familiar like I’ve seen the picture previously. I did. My father had a photograph of this church and he had commissioned a painting to be made from it.

At the time I didn’t know that name of the church just that my father said that it was the church from the village that he grew up in, Lutowiska. According to the information I now have is that the name of the church is Church of Archangel Michael in Lutowiska. The information on this church is in Polish (you’ll have to enable Google translator to read the details).

Church of Archangel Michael in Lutowiska
Church of Archangel Michael in Lutowiska

Unfortunately, according to the information about this church it no longer exists. In 1979, the church was handed over to the local Latin parish, which in May 1980 demolished the church, and used wood for further use in the construction of the church in Dwernik.

Now I’ve got a few more gaps in my father life filled in and more research material to investigate. From the documents that I had previously received I know that my father was a Greek Catholic. I didn’t know which parish records I had to chase down. Having stumbled onto this bit of information has helped in filling that gap. What I need to find out now is where are the records from this church and do they even still exist? If anyone has any information on this church or its records I’d appreciate hearing from you. You can contact me through this site or via Facebook Messenger.

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It was bound to happen. Hitting that proverbial brick wall when doing your family research, Well, I hit it and I am now at a dead stop.

In a previous post I stated that I encountered 2 passenger lists that contained what I thought was my grandfather’s information. One list was from the Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger List Index Cards, 1883-1948. The other was a passenger list record that I found on the Ellis Island site. In doing further research the Iwaniw on the NY List stated he was born in Sloboda. My research showed that Sloboda is about 3 hours northeast of Lutowiska and that Lutowiska was never referred to as Sloboda. Interesting side note but not helpful to my family research. My father did say that not all Iwaniw’s were related to us and that it was a fairly common name. This does not make things easy for me.

So now I start focusing on the PA List. As detail in my previous post, the PA list shows that Mychajlo came from Lutowiska, Austria (the old Austro-Hungarian Empire) and his destination as Ashley, PA (near Wilkes-Barre, PA). Also, the records lists Mytro Iwaniw as his brother. This gives me additional avenues of research. I accessed my FamilySearch.org account and opened up the scanned records from Volume 201-4A/6302 Births, marriages, deaths 1879-1904 for Lutowiska. There is a notation for these records that some years are missing and out of order; records include other localities. All I can say is that this notation is very true. Now the missing years may explain the problem I encountered.

There were many problems but the main one was that I couldn’t find any records for my grandfather or my Uncle Wasyl (born in 1903). The first thing I had to do was determine which of the 800+ scanned records pertained to Lutowiska. Once I determined that I started to visually scan page by page. Many of the records had birth, marriage, and death records intermingled. Based on the PA List it showed that Mychajlo Iwaniw was 28 years old in 1911. This would put his year of birth around 1883. This would also make him 20 years old when my Uncle Wasyl was born. Reasonable.

My information about my grandfather is fairly accurate. I had requested information from Arolsen Archives (formerly International Tracing Service) for information/documentation pertaining to my father, Theodor Iwaniw. I recently received a response from Arolsen Archives which included 44 pages of scanned documents and in those documents my grandparent’s names and information were verified. The only new name that I came across with my recent research was Mytro Iwaniw. That’s another name that I could not locate in those church records.

So in the church records that I accessed I could not locate:
1. My grandfather’s birth record
2. My grandfather’s marriage record
3. My Uncle Wasyl’s birth record in 1903.

There may be numerous reasons for this but none that I can easy verify. One of the causes of this brick wall may be that I am accessing the wrong church records. This will require more research on my part. Meanwhile, I’m stuck.

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One thing that seems to be given in conducting my family research is that there will be more questions than answers. One thing that I do periodically is do a search on FamilySearch.org records for the surname of IWANIW. I completed one such search a few days ago and came across a new record that I hadn’t seen before.

The record was a record for, who I believe, is my paternal grandfather Michael (Mychajlo) Iwaniw from the Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger List Index Cards, 1883-1948. (See below) This does confirm what I was told by my father that my grandfather came to the U.S. for a short while and that his destination was the Wilkes-Barre area of Pennsylvania. This record also contradicts another passenger list record that I found on the Ellis Island site for another Mychajlo Iwaniw.

The PA list shows that Mychajlo came from Lutowiska, Austria (the old Austro-Hungarian Empire) while the NY list shows that Mychajlo was from Sloboda, Austria. The PA list shows his destination as Ashley, PA (near Wilkes-Barre, PA) and the NY list states his destination as Chicago, IL. The PA list shows his arrival date as July 11, 1911 and the NY list states he arrived on November 16, 1912. PA list states he was going to stay with his brother Mytro Iwaniw and the NY list stated he was going to stay with his nephew Mykola.

Now, this record raises more questions. There are 2 additional names have come up:

  1. Kasia Iwaniw is listed as his wife. I only knew of 1 wife, my father’s mother Matrona Smoliw. The date on this form is 1911 which is 7 years before my father’s birth. Is this Kasia a previous wife? What happened to her?
  2. The record makes reference to Mytro Iwaniw, a brother. It’s entirely possible my grandfather had a brother who came to America years before. If he was living in the U.S. when my father was born he may not have been told of him. My father always said that his father died when he was a baby. I have information that I am trying to confirm that makes me doubt this story.
Record from PA, Phila. Passenger list index card, 1883-1948

In the NY list that Mychajlo Iwaniw was traveling to Chicago to visit with his nephew, Mykola. I can’t make out the last name from the form (see below) but I still plan on investigating this further.

So now you can better understand the reason my title for this posting. More mysteries as I get deeper into my family history.

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