Chmelnytzki-Kriel and Bain-Martin Families in Canada
Well, guess what I got interested in recently? :)
I'm having an interesting time trying to locate information about my relatives and so on via the internet. With all this modern techology, it should be a breeze, right? Wrong! Some sites are much more user friendly than others. Some have lots more information than others. Plus, much info will have to be found the old fashioned way, despite the internet in all its glory.
I've begun to gather up info from internet published sources, asking my parents lots of questions, reviewing documents I or my parents have, trying to figure out what else I need to know, who else I could talk to or write to, and searching and searching and searching all the wonderful online sources of information for folks interested in discovering their family tree, their heritage, their roots.
I've put up this little page, such as it is, partially so if anyone who may be related to me is looking for any of the various last names in my family history, they may be able to more easily find me (hence the title of this page). It's also here to document what I have found so far. Sort of like an online backup. :) And to share a bit of my journey as I discover my ancestry.
I noticed some sites have the names and locations of individuals who are still living excluded from their published information. I can understand this, but for now, I will be doing the same thing for only a few individuals. If I leave out too many names, I might myself forget who is who - I have a lot of relatives - Mom is one of a dozen children, Dad is one of ten (I think, I gotta double check!). At any rate, most of the information is readily available through public sources anyways, such as vital statistics, census records, etc.
If you've ever considered researching your family history, I suggest you give it a try. You never know what kind of things you might find out. You may be pleasantly surprised about who is still alive after all these years - a great resource too! One caution though, it can become quite infectious as a co-worker said, who turns out to be the ex spouse of someone who works in the same building as us and also has her origins in the same area as my mother's side of the family. Small world!
Another quest is the search for a decent freeware or shareware genealogy program. More to come on that as time progresses.
For now, I continue to gather up information. I find I need to get a routine in place for recording all this information before I put it into a family tree maker of some sort. I must have a hard copy backup! Getting things organized somehow is my first task. I plan to create my own little forms to print and record information. That way I'll know what I know, what I still need to know, and where I got, or tried to get, the information. For now, I have handwritten notes and computer printed pages in a file folder. :)
I don't know how on earth people did this before modern technology. It's time consuming enough as it is. Thank goodness for computers! :)
On with a little bit about my family. Pardon the x's, I don't have all my info nearby, will complete it when I am able. I'm only including what I think of and can verify easily as I type this up. :)
Bain (Martin) Family - My Mother's Side
My mother is Ivy Gwendolyn Yvonne Bain. She was born in Glen Levit, Restigouche County, New Brunswick on 31 August 1927, the youngest of 12 children. Her parents (my grandparents) were Mary "Louise" Martin, born in Dawsonville New Brunswick on 26 March, 18xx; and Charles ("Charlie) Bain, born in New Brunswick on 01 March 18xx. Louise's father, John Bain, we believe was born in PEI, and her mother, Margaret Demeau, in the province of Quebec (despite the fact that the 1901 census says they were both born in New Brunswick!). Charles parents immigrated from Aberdeenshire Scotland, around 1865, they already had at least one child when they arrived. Their names were John Bain and Barbara Chalmers. John and Barbara Bain, and two of their children who died before reaching adulthood, are buried at the Old Athol Cemetary in Atholville, Restigouche County, New Brunswick. Charles and Louise are buried in Flatlands, Restigouche County, New Brunswick. Charles Bain and Mary "Louise" Martin were married on 24 April 1904, (in Dawsonville?) Restigouche County New Brunswick. Their children included Evelyn (married James Cameron "Cam" McNaughton), Jean (married Vince Ferguson then Harold Humphrys), Patricia Ruth ("Pat") (married Ambrose Pickard), Geraldine (married Lloyd Stewart), Reid (married Thelma Boudreau), Ralph (married Annie Firth), Morgan (married Beaulah ??? then separated), Randolph Hazen (died as an infant), Lou (married Reynold Hole), Lois (married Cecil MacDonald),
Chmelnytzki (Kriel) Family - My Father's Side
My father is John Metro ("Mike") Chmelnytzki. He was born in rural Manitoba (Section 34-23-27) on 07 November 1919. I know very little about my father's ancestors. Dad's father, my grandfather, is from Stirchiw Bukovina (now part of Romania I think), and is of Ukranian descent. He was born on 03 May 1892, and was an Austrian citizen, then became a naturalized Canadian. His name was Nick Chmelnytzki, his parents' names and places and dates of birth are unknown, but I believe his mother died when he was young and his father eventually remarried. Nick was an only child. He died in June, 1973, in Ontario. He married Zeta Kriel, my grandmother, born Calder Saskatchewan about 1897, died 23 October 1978 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She was the daughter of Katerina Kriel (died 1902, place unknown), I have no info on her birth, or any info at all about Zeta's father. Zeta had 3 or 4 sisters (they married men with the last names if Morash, Medvit, and Slewsarchuk(sp?)), and a brother Ted. The sisters' children included Sadie Morash (married man with last name of Danylko(sp?) and Helen (married Neil Marcotte). Nick Chmelnytzki and Zeta Kriel had several children, beginning in 1917, including John (married Elsie Zajaros), John Metro "Mike" (my father, married Ivy Bain), Russell (last name changed to Williams, married Lucienne), Elsie (married Dan Keller), Mary (married Joe Kalupar), Lydia (married Olaf wickstrom), Milton (married Lydia Dubel then Beverly Pirie), Peter (married Patricia "Pat"), Edward (married Helga Theiss). At the time of their deaths, Nick and Zeta had been separated for quite a few years. Chmelnytzki is spelled Chmelnizki and Kriel is spelled Kreel on Mike's birth registration. Three of Nick's cousins (his father's brother's children) came to Canada sometime after he did, their "English" names are William (Bill) - deceased, Jacob - deceased, and Jean (married Jack Lucas). They spell Chmelnytzki differently also, I believe it may be Chmelnicki or Chmielnicki (not verified).
Mike Chmelnytzki and Ivy Bain
John Metro "Mike" Chmelnytzki and Ivy Gwendolyn Yvonne Bain were married on 16 November 1946 in Toronto Ontario. George Trefonanko(sp?) and his wife Victoria stood with them. They lived in Toronto for a time, then purchased a small farm with Mike's brother, Milton, and his family near Simcoe Ontario. Their next home (also with Milton) was on Forfar Street West in Caledonia Ontario. Their next home was their own (built by them) on four acres of land situated on MacKenzie Road, between MacKenzie Creek and Boston Creek, in Oneida Township, outside Caledonia Ontario (this is where I was raised til about age 5). Then it was 108 Sutherland Street West in Caledonia (we lived there til the summer of 1974), then 32 Airport Road East in Mount Hope (I married and moved out, parents stayed there a while longer). They had an apartment for a short time on Mohawk Road West in Hamilton, then moved back to Caledonia again, this time on Inverness Street. From there they went to Hamilton Ontario, where they live today. The children include myself and my three brothers (names kept private to protect the innocent), the eldest was born on 03 September 1947, the second on 11 March 1950, and my youngest brother was born on 13 April 1963. I was born on 12 April 1959. All my brothers are still living, one is married. My parents have 5 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren, all living.
I've checked what seems like a lot of sources for information. New Brunswick has much of their vital statistic information online, so does Canada itself. Prince Edward Island is also a great place to search online. Other people's family trees which have been published online are also a great source of information - or misinformation. :) Even if not quite correct, they can give you some great leads to go on. Interviewing relatives, reviewing your own family records and that of your relatives is also a great place to start. Speak to your more senior family members especially. Once you get them going, they're a wealth of information. Proper research includes validating all new "information" you receive, but in many cases that is not possible, you often have to make some conclusions of your own. Always always, when using any kind of online search, be open to various spellings of the last names and first names. Thank goodness I learned this early in my search! A relative at some point in the past told my father that he spelled his last name "wrong". Who is to say what is wrong or right, but at least I know for a fact, there are at least three ways to spell that nice long 11 character Ukrainian last name. :) Oh yeah, they pronounce it differently too, and that's among Dad's own brothers and sisters! A family member or two of your own may have already found this out the hard way when trying to get a Canadian passport, or when applying for CPP or OAS. Be sure to ask them about it.
Here is the documentation I've used so far and what I've obtained from it. These are documents I've seen in person, on paper (not via internet search, etc); or had read to me over the phone by my mother.
naturalization certificate of Nick Chmelnytzki
- Nick's date and place of birth
- his address at time of naturalization
- his citizenship at time of immigration
- his parents' citizenship
marriage certificate of Charles Bain and Mary Louise Martin
- date and place of birth for both Charlie and Louise
- date and place of marriage
- full names of both
(late) birth registration for John Metro "Mike" Chmelnytzki
- date and place of Mike's birth
- his parents' first and last names
- one alternate spelling of his last name
newspaper obituaries for various family members
- date or approximate date of birth
- sometimes place of birth
- where they died
- spouse's name
- sometimes children's names
- sometimes siblings names
- sometimes cause of death
photo of Katerina Kriel's grave with some family members present (taken 40 yrs or so after she died)
- spelling of her name
- year of death
a Bain family "list" kept by Ivy Bain
- (usually full) names of her siblings
- their dates of birth
- their spouses' names
- sometimes their dates of death
more to come...
Tip of the year - before you even begin to try to search the internet for information on your family tree, learn the proper way to spell genealogy, though if you spell it geneology and various other ways, you'll still get some results. :) I suspect your first internet search will be for the surnames in your family, I know mine was. :)
Here are a few places that have been very helpful to me in researching my own particular roots, with my particular ethnic heritage and being in Canada, etc. All the links below open in a new browser window.
General Information - Not Country or Ethnic Group Specific
Canada and the Provinces
National Archives of Canada - tons of info here, both military and census (newest are 1906 for Northwest Territories, 1901 for rest of Canada) have an online database search and links to digital images of the microfiche records, there's a searchable database for some western land grants, information for lots lots more. I keep going back there again and again.
In New Brunswick, it's the
Online Research links that you want to check out, it's fantastic!
of the British Columbia Archives it excellent, too!
For family history in Saskatchewan, visit the
Saskatchewan Archives Board - not a lot of online research sources, but lots of how-to's on how to get the information you're looking for.
Prince Edward Island has an online
Census search, and you absolutely should not miss the
Island Register - tons of interesting information, all for the taking.
- Be sure to check out
Pier 21 when you've got a few hours to spare, really interesting reading.
Canadian Genealogy Centre is opening March 29th 2003. I can't wait!!!
Specific Peoples or Places
Plan to spend a couple of hours visiting HalGal if you're researching, or interested in, the Halychyna / Eastern Galicia area of Europe, lots and lots of interesting and practical information. FYI, Ga
JewishGen - tons of useful information for both Jewish and non Jewish folks, use the
Shtetl search to help find your ancestral village.
If western Canada is your area of interest, don't miss the Glenbow Archives, they offer a searchable database of settlers who purchased their western land from Canadian Pacific Railway (as opposed to buying land sections from the Canadian federal government).
If your family hails from where my mother's does in New Brunswick, you'll love
Irene's Restigouche County Genealogy and History site. It's available in English or francais. Irene also has a WWI site, my mother's
Cousin Billy is featured there. My mother never met him but only heard about it, he died before she was born, in WWI at Vimy.
Maps - Be sure to review maps from different time periods,especially if you are having difficulty finding your ancestral town. Borders and place names change more often than you'd think (this applies to Canada, Europe, etc.). I still cannot find Stirchiw (in the former) Bukovina with any certainty at all. It doesn't help that the original written language of this area uses the Cyrillic alphabet. :)
- Records - Even if you haven't yet decided on a genealogy software program (if you intend to use one) or other long term record keeping method, do keep track of what you know and where you've looked and what you've done, even if you searched and found nothing. This will save lots of time in the long run. I'm initally starting with handwritten notes and printed copies of emails which I sent myself, with URLs and text copied from web sites, to keep track of where I've been and what I've found (or didn't find).
- Spellings - As stated elsewhere, always be open to different name spellings, whether surname or given name. This is especially true for immigrants. The further away you move from the original document, the greater the chance of error on the part of the transcriber, webmaster who entered the info into an online database, etc. Read each online search to find out which, if any, wildcard characters are supported - sometimes it's an asterisk, sometimes a question mark, sometimes a dollar sign, etc. Also, try the Soundex option if available. It's sort of an advanced sounds like feature, at least for the first part of the name. :) This applies to locations as well.
- Verification - Once you find new information, try to verify it via a second source. Sometimes this is possible only based on a family member's memories, but if this is all we can do, this is all we can do. :)
In future I will be breaking up this page into separate documents, but for now, I simply want to get it "out there"...
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