Archive for August 2018

As I posted before, I have limited amounts of records to research in the United States.  I am the first generation of my family to be born in the US so my research takes me immediately to Eastern Europe for both my parents.  

With the help of other Ukrainian family researchers from a maillist I belong to, I was able to locate some records to help me with my family research.  It was suggested that instead of focusing on the specific surname at FamilySearch.org, that I instead search out my father’s home village.  When I did that I came up with a lot of records regarding Lutowiska.  These records were microfilmed by the LDS but haven’t been transcribed or indexed.  This makes it a major challenge.

What I will end up having to do is to visually scan each frame of the microfilm looking for the relevant information.  To add to the difficulty is the fact that there is no table of content and everything is written in cursive.  Just one set of birth, marriage, baptismal, and death records is 879 individual frames.  When I did a quick perusal of random pages, they didn’t seem to be in any alphabetic order but were in date sequence.  That doesn’t help if you don’t know the specific date of an event.  Another issue is the date ranges of the records that are available (i.e. 1864-1879) which then precludes me from searching for events that happened outside of that range.  And lastly, there is a disclaimer with the records that some records were not able to be scanned because the pages were too damaged to scan or too faded/illegible to scan.

But this will be a long and tedious undertaking and hopefully will pay off by finding the records I need.  I have found an online tool, Evernote, that is of great help in saving whatever information and resources I do locate so that I can go back to them at a later date.

Lutowiska
Lutowiska

A while back when I was browsing the Internet reading articles pertaining to genealogy research I came across one that outlined the steps in putting together stories for family histories.  Essentially, the article stated that you take 15 minutes each day and write down everything you remember about a specific family member or a family event.  I thought the idea was a great idea.  Unfortunately, I didn’t save or bookmark the article but if I ever come across it again I will post the information on this blog.

I started to think about my family’s past evens and one long forgotten one stuck in my mind.  This memory goes back many decades and it wasn’t the even that sticks in my mind but a comment my father made.  The event was a trip that my father, my mother, and myself took to Detroit MI.  I don’t remember my sister being there so she might have been away at boarding school.  That means that I must have been about 9 or 10 years old at the time.  We were travelling to Detroit to stay with some friends of my parents and were going to attend a wedding in Windsor, Canada.  The wedding itslef was not really memorable, at least to this 10 year old.  But was was memorable was the name of the couple getting married.  The name of the groom escapes me, which is unfortunate.  However, I remember the bride’s name was Iwaniw.  Her parents were divorced which was a point of discussion with my parents.  How were things goinjg to be handled for the ceremony, etc.  I don’t remember details of the conversations but I remember that the divorce was not a pleasant one.  I can’t even remember the faces of anyone involved in wedding party.  

I do remember one thing.  I remember asking my father how the Iwaniw’s from Windsor Canada were related us.  I remember my father telling me that they weren’t related and that the Iwaniw name was a common name in Ukraine.  At that time I accepted the answer.  But now when I think about it it doesn’t add up.  For one very simple reason.  Why would my parents be invited to a wedding and drive 400 miles to attend that wedding if they were not related in any way?  Now, decades later this makes no sense.  

There’s also an additional point to this story.  It has always been suggested that if you want to start researching your family history talk to you living relatives.  But as this story points out you may not get the whole story or even the right facts.

In the last few days I have been busy updating my family research files and reviewing my information from previous research efforts.  I’ve also spent time locating new sources of information and updating my current list of genealogy web sites.  I’m still in the process of reviewing/perusing Cyndi’s List for new sources that may be of help to me.

As I stated here before, I am the first generation of my core family to be born in the US so that means that no documentation pertaining to my ancestors exist anywhere in the US.  I have had to conduct my research on a more global level.  That activity kept me busy most of the time.

My research in that area was twofold.  One, I wanted to locate information about the Archives in Ukraine and the process on acquiring documentation on my ancestors.  I had limited success in this area.  I located the website for the Archives of Ukraine and subsequently the web site for the regional State Archives of Lviv.  My father was born in the village of Lutowiska, which now located in present day Poland.  My father was born in the village when it was still part of Ukraine, prior to the end of WWII.  In 1951 there was an exchange of territories between Poland and the then USSR.  It was at this time that my father’s family was moved from their village to Eastern Ukraine.  I don’t know if the records were moved with the families, destroyed, or moved to Moscow.  This may be a long and drawn out effort.

Second, while looking through my research notes I couldn’t locate the information on the ship that transported my father, mother, and sister to New York.  I couldn’t retrace my steps because the name of the ship had slipped out of my memory (I finally remembered the name as the Blanchford).  I needed the name of the ship in order to research which port my family left Europe from.  The natural presumption would be Hamburg, but actually they sailed from Bremerhaven, Germany.
This all leads to my being able to provide as much information as possible in order to acquire the proper documents to help me research my family.

Another task on my to-do list is to write to the Social Security Administration and request a copy of my father’s SS-5 (his application for a Social Security number) which will give me the names of his father and mother.  This can then be used to confirm and validate the information that I have.

So, if anyone has any information or directions to help me with my research I would appreciate hearing from you.  Use the Contact link at the top of this page.