Posts Tagged ‘Lutowiska’

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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I’m at the point of my research where I am now attempting to search records in Eastern Europe. I have already found records pertaining to my father’s time spent in Germany during WWII. I know that he was forcibly taken from his home to Germany in 1942. I know that he married my mother in 1945 in Sulingen Germany. I have the passenger list showing him and his family arriving into the Port of New York in 1950.

Now I’m trying to locate church records for my grandfather, Michael. Thanks to a couple of people on Galicia Family History Group I was directed to another site called State Archives in Przemysl where I was told records from my father’s church in Lutowiska were stored and scanned. At this point I am just searching for anyone with the surname of Iwaniw. The difficulty is that the handwriting is a very elaborate cursive and some of the writing is very faint. Lastly, none of these records are indexed.

This is one of those family research tasks that are very labor intensive and tedious. I usually only spend about an hour doing this and/or tend to take a lot of breaks. Another problem is that I have no way of knowing if the records are complete.

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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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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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Wasyl Iwaniw

I decided to write a short story of what I have been able to find during my family research. I will start with my father’s oldest brother, my Uncle Wasyl Iwaniw, because it’s essentially because of him that I started researching my family history.

My Uncle Wasyl, pictured here, was born in Lutowiska, Galacia (a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in what was Western Ukraine and now a part of Poland) on 20 April, 1903 to Michael Iwaniw and Matrona Iwaniw (nee Smoliw). When I was growing up I was told that Uncle Wasyl disappeared during the German occupation of Ukraine during WWII. My father told me that no one knew what happened to him or ever saw or heard from him.

I started my family research in hopes of finding out more about my Uncle Wasyl. I started by building a foundation of information and always keeping an eye out of new resources and sources of information. In conducting my research I was able to locate embarkation information for my parents when they left Germany after WWII and the address where they lived in Ulm Germany while they were waiting approval to enter either the United States, Canada, or England.

Some time ago I was made aware of a source of data records pertaining to labor camps from the WWII period. I started out by searching out any information pertaining to my parents, specifically, my father. What I ended up finding was information about 2 of my father’s brothers, one of whom was my Uncle Wasyl. I detailed it in a previous post on this blog. I was rewarded with information about both of my father’s brothers, Wasyl & Mykola. But let’s focus on what I found out about Wasyl.

The record (shown above) that I found was for Steinberg Germany. The description of the record is “List of all allied Nationals and all other foreigners, German Jews and stateless etc. who were temporarily or permanently stationed in the community, but are no longer in residence.” So, I took this to mean that my uncle resided there but as of 27 March 1947 was no longer living there. The records give the person’s surname, first name, place of birth, date of birth, type of housing unit, date of sojourn (stay or visit), and other details which are not completed. It looks like this information was compiled from other German records that only gave partial information.

This record shows that my Uncle Wasyl (record #7) was listed as Iwaniw, Basil (another version of Wasyl), lists place of birth as unknown, born on 20 April, 1903. It also shows he was in Steinberg as of 29 April 1943. It also shows him listed as a civilian but says his usual place of residence was unknown. The record give no indication of what happened to him after he left or was removed from Steinberg.

This now gives me another research project to find out whatever I can about the area around Steinberg to get a better idea of what other records may be available. This is in addition to find out what I can about the area around Sumingen Germany. I will next detail the record I found on my other uncle, Mykola Iwaniw.

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