Friday, July 19, 2013

Two Mysteries (The Genealogy Kind) Solved

Genealogy research is like solving a puzzle.  You have most of the pieces but you just can't find that one missing piece to complete the puzzle. There are plenty of mysteries in my family trees, most unsolved, but happily, I did find that missing piece for two of them.


The Mystery of the Sashes.
Katherine Rychly and Olexa Pylatuik

The wedding picture of my great aunt Katherine Rychly and Olexa Pylituik contained a mystery.  As you can see in the picture, they were wearing sashes with their wedding attire.  I asked their daughter, if she could tell me about the sashes, and she said that she was wondering about them herself. 
When I was going through boxes of old stuff, I found a picture of my grandfather John Koshuba, and his brother, Joseph Koshuba, both rearing a uniform with the same sash.  The answer came from  a reader of this blog, who send me an link to the University of Minnesota Media Archive--Connecting Our Collections With Yours.  The sashes were worn by members of a Ukrainian Society, The Zaporozs"ka Sich in Minneapolis Minnesota. 

Peter Wons, Joseph Koshuba, John Koshuba






Zaporozs'ka Sich Society 1914









 The Mystery of the Grandmother's Name



This a portrait of my husband's great grandmother.  It came to me in a box of old pictures from my mother-in-law, Lillian Gerstein after she died.  My sister-in-law had it and when she moved, she gave it to me.  My mother-in-law told me that her mother's name was "Bellie", so I wrote it as Bella, or Belle.  I was never sure that it was her correct name.  The light went on in my head when I was looking through old family pictures from the Gerstein family.   My husband's great aunt's first name was Beile.  Perhaps the woman in the portrait was really Beile.  In my research for this blog, I came across a site for the town of Szczuzcyn, Poland, where my husband's ancestors once lived.  I contacted the site administrator and found out that the mysterious woman was Bejla Pienanzek, who married Wolf Berek (Velvil) Monkowski, and was the mother of my husband's grandmother, Rose. 
To connect with the Szczyczyn Site mentioned here: