Family History Blogs

The Old Country: Lviv

  • October 1, 2017
The Old Country:  Lviv

Monument to Taras Shevchenko, Lviv. DAYS THREE & FOUR Having survived the first two days of my insane itinerary, my guide Diana Borysenko had scheduled us for two relatively relaxing days in Lviv consisting of various historical, museum and church tours, a vist to several unique cafes for coffee and confections, the sampling of local cuisine, and an evening at the Opera House to attend a "gala" presentation of the inaugural season of the LvivMozArt Festival. LVIV [Лвів]. Well for starters how about a capsulized history of "Leo's Town". Lviv is the major city and cultural center in Western...

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The Old Country: Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast

  • September 26, 2017
The Old Country:  Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast

Annunciation (The Savior) Church, a 15th Century Carpathian Wooden Church. Dolyna [Долйна]. Well if the itinerary for Day One was ridiculous -- four towns, 350 kilometers or more round trip, and roads that were in places more like obstacle courses -- Day Two would prove to be insane. We're talking about a tour of Sub-Carpathian Ukraine that involves at least 400 kilometers of driving in one day -- a weekend day at that -- smack in the middle of August which is high tourist season for this part of the world - not the smartest of plans. My guide Diana Borysenko had alerted me that trips to Kolomyya...

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Ruthenia, Galicia and the Babij Surname

  • September 26, 2017
Ruthenia, Galicia and the Babij Surname

Cousin Sue Roth sent me an email recently concering the origins of the famous Hollywood director Billy Wilder. It seems Mr. Wilder (nee Samuel) was originally born in the town of Sucha, Galicia then a province of Austria Hungary. So Mr. Wilder was a Ruthenian by birth. Sue termed the revelation "weird". As usual when we find links like this they tend to send us off on what usually turns out to be a wild goose chase or goat rodeo. But sometimes these weird tidbits provide even more incentives for researching who we are or at least "were". So where did Sammy Wilder's origins lead us?

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The Old Country: Ternopil Oblast

  • September 23, 2017
The Old Country:  Ternopil Oblast

UKRAINIAN. The earliest recollection I have of hearing the ethnic appellation Ukrainian applied to our family name Babij was in the Fall Quarter of my first year of college during the Kennedy Era when I received a telephone call from a woman (whose name unfortunately I do not recall) inviting me to a gathering of Ukrainian-descendant students to be held at an apartment in the campus married housing complex. The woman went on to describe what typically went on during such occasions: an exchange of tales relating to family lineage and history; performances of traditional folk songs and dance; picnics...

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DNA Test Results Redux

  • April 18, 2017
DNA Test Results Redux

The DNA results are in from 23andMe and they seem more in line with what we were expecting. This is not to say that the MyHeritage results were inaccurate (they did have a very cool map display), but the 23andMe analysis is much more detailed and scientifically oriented - if one needs to go there. There are maps, but they’re "graphically challenged" as you’ll see below.

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