A couple of days ago I posted an update about trying to locate my parents’ marriage records. I started with one municipality and each one subsequently forward to another one that they felt would be better able to help.
I received a final reply from the person in the municipality of Maselheim, which the town of Sulmingen is located. That person searched the records and found no information. Seems I’ve reached the end in terms of that research pathway.
I need to focus on finding out about labor camps in the area and seeing if I can locate any information in the camp records.
In my last post I detailed some of the different documents that I received pertaining to my father’s time in Germany. So, my best guesstimate is that while he was in Sulmingen he was a farm laborer and while he was in Ulm he was a shoemaker/cobbler. While in Sulmingen his occupation as a farm laborer listed his employer as Theresia Ackermann. But I haven’t been able to find anything more about Theresia Ackermann. In Ulm, was my father an owner of a shoemaking shop or an employee of one? I have no details on either.
As I progress with my research my questions result in more questions and not answers. According to a record that I received from Arolsen Archives my father was taken from his home in Lutowiska to Germany in 1942. I can only presume that he was taken to a labor camp in Sulmingen Germany. But which labor camp? I cannot find any information on a labor camp in the region of Sulmingen.
I wrote to someone in the municipal office of the City of Sulmingen requesting any information about the marriage of my parent in 1945. I did receive a reply that they had found no information but had forward my request to the registry office in that city. I then received a response from the registry office stating that they had no record of the marriage there. However, they felt that the request was sent to the incorrect location. They believed that the request should have been sent to the Town of Sulmingen, which is now part of the Municipality of Maselheim. That person has forwarded my inquiry forward to there.
So, that’s where my research stands right now. I’m just waiting for information, I’m waiting to hear from whoever was forwarded my inquiry in Maselheim, I’m waiting to hear back from the Red Cross Tracing Service about their inquiry in the 1960’s regarding my father, and I’m waiting to find out additional information on church records from my father’s village of Lutowiska.
My next post I will update the status of the inquiry to the Red Cross Tracing Service.
In conducting your own family history research you tend to come across records and documents that uncover additional names and places for you to research. It’s never that cut and dry. I have come across one such record.
Previously I had posted that I found a record about a passenger in the Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger List Index Cards, 1883-1948 that might be my grandfather, Mychajlo Iwaniw. That record showed 2 other names that I had never heard of before, Mytro Iwaniw and Kasia Iwaniw. It’s Mytro Iwaniw that piques my interest. The record as shown in Exhibit #1, states that Mychajlo was visiting his brother, Mytro and that Mychajlo’s passage was paid for by said brother.
The interesting part is the birth year. The record in Exhibit #1 shows Mychajlo’s age as 28. This would calculate to 1883 as his birth year. This coincides with my estimation of his birth year based on my Uncle Wasyl’s birth year of 1903. At the time of my Uncle Wasyl’s birth my grandfather would have been about 20 years old. This seems reasonable. So, now I’ve got the birth year for Mychajlo as 1883 (1911 – 28 =1883). Now we need to locate additional documents/records for Mytro (or Mitro or Dmytro) Iwaniw from Pennsylvania. What we come up with is Mytro (Americanized as Mitro) Iwaniw World War I draft registration record as shown in Exhibit #2. In looking at Mytro’s draft registration record you’ll note that his birthday is listed as November 4, 1883. His birth year is 1883, the same as Mychajlo’s. Is it possible that they were twins? Or was their mother gave birth to Mychajlo in January 1883 and got pregnant with Mytro in February 1883. Without actual records it’s all conjecture at this point. It’s all speculation. Documents are what I need to be able to fill in the family history puzzle. I have not been able to locate any records online that cover the year 1883 for the village of Lutowiska. But I’m still searching.
When I was growing up and I would ask my father about my grandfather (my father’s father) I would be told that he died when my father was a baby. My father’s answer was that he died when my father was a baby and he didn’t remember him. OK. I can understand that but my father never related any stories about him that may have been passed down to him. It was as if when my grandfather died he ceased to exist. It was like his life was erased when he died.
I started my family research because I was interested in finding out about my other uncles, Wasyl and Mykola. I had met my Uncle Ivan when he came to visit from Ukraine in the 70’s. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the foresight to ask him for any details about the family or about my grandfather. Opportunities missed are opportunities lost. But at that time I had no interest in researching my family’s history.
So fast-forward a couple of decades (to the 1990’s) and I start to research my family history and like many others just starting out I’m a newbies who really doesn’t know what he’s doing. I started out with in using Family Tree Maker to enter my family information and used the built-in web page builder to publish the information. In doing so I got an e-mail from someone in Australia who told me that her grandfather’s name was also Mychajlo Iwaniw and he was from the village of Lutowiska. Coincidence? Could it be that my grandfather didn’t die as my father told me?
I think one of the things that one has to remember is that divorce was a stigma. It could be that my grandfather divorces my grandmother and instead of telling my father that his father left he was told that he died. That is what I am currently searching for in the old records from Galicia/Poland. Prior to the end of World War I the area where my father was born would have still been considered Galicia and part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was only after 11 November 1918 that the Austro-Hungarian Empire was broken up and Galicia ceased to exist. Technically, my father was born in Galicia, Austria. So, my search involves finding any records containing Mychajlo Iwaniw from Lutowiska from about 1880 through the 1920’s. The record may be in the archives in either Lviv, Ukraine or Przemysl, Poland or both.
This is a case where it may be necessary to hire a professional researcher who is local to the archives and can actually locate all of the relevant records. There has to be either a death record for my grandfather or multiple civil marriage records for him.
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).
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.