Monday, September 21, 2015

Paul Niznik and Anastasia Justina Romanowicz:Family Genealogy

Paul Niznik married Anastasia Justina Romanowicz in June 1864.  They are my paternal great-grandparents.

Marriage record for Paulus  Niznik and (Anastasia) Justina Romanowicz, June 1864. Their rrecord is the second one on the page. Source: Metrical Books 1837-1882, Greek Catholic Church, Pomorzany (Zborow).  Original manuscripts of the Central State Historical Archives of Ukraine in Lviv. Filmed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Vol. 201-4A/4642.

Paul was 29 years old when he married, and is listed with two occupations: pelleo (person who works with skins and hides) and artilleryman in the service of Duc Leopold of Bavaria. He may have been involved in the the Second War for Italian Independence in 1859. His parents, Ivan Niznik and Maria Gudziak were deceased at the time of the marriage.  Both the Niznik and Gudziak families were in  the skin and hide trade.

The victorious French watch the Austrian Armies retreat after being defeated in the Battle of Magenta, June 1859. The Austrians are on the bottom right of the painting by Ernest Meissonier. One group of Austrian artillery are pulling a cannon as they retreat.
Anastasia Justina Romanowicz was 19 when she married Paul Niznik.  Both her parents, Ivan Romanowicz and Agatha Pauluk,  had passed away.  The Romanowicz family were also pelleony.  From what I have found in the Metrical Records, marriages were common between families in the same trade.  Paul and Anastasia were also distant cousins. Permission to marry was given by Andreas Nisnik and Andreas Romanowicz.

After their marriage, Anastasia and Paul went to live in his father's family home, number 287 in Pomorazany. Although Paul's parents were deceased, his stepmother, Maria Materko Niznik was still living in the house.  This home belonged to the Niznik family since 1837, according to the earliest records in the Metrical Records, and probably longer that that. 

Village house, similar to the house in Pomorany where Paul and Anastasia lived when they married.

Since the Metrical Records include only deaths after 1865, I know only one of Paul and Anastasia's surviving children, my grandfather, John Nyznyk, born in 1878. Three of Paul and Anastasia's children died in childhood: Peter,  was born and died on July 15, 1867; Anna, born in 1871, lived for six months; and Varvara, born in 1873, lived one year.  There were most likely more children, but there are no records of their births available at this time.

When I first looked at the marriage record, I wasn't sure that Paul's bride was the same woman listed on my grandparent's marriage license, since her name was Justina, not Anastasia.  A volunteer at the Family History Center told me that when I found a birth record for a child of Anastasia and Paul, her correct first name would be listed.  After searching death records, I discovered that Anastasia used one or both of her given names.  She is listed as Justina on the marriage record; on the death record of son Peter, she is listed as Anastasia, and on the death record of daughter Anna, she is listed as Anastasia Justina.
According to the Metrical Records, the Niznik family name changed spelling three times.  In the oldest records, it is Nisnik.  In the 1850's it is spelled Niznik,  with an umlaut over the z.  In 1867, it is spelled Nyznyk.  In the Metrical Records, the first name was written in Polish, the last name in Latin.  But by the late 1860's the priests were recording names with Ukrainian spellings.

I have a few more Metrical Records for Pomorzany to study.  The records for Ozerna have arrived at the Family History Center, so soon I will begin to research the Kociuba (Koshuba) family.