Michalina Huckan

Michalina Huckan

Friday, September 2, 2016

Finding my Great-Aunt's Immigration Records

In 2014 I received an email from Jim Onyschuk, the President of the Toronto Ukrainian Genealogy Group, announcing the upcoming meeting along with a notice of new Canada Passenger Records from 1881 – 1922 now available online at Family Search (http://familysearch.org/search/collection/1823240 ).

Always on the look out for my great-aunt Michalina’s records, I hit the link and searched her name as usual, to no avail. I then searched just her last name (proper spelling) and found about 10 hits with different spellings, including one that I knew immediately was her: Michatine Heukan. Her name had been transcribed incorrectly with a scratch on the page changing the ‘l’ to a ‘t’ and the last letter appearing blurry as an ‘e’ not an ‘a’. The last name was mangled due to a peculiar formation of the letter before the ‘k’ which I think was intended to be ‘c’ and the addition of an ‘e’ before the ‘u’.

Michalina's Arrival Record
April 1910
S.S.Lake Michigan
Michalina was 17 when she arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick on April 4, 1910 on the SS Lake Michigan. She was listed as single, having $24 and heading to Winnipeg, Manitoba to her brother Iwan (John) on her CPR ticket. Her previous occupation, as well as her intended occupation, was ‘servant’. 

Now that I had that information, I searched for her again on www.ancestry.com to find any additional details. I had some difficulty finding her as her name was shown on Ancestry as Michatina Henskan. The only new information was a photo of the ship and the fact that it had departed from Antwerp, Belgium. Finding her on Ancestry allowed me to link this record to her on my family tree. I was also able to correct her name so that future researchers can find her more easily.

When I compared Michalina’s arrival dates with other family members, I made an another interesting discovery. I had previously searched all the boat records for the ship my grandmother ( her sister) arrived on (SS Samland June 4, 1911) , her brother John (SS Montreal April 6, 1908), his wife Frances (SS Corinthian October 30, 1910) and brother Nikolai who made several trips back and forth but it never occurred to me to check my grandfather’s ship: SS Lake Michigan April 4, 1910. She was sent over with her brother-in-law, Janko Zarecki (John Zaretsky), my grandfather.

S.S. Lake Michigan

This makes some sense. Michalina’s father was sending John and (later) his wife to Canada. John was literate and spoke several languages. Michalina’s fiancé may have been with her on the ship, as well as other people from her village. I may be able to determine her fiancé's name after all. A needle in the haystack but perhaps possible. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Notes on Michalina (Lena) Huckan

Michalina (also called Lena) was born 12 November 1892 in Repuzhintsy, Bukowina, Austria the youngest child of Wasyl Huckan and Helena Masikiewicz (or Masikiewic or Masikiewich) (second line).

She immigrated to Canada in 1910 at about the age of 17 to join her brother Iwan (John) Huckan in Winnipeg. Her older siblings were Iwan (John), Mykola (Nikolaj) and Marya (Maria).

She may have lived in St. Boniface with her brother Iwan and his family at 83 Tissot Street in St.Boniface when she first arrived in Canada.

In 1915 according to the Winnipeg Henderson Directory, Lena was living at 42 Dagmar Street.

Courtesy of Christian Cassidy
From:The Morning Telegram
July 19, 1907

Courtesy of Christian Cassidy
From: The Morning Telegram
July 19, 1907

Courtesy of Christian Cassidy
From: The Voice
August 3, 1917

She was engaged to be married and was saving her money. We don’t know her fiancé's name. Does anyone recognise this man? He was likely born about 1885 - 1892 in her village Repuzhintsy, Bukowina. He was perhaps about 24 years old in this photograph.

Michalina's fiance
Winnipeg, MB
c. 1910

 I wonder if her wedding banns were read at a Winnipeg church. Her religion was Orthodox and until 1918 the only Orthodox church was the Russian Orthodox Mission. Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church was established 1904 in Winnipeg. This is a thread I need to follow.