It’s been a while since I updated my research status. Since the last update I’ve really not been able to get any more information. I’ll have to go back and review what I’ve accumulated so far and pick up where I left off. I also need to go back to Arolsen Archives- International Center and see if I can find additional information.
I’ve pretty much concluded the review of the data I received previously from Arolsen pertaining to my father. I have a fairly good understanding of my father’s timeline in Germany from 1942 to 1950. I know that he was taken from his home in Lutowiska, Ukraine to Germany in 1942 as forced labor. Up until the end of the war my father worked as a farm hand. Then in Ulm, Germany my father was a cobbler (shoemaker) until he and the family emigrated to the US.
I may need to hire a professional genealogical researcher located in Ukraine to physically go to the archives and located my father’s vital records. But I need to get additional information as to which archives and which specific records. I also need to properly vet prospective researchers before I hire them. If anyone has any input or ideas about this I’d appreciate hearing from you.
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.
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.
This would be something that I include in my story about my family. Just another facet of my family history.
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.
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.