All posts by chelli11

Researching my Latvian, French-Canadian, Italian and Ukrainian ancestry.

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To my excitement, I noticed the order form at familysearch.org for the microfilm rolls had been replaced by a little camera symbol – this means these records have been digitized and are now available online!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

morichrom

shared DNA between my father and his cousin

More DNA

Well, I might have hit a dead end in my Civil Registration records for the De Grandis side for now, after a little growth spurt in my tree. But the good news is that progress is being made, albeit not by me, on the Morianti side of things.

A male descendant of Arnaldo Morianti is having both his autosomal and Y DNA tested. Great news! Not only is he one generation closer to Arnaldo than my father is (meaning he inherited more DNA straight from Arnaldo, containing more potential information from that line) but he is also testing his Y chromosome, meaning that the search for the true paternity of Arnaldo, a foundling orphan, could be very easily uncovered – if luck is on our side.

Either way, since I now have the De Grandis side fairly well mapped, any shared matches between my father and his Morianti relative (and me, potentially! Though I am a few generations removed) that are not obviously from that side, could be excellent hints at the true parentage of Arnaldo.

This could be the second paternity mystery that is over a hundred years old that DNA might be able to solve for me this past year – previously, a close cousin match on my mother’s Latvian side strongly pointed to a local baron being the father of an illegitimate girl born to an unwed mother in rural Latvia, 1893.

Fingers crossed for some good matches!

My Italian Surnames

Much like the surnames of other countries and ethnic groups, the origin of Italian surnames can mostly be summed up in a few different categories – Patronyms (son of Pietro “Di Pietro”), Occupational (“Contadino = farmer”), Geographical (“Genovese” = from Genoa), Personal Traits(“Russo” – red hair, “Basso” = short) and Nature (“Colombo” = pigeon). I’m finding a heavy emphasis on the patronyms though, probably due to the great variety in how they are used. A great many of them are based on short forms, and nicknames – for example Cecchetto is derived from Cecco, a short form of Francis or Francesco.

Some areas of Italy also used an alias – “detto” – much like French Canadian “Dit” names. The purpose of these was to distinguish between different branches of a surname.

Here’s my Italian surnames, so far:

De Grandis – Personal Trait “large”

Lucato – Patronymic “son of Lucca”

Ambrosi – Patronymic “son of Ambrogio”

Cecchetto – Patronymic “son of Francesco”

Tognon detto Magiollo – two patronyms, Tognon is from Antonio and Magiollo from a very old given name “Magiolus”

Peron detto Basso – Patronym, based on the name Peter, plus Basso “short”

Morianti – Entirely made up for foundling orphans. Exploring it’s possible origins though, “Mori” is of the same name family as “Moro”, and “Morosini” – the name of a largish family from the area and the surname of a DNA match. There is also a Morandi family in Castelfranco Veneto. Whether or not you would make up a surname so close to an orphan’s real family name though, is questionable.

As I was leafing through pages in the civil records, I started noticing some familiar names, people I know from near me, locally. Being fairly exotic names, I checked a few to see whereabouts in Italy they can be found, and overwhelmingly they were concentrated around Venice. It then dawned on me that Castelfranco Veneto is a twin city to Guelph, Ontario – a city where I currently spend 5 days a week. I already obviously knew Guelph had a large Italian population, but apparently many here descend from Castelfrancians as well! What a coincidence.

A few other surnames that caught my eye just for being interesting, in the Castelfranco area were Rebellato, Del Dio Loco, Squizzato and Stangberlin.

The Death Registration of Giacoma Tognon

I must be on a good luck streak right now. I’ve been indexing the civil registration records available at FamilySearch.org pertaining to my family’s surnames and it’s been very fruitful. Here’s the latest, my 4x great grandmother Giacoma Tognon’s death record, just months before her husband Giuseppe:

Giacoma

In the year 1900, on the fourth day of May. Giacoma Tognon, 76 years old, of the frazione of Campigo. daughter of Giacomo and Caterina Peron. Married to Giuseppe Ambrosi.

The Death Registry of Giuseppe Ambrosi

On a roll now, I found my 4x great grandfather Giuseppe Ambrosi’s death record, and in turn, my 5x great grandparent’s names. Ambrosi, Giuseppe.jpg

In the year 1900, the 18th day of September. Ambrosi, Giuseppe, aged 78 years of Campigo frazione, Castelfranco Veneto. Son of Ambrosi, Bortolo and Cecchetto, Margherita. Widow of Tognon, Giacoma.

Giuseppe was 78 in 1900, so it could be assumed he was born around 1821/1822. His parents, Bortolo Ambrosi and Margherita Cecchetto would have been born around 1795.