Archive for September 2019

I was browsing Ebay today and decided to do a search on my family name. What a surprise when the search results return an item being sold with my mother’s name in the title.

What was being sold was an old press photo from my hometown’s newspaper. This was from when the newspaper did an article on the parish’s Ukrainian Festival in 1987. It was a picture of my mother sitting at a table loaded with Ukrainian ceramic pieces. My father use to create ceramic pieces with Ukrainian designs and they use to sell them at the Ukrainian festivals. So, the picture of my mother manning the ceramic table at the 1987 Parish Ukrainian Festival (see below).

The quality of the photo isn’t that good because it needed to be a high-contrasting photo to translate over to newsprint well.

“Natalia Iwaniw of Syracuse looks after a booth of Ukrainian ceramics made by her husband” from the 1987 Ukrainian Parish Festival. Photo by Julie Malakie, Aug 1, 1987

This would be something that I include in my story about my family. Just another facet of my family history.

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Anyone who has been doing their family research for a considerable period time can expect to run into a mystery within that history. I had requested information from Arolsen Archives (formerly International Tracing Service) for information/documentation pertaining to my father, Theodor Iwaniw. I submitted this request in September 2018. A few days ago I received a response from Arolsen Archives which included 44 pages of scanned documents. Arolsen Archives also offered to provide wriiten evaluation of those documents which I graciously accepted. This will require me to wait a little while longer.

Well, I’ve encountered my mystery. That mystery has to do with an inquiry form that is dated 16 February 1989. There’s also letters regarding another inquiry in 1968. Are they related? The letter from 1966/68 makes reference to my sister as being the person making the inquiry. But my sister was living at home at the time. She did go with a group to tour Europe shortly before that time period but she was residing at home with us. The letter dated 1968 has the letterhead from the The American National Red Cross in Washington D.C.

The inquiry form dated 1989 has the letterhead from what seems to be the Red Cross/Red Crescent in Moscow. The language for the fields on the form are in both German and Russian. The information completed is in German. The person making the inquiry is listed as Maria Elisseewa and as daughter. I am not aware of my father having another family. There is a possibility but I think it may be a low probability.

Inquiry Form 1989

The inquiry forms/letters from 1966/68 are more numerous and do not clear up very much. This will require some extensive research on my part but I will have to wait until I get the written evaluation from Arolsen Archives. If anyone has any information on Maria Elisseewa or suggestions as to my next steps, I would be greatly appreciative in hearing of them.

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Previously I posted that I had requested additional information on someone I found on Arolsen Archives.  A few days ago I received some copies of documents pertaining to Mykola Iwaniw.  I have concluded, based on the birthday and location of his birth, that this was my father’s brother.  I also located his information on the Arolsen Archive databases that were available at Ancestry.com.  
What I can gather from these documents is that my Uncle Mykola (Nicholas) was in Germany in the mid-1940’s.  The new documents that I received show that he was employed in Marbuger, Germany.  It doesn’t give any information that I can see as to his occupation.  One of the documents I received, A.E.F. ASSEMBLY CENTER REGISTRATION CARD lists a wife, Anna (nee Gohlert) born 14 October 1926.  In addition, this card also lists a son named Sorian who was born on 18 July 1946.  This card also shows their destination as Allendorf Krs, Marburg.


In doing additional research I found a Sorian Iwaniw in Marburg, Germany.  The information shows that Sorian passed away on 30 November 2018 in Marburg.  
An interesting aspect of all of this is that during the time that my Unlce Mykola and family were living in Marburg, my father and his family were living in Ulm, Germany which was 4 hours drive south of them.  Did they even know that each other existed? I think they did. I base this belief because of another document that I received from Arolsen Archoves pertaining to my father. Details on this will follow.

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