What I found of interest was some of the “genetic communities” we were placed in. Communities are formed when they identify AncestryDNA members whose ancestors probably came from the same place or cultural group.
Tim was added to the Early Connecticut & New York Settlers group, which agrees with his ancestors’ paper trails.
I was added to the Poland, Slovakia, Hungary & Romania group. I found this one interesting in light of my cousin’s recent discoveries of our Ukrainian grandparents’ Polish/Ruthenian/Rusyn roots.
Another curious group for me is Northern New England Settlers. The paper trail hasn’t led me to this area. But, for many years I have been frustrated in my dream of tracing my maternal line back to my first foremother to come to this country. I haven’t got very far.
Emma Freeman Thompson b. 1906 Lynn, Massachusetts Amanda Eliza Hamblin b. 1879 Dennis, Massachusetts Annie Eliza Baker b. 1845 Dennis, Massachusetts Eliza R. Eldridge b. 1823 Dennis, Massachusetts Nancy Roberson b. c. 1807 in Maine (?)
I have a record of Nancy Roberson’s marriage to Leonard Eldridge in Harwich, Massachusetts on 20 October 1820. The 1870 census record and her death record say she was born in Maine. But no names for her parents! So many questions but this seems to explain my inclusion in the Northern New England Settlers genetic community. The search continues!
My paternal cousin has been doing a lot of research on our Ukrainian roots and has shared some of her discoveries with me. Our grandparents spoke Ukrainian and emigrated from there in 1909 and 1910, but it seems our grandmother’s parents were originally from elsewhere. I’ve always considered myself half Ukrainian and identifying 41% “Eastern Europe & Russia” on my DNA test seems to bear that out.
But Ukraine wasn’t showing up looking closer under that broad Eastern Europe grouping. Instead, my DNA was indicating “Poland, Slovakia, Hungary & Romania.” And then my aunt’s DNA was matched with another family from Poland! (Apparently the DNA was too diluted for my cousin and me to show up as DNA matches with these distant cousins of our great-grandfather, Konrad Fusiak.) Here’s the tentative line, yet to be proven with documents:
Piotr Fusiak (b. 1760 in Lug, Małopolskie, Poland) Gregorius Fusiak (b. 1798 in Lug, Małopolskie, Poland) Gabriel Fusiak (b. 1827 in Zdynia, Małopolskie, Poland) Konrad Fusiak (b. 1855 in Zdynia, Małopolskie, Poland) Katerina/Katherine Fusiak (my grandmother, b. 1887 in Luzhek Verkhniy, Lviv Oblast, Ukraine)
The province of Małopolskie is also known as Lesser Poland, a historical region. Zdynia is a tiny village, population 220. I can’t seem to locate Lug. (Perhaps it is Ług in Podlaskie?) From what I can tell from a cursory search there were several ethnic groups living in southern Poland. When my grandmother Katherine came to this country in 1910 she identified as a Ruthenian on the passenger ship manifest. Another aunt told me that Katherine’s mother, Ludmila Karaseck, was born in Prague and came to Ukraine to work in the salt mines. Wonder how she met Konrad from Poland? So many questions!!!
So, I’ve ordered a book, The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569–1999 by Timothy Snyder, who “traces the emergence of Polish, Ukrainian, Lithuanian*, and Belarusian nationhood over four centuries.” I hope I can make some sense of the history of the region and gain some insight into my eastern European ancestry.
*Lithuania is a Baltic nation and in December 2019 I had 3% Baltic DNA. In September 2020 my son had 3% Baltic DNA and I didn’t show any. It seemed to be replaced with 3% Balkans. I suspect a mistake was made somewhere along the line. It will be interesting to see what shows up the next time they do an update/adjustment! See: ethnicity estimates.
This is the story of my Ukrainian great-grandparents, most of it given to me by their granddaughter, my aunt Mary, during a lengthy interview on 21 July 1999. (I’ve been adding data here and there as documents turn up on Ancestry.com.) Aunt Mary was the oldest child of my grandparents, William & Katherine, but she grew up in Ukraine with her grandparents, Konrad & Ludmila. When Mary was 2 years old her mother sailed to America without her to join her father here. Mary didn’t see her parents again until she was 18 years old when her parents could finally send for her.
Konrad Fusiak, probably son of Gabriel and Euphosina (Dziuta) Fusiak, was probably born 29 September 1855 in Zdynia, Małopolskie, Poland, and died about 1927 in Ukraine. He married (as his first wife), Ludmila Karasek, who was born in Prague, Bohemia, which is now Czech Republic, and died in 1917 in the Ukraine, daughter of Joseph and Anna (Cermak) Karasek.
Konrad died at the age of 72, according to his granddaughter. He was a land owning farmer and a deacon in the Orthodox Church. Ludmila came from Prague to Ukraine with her parents to work in the salt mines at Starasol (or Stara Ceyl?). Konrad and Ludmila raised their granddaughter Mary when their daughter Katherine left for America. Ludmila died of double pneumonia. Apparently after Ludmila’s death, Konrad married (as his second wife) (—) Blenday. Mary remembers this step-grandmother as being very kind and protective of her, since Konrad was apparently a man harsh in his ways.
These pictures were taken in Ukraine, and brought to America by my aunt Mary. Konrad & Ludmila were the parents of eight children, five of them emigrated to America. Order uncertain:
1. Katherine Fusiak (my grandmother), born 19 November 1887 in Luzhek Verkhniy (Galicia) Austro-Hungarian Empire [now Ukraine], died 22 October 1943 in New London (New London) Connecticut. She married 16 February 1907, William Chomiak, who was born 2 February 1882 in Drohobych or Nahvevitchi (Galicia) in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a village now known as Ivano-Frankovsk in Ukraine, and died 7 November 1965 in Willimantic (Windham) Connecticut, son of Fedor and Anastazia (—) Chomiak. Katherine & William were the parents of eight children.
2. Mary Fusiak, born about 1891, lived in Stariy Sambir (or Sambor) and married a Polish railroad worker (perhaps surnamed Nyedv) at Mazurka.
3. Anna Fusiak, born about 1892, arrived in America 23 January 1911, settled in New Jersey and married 21 February 1914, a boarding house operator, Michael Prytuliak/Palmer. She died on 11 December 1963 in East Newark (Hudson) New Jersey. Anna & Michael were the parents of six children.
4. Andrew Fusiak, born 13 December 1896, arrived in America 3 July 1913, and died in November 1940. He attended school in Sambor, married Christina Wolanski (born 6 August 1909, arrived in America 21 October 1929) and settled in New Jersey. He was a butcher. Andrew & Christina were the parents of four children.
5. Augusta “Gussie” Fusiak, born about 1897 in Luzok Vizniy (Galicia), died at age 39 in Harrison (Hudson) New Jersey. She married a butcher, Jacob Wasyliw, who was born in Lviv (Galicia). Gussie & Jacob were the parents of three sons.
6. Julian Fusiak, born 6 August 1898 and died 22 June 1976 in Irvington (Essex) New Jersey. He didn’t like school (in Sambor) and ran away from home often. He married Božena Lowda, who was born 24 April 1902 in the Austro-Hungarian Empire [now Czech Republic] and died 26 October 1986 in Irvington. Julian served in the Austrian army immediately after World War II. He is thought to have collaborated with the Nazis to free Ukraine from Russia. He emigrated from Ukraine on 27 July 1949, age 50. In America, he worked as a storekeeper. Julian & Božena were the parents of four children.
7. Nicholas Fusiak went to school in Sambor, and served in the Austrian army. Nicholas was studying to be a teacher in the Soviet Union. At some point he went to Czechoslovakia. He is thought to have been killed by Stalin when he returned to Ukraine.
8. Steve Fusiak also went to school in Sambor and served in the Austrian army. He apparently had a child, but died young of tuberculosis.