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To my excitement, I noticed the order form at familysearch.org for the microfilm rolls had been replaced by a little camera symbol – this means these records have been digitized and are now available online!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!
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.
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!
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:
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.
On a roll now, I found my 4x great grandfather Giuseppe Ambrosi’s death record, and in turn, my 5x great grandparent’s names.
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.
I’ve found the civil death registration of my 3 great grandfather Giacomo DeGrandis AND IT LISTS HIS PARENT’S NAMES! Yahoo! One generation further into my Italian family tree! I was scanning my father’s list of DNA matches, disappointed at the lack of Italian matches when I finally spied one. After contacting him, we learned that our Italian families both hail from the Treviso province, just a little down the road from each other. That was amazing enough, since it lent weight to all my Italian research so far – surely I must have the right families (and my father’s true biological family, for that matter – him being adopted, you just never know!) if we are getting scientific, DNA matches with deep ancestry in the same area as my researched ancestors. Inspired by his genealogical success (previously, I believed a tree like his was impossible to build, due to a lack of records from the area!) I took a gander again at FamilySearch‘s database for Castelfranco Veneto and realized Giacomo’s death record as available in 1920.
I’m not going to pretend I can translate the whole thing in detail! Luckily Italian is close enough to French to be familiar, but these entries are very long-winded and official. I am just a beginner to these records! But I highlighted the important parts, that I took away from this:
In the year nineteen hundred and twenty, the month of February, thirteenth day. Giacomo, son of Bortolo DeGrandis and Celeste Luccato. Husband of Santa Ambrosi.
Click HERE for last week’s ancestor.
My next two ancestors share a common theme: they helped settle and develop a major city in the USA – Detroit. They were among the very first settlers to the area.
Jacques Campeau was born in May 1677 at Montreal, son of French immigrant and mason Etienne Campeau, Campau or Campo and Catherine Paulo or Polo. He was baptized at the church of Notre Dame de Montreal on May 31, 1677. He married Jeanne Cecile Catin on November 30, 1699 at Montreal, and shortly after in 1703-1704 with the Compagnie de la Colonie he travelled to the area that would become known as Detroit and Fort Pontchartrain.
In 1708 he brought the rest of his family to Detroit on the invitation of Antoine de le Mothe Cadillac, the commandant of Fort Pontchartrain who was looking to settle a colony there. His older brother Michel, who is also my ancestor had also brought his family in 1707. Jacques was a blacksmith and in addition participated in trading, mostly of furs. He and Cecile had 8 children in total.
In 1734 he was granted a piece of land 4 by 40 arpents just east of Fort Pontchartrain and he started a merchant store, buying and selling goods such as furs, corn, wheat, etc. He became ill in 1750 and passed away 8 May 1751. He is buried in Detroit’s Mount Elliott Cemetery.
An interesting point on Jacques, is like many other Detroit area residents of French background, he also began to be known by a more anglicized version of his name – James – as did his wife “Cecilia”.