Geneablogy: An occasional Journal about our experiences exploring our heritage

Saturday, April 20, 2019

In my post a couple of days ago, I used the archives posted by the Polish State Archive, AGAD, to push my ancestry back a generation. I had known that my grandmother’s parents were Anton Zurbyk and Maria Sobol. I had known that Anton’s parents were Mykola Zurbyk and Varvara Oryszczak. I had known that Maria Sobol’s parents were Bartolomiy / Bartłomiej Sobol and Katarzyna Mikuś. I knew very little about Bartolomiy and Katarzyna, but I at least had their names.

AGAD has the records from 1872-1906, with a few years missing, like 1880. To go back further than that, you need to access the records available through the Mormon church’s site. They have records for the Roman Catholic church in Liczkowce / Lychkivtsi / Личківці from 1816 to 1865, so it matches up reasonably well with AGAD’s archives. Obviously, there’s a gap from 1886 to 1871, but it’s close enough that in most cases, we can bridge the gap.

You need to have a login to see the records on, so I’ll post links to locally mirrored images here first, with links to their site second.

I wasn’t able to find a marriage record for Bartolomiy and Katarzyna. Maybe it fell into that gap. But they both show up in the birth records of the Roman Catholic church.

Katarzyna Mikuś was born and baptized on 17 May 1862 in Liczkowce in house number 176. Her father is shown as Alexander / Aleksander Mikuś, and grandparents as Blasii / Błażej Mikuś and Brigida Rużyło. Those names are new, and they’re my fourth great grandparents. Katarzyna’s mother is shown as Maria Kwiatkowska, and grandparents as Petri / Piotr Kwiatkowski and Margarita / Małgorzata Grabas. Again, newly identified fourth great grandparents.

Bartolomiy Sobol was born and baptized on 25 August 1856 in house number 48 in Samołuskowce, a village near Liczkowce. His father is shown as Vincentius / Wincenty Sobol, and grandparents as Gabrielis / Gabriel Sobol and Agnetis / Agnieszka Kielba. Again, newly identified fourth great grandparents. Bartolomiy’s mother is shown as Salomia / Salomea Rybak, and her parents (his grandparents) as Valentini / Walenty Rybak and Anna Kruk, newly identified as my fourth great grandparents.

Katarzyna’s parents, Aleksander Mikuś and Maria Kwiatkowska, were married on 9 November 1858 in Liczkowce. Much of the information is the same as shown on Katarzyna’s birth record, but the marriage record adds that Alexander was born on 25 May 1836, and Maria was born on 25 August 1839. The house numbers for each are the same as on their birth records.

Bartolomiy’s parents, Wincenty Sobol and Salomea Rybak, were married in Samołuskowce on 26 November 1848. Again, same information as on Bartolomiy’s birth record. No listing of birthdates here.

Finally, I found a death record for Brigida Rużyło, wife of Blasii (Błażej) Mikuś. She died on 13 January 1857 in Liczkowce and was buried two days later. The record gives the marriage date of Brigida and Błażej as 17 July 1831.

Birth records

Marriage records

Death records

Posted at 4:28:30 AM Link to this entry


Thursday, April 18, 2019

Genetic genealogy has been a kick in the pants to get me working on stuff again. I see all these pretty close (third or fourth cousin level) matches show up on the sites, and in a lot of cases either I know immediately how we’re connected, or am able to figure out pretty quickly. In other cases, it“s more of a challenge as the records in countries like Poland and Ukraine have not been easily available. Or have they?

One of the sites I test on recently offered a 50% off package for MyHeritage. I had heard that MyHeritage was popular in eastern Europe, a place I’ve had much difficulty tracing beyond the personal memory of my relatives I’ve known and interviewed. So I signed up. Within a week, I had found a mention of my grandmother Jozefa Zurbyk’s parents, Anton Zurbyk and Maria Sobol. Turns out the mention there was linked to a tree on (owned by MyHeritage and also popular in eastern Europe) put together by a gentleman in Poland with roots in the area my grandmother came from, Liczkowce / Lychkivtsi / Личківці and surrounding towns. Not only did he have a marriage date for Anton and Maria, he had a birth date for grandma’s sister Katerina / Katarzyna / Катерина. Nothing about any of the other children, but enough to know that this was my family. There weren’t any citations associated, but this was enough to convince me that the records of this are out there and start looking for them. And I found them.

Archiwum Główne Akt Dawnych w Warszawie / The Central Archives of Historical Records in Warsaw, a.k.a AGAD, has an extensive collection of records from the parts of Ukraine that used to belong to Poland between World War I and World War II. They got them because they’re the ancestral records of many ethnic Poles who for generations lived in a part of Poland (and previously Austria) that was now Ukraine, and with the mutual ethnic cleansing that happened when Poland and Ukraine’s borders were redrawn in 1946, most of the ethnic Poles who lived in what was now Ukraine were expelled and resettled in Poland, but had a need to have access to the records of the towns they left behind. Turns out, AGAD has scanned them and placed them online. No charge. Gratis. Free. Now, there are a lot of world records available online for free, primarily through the site of the Church of Jesus of Latter Day Saints (The Mormons), You have to log in to see them, but they’re free. But the records for Grandma’s village and surrounding villages only go up to 1865, not recent enough to make connections. The records for her village on the AGAD site go from 1872 to 1906. Katerina was born in 1906, and her parents were married in 1905, so the records are there and available. The records are in Latin, as they were kept by the church. In this case, the Roman Catholic church in Liczkowce.

The record of Katerina’s birth (last item on the second page on this link) first says that she was born on 14 September 1906 and baptized the same day, in the house numbered 152 in Liczkowce. It gives her name in Latin, Catherina, then lists her parents. Her father was Antonius Żurbyk, farmer (“agricola”), legitimate son of Nicolaus (Latin version of Mykola / Микола) and Barbara Oryszczak. Her mother was Maria Sobol, legitimate daughter of Bartholomeus and Catherina Mikus. There’s also some stuff about the midwife who delivered her, the priest who baptized her, and her godparents.

The record of Anton and Maria’s marriage (second item, second page) says that they got married on 21 February 1905, at the house numbered 152 in Liczkowce. It repeats the information from Katerina’s birth record, but goes into a bit more detail, saying that Anton was born in and lives in Liczkowce, and that Maria was born in and lives in a nearby village, Samołuskowce. Then there’s something really interesting and a bit unusual. There’s a column in the records for each person to denote whether they’re Catholic or not. Typically, there’s no distinction shown between Roman Catholics (typically, but not exclusively, ethnically Polish) and Greek Catholics (typically, but not exclusively, ethnically Ukrainian). The Ukrainian Catholic Church, known colloquially as “Greek Catholic” was the product of a set of churches that practiced Orthodox rituals accepting the Pope as their spiritual leader in the late 16th century while maintaining their practices. In pretty much all the records I’ve seen, there’s just a line in this column, but in this town in this year, the priest thought it was important to note that Anton was “greco-cath.” and Maria was “rom-cath.”. They got married in the Roman Catholic Church, which is why this record is available from AGAD. Anton is listed as being 23 years old, which puts his birth around 1881. Maria is listed as being 21 years old, which suggests that she was born around 1883 or maybe early 1884. Then it shows the witnesses, and there’s text about where the banns were published and some other stuff that’s in Latin that I haven’t fed to Google Translate yet.

Given that Maria Sobol was Roman Catholic and these are Roman Catholic records, you might suspect that her birth record would be in here as well. And so it is. Samołuskowce was a sub-parish associated with the church in Liczkowce, and its records are in the same book. Maria’s birth record is found as the fourth entry on the second page in this scan, right under the heading for Samołuskowce, starting off the births there on 17 January 1884. Her parents and grandparents are listed, taking us back another generation. Her father was again listed as Bartholomeus Sobol, whose parents were Vincenti (Wincenty) Sobol and Salomea Rybak. Her mother was again listed as Catherina Mikus, whose parents were Alexii (Aleksander) Mikus and Maria Kwiatkowska. Her Godparents were Joannes (Jan) Pieniuta and Anna Solima.

I knew Maria’s brother. He was my grandmother’s uncle, Vincent Sobol, about whom I never miss an opportunity to say that you can’t spell Sobol without the S.O.B. But he did bring my grandmother to the US, so I have to be grateful for that, even if he was not a good person in every other sense. I knew his birth date because he wrote it in a letter he wrote detailing his life that I have a copy of, but might as well check to see if he lied about it or not. He didn’t (fifth item down on the first page). He was born in Samołuskowce on 29 September 1892, baptized the same day, with the same parents listed (they missed his father’s mother) as Maria.

There is more to write up, but this is enough for one post. If you want to look for records in western Ukraine for relatives, AGAD has a very good explanation in English, with links, in PDF format on their web site. The Roman Catholic records for western Ukraine that they have posted are listed in their list for Series 301 (Zespół nr 301), but you may find other records elsewhere in links in that PDF.

Birth records

Marriage record

Posted at 3:45:08 AM Link to this entry