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On May 14th 1916, more than one hundred years ago, Anna Chuda and John (Ivan) Babij were married in Saint George’s Ukrainian Catholic Church on East 7th Street in New York City.
The marriage license lists both husband and wife as being from the town of Podhajce (Pidhaitsi), in the province of Galicia in Austria, now a part of the Ternopil Oblast located in Western Ukraine near the border with Poland.
Anna’s parents names are listed as Paul (father) and her mother as Ksenia Lemiszka. Ivan’s father is listed as Pantelis and his mother as Maria Palycha, however because of the handwriting our interpretation of the names were initially inaccurate but then again the scribe might have been the culprit. Subsequent research in the Ukrainian State Archives in Ternopil by our guide Diana Borysenko helped clarify the both the spelling and origins of both Ivan’s and Anna’s parental given names. The given name “Ksenia” or “Kseniya” is a Slavic rendering of the Greek name “Xenia” (we found records in those archives that referred to Anna’s mother by both names) which means “hospitality”. Xenia‘s surname actually transliterates from Cyrillic as “Palychata” which means “someone with curly hair”. “Pantelis” is a latinized name derived from the Greek “Panteleimon” [after a martyred Third Century Greek saint] which means “all compassionate”.
You can read more about both Ivan’s and Anna’s family heritage in the tetralogy of posts on our recent visit to Ukraine, beginning with The Old Country: Ternopil Oblast; and continuing with The Old Country: Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast; followed by The Old Country: Lviv; augmented by The Old Country: In Nomine Patris; and most recently The Old Country: Between The Forceps And The Stone.
The original church, built in the 1840’s as a Methodist Church, known locally as the Bowery Village Church, was demolished in 1976. The former site is now a parking lot.
The photos included herein are of the “new” church built in 1977, some 60 years after their marriage.
© Kazkar Babiy ™ MMXVIII.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License