Sunday, November 11, 2018

John Nyznyk The Enigma: The Story is Complete

John  Nyznyk   November, 1914.
John Nyznyk, my paternal grandfather has been a mystery.  A  I knew about him was that he was a terrible man, so terrible that my grandmother left him when my father was very young.  According to my mother, my father never met him.  When I was growing up, he was rarely mentioned and I never thought to ask my father about him.  My father was very happy to talk about his childhood, his life in New York City, but his father was never mentioned. My grandmother remarried years before, so it was not unusual that he was never brought up. When I started to work on family history, his story was front and center.
First of all, I found that he lived in New York City, a few blocks away from where my father lived with his mother and step-father.   I had been told that he wasn't interested in working, but according to census information and his petition for citizenship, he had a job.  He applied to become a US citizen and became one in the 1930.

Second, I found from his citizenship petition that he had two children that he left behind when he came to the United States.  According to his marriage license information, his first wife died shortly after he immigrated here.  His daughter, Michalina, was born in 1910, so she was an infant when he left.

John Nyznyk's petition for citizenship, showing the two children left behind in Europe.

In 1931, his daughter Michalina  came to the United States, and John Nyznyk was her sponsor.  She settled in the Orange, New Jersey area and became a US citizen in 1939.  In her petition for citizenship, she made no mention of her father.  She changed her name legally to Mildred Nesnick when she finalized her filing for citizenship.  At that time she was a live-in maid in New Jersey.
Although Michalina/Mildred was living in New Jersey, her father continued to live in New York City.  According to the 1940 US Census, he was living in Manhattan, on East 6th Street, and had been unemployed for over a year.   My mother told me that he had been asking relatives about my dad, and seemed to know that he had a job.  He also thought that my father should be supporting him.  Since my father had nothing to do with him since before 1920, he paid no attention to this.  This was third hand information by the time I heard it, again, my mother was the source, not my father.

By the time I started my family history search, both of my parents has passed away.  The only was that I was going to find any information about  my grandfather was by looking for it on genealogy sites.  I found the information about his other children, his daughter's immigration and citizenship from sources on  It is not surprising that I found his death information on Ancestry.

My mother told me that he died and was buried in a charity cemetery.  From this I assumed that he was indigent and was given a charity burial somewhere in the New York City area.  I found an article about Harts Island in the New York Times, where the unclaimed dead and poor and indigent of New York were buried in mass graves.  From this, I thought that Harts Island was were he ended up.  I was going to pursue this avenue, as soon as I found the date of his death.  I really didn't want to go through many roll of film records of the New York City death index, so I did nothing.  One day a hint came up on Ancestry and I found the date of his death, June 6, 1950.  I requested the death certificate and the detailed certificate of the cause of death.
So now  I knew how his story ended.  He was not indigent, he died at the Cancer Institute, Welfare Island of lung cancer.  He was buried in a Catholic Cemetery on Long Island.  The arrangements were made my the Jerema Funeral Home, not far from where he lived.
So John Nyznyk's  mysterious life in no longer unknown.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Genealogy Surprises and Family Secrets.

Michalina Nyznyk's  Declaration of Intention, 1936. has been a friend and and a nemesis. Spending hours looking through lists and finding nothing is a part of genealogical research, and I have spend a lot of time doing this, but the other day, Ancestry dropped a gift right in my lap.

Several years ago I found my paternal grandfather's John Nyznyk's petition for naturalization on Ancestry.  It was full of surprises, the biggest one was that he had left behind two children  in Pomorany, Ukraine.  As far as I knew, my father was an only child, and I doubt that he knew that his father had other children. According to his petition, John had a son, Paul, born in 1903, and a daughter, Michalina born in 1910.  If my father did know, it was a big, dark family secret.  Over the years, my mother shared a lot of family secrets, and this one was so big, that I doubt that she could hold it back.

A few years, I got a hint in Ancestry; Michalina  came to the United States in 1931, and that she was going to live with her father in New Jersey.  That was it, no further mention of her in any records.  In the 1940 Census, I found my grandfather living in New York City without Michalina. What happened to her? Did she marry, did she return to Europe.? I even sent in an application to  the PBS production Genealogy Road Show,  trying to get on the show and find out what happened to  Michalina.  Unfortunately, my question was  not accepted.

Then out of the blue, I found her again on Ancestry.  Michalina was still in New Jersey, and she was applying to become a United States Citizen!  She started her application in 1936, after she was here for five years.  She was living in South Orange, New Jersey and her occupation was housework.  She also had an alias--she was known as Mildred Nesnick.   On her final petition, she legally changed her name and would be known as Mildred Nesnick.  She swore an oath of allegiance on February 14, 1939 and became a United States citizen.

What surprised me was that my grandfather was not a part of this process, there is no mention of him in her application.  According to family information, he was not a part of my father's life at all.  After he and my grandmother separated, he had no contact with my father at all, even though he lived only a few blocks away in New York City.  I wonder if Michalina had the same experience--her father brought her  to the United States, and after that, no more contact.  There is another question--did Michalina's brother come to the US at some later date?

So, My advice to readers who are trying to find lost family members--genealogy is a tedious hobby--lots of work with few results.  Use all the resources that you can afford, one of them might have the answers you are looking for.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Why the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is Autocephalous

When I was a little girl, I often visited my grandparents in St Paul Minnesota, and attended services at their church, St Michaels Ukrainian Orthodox Church.  The church was part of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. To me, the term autocephalous was always mysterious. I was a child who knew very little of the Ukrainian language so attending an Ukrainian Orthodox church was pretty exotic, but the church being both Orthodox and autocephalous was beyond my understanding.

Recently when I wrote a blog post about Ukrainian churches in northeast Minneapolis, the research brought me to ST Michael's Church and why my grandparents and great-grand father  and other family members started this church.(Click on the following link to read) Four Churches in Northeast Minneapolis. The term "autocephalous" came up again and again, and I found that it means independent. St Michael's was a Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, independent from the Russian Orthodox Church, and one of the first Ukrainian Orthodox Churches in the United States.
Ukraine was divided between Austria-Hungary and Russia

A bit of historical background is necessary: My family came from a part of Ukraine, which at the time of their immigration, was a part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire called Galicia.  Before Ukraine was a part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire in 1792, it was part of Polish-Lithuanian Confederation.  At that time that was a huge country in Central Europe, which was formed by the Union of Brest in 1546. Almost all of Ukraine came under the rule of the Polish-Lithuanian Confederation and a part of the deal was that the Orthodox Churches would become part of the Roman Catholic Church, but retain all of their Orthodox practises and beliefs, including married priests.  This new church was known as the Uniate Church or the Greek Catholic Church. It was the primary church in the parts of Ukraine ruled by Austria-Hungary, the parts of Ukraine ruled by Russia remained in the Russian Orthodox Church.
The First World War changed Eastern Europe profoundly.  Empires tumbled,  lands changed hands, new countries emerged.  Ukraine was independent for a short time and independence for Ukraine brought many far reaching changes, although the independence didn't last.  One of the first changes was the establishment of a Ukrainian Orthodox church, separate from the Russian Orthodox Church, which began in 1917 along with the establishment of the Ukrainian State. The autocephaly  of the new church was proclaimed in 1920 by the All Ukrainian Orthodox Church Council.  The Church grew rapidly in Ukraine, and looked overseas to the many Ukrainian immigrants in the United States and Canada.  Bishop John Theodorovych was sent to North America to establish the new church there. Although the Church did not fare well under the government of the Soviet Union or  in Poland, it flourished in the United States and Canada.

The events of World War One were  closely followed by Ukrainian immigrants in the United States, since many of their family members were affected. They were proud of the establishment of an independent Ukraine and wanted to see it succeed.  The immigrants were unhappy that the practises of the Greek Catholic Church which were not well received by the Roman Catholic Church in the United States.  The new Orthodox Church was attractive for several reasons: it promoted the Ukrainianization of the church services and traditions and the use of the Ukrainian language in all Church services, instead of Church Slavonic. The church was to be democratic and decentralized, and allow active participation of the lay people in church decisions.  It was to be an Ukrainian church established for Ukrainians.

John Theodorovych source: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada

John Theodorovych came to the United States and Canada in 1924 and met with groups of Ukrainian immigrants stressing the importance of a Ukrainian Church.  He was remarkably successful, and the new Orthodox churches sprang up in communities with large and small Ukrainian populations.   Many of these churches were originally Greek Catholic Churches, or formed by people who had attended Greek Catholic churches.  Many became centers of the Ukrainian community, with Ukrainian language schools, choirs and dance  troupes.  They kept the Ukrainian language and traditions alive, passing them on the next generations.  One other result was that the Churches kept the idea of Ukrainian independence alive, even when the possibility of it seemed unlikely. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Sich Society

The Koshuba family in Butsniv, Galicia.  Joseph, in the second row has a Sich sash

There are several photographs of my ancestors wearing sashes.  Their children and grandchildren had no idea  why the person was swearing the sash or what the sash meant. I have pictures of my grandfather, John Koshuba and his brother Joseph wearing a uniform with a sash.  My great aunt Kathrine Pylatiuk and her husband Olexa wore the sashes on their wedding day. I have a family picture of the Kociuba (Koshuba) family, wearing sashes in a picture taken in their village, Butsniv in Galicia, and the sashes looked like the ones worn by family in Minnesota.  A  helpful person was able to read the Ukrainian letters on the sash, and told me that it was a Sich society sash. Was this the same Sich society as the one in Minneapolis?  My research told me the answer is yes.

Joseph(left) and John Koshuba(right), wearing Sich sashes.
The Sich society was started in 1900 in Shiatyn County in Galicia by Kyrylo Tryliovskyi, as a physical education and firefighting organization. Members of the Ukrainian Radical Party were instrumental in starting the group. Its mission was to promote national consciousness and patriotism, and to raise the educational and cultural level of the peasants and people of the working class. Members wore Ukrainian folk costumes and a crimson sash over their shoulder, inscribed with the name of the wearer's village.  They also wore a hat with a red feather and a star-shaped badge on it.

Katherine and Olexa Pylatiuk wearing sashes
 In 1912, the Sich Society was renamed the Ukrainian Sich Union (USU).    It grew quickly and by 1913,  there were over 900 branches and 80,000 members in Galicia and in Ukrainian communities abroad.  The group published song books, annual almanacs and a magazine, Zoria. The Ukrainian Sich Union was a parent of the Legion of Sich Riflemen, a unit of the Austrian-Hungarian army during World War I, fighting Russia on the Eastern Front. After the War, the unit became a regular unit of the West Ukrainian People's Republic.  In 1919, The Ukrainian Sich Riflemen became part of the Ukrainian Galician Army, participating in the Polish-Ukrainian War.  It was disbanded in 1920.

Ukrainian Sich Riflemen. Photo: Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine

The society continued after World War I, when Galicia became part of Poland. In 1924 it was abolished by  Polish government  authorities.
In the United States, The Sich Society began as a physical education and rifle society in 1915.  By 1920, there were 60 branches and 3,000 members.  From 1918  to 1923 they put out a biweekly publication, Sichovi Visty. In Minneapolis, a group called the Zaparhrozia Sich Social Society was organized in 1915.  My grandfather and uncle were members.  Other than the pictures above, I have found no other information about this group.

"The Sich Society", Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine
"Ukrainian Sich Riflemen" Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia
Photo credits:
The Koshuba Family, collection of E. Wons
Joseph and John Koshuba, collection of Pauline Noznick
Katherine and Olexa Pylatiuk, the Pylatiuk Family.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Story of Four Churches in NorthEast Minneapolis

This post is about Ukrainian immigrants to Minneapolis, Minnesota and their efforts to establish a place of worship in one specific area of the city, Northeast Minneapolis. One of the first things that immigrant groups did after they became established in the United States was to start a place of worship.  The first Ukrainians came to Minneapolis in the 1878 from the Austrian-Hungarian Empire.  At that time they were called Rusyns or Ruthenians, a name that came associated with the place of their origin, the Kievian Rus.  Most of the immigrants in Minneapolis were from Galicia, the eastern-most area of the Austrian Empire and were Greek Catholics, who followed the Eastern Rite, which is similar to the Orthodox Church. Other Ukrainians/Rusyns came from Transcarpathian Ukraine, which bordered the Carpathian Mountains, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary.  In 1596, Orthodox Ukrainians in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, merged with the Roman Catholic Church, but kept the religious practices and beliefs of the Orthodox Church, including marriage of priests. This new church was called the Uniate or Greek Catholic Church. The fact that the church allowed married priests, as in the Orthodox Church did would cause conflict in the Ukrainian community in the United States.

The first  Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest in the United States, John Voliansky, came from Lviv to start a church in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania in 1884.  Shortly after his arrival, he  traveled to Philadelphia to present his credentials to Roman Catholic Archbishop Patrick Ryan.  The Archbishop refused to see him because he was married.  He was told  by the Archbishop's chancellor to return immediately to Lviv. Voliansky ignored this, realizing that only his superiors in Lviv could end his mission.
Northeast Minneapolis is the area within the red line

  Ruthenians establish a Church in Northeast Minneapolis.

Northeast is the oldest part of Minneapolis.  The city is divided in half by the Mississippi River.  It is divided again into quarters.  On the east side of the river is North East and South East. North and South are on the west side of the River. Ruthenian/Rusyn immigrants settled in Northeast Minneapolis, an area with many industries and businesses where they found work.

At first they attended a Polish Roman Catholic Church in the neighborhood. By 1889, there were enough Ukrainian/Ruthenian/Rusyn Greek Catholics in Minneapolis to start their own church. Rev. Voliansky came to Minneapolis from Pennsylvania to help the immigrants to organize their church.  Reverend Alexis Toth, a widowed priest from Transcarpathia, came to Minnesota to be the pastor  of the new church. He also had problems with the Roman Catholic hierarchy. When he arrived in Minnesota, he introduced himself to the Bishop of St Paul, John Ireland.  When Bishop Ireland found out that Rev. Toth had been married, he told him that there was no place for married or widowed priests in the Roman Catholic Church and to leave Minnesota.  Toth decided to stay in Minneapolis, and the first Greek Catholic Church was established in Minneapolis.
Northeast Minneapolis is the area within the red line

The First Greek Catholic Church in Minneapolis: St Mary's Greek Catholic Church founded in 1889.

St Mary's Orthodox Cathedral built in 1906

Father Alexis Toth

St Mary's Greek Catholic Church at 1701 5th St N.E. was founded in 1889, Father Toth  was the pastor there from 1889 to 1891.  Because he had been married, the Roman Catholic Church would not support Father Toth and his new church. He started a grocery store to support himself and the church. The church grew, but eventually Toth decided that there was no place for him in the Roman Catholic Church, he would convert to the Orthodox faith.  At that time, there was no Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the United States or anywhere else in the world, so he joined the Russian Orthodox Church.   He started a return to Orthodoxy movement and over 7000 Greek Catholic Rusyns joined him. He received pastoral and financial help from  the Russian Orthodox Church, based in Moscow as well as from the Tsar. St Mary's became a Russian Orthodox Church in 1883 with Father Toth as its  pastor. In 1905, a Russian Orthodox seminary was opened at St Mary's. The original church, built in 1887 burned down in 1905 and was replaced by a much larger building in 1906, funded by Russia.
By 1916, there were almost 100,000 members of the Russian Orthodox Church in the United States, and 80% of them were Ukrainian.  Because of his leadership in establishing the Russian Orthodox Church in Minnesota and starting the first Russian Orthodox Seminary in the United  States, Father Alexis Toth became a Russian Orthodox saint in 1994.

St John the Baptist Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church, founded in 1907. 

St John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church. It is the second building, built in 1926.
When St Mary's Church became a Russian Orthodox Church, many Rusyns chose not to worship there.  Along with new Ukrainian immigrants to Minneapolis, they started a group, St John The Baptist Lodge, which in 1902, organized a Greek Catholic Church.  Land was acquired and a house was converted into a church at 2215 Third St NE.  By this  time, relations with Bishop Ireland had normalized, and St John's became associated with the Roman Catholic Church.  However, there were conflicts within the church between members from different parts of Ukraine, immigrants from Galicia and those from Transcarpathia.  The members from Galicia left and started new Greek Catholic Church, St Constantine Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church, at 6th St N.E. and University Ave about a mile from St John the Baptist Church.  The split devastated St John the  Baptist, for three years there was no priest assigned to the Church.  All religious functions were performed at St Constantine's.  When a priest from Transcarpathia returned to St John's in 1915, it began to function as a church again. After the first building burned down, a new church building was built in 1926. Today it is known as St John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church and is part of the Roman Catholic Church.



St Constantine Ukrainian Catholic Church, founded in 1912.

St Constantine Ukrainian Catholic Church, built in 1972.
By 1913, Slavic immigrants made up 25% of the population of Northeast Minneapolis.  Ukrainian immigrants from Galicia who left St John the Baptist Church, started St Constantine Ruthenian Catholic Church in 1912.  The first services were held in a rented hall on 5th St NE and 22 Ave on January 1, 1913. Land was acquired on Sixth St NE and University Avenue and  built a church building.  World War I was a difficult time for Ukrainians in the United States, since many of the battles were fought in Galicia, their homeland. Many had family members who were still there.  They followed news of the war closely.  Although World  War I ended in 1918, fighting continued until 1920, when Galicia became part of Poland, and Transcarpathian Ukraine became part of Hungary and Romania.  They were inspired by the short lived independence of Ukraine.

Ukrainian immigrants opened the Ukrainian National Home in Minneapolis, a social club and a place where they could keep Ukrainian traditions alive. After the collapse of Russia, The Ukrainians broke away from the Russian Orthodox Church and started a new church, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church in 1921.  Immigrants in Minneapolis followed these events closely, so when Archbishop John Theodorovych of the new Ukrainian Orthodox Church spoke at the Ukrainian National Home in 1925, his visit inspired several members of St Constantine's Church to meet and discuss the possibility of forming a Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Minneapolis.  

One concern of many immigrants was that The Greek Catholic Church was becoming more and more like the Roman Catholic Church (Latinized) and that Ukrainian cultural and national traditions were neglected.  This new church was going to be different, it would continue Ukrainian religious traditions, but it would also work to develop Ukrainian nationalism and culture.


St Michael's Ukrainian Orthodox Church is founded in 1925.

The consecration of the cornerstone of St Michael's Ukrainian Orthodox Church in 1926.  Archbishop John Theodorovych (with mitre)  is at the center of the platform. (source: University of Minnesota)
Archbishop John Theodorovych

St Michael's Ukrainian Orthodox Church was founded for several reasons.  According to Alexander Granovsky, who wrote a history of the Church on its 50th anniversary in 1975:
First, there was dissatisfaction with the progressive Latinization of their own and of the Uniate Church.
Second, it was a move to have the opportunity to maintain their own correct national identity and to carry on their Ukrainian patriotic life and to help their kinsmen in Ukraine...and to continue their fight for national freedom.
Third, The undoubted stimulation of the power of the rebirth of the ancient Ukrainian National Orthodox Church in 1921...It was not like erecting a church for an old parish--it was creating the first church for one of the first new parishes of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in America!
The Church became the center of the Ukrainian Community in Minneapolis, provided not only religious guidance, but also cultural and educational leadership.

St Michal's Ukrainian Orthodox Church at 505 4th NE, one block from St Constantine's Church

Monday, March 28, 2016

Explaining Ukrainian Surnames Part Three

1740 Map showing Ukraine in Yellow.

This post is the third part of my summary of Greg Gressa's article "The Origins and Meaning of Ukrainian Surnames."   I found this article on the Ukrainian Genealogy site at least 15 years ago and it has disappeared.  Greg Gressa compiled this information from texts by Jeff Picknicki of the University of Manitoba, and works by John-Paul Himka, Frances A. Swyripa of the University of Alberta and others.  He included a short biography of sources of information about the history and meaning of Ukrainian names.  I would be happy to share this list with interested people.  Please email me at or leave a comment at the end of this post and I will get back to you.

Structural Classifications of Ukrainian Surnames.
Ukrainian surnames can be classified according to their grammatical structure and morphological features as adjectives and nouns.

Adjectival Surnames
Most Ukrainian surnames that behave like adjectives have the following suffixes:
 –sk,-ck,-zk , as well as the endings yj /ij, (masculine ending) or a/ia, (feminine ending).

In the Ukrainian language, adjectives must agree with nouns in number, gender and case.  Adjectival surnames will have a masculine, feminine and plural form.  In the United States, the “j” was dropped from many surnames that ended with yj, and many times the feminine ending was no longer used.

Adjectival surnames are formed from the name of a place where an ancestor lived or originated.
Ukrainian root word
Adjectival ending
Masculine form
Feminine form
Plural form
English Meaning
Lived near the sea/shore
From the city of Brody
From the city of Halych

Adjectival Surnames which formed from first names.
Ukrainian first name
Adjectival ending
Masculine form
Feminine form
Plural form
English meaning
Children of Pavlov (Paul)
Children of Fedir (various forms of Theodore)
Children of Tomko

Nominal Surnames

Nominal surnames behave like nouns. This type of surname makes up one of the largest groups in the Ukrainian language.  Most are based on nicknames.  The origins of many of these names are obscure and how they came to be is anyone’s guess. The actual reasons behind the formation of the surname probably will never be known.

Surnames from names of birds:
Soroka                                                      magpie
Vorona                                                      crow
Derkach                                                    crake
European Crake
European Magpie

Surnames from names of animals:
Baran                                                            ram
Buhaj                                                            bull
Vovk                                                             wolf
Medvid                                                          bear
Kovbe                                                           type of fish
Kotyk, koshka                                                cat

Surnames from plants and trees
Kulbaba                                                dandelion
Bereza                                                  birch
Kalyna                                                  cranberry

Surnames from names of foods
Maslo                                                        butter
Maslianka                                                  buttermilk
Smetana                                                   cream
Kapusta                                                    cabbage

Surnames suffixes that indicate progeny, regional origin or regional characteristics.

The following suffixes are added to first names to indicate progeny
-chuk            -chak            -uk             iuk            -ak-            -ych            -evych            -ovych            -ets                -iv               -yn            -enko                       
 Nominal Surnames with suffixes that indicate Progeny
First name
English meaning
Progeny of Sava
Progeny of Maksym
progeny of Taras
progeny of pavlo
progeny of Harasym
Progeny of Roman
Progeny of Danylo
Progeny of Mykhailo
Progeny of Prokip
Progeny of Fedir
Progeny of Pavlo
Progeny of Vasyl

Historical Regions of Ukraine

The following surnames indicate the place name where an ancestor may have originated.
Place name
Meaning in English
From the region of Podillia
From the region of Polissia

Although this is a French map, the Ukrainian Oblasts are clearly labeled.

Suffixes that indicate regional characteristics
Western Ukraine: Surnames with the following suffixes are most common to
Western Ukraine, especially in the oblasts of Volyn, Roven,Ternopil’, L’viv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Mykolayiv.
–chuk, -chak, -uk, -iuk, -skyj, ckyj, zkyj.

Central and Eastern Ukraine: Surnames ending with –enko are most common in central and Eastern Ukraine, especially in the oblasts of Kiev, Cherkassy, Poltava, and Kherson.   Greg Gressa states that “Surnames with the –enko suffix are said to be the most typically Ukrainian.  They are common only among surnames of Ukrainian origin and are not found in any other Slavic group.” 

Surname suffixes that are common Ukrainian and other Slavic groups.
Surnames ending in the following suffixes are also found among Russian and Polish surnames, but are spelled differently.
-chuk, -chak, -ych, -ovych and –evych. 

Surnames that are combinations or root words
These surnames combine two root words.
Adjective + noun                             Bilodub             white oak
Noun +verb                                    palyvoda           person who could burn even water
Pronoun + verb                               samokhval         person who praises 
Numeral + noun                              sorokolat           forty years

Ukrainian Surnames of Foreign Origin                 
Some Ukrainian surnames have foreign origins, but these are small in number. There are  several ways  that Ukrainian surnames show foreign origins.  One way was when a foreigner settled in a Ukrainian area, he/she might be named for his/her foreign origins. Some examples include; Besarab/Besaraba, from Bessarabia, Moskalyk, from Russia or Shvedyk, a Swede.
Sometimes he/she would have a name that came from his/her native language.  Lahenza and Bonk are from Polish, Shpot, German; Halibey and Murza are of Tatar origin and Lupul and Dzera are Romanian.
In the case foreign origins of Ukrainian surnames, there is a family story that some of my ancestors were Czech.  The family name was Rychlyj, and in my genealogy research, I have come across this name many times, especially in immigration records.  The few times I saw this name attached to a Ruthenian(Ukrainian) immigrant, it was to a member of my family.  All the other immigrants were either Bohemian or Moravian, which are regions in the Czech Republic today,