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:
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?
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.
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.
As I posted before in a previous article, I had found information on the ship that my family “supposedly” came into the US on. I say supposedly because that was what I was told. Hearsay is good but documentation is gold. In searching FamilySearch.org I decided to research my father’s name. I heard that FamilySearch was making available the Port of New York’s passenger lists of those entering the country through 1957.
I located the passenger list that included my father, mother, and sister. Now, I had documented information about them and their entry into the US. The passenger list confirms that they did arrive on the Blatchford, they did depart from Bremerhaven, Germany. Some additional information from the list was that they embarked on the 8th of June 1950 and they arrived at the Port of New on the 24th of June 1950.
In order to enter the United States my family had to provide an address where they were going to live in the US. That information is also included on the passenger list for my family.
Little by little I am confirming and building documentation pertaining to my family history.
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.