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Daria Bruchalski, born March 29, 1858  and baptized the next day, daughter of the
legitimate marriage of Joannes Bruchalsky and Maria, daughter of Gregorii Baran and Maria Babiak, rural folk from Novosilka. Delivered by midwife Maria Patamar.
Godparents/witnesses to the baptism were Joannes Lahoda and Anna and Elias Chawawko, rural folk from Novosilka.

The Baptism of Magdalena Koszlak

Great news for anyone researching Ukrainian genealogy!
Metrical records have been digitized and are available everywhere for browsing online at FamilySearch.org. (Prior to now, this was possible only from computers within FamilySearch Centres).
I’ve begun browsing through for siblings of my Ukrainian 3x great grandparents Prokop Koszlak, Krystyna Fink, Dmytro Bruchanski and Nastia Rozdobudko. The records are detailed enough to mention parents, mothers maiden names, grandparents, and sometimes even grandmother’s maiden names!


Magdalena Koszlak, born August 1, 1852 and baptized the same day. Delivered by midwife Maria Patamar. Daughter of the legitimate marriage of labourer Georgius Koszlak and Parasceva, the daughter of Danielis Drepko and Maria Duda. Godparents/witnesses to the baptism were Condratus Sulatyski, farmers Elisabetha and Michaelis Jakubowsky.

The Baptism of Dmytro Brucha(n/l)ski

Born November 7 (delivered by Maria Patamar) and baptized November 7, 1864. Demetrius (Dmytro), first born child of Joannes Bruchalski and his wife Maria nee Baran, daughter of Gregorius Baran and Maria (maiden name unknown). Godaprents and Teodorus Hatuszka and Marta Pinska (?).

This Dmytro is very likely my 3x great grandfather. I believe he is the father of my ancestor Anna Bruchanska, despite the slight spelling difference in the surname. I did not find any Bruchanski’s in Novosilka’s church books, only Bruchalskis, and spelling errors upon immigration are more often the case than not with Ukrainians coming to Canada in the early 1900’s.

That being said, Bruchanski and Bruchalski are a pretty different phonetically, which is why I will not say that I am 100% sure at this time!

The Baptism of Prokop Koszlak

I finally made it to a Family History centre to do some research on my Ukrainian family, and was rewarded with some of the first progress I’ve made on that side in years. So far I had only been able to locate Canadian records for my furthest back Ukrainian ancestors – Danylo Koszlak and Anna Bruchanski. Their Manitoban marriage record had provided a brief glimpse at their parents – recorded as couples Prokop Koszlak and wife Krystina Fink, and Dmytro Bruchanski and wife Nastia Rozdobudko. Since Danylo and Anna were born circa 1890, I had assumed their parents would have been born around 1860 in Novosilka, Ternopil oblast.

Normally I would have tried to start with Danylo and Anna’s baptismal records in Ukraine to verify their parentage, then located their parent’s marriage records. But the metrical (church) books for Novosilka are only available from 1864 and back in time, so my only hope was to scan through the baptisms, hoping for Prokops, Krystinas, Dmytros and Nastias of the right age and surname to be my ancestors. Luckily, Novosilka was not a huge place.

I believe I found my 3x great grandfather Prokop Koszlak’s baptismal record, a little further back than I’d expected, though It makes sense since Danylo had older siblings. Here it is; his baptism from the Greek Catholic church in Novosilka circa 1848, written in Latin:

Born on the 22nd of July (delivered by Maria Kuczynska) and baptized (by Hippolytus Janowicz) on the 22nd of July to the family living at house #279 in Leczowka (Novosilka). Prokop, son of Georgius Koszlak and his wife Praxeda nee Drebko, daughter of Danielis Drebko and his wife Maria nee Duda. Godparents are Constantinus Halka and Tatianna Sztogryn.

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Metrical Records: First Peek

I found my mind wandering back to my Ukrainian ancestors after a bit of a break. I resolved to order in the LDS microfilms for Novosilka parish and index all records for my family names – Koszlak, Fink, Bruchanski and Rozdobudko. Previously, I’ve been deterred by the fact that the latest year included in these records is 1864. My ancestors Danylo and Anna were born ~1890, so, it’s a bit of a shot in the dark to skip a generation and hope to find their parent’s baptisms, without a lot of hints to go on, other than their names.

To my excitement, I noticed the order form at familysearch.org for the microfilm rolls had been replaced by a little camera symbol – this means these records have been digitized and are now available online! The catch is that you have to be at a Family History centre or affiliate in order to access them and unfortunately for me, my local centre is only open during hours I am normally working.

I WAS able to squeeze an hour of my time in with these records though, so far. I started at 1864 and scanned back to 1862. What I found was…

  • Lots of Finks! My father’s DNA test had showed some Ashkenazi Jewish DNA, and I had theorized that it had come from Danylo’s mother Krystina Fink, since every quick search for the Fink surname turns up some results to that tune. I also read that it wasn’t unheard for Jewish girls to convert and marry Ukrainian men, so I had wondered if Krystina converted to marry for love. But the presence of many Fink families in the Greek Catholic metrical books  shows that if there was in fact a convert, it must have been a generation or 3 back from Krystina.
  • Theyre in Latin! Much easier to read than I expected, and no Cyrillic!
  • Very few Rozdobudkos – one was mentioned as a sponsor/witness, but the name wasn’t prominent in Novosilka. Did my Nastia Rozdobudko come from somewhere else?
  • No Bruchanskis, either
  • Lots of Hlady’s and Lewkos and Bendzyks and other names I recognize from the Beausejour, MB and Hennepin, NM.
  • Koszlaks. Not tons, which is good – it can be harder to figure out which family is yours with a common surname. But enough to say they were a presence in Novosilka and I’m confident enough to declare them related without having found my Prokop’s baptism, due to Novosilka being a small town.
  • Lastly… a whole bunch of potential!

I am now looking for the baptisms of the parents of Danylo and Anna – Prokop Koszlak, Krystina Fink, Dmytro Brukhanski and Nastia Rozdobudko. Prokop and Krystina, in addition to Danylo in 1891, had a son Hawrylo in 1886 and a daughter Maria in 1896. There’s also potentially sons Hrynko and Jakiv. Assuming they were between 20 and 40 when their children were born, Prokop and Krystina’s baptisms should be found between 1866 and 1856. My estimated dates for Dmytro and Nastia are a bit shakier. I *believe* Anna Bruchanski had a sister named Pelagia who married Aftanas Bendzyk and also immigrated to Beausejour – Their children are called cousins to Anna’s children. Cousin could be a loose term though, and without any documentation for Pelagia proving her father’s name to be Dmytro, I won’t put all my eggs in that basket. There’s also a contemporary Paul (Pawel?) Bruchanski who immigrated to Beausejour married to a Maria Hlady, possibly a brother. Anna was born circa 1890, so her parents might be born anywhere from  1850-1870ish.

I cant wait to find the time to dive further into these records!

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Antoine Hyacinthe Deshetres

Antoine Hyacinthe Deshetres was born October 15, 1737 in what is now Niles, Michigan. At the time of his birth, it was a French settlement called Fort de la Riviere St-Joseph (des Miamis). His mother was named Marie Charlotte Chevalier, a second-generation Canadian born woman. His father was Antoine Deshetres, who’s roots are somewhat cloudy. It is known that he was born in what was considered New England. He was by some accounts either a master gunsmith or a plain old blacksmith by profession. Unfortunately, his parentage and origin of his surname has been lost by time. Antoine Hyacinthe went with his parents to the settlement of Detroit, though they lived on the side of the St. Clair River that is now Windsor, Ontario. He married Marie Anne Pilet, (great granddaughter of Marie Olivier Sylvestre) on February 6, 1764 at Ste-Anne’s parish and these two had 6 known children. Marie Anne died, and he went on to marry a woman named Marie Petit, though this couple seems to not have produced any children. Despite only 3 of his children surviving to adulthood, Antoine Hyacinthe left a good amount of descendants behind. His daughter Genevieve (my ancestor) married Joseph Mailloux and produced 13 descendants. His son Louis de Gonzague married twice and had twenty children. Son Antoine moved to the settlement of Florissant, in modern St. Louis County, Missouri. Antoine served in the Missouri Militia in the war of 1812, and even though he only had one known son, left a line of descendants there under the anglicized name Dehater. Antoine Hyacinthe was buried January 4, 1796 at Detroit.


Italian Connection

With the arrival of a cousin’s DNA results comes new answers and also new questions! The results are in for a cousin of my father – he is a first cousin, once removed, and now DNA confirms it. There’s absolutely no denying my father’s maternal biological family now – they are a definite, strong match, falling neatly into the range of shared DNA expected for such a relationship.

What’s interesting is that myself, my father, and the cousin actually share no other matches. Interesting but also kind of disappointing – give us a hint to work with! I’m not sure if it’s just a lack of DNA testing amongst Italians in Italy or if it’s just by chance, but the lack of shared matches shouldn’t slow research down too much – my father does not share any Italian ancestry that his cousin does not also share, being that he only has one fully Italian grandparent, who’s parents are also the ancestors of the cousin.  This means all Italian matches my father has are also genealogically related to the cousin as well, although they don’t share enough DNA by chance to show as matches.

That trick doesn’t go both ways though – the cousin is fully Italian as far as he knows, all 4 grandparents (and all ancestors already uncovered) are northern Italian. His Italian ancestor married an Italian lady after immigration, while his brother, mine and my father’s ancestor married a French Canadian woman. So it is very tough to weed out matches on the paternal side of the cousins’ tree. Another little tidbit hint is the cousin’s admixture is very typical of a northern Italian – this means no shocking origins for foundling orphan ancestor Arnaldo Morianti – likely he was from a local family.

So, with these new results comes a need for another look at the old records to see if any new leads have appeared!


shared DNA between my father and his cousin

My ancestor's stories, and how I found them!