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.
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.
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.