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					SIXTH EDITION                        THE NEW LEAF                                 JUNE 2010

        The New Leaf is printed quarterly by The South West Branch of the Manitoba
Genealogical Society, Inc., 327 Kirkcaldy Drive, Brandon, MB R7A 0C3
        The South West Branch meets the first Wednesday of each month (except July and
August) at Room 102, Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School, 1930 1st Street, Brandon, MB at
7:30 pm. Annual fees are $50 (MGS $40, SW Branch $10)
        Branch Postal Address - 327 Kirkcaldy Drive, Brandon, MB R7A 0C3
The South West Branch website has been changed to (SW Branch)
        ***New Leaf email – If you wish to receive The New Leaf
electronically, please contact this email address.
        The SW Branch “Margaret E. Goodman Memorial Library” is located in the basement of
Knox United Church at 18th St. and Victoria Ave. and is open Mondays 2 to 4 p.m.., except

                                   2010 BRANCH EXECUTIVE

 President – Eleanor Burch                         Branch Secretary - Laura Crookshanks
 (204) 834-2653             (204) 728-2935
 VP Administration - Jack Dodds (204) 728-         Treasurer - Vivian Privat
 0266                          (204) 726-4141
 VP Operations - *vacant
 Past Pres. – Graham Switzer
 (204) 849-2246


 Finance - Barb Andrew, Bob Mason,                  Surname Index - Vivian Privat
 Vivian Privat                                      Membership - Shirley Erskine
 Meeting Advisor/Advertising –                      Research - Jack Dodds, Dennis Descoteau
 Laura Crookshanks                                  Branch Historian - Linda Dustan Selinger
 Library Committee - Sheila Shearer                 New Leaf Newsletter - Jack Dodds
 (Chair), Barb Andrew, Vivian Privat                (Editor), Jackie Johnston
 Education/Outreach Programs - Sheila               Cemetery Transcribing - Barb Andrew
 Shearer,    Denise    Bromley,      Grace
 Desjardins Green

Calendar 2009 Refer to website

Pg. 1 - Branch information.
Pg. 2 - Editor’s comments - history you didn’t learn in school.
Pg. 3 - SW Workshop & Dinner - Ruth Tester Award winner.
Pg. 4 - Every Picture Has a Story - Story of a country doctor.
Pg. 6 - Leafing through the branches.
Pg. 8 - Story of survival - Did you know?
Pg. 9 – Anecdote - Settlers had to be resourceful – Old letters
Pg. 10 - Searching for your Ukrainian predecessors (Electronic recipients only)

SIXTH EDITION                            THE NEW LEAF                                     JUNE 2010

         We are presently without a Vice President-Operations. Although this position doesn‟t
take a lot of time, it is important that we have all positions filled. It seems that increasingly in all
volunteer organizations, there is a small core of people who are involved in many committees and
activities. This can lead to burnout of the working members and deterioration of the effectiveness
of the organization. If anyone can step forward and offer to fill this position, it would be greatly
appreciated. Also, if anyone can volunteer some time at the library, it could be a great learning
experience and help bolster your knowledge of materials and services available through the South
West branch.
         While researching, I have found many times that the history that you take in school is
often lacking the real meat of the story, or leaves out details that show the true character of the
historical figures. The victors usually get to write their version of history, often lacking the more
shameful and embarrassing stories. Thanks to the Freedom of Information legislation, much more
is being made available about the “true” history. Don‟t take old history for granted. Read all you
can in archives, court records, ethnic histories, area history, etc.
         We have known for some time that court records are public domain. Probates, court
proceedings, small claims, etc are available at the courthouses. Much of this is now on line.
Check out for information throughout
the country. You would go, for example to Manitoba criminal and civil filings for much of the
Brandon         region       files.      You        would        then        find      yourself       at Here, you can enter the
name you are researching and see what is on file. Have fun.

                                History you didn’t learn in school
          Samuel de Champlain, the explorer, wished for a life that included a wife and
THE NEW LEAF JUNE 20101610 he married a twelve year old girl, Hẻlẻne Boullẻ. It is
          On December 27,
 suspected that affections for this girl (for whom he named St. Helens Island) were paternal
 and an expression of his desire for fatherhood. The marriage was with the understanding that
 the marriage would not be consummated until she was 14.
          Hẻlẻne, however, would remain in Paris for the next 10 years, arriving in Quebec in
 1620 at 22 years of age. She was disappointed in the small settlement and lack of compatible
 company. She was liked by the Indians for her beauty and kindness and she became their
 teacher. She only stayed for four years before returning permanently to France, becoming an
 Ursuline nun in 1645.
          There were no children from this marriage and four years after Hẻlẻne‟s departure,
 Champlain adopted three Indian girls, aged 11, 12 and 15 who were presented to him by
 Indians in appreciation for food he had given the starving band. He loved the girls like a father
 and named them Faith, Hope and Charity. Faith soon returned to the band, but Hope and
 Charity stayed with Champlain until he went back to France in 1629 after surrendering
 Quebec to the English. He begged in vain to take the girls with him. Failing this, he made
 provisions for their care, but when he came back to Quebec in 1633, they had reverted back to
 their former life. The father of Canada would not know the gratification of even an adopted

Quote of the day: “Learn from your parents mistakes. Use birth control”

SIXTH EDITION                        THE NEW LEAF                                JUNE 2010

Colin and Elizabeth Briggs at the South West Branch workshop in Brandon on April 24, 2010

        Knox United Church was the scene of the 2010 South West Branch workshop and
supper. About 40 people attended and the feedback was very positive. The workshop committee
consisting of Sheila Shearer, Barb Andrew, Eleanor Birch, Laura Crookshanks, and Grace
Desjardins-Green did a great job and we all appreciate their hard work.
        The workshops included a number of interesting topics including the following………….
   1. Searching Orkney, Métis & European Ancestors through Records at the Hudson‟s Bay
        Company Archives - Elizabeth Briggs.
   2. Migration Patterns - Jim Naylor.
   3. Media Transfer to New Technology - Brian Keown.
   4. Ideas for Researching East European Ancestors - Elizabeth Briggs.
   5. Not Just a Pretty Face - finding clues in old family photographs - Kelly Southworth.
   6. Aches, Pains and Sickness, Treating Illness in Manitoba Settlers - Colin and Elizabeth
   The dinner speaker of the evening was Bill McGuire speaking on the topic: Early Railways in
   southwestern Manitoba.

SIXTH EDITION                          THE NEW LEAF                                   JUNE 2010

                                     RUTH TESTER AWARD
         The 2010 recipient of the Ruth Tester Award was Vivian Privat. Vivian is very active on
    the library committee and is serving her third term as branch treasurer. She has been involved
    in cemetery transcribing, surname indexing and is always a willing participant whenever
    volunteers are requested. Congratulations Vivian.

                                            Vivian Privat

                            EVERY PICTURE HAS A STORY
                        (This story was missed in the Birtle History book)

             Nine Rewarding Years of Medical Practice in Beautiful Birtle
                         By Michael E. Sasynuik, B.Sc.; M.D.; CAP; ASC
         I was a son of immigrant parents from Ukraine and there was much poverty through the
years. I needed to work some evenings and all summers to support my higher education. When I
acquired my Bachelor of Science degree, I decided to apply for acceptance into the Manitoba
Medical College and was very pleased when I got accepted. I knew that I would have had to
borrow money to pay for tuition and books, but fortunately, I was able to be granted the David
Stewart Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship either needed to be repaid, or as an incentive for
students to practice in rural Manitoba, it did not need to be repaid if one practiced medicine in
rural Manitoba, providing that one practiced a year for every year of assistance. That meant that I
would have to practice in rural Manitoba for five years, which I was willing to do, and have no
debt. However, I stayed in Birtle for four more years than was required because I loved the Birtle
area and also liked the practice that I had established there.
         Knowing that I was going to eventually practice in a rural setting, I took an extra senior
year of medical training at the St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg, the same site that I took my

SIXTH EDITION                          THE NEW LEAF                                   JUNE 2010

junior internship, and this included a lot of surgical experience as well as emergency care. By
doing this, I was prepared for better patient care in a rural setting.
         Did I choose Birtle?. No. What happened is that three most welcome gentlemen, Clarence
Tibbatts, Victor Fulton and Richard Butler visited the St. Boniface Hospital, and after an
interview they opted to accept me as their physician for the Birtle community. It was my lucky
day! I was to arrive in Birtle in early July 1956.
         When I started my practice in an office of the lower floor of the hospital I saw my first
paying patient on the fifth day for a complete examination, the fee was five dollars. Then came an
unusual weekend wherein an elderly gentleman collapsed while in church. He was brought to the
hospital and examination revealed a large, bulging, painful inguinal hernia. When gentle attempts
to relieve the situation failed, surgery was indicated. Within the hernia was a loop of small bowel
which was strangulated. I hoped and prayed that when the strangulation was released that the loop
of the bowel would regain color and be viable. Fortunately it was! Then less urgent problems
arose. There had not been enough time to receive by order the various necessary surgical supplies
including sutures. The only available sutures that were on hand, were old catgut ones. On needing
to use these, a problem arose. Most of the sutures readily tore and way too many suture attempts
were required to satisfactorily close the surgical wound. Fortunately, the patient did real well and
for me that was a God-send! Word got around that “Doc” performed surgery and that the patient
did very well. As a result of this, it wasn‟t long before I was swamped with many needy patients.
Not only patients from the Birtle area, but also from surrounding towns and areas up to forty or
more miles away. Understanding French, Ukrainian and being able to use the sign-language for
the deaf-mute patients, brought more patients in my direction.
         I was very fortunate to have had at that time, an elderly physician in Birtle, Dr. Edwards,
who was willing and able to deliver an anaesthetic for my surgical patients. It was by ether at the
time, which is now an obsolete form of anaesthesia. Moreover, I was fortunate in having outmost
caring people who formed the health care team within the hospital. The Sister Nuns did an
exceptional job of providing medical care with extraordinary love and efficiency. All in all, it was
very nice to have very capable and remarkable people to work with in the hospital environment.
         After about three years of a very tiring and extremely busy medical practice, I was joined
by Dr. Nicholas Petrinack who became a capable partner. Two excellent office receptionists,
Maude Dickinson and Chris Wills, helped us with great dedication and efficiency.
         Space is limited, but I must relate several events of interest that stand out in my mind.
I‟m now eighty years old and I still remember these as if they occurred just yesterday.
         It was not unusual to have one of the Native Indian men knock at the door near midnight
on Saturday night, needing a ride home to the reserve south of Birtle. They would have been at
the beer parlor and missed their ride home with friends of their own ilk. One such Saturday, near
midnight, there was a knock on the door and this man begged me to take him home to the reserve.
It was easier to heed his request than to argue and debate with a drunken soul. So I did! When I
arrived at the entrance to the reserve I could go no farther because of the muddy road. As I was
driving away he opened the back door of the car, and in doing so the moving car had the door hit
him on the head. Ouch!! Now he was bleeding profusely, as scalp wounds always do. I had no
choice but to get him into the car and drive back to the hospital to repair the extensive scalp
wound. As a result, there was blood all over the back seat of my car. The scalp wound was
repaired and I had visions of a newspaper headline: „White doctor scalps Indian man!‟
         Another vignette. A Foxwarren farmer had all eight of his fingers amputated at varying
levels in a tragic harvest combining accident. The thumbs were spared of injury. None of the
digits were retrieved. I needed to take this gentleman to the Shoal Lake Hospital where the local
doctor repaired one hand and I repaired the other. We left the severed fingers as long as we felt
feasible so that there would be some available opposition for the thumbs to work with. This
gentleman did very well and he was eventually able to use a shovel and a pitchfork, and more
amazingly, was able to roll-his-own cigarettes.

SIXTH EDITION                           THE NEW LEAF                                    JUNE 2010

         All three of our children were born when we were in Birtle; a son and two daughters. All
three of them have university degrees of varying kinds. Our son, Johann, owns his own martial
arts school of Kung Fu. He is a full fledged instructor at the school. Our first daughter, Michelle,
is a pediatrician in Houston, Texas. She is married to an astronaut, Michael Barratt. Our second
daughter, Lesia, was a stay at home mom and presently is back in college again. We have nine
grandchildren, three of which were adopted---two from India and one an Afro-American.
         This next story is like the straw that broke the camel‟s back. I was on call one weekend,
Friday through Monday morning. There was a huge blizzard with lots of snow. This is not an
exaggeration, I had to shovel snow to get out of the garage and then shovel again to get into the
garage eleven times. I needed to get to the hospital each time. The stunning blow was that on
Monday morning a snow plow came by and pushed a lot of snow into my driveway resulting in
one more shovelling process.
         Two factors came into play in needing to leave Manitoba. As I would age, I could not
bear to think of shovelling snow such as I described above. The deciding factor came when our
young son was allergic to cold exposure and would swell up around the face, ears and neck. We
simply needed a warmer climate.
         Being tired of stopping nose-bleeds, reading x-rays, getting up at all hours of the night for
emergencies and to deliver babies, I decided to take a specialty in pathology. I applied at eight
different universities in the USA and got an acceptance from all eight of them. I chose the
University of Washington in Seattle, because it had the most desirable climate, it was a very good
school and it was close to Canada where we have numerous relatives and friends. After four years
of pathology training at the University of Washington, I passed my board exams and obtained the
required certificates in both the College of American Pathology (CAP) and the American Society
of Clinical Pathology (ASCP). My most rewarding achievement as a pathologist was to be the
director of a huge Eastside Medical Laboratory with up to 265 employees. The laboratory was
owned by my group of pathologists and was located in Bellevue, Washington.
         I want to thank all the good people in Birtle and surrounding areas for making my
professional life a rewarding one, and even more importantly for your friendship which has lasted
through the years. I still get telephone calls from people around Birtle to obtain medical advice.
         My reward for having served Birtle for nine years was that the community arranged a
farewell get-together in my honor just before we left for Seattle. I was amazed that well over
1,000 people came to say goodbye and good luck. That tribute was the crowning item of my stay
in Birtle and very much appreciated.

                         LEAFING THROUGH THE BRANCHES
                                With Shirley Erskine

Vol. 27 #1 March 2010
* Four Generations of Grahams
* In Memoriam – Shirley Cooper
* A “Point” Girl Gets Married (Laurie McBeth & Paul Webb)
* History of Marriage
* Aberarder Lovell‟s Province of Ontario Directory for 1870-71
* My Brick Wall
* 1916 Canada Census Column Headings
* Using Canadian Census Effectively
* Research Chair
* Webwise (Black Sheep Ancestors)
* Queries
  Evans, Blake, Hughes and Hentschel

SIXTH EDITION                           THE NEW LEAF                                   JUNE 2010

  O‟Brien and Eagleson
  Pilon and Eagleson
  Porter, Shuttleworth, Hearne, Poore and Sager
* Brooke (Township) - News

Vol. 21 #1 Feb 2010
* Queries
  Currie/McGillivray, Fulton
  Forbes, Dunn, Hawes, Blake, Wotherspoon, Buchanan and Fowlie
  McKenzie, Gillies and Garleb
  Litwiniuk and Reed
* Scottish Occupations (cont‟d)
* Leverton/Chapelle Family Names
* Interesting Websites
* Local historian looks at namesake of Gillies Hill
* Bruce County Strays

Vol. 37 #2 May 2010
* Canadian Virtual War Memorial On – Line
* London Public Library Picture Collection
* Vanneck Church – 1840-1860
 Roll of the English Settlement Congregation (To be cont‟d)

AFGnewS (American – French)
Vol. 21 #1 Jan – Feb 2010
* A Tip From Your “Bookie”
* Websites You Might Enjoy
* Preserving Newspapers And Clippings
* Ou Est Alle Grandmere? (Where Is Grandmother?)
* Social Security Death Index

Are you searching for Ukrainian predecessors?

For many years our family had given up on finding Nick‟s predecessors from Ukraine. We
believed that the records had not survived. However, in recent years this turned out to be an
illusion and finding ancestors both on the Andrusiak side and the Pohaychuk-Shepit side proved
to be relatively simple, if tedious. The two families came from Mamornitza and Lukavitza, two
villages a few kilometers apart and about 15 kilometres from Chernivitza in the province of

**This is the beginning of a very interesting article written by Nick and Frances Andrusiak about
their experience and subsequent success in tracing their Ukrainian ancestors. Space constraints
have not allowed us to print the whole story on our small newsletter. People receiving the Leaf
electronically will receive the full article. Anyone else who wishes to read this article can contact
us and we will email the full story. Frances will be submitting the article to MGS as well, so
watch for it in future “Generations” newsletters. Frances says…

               “Getting Help with the Records (applicable to the year 2010)
      Although I can‟t do extensive research for you, I have already recorded many family

SIXTH EDITION                              THE NEW LEAF                                      JUNE 2010

connections and am willing to share them with you. I am also willing to pass on my experience
in reading these records and share the thrill when you find some information.”
Frances Andrusiak (204) 233-9249          

**Thanks to Grace Dejardines-Green for recommending this article.

                  The following story was submitted by Linda Dustan Selinger
        Along the Old 29 (this is one of the books published in Saskatchewan that
provided a history of the early settlers to the Battlefords and area, and the districts of
Battle River, Cleveland, Drummond Creek, Lindequist and Prongua)
This is a truly amazing story of survival!
Ethel (Margaret Ada) only daughter of James and Ethel McDougald, was born on March
23, 1911. Her mother, Ethel, passed away giving birth to her only daughter. At birth,
Margaret Ada (later named Ethel) weighed one pound eight ounces. For six weeks she
could only be bathed in olive oil, and wrapped in cotton batting. Some of the women
who were in the hospital at the time, namely Mrs. Hassall and Mrs. Claxton, tended to the
infant and she was placed in bed with other mothers for warmth. Ethel was nurtured by
Mrs. Jim Willie for six months as Mrs. Willie was a new mother and was able to breast
feed both babies.
        I know the rest of the story as I grew up in the Prongua district, twelve miles west
of Battleford. Ethel McDougald grew up to be a healthy adult who married Max Bauer.
They had a large family of healthy children and I attended the same high school as her
youngest daughter and son.

                                            Did you know?
         Canada has a bunker similar to the U. K.‟s Corsham Bunker and the American‟s
West Virginia Bunker (which lies under The Greenbrier Resort) in White Sulpher
         About 35 kilometers east of Ottawa under the community of Carp lies a four story
facility, built to withstand a five megaton blast one and a half miles away. Nicknamed
“The Diefenbunker” it was built between 1959 and 1961 and intended to house essential
government and military personnel, in case of a nuclear attack.
         In 1994 Canadian Forces Station Carp “The Diefenbunker” was closed and the
facility was gutted. Most of the contents disappeared, but some of its artifacts were sent
to The Canadian War Museum, Community Museum of Civilization and the Military
Communications and Electronics Museum in Kingston..
         The facility is now a Cold War Museum and is intended to give visitors a sense of
the Cold War-era. A ninety minute tour takes visitors back into the 1960s to experience
the blast tunnel, air lock, federal warning center, top-level hallway, machine room, CBC
Radio studio, war cabinet room, prime minister‟s offices and suite and Bank of Canada
We keep coming across new websites as we surf the web. If you have any favorites that
you would like to share, please let us know and we will print them for our members to
share. The Mormon‟s Family Search website is a wealth of free information. If you are

SIXTH EDITION                           THE NEW LEAF                                   JUNE 2010

searching for information about your ancestors in Ontario for example you may go to
   This site gives tips on researching as well as links to documents, books, microfilm, etc.
You can order microfilm and other materials through inter-library loans for a small cost.
         Some other sites are interesting because of their uniqueness, such as….
 Another example of information available (of a more recent nature) in Alberta is
         An interesting and useful list of top genealogical websites can be found at
Sheila recommends
         That should keep you busy for a while. In the meantime if you can add or
recommend any interesting sites, please let us know and we will pass them on.

Did you know? compensate for growing utility bills, Whitehorse, a city in the
Yukon, gives everyone over 65 yrs. of age an annual grant of up to $500?

                              Settlers had to be resourceful
        This story was told to me by Fred McGuinness, as told to him by Mary Graham of
Hartney, Manitoba.
        Mary‟s grandmother was alone on the farm when a pig fell into the well. This was
a serious situation as the pig was to be winter food, not to mention the possibility of
contamination of the well.
        She lowered herself down a rope into the well and tied a rope around the pig.
Then, she climbed back up the rope and tried to pull the pig up by the rope to no avail.
The horse was with her husband in town and the only animal big enough to do the job
was the cow so she brought the cow over to the well and tied the rope onto her.
        The cow, however, decided that this was horses‟ work and would have no part of
it. (Did they have unions then?) Unable to goad the cow into pulling the pig up, she came
up with another idea. She sicced the dog after the cow, which took off, pulling the pig out
of the well in the process. Mission accomplished.
        If you have any ancestral anecdotes to share, please contact us at

                   Newsy old letters give a glimpse of our ancestors
The following are excerps from a letter written in 1923 from a great aunt to her mother
(my paternal great grandmother). These old letters give insights to the life and times of
our ancestors.
Jan. 1923 From Mrs, George Thompson (Zelia), Box 30, Millet, Alta, to Mrs. Caroline Taylor:
 "Felt homesick for first time since left farm....guess because Hector left for Muskoka again...Carl
went away last Tuesday to work in a sawmill....Neighbor to put up sawmill at Keith's place; Keith
and Fred to get some lumber cut for building....short crops and $500 doctor bills leaves us short;
then Carrie owes us $200 and 3 years interest, kind of hurts when Carrie puts on such style and is
so snubby....Winnie just came in with mail; got a letter from Hector that he has got work with
Captain Parlett, Hector is hauling lumber from Fraserburg toBracebridge and staying the night in Hector says this is another change, living in town. Hector has never worked in
town before."

SIXTH EDITION                          THE NEW LEAF                                   JUNE 2010

Are you searching for Ukrainian predecessors?
For many years our family had given up on finding Nick‟s predecessors from Ukraine. We
believed that the records had not survived. However, in recent years this turned out to be an
illusion and finding ancestors both on the Andrusiak side and the Pohaychuk-Shepit side proved
to be relatively simple, if tedious. The two families came from Mamornitza and Lukavitza, two
villages a few kilometers apart and about 15 kilometres from Chernivitza in the province of

                    Why were the records collected and how did they survive?
       Bukovina was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1775-1918. The Austrian
government required by law that civil records be kept for all births, marriages and deaths. It
appears that civil clerks transcribed the church records and stored them in civil archives.
However, the uniform record keeping did not begin at the same time all over the empire.
       In the case of the records from these two villages, Mamornitza and Lukavitza, the records
are transcripts from the Orthodox Church which was the official religion of the area. In other
areas the official religion was Roman Catholic or Greek Catholic which recorded all the vital
records in the area whether or not the people recorded were of that religion. The records cover
approximately 1840-1919 but not all records for all villages or all years are available.
       The records from these two villages have been stored in the archives in Chernivitza since
the time they were transcribed and they have survived the Russian Revolution, the First and
Second World Wars, Leninism, the Holodomor (the man-made Ukrainian famine of the 1930s),
Stalinism, Communism and the Cold War, as well as general decay. You can visit these archives
in Chernivitza but viewing the records and getting information out of them can be very difficult.
                      To what do we owe being able to see the records today?
       In 2003 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) microfilmed the
records held at the Archive in Chernivitzi and now makes them available for anyone to view. It is
part of the belief of this religion to collect names of past generations so that believers can have
their ancestors baptized and admitted to heaven. Genealogists benefit from the considerable
financial and human investment that the group has made into their project.
       The Mormon originals of the microfilms are kept in an underground mountain vault in
Utah. Arrangements to have a copy of a microfilm brought to a Family History Center, for a
small shipping fee, can be made at any one of 3500 locations worldwide. The film can then be
viewed at the nearest Center.
                                        Finding your village
         If your family history already includes the names of the villages your families came from,
you are ahead of the game. If you have no information of the villages and your families
emigrated through the Port of Hamburg between 1897 and 1918, the name of the village is
usually recorded with the emigree‟s record.
       If your family‟s migration record starts in the United Kingdom, in general you will not find
the name of the village. However, I have seen a few records in the later immigration period from
the UK in the UK Incoming Passengers records that did have the villages recorded.
       Accessing the Port of Hamburg requires subscription access to The UK
Incoming Passengers are available on and
       There are many tricks for finding people on passenger lists which is an article on its own,
but we will share a couple of hints here.
       Don‟t put too many parameters in the search fields. The more you restrict the search
criteria the less likely you are to be able to find what you are looking for. Of course, you may
end up looking through hundreds if not thousands of possibilities, but in the end you are more
likely to find clues.
       In the Hamburg records, you can search for all the people that came from one village. In
the Hamburg Passenger Lists database, put the name of the village in the “Lived in (Residence)”

SIXTH EDITION                           THE NEW LEAF                                    JUNE 2010

box. It is helpful to find at least one person, or perhaps a few people who came from the village
first in order to see how the Hamburg records spelled that village. Remember the Hamburg
records are in German, not Ukrainian, Polish, or Romanian, the languages used in the Ukrainian
lands. I have found as many as three or four spellings for some villages but the variation is not
too great.
       Another source of names of villages is Vladimir J Kaye‟s book Dictionary of Ukrainian
Canadians: biography of pioneer settlers of Manitoba 1891-1900. This is a rare book but I
believe the Manitoba Genealogical Society has a copy. There is a matching book about Alberta.
                             Finding a record from one of the villages
       Once you have found a relevant village, you can then look through the Family Search
catalogue to see if they list any records from that village. The catalogue is online in the Family
History      Library.          The      direct    online     address      of    the     Library     is
       Try both the buttons for “Place Search” and “Keyword Search”. These databases are not
very forgiving in the spelling of words to search. They expect the exact spelling that they have
on the film.
       Many village records are embedded in other village records and may not be recorded in the
database, so if you can‟t find a record in the appropriate village, look in another nearby village.
       There are gaps in the records. A record for the time period you want to find may not be
available. Sometimes you can find information in another type of record. For example, you may
find that the records which should contain your grandfather‟s birth record is not there, but you
may find a marriage or death record that includes the birth information you are seeking.
       Marriages and births were recorded in the woman‟s home village, so look in the
bride‟s/mother‟s village first.
                                       Looking at the records
       On the assumption that you have found some records from your ancestor‟s village, what
will you see?
       Before you start, savor the experience of looking at records that were created a century or
so ago, whether or not you can read them. Think about the scribe that hand-copied the records,
hour after hour in large ledger books. Think of the panic when he made an error and had to leave
his error for everyone to see when he crossed out the error (there aren‟t many.)
       Think about the people these records represented and their life experiences, births,
marriages deaths, happiness, sadness and sorrow.
       The record headings and the pages
       So far my major experience has been with the records from Bukovina which abutted the
Romanian border and in the later years of this period this area was administered by the
       The records I have seen were recorded in large ledger books which had a left-hand and
right-hand page on which were recorded between five and 20 records. A single record spans the
two pages. Some pages were mixed up perhaps when the ledger was dropped and reassembled.
       The left-hand pages were numbered with a digit followed by “zb”. If the left-hand page was
numbered 1zb, the matching right-hand page would be 2. The next pages would be 2zb and 3.
       The record headings are in several languages/alphabets including German, Cyrillic and
Romanian. The birth records, for example, record the family house number, date of birth, date of
baptism (sometimes dates are recorded in both Gregorian and Julian calendars), name, religion,
legitimacy, father‟s and mother‟s name (including village and occupation in some instances),
sponsor‟s/godparent‟s names, midwife‟s name and priest/officiant‟s name.
                                   The Languages and Alphabets
       In the villages I looked at, the records are in several languages over the period of time, but
only a few are in Ukrainian using the Cyrillic alphabet. We do not know what language the
original Orthodox Church records were in, but the records in these transcriptions are written in

SIXTH EDITION                          THE NEW LEAF                                   JUNE 2010

Romanian (using the Roman alphabet which is the same as English), Cyrillic, and Greek.
       The most recent records from about 1880 to 1918 are in Romanian which uses Roman
alphabet, the same as English, so the entries are fairly readable.
       The older records use a combination of alphabets, with Roman, Greek and Cyrillic letters.
We found names that had letters from all three alphabets in the same name. Not being an expert
in various forms of Cyrillic alphabets or the expression of these alphabets in various time periods,
I can‟t tell you if the usage of these alphabet combinations was caused by a mixture of alphabets
or was the way the Cyrillic alphabet included those letters at the time. I, (Frances) am neither of
Ukrainian descent or a linguist, but did take some university courses in Greek. Nick, is familiar
with some Cyrillic letters and as a science teacher, was familiar with the Greek alphabet.
Between us we found we could read many of the records.
                                            House Numbers
       Each record contains a house number. Much can be learned about family groupings from
following the house numbers. If a couple were married at one house number and then children‟s
births to parents with the same names followed, you can be fairly certain these children belonged
to these parents. This helps sort out people with the same names and even couples with the same
       On the other hand, it appears that the house number may have changed over time. We have
seen examples where, after our detailed process of elimination and complex research, we
confirmed the marriage of a child at a different house number from the one in which he/she was
       It appears that the house number was assigned by the priest and is not the same number as
the house number assigned to plots of land by the Austrians in the extensive maps they created
for their empire lands. Many of these detailed maps still exist in archives.
       In a few files, particularly in later years, a marriage recorded the house number of both the
bride and the groom. In the other records, the recorded house number belongs to the groom, even
though the marriage is recorded in the village of the bride. There are a few instances where the
house number belongs to the bride‟s family for some unknown reason.
       Sometimes the house number carries on to several siblings and follows them in their
marriages and birth of children. Sometimes the couple seems to acquire a new house number for
a reason we don‟t understand.
                   Getting Help with the Records (applicable to the year 2010)
       Although I can‟t do extensive research for you, I have already recorded many family
connections and am willing to share them with you. I am also willing to pass on my experience
in reading these records and share the thrill when you find some information.

Frances Andrusiak (204) 233-9249                                


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