Thursday, December 3, 2009

John Merłowicz, Isidora Swojbocan and baby daughter Clara

Thank you Cousin Pam Rogers for providing me with this photo of our Great Grandparents John Merłowicz and Isidora Swojbocan. John is holding Eleanor, their granddaughter and Cousin Pam's mother. When I saw it I thought, "Where have I seen them before?" I just couldn't place it, but they looked so familiar. I thought really hard for a minute or two, then burst out laughing, "Of course they look familiar; of course I've seen them before, just not here. Oh, how I love my ancestors!


Austrian Poland, a province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1772 until 1917, now in southern Poland and western Ukraine.

John Merłowicz born 19 Dec 1871 in Stanislawow, Austria now Ivano Frankovsk, Ukraine.

Birth of John US Census state birthplace as Austria, mother tongue Croatian (1920) and birthplace Poland, mother tongue Little Russian (1930)

Married: Isidora Swojbocan (Nickname: Dorka Americanized Dorothy) in Austria

10 October 1898 John Merłowicz Arrived at the Port of Honolulu Territory of Hawaii

Eudoxia born in Pauszowka, Czortkow, Galicia, Austria which after WWII in 1939 became Palashivka, Chortkiv, Ternopil, Ukraine

Birth of Eudoxia (Stated on mother's passport, see below), Eudocha (Americanized Edith) born in Austria

John went around the tip of South America, Came by way of Hawaii, arriving in San Francisco 1906...2-3 days after the big earthquarke and fire. Stayed to help rescue people about 3 days. --Source: Clifford Morris

Through research we know that people were offered free passage to Seattle via Clipper Ships.

12 April, 1911 Dorka and 11 year old Endocha (spelling Marlowycz) arrive via Bremen at Ellis Island. Ethnicity Austria-Ruthenian. Last place of residence Pausziwka, Galicia.


Page 1:
Name: Merlowycz, Isidora
Residence: Pauszowka
District: Czortkow
Country: Galicia
Page 2 : Isidora's Description

Statue : middle
Year of Birth : 1875
Hair : brown
Eyes : grey blue
Mouth, Nose: Are proportioned
Face : Oval
Page 4: Description of Daughter

Name : Eudoxia
Born : Pauszowka, Czortkow, Galicia
Age : 12
Statue : middle
Face : oval
Hair Color: dark
Eyes : Blue

*explanation posted by Wasyl on the Ukrianian Genealogy Forum.

"The term Ruthenian comes from the latin term which was used for the peoples who inhabited what is now Western Ukraine, i.e. the "Rutheni". The Austro-Hungarian empire used the designation Ruthenian for the peoples of Galicia (Halych in Ukrainian)who were Greek Catholics, i.e. Catholics who followed the Byzantine Rite of the Church but who were under the Pope of Rome. All landing documents and ship manifests from the 1890s through the first World War listed the immigrants who came from Galicia and who were Greek Catholic as Ruthenian. The Ukrainians ceased using this term following WW I. Immigrants from Transcarpatho and Carpatho Ukraine still use this term in the USA and they are subjects of the Byzantine Catholic Archdiocese of Pittsburgh and the Byzantine Rite Dioceses of Passaic, NJ, Parma, OH and Van Nys, CA. The Ukrainian Greek Catholics are congregants of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia, and the Eparchies of Stamford, CT, St. Josaphat of Parma, OH and St. Nicholas in Chicago, IL. In searching for ancestors from Eastern Europe in the ship manifests and immigration cards prior to WW I look for citizenship: Austria or Austria-Hungary; look for "race" as RUTHENIAN and religion as Greek Catholic or Gr.Catholic. This is the way such documents listed these immigrants.

21 Jan 1912 Birth of Clara Agnes

15 March 1915 Birth of Frank

• July 1920 - September 1920: Stanislawow, Austria becomes Stanyslaviv, Galician Soviet Socialist Republic

U.S. Census for Wa>King>Enumclaw Precinct South Ward Series T625 Roll 1924 page 101

MARLOVICZ, John (38) Came to US - 1889, Alien, Read - Yes, Write - Yes, b. Austria, mother tongue - Coratian, pb. Austria, Language - Croatian, Farmer, Dairy
MARLOVICZ, Dorthea , wife, (43) Came to US - 1911, Read - No, Write - No, b. Austria, mother tongue - Coratian, pb. Austria, Language - Croatian
MARLOVICZ, Edith, daughter, (21) Came to US - 1911, Read - Yes, Write - No, b. Austria, mother tongue - Croatian
MARLOVICZ, Clara A., daughter, (8) b. Washington, pb. Austria
MARLOVICZ, Frank J. (4 and 9/12) b. Washington, pb. Austria

11 April 1928 John Merlowicz Declaration of Intention

• September 1920 - September 1939: Stanislawow, Austria becomes Stanisławów, Poland, capital of the Stanisławów Voivodship

U.S. Census for: Enumclaw, King, Washington; Roll: 2490; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 279; Image: 84.0.

MERLOWICZ, John, Head (61) married, age married - 24, read & write - yes, b. Poland, pb. Poland,
language - "Little Russia", year immigrated 1900, naturalized, able to speak English - yes, Dairyman, Dairy Farm
MERLOWICZ, Dorothy (57), married, age married 20, read and write - yes, b. Poland, pb. Poland,
language spoken "Little Russia", year immigrated 1911, Naturalized, speaks English, farm laborer, Dairy Farm
MERLOWICZ, Frank (15), single, b. Washington

United States Federal Census

NYKORUK, James- b. abt 1893 ??, Head, age 37, married at 19, b. Austria, parents b. Austria, language spoken in home of birth - Croatian, immigrated 1911, Alien
NYKORUK, Edith- b. abt 1898, Wife , age 32, married at 25 years, b.?, parents b. Austria, language spoken Croatian, immigrated 1911, Alien
NYKORUK, Joseph- b. abt 1915, Son
NYKORUK, Dorothy E.- b. abt 1925, Daughter, b. Washington

Source Information: 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. T626, 2,667 rolls. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.

Death on 22 Dec 1955 in Snohomish, Snohomish, Washington, United States

Washington State Death Records for John Merlowicz
Name: John Merlowicz
Date of Death: 22 Dec 1955
Age: 86
Gender: Male
Death Place: Snohomish, Snohomish, Washington

Burial in Enumclaw, King, Washington, United States
Evergreen Memorial Park, Holy Family Krain Cemetery and Veterans Memorial Park, all in Enumclaw

MERLOWICZ Dorothy 114


This suffix simply means "son of." Here, too, the difference between -owicz and -ewicz is of no great importance to non-linguists; some names tend to show up with one or the other, and some show up with both. But the basis meaning of X-owicz or X-ewicz is "son of X."

What happened here is that the possessive ending -ow/-ew had the suffix -icz tacked onto it. That suffix -icz or -ycz is how Poles once said "son of," so that "son of Jan" was Janicz or Janycz; "son of Kuba" was Kubicz or Kubycz. But as time went on the Poles were influenced by the tendency of other Slavs to use -owicz or -ewicz instead of plain -icz.

By the way, -owicz is just the Polish way of spelling the suffix we see in many other Slavic names as -ovich or -oviĉ (the so-called haĉek in Czech). The spelling varies from language to language, but it almost always means "son of."


Originally the term Rusyn was an ethnonym applied to eastern Slavic-speaking ethnic groups, who inhabit or inhabited the cultural and ethnic region of Rus' (Русь) often written through its Latin variant Ruthenia.

Then, the terms "Ruthenians" or "Ruthenes" were the Latin terms referring to Slavic Orthodox people who lived in Grand Duchy of Lithuania (inhabiting the area that is now Belarus and Ukraine.[1]. They spoke the Ruthenian language). It was also the ethnonym used by the Ukrainian kozaks to describe themselves.

After the area of White Russia (Belarus) became part of the Russian Empire, the people of the area were seen as a sub-group of Russians, and they were named White Russians as the name of the region of White Russia (Belorusians in Ruthenian and Russian means White Russians). The Belorusian language in the area evolved from the Ruthenian language.

Later "Ruthenians" or "Ruthenes" were used as a generic term for Greek Catholic inhabitants of Galicia and adjoining territories up until the early 20th century who spoke Western dialects of the Ukrainian language and called themselves "Русины" (Rusyny).

The language these "Ruthenians" or "Ruthenes" spoke was also called the "Ruthenian language"; the name "Ukrajins’ka mova" (Ukrainian language) became accepted by much of the Ukrainian literary class only in the early twentieth century in Austro-Hungarian Galicia. After the dissolution of Austria-Hungary in 1918 the term "Ukrainian" was usually applied to all Ukrainian-speaking inhabitants of Galicia.

At that time languages were associated more with religions: Catholics spoke Polish language, Orthodox spoke Rusyn language .


Galicia, (Galitsia in Polish and Halycyna in Ukrainian) found along the northern slopes of the Carpathian Mountains, was part of the Kingdom of Poland by the 14 century. Consisting of the provinces of Krakow,L'viv (L'wow) and Ternopol (Tarnopol) and Stanisiawow.

In 1772 Poland was divided to the Austrians, Russian, and Prussian . The eastern portions of Galicia went to the Austrian Empire. Galicia was the southeastern part of Poland (called Malopolska "Little Poland" by the Poles, and the western part of Ukraine. In 1795, All of Galicia went to Austria, and Poland was divided between the three empires. Prussia getting parts of western Poland, and Russia the eastern area.

In 1815 the borders of Galicia took its final shape.

During WWI and after is was unclear which empire really had control of Galicia. All claimed it. When Poland fell to the Germans in WWII, Galicia went to German rule. Then the Germans and Russians fought for it.

Arrangements were made by Hitler and Stalin (The Hitler-Stalin Non-aggression Pact", and the United Nations, which allowd for transfers of people between what is now Poland and Ukraine, and Germany. Over 100,000 German colonists from Galicia in December 1939 and January 1940 returned to German. 700,000 Ukrainians were moved to Ukraine.

After WWII, internatinal boundaries were established in their present form. Galicia was basically still divided between Poland and Ukraine, and under Soviet rule until the break up of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Information from "Genealogical Gazetter of Galicia" by Brian J. Leniu


• Pre–1772: Stanisławów, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (within the Kingdom of Poland)

• 1772–1809: Stanislau, Austrian Monarchy (within the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria)

• 1809–1815: Stanislav, Russian Empire

• 1815–1918: Stanislau, Austrian Empire, then Austria–Hungary

• November 1918 – May 1919: Stanyslaviv, West Ukrainian National Republic

• May 1919 – July 1920: Stanisławów, Poland

• July 1920 – September 1920: Stanyslaviv, Galician Soviet Socialist Republic

• September 1920 – September 1939: Stanisławów, Poland, capital of the Stanisławów Voivodship

• October 1939 – June 1941: Stanyslaviv, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

• July 1941 – August 1944: Stanislau, capital of the Stanislau Kreis, Distrikt Galizien, Generalgouvernement

• August 1944 – 1991: Stanyslaviv, (renamed in 1962: Ivano-Frankovsk), province capital, Ukrainian SSR

• Post–1991: Ivano-Frankivsk, independent Ukraine

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