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To my excitement, I noticed the order form at familysearch.org for the microfilm rolls had been replaced by a little camera symbol – this means these records have been digitized and are now available online!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!

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