Geneablogy: An occasional Journal about our experiences exploring our heritage

Thursday, May 11, 2000

I forgot to mention this because it happened during the recent heat wave that kept me away from the computer until our air conditioner got fixed. I received a reply from Allan Szuch, the gentleman with the book of people who died or went missing during World War II (Knyha Pamiati Ukrainy), and he did in fact find Grandma's brother Nicholas:

ZHURBYK, Mykola [i.e. Nicholas] Antonovych, b. 1917,
   village of Trybukhivtsi, Husiatynskyi raion, Ternopilska
   oblast. Mobilized in 1944. Disappeared without trace in
   March 1945.

Note that he's not from Lychkivtsi, but rather from a small village next to Lychkivtsi that doesn't appear on my maps, Trybukhivtsi. More about this in a bit. When I spoke to Grandma back in 1996, she wasn't sure about anybody's birthdates, but we narrowed Nicholas' down to sometime around 1916; this entry gives a more definite date, so that's great. The middle name given in the entry, Antonovych, would be a patronymic, that is, saying who his father is, and his father was indeed Antoch. Grandma had said he disappeared without a trace; it's sad to see that confirmed here, but very interesting to see that it happened so close to the end of the war. Allan had posted something to the info-ukes genealogy list saying that sometimes people who disappeared near the end of the war were deserters rather than dead (although I can't find the post now).

Allan also found two other Zhurbyks from Trybukhivtsi in the book:

ZHURBYK, Mykhailo [i.e. Michael] Dmytrovych, b. 1907,
    village of Trybukhivtsi, Husiatynskyi raion, Ternopilska
    oblast. Ukrainian. Disappeared without trace in Aug. 1944.

ZHURBYK, Stepan Dmytrovych, b. 1912, village of
    Trybukhivtsi... Ukrainian. Disappeared without trace
    in June 1941.

Both of these would be sons of Dmytri Zhurbyk, a name I hadn't heard before; Grandma's father had brothers named Petro and Wasyl.

Allan also sent a list of other surnames found in Lychkivtsi; among them was Peniuta, which was interesting because when Grandma lived in Manitoba, there was a boy who they were trying to marry her to, but there was also another boy who she really liked, and that second boy's last name was Peniuta. I guess everyone who moved from Lychkivtsi to the new world went to Elphinstone, Manitoba. All the Zurbyks certainly seemed to....

Oh, and the spelling Zhurbyk seems to be a more accurate transliteration of the original Ukrainian Cyrillic name, which has the character that looks like an X with a bar (|) through the middle, which is "zh", rather than the character that looks like the number 3, which is the "z" sound. How do I know that?

Natalie Lisowiec on the Info-Ukes genealogy list had seen my post looking for help identifying the uniform that Sobol and his friend were wearing. She didn't have any insight into that, but she did generously translate all the captions that were in Ukrainian in my Unknown Pictures section of the site, where Sobol's army picture is. That was so nice!

In the wedding picture from 1959, the bride's name is Zenova Zurbyk, of Trybukhivtsi. So looking at the original caption is how I knew how Zurbyk was spelled in the original Ukrainian Cyrillic. I don't know who Zenova is, but if she got married in 1959, that would make her a contemporary of my mother's. If she's the daughter of Grandma's brother Peter/Petro, who survived the war and stayed in Lychkivtsi (or maybe Trybukhivtsi), that would make her mom's cousin, and my first cousin once removed.

Incidentally, now that I knew how the name was spelled, at Barnes & Noble the other day I looked in a Ukrainian dictionary to see if I could find any possible roots for Grandma's surname. The book Polish Roots mentions, in it's section about Ukrainian names, that yk is a common Ukrainian surname suffix, so I was looking for a word like Zhurb. I found one that transliterates as Zhurba; it means "sadness" or "sorrow". So it appears that one of Grandma's ancestors may have been a sad sack. I'll remember this the next time I'm feeling depressed.

Posted at 5:33:17 PM