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Meet the Kuzmich Family Lines



Brief History of the KUZMICH Family Lines

It is speculated that the Kuzmich Family Lines first originated from Russia before the 1850's. However, other KUZMICH lines have been traced from Yugoslavia and Germany before 1850. Preliminary information suggests that our KUZMICH Family lines were part of the Austrian immigration from Galicia (Western Ukraine) into the United states during the 1890's to 1910's. The family then spread to the following locations: 1) Passaic, New Jersey and 2) Scranton, Pennsylvania. These lines then moved to various parts of the country, settling mainly in cities of the east, midwest and west. It is not known when or how immigration to Canada occurred. Spelling of the KUZMICH name. In my research, I have come across these documented ways of spelling the KUZMICH name. * Denotes most prevalent spellings.

Many of the above are obviously the result of the phonetic interpretations that occurred when the ancestors immigrated to the United States between 1890 and 1910. I have made only two generations about the origin of the family name: 1) it started with a 'K' and 2) the name is of Russian origin meaning one who deals with metal (heavy metal), mechanic or blacksmith. In Polish, KUZMICK mean dweller near or worker in a smith's shop. In Croatin, KUZMIC means beautiful or heavenly through the Latin word 'Cosmic.'

Origin of Our Paternal Ancestors: Galicia

Snietnica is a very small and remote village in the foothills of Southern Poland today. it is bordered by another small village of Stawisza. Around the 1880's my research has traced seven different KUZMICH families living in Snietnica and three different KUZMICH families in Stawisza. Oddly enough, both towns had a Theodore KUZMICH family (our great-grandfather's name). No relationship has been established between any of the ten families traced to these two villages.

Three explanations have been found concerning the history of these two villages. One states that both of these villages along with hundreds of others in Galicia were originally Russian, and all inhabitants Russian subjects. At an undetermined time, the area was given as a baptismal gift by the Czar to the Emperor of Austria or the King of Poland. As a result these villages were ruled by another government which apparently treated them harshly and denied them education.

A second history book states that about 400 years ago this territory was all Russian but then it was conquered by Austria. The language was changed when it was mixed with Polish, but the people retained their religion which was Orthodoxy although they were punished and jailed for it.

The third history book states that part of Galicia was annexed by Austria in 1772 and the rest of it in 1795. Since 1918 this area known as Galicia has been under Polish domination.

After World War II the Polish government gave the Russian people 24 hours notice to pack what they could on one wagon and leave this area. People lost their land and all they owned and moved with thousands of other neighbors to the Ukraine or any other country that would accept them. Today, Stawisza and Snietnica are virtually ghost towns of their former Russian life, except for the Polish subjects living there.

Oldest Direct KUZMICH Ancestral Line: Joannes KUZMICZ!

In the summer of 1996, my entire family traveled to Poland and Slovenia to do family history. We were very successful in identify the specific places of our family progenitors and the time frames that they lived. The very earliest direct KUZMICH family line is that of Joannes KUZMICZ who was born in 1766 in Snietnica, Poland. He died in Snietnica on November 25, 1834. He married Jrin HOC. Jrin was born in 1771 and died on October 16, 1823 in Snietnica. They had eight children: Katherina, Josephus, Maria, Pelagia, Thcobor, Bartolomeus, Pantaleon and Eva KUZMICZ.

Second Oldest KUZMICH Direct Family Line: Josephyus KUZMICZ

Josephyus KUZMICZ is our second oldest direct family line. He is the son of Joannes KUZMICZ and Maria CZYCZYLO and was born on December 5, 1792 in Snietnica. There were 12 children born of this marriage: Theodorus, Mafrona, Basilius, Pantaloen, Tatianna, Clemens, Athansius, Jacobus, Joannes, Akilina, Maximillam, and Theodosia.


Third Oldest KUZMICH Direct Family Line: Theodore KUZMICH (KUZMYCH)

The third oldest identified direct family line from Snietnica in my KUZMICH family are Theodore KUZMICH and his wife Makrina among two other wives. Theodorus was born on March 1, 1826 in Snietnica. He died on March 29, 1886. His first wife was Euphimia DOROSZ. His second wife: Christine CHURA was born on August 2, 1846 in Stawisza, Poland and died on November 1878 in Snietnica. While Makrina, his third wife, lived until the first decade of this century, passing away in 1910. The other two wives died earlier from a cholera epidemic.

Both our paternal great-grandfathers (Theodore KUZMICH and Bartholomew BOCHNOVICH) were involved in fighting a war. "And when they returned home, they found all their cattle and even their wives dead from cholera which swept the country. Therefore, both great-grandfathers had three wives." The name of Theodore's first wife is Euphimia DOROSZ. And the second wife was Christina CHURA. At least seven children born by the first wife (Euphimia DOROSZ), two children by the second wife (Christine CHURA) and one child by the third wife (Malrina PAZIS). The six children were born of the first wife: Jrina, Sophia, Alexandra, Peter, John . Demitry and Tatianna were born by the second wife. Anthony, our grandfather was the only child by the third wife. Of all these children, the specific birth dates are known only for Anthony (January 30, 1880) and Demitry (November 8, 1875).

The KUZMICHES were farmers who raised cabbages and potatoes.

The children of Theodore KUZMICH are described below as follows:

Children by first wife: Euphimia DOROSZ

Children by the second wife: Christine CHURA:

Child by the third wife: Makrina PAZIS:


Ukrainian Immigration: Peter KUZMICH Line

In 1945, the Polish government reacted to the cruel Russian occupation of Poland during World War II by forcing its citizens who were of Russian ancestry to immigrate to Ukraine. Those who left voluntarily, could take everything they wanted to Ukraine. If not, they would be forced in 1947 to move but without any property. Therefore, villages like Snietnica and Stawisha which were primarily comprised of Ukrainian people became ghost towns. Our ancestors of Peter Kuzmich (born 1870), step-brother of my grandfather, Anthony Kuzmich (born 1880), left voluntarily in June, 1945 for eastern Ukraine of the Donetsk Region. Two children of Peter KUZMICH who left with their families were: Ivan Kuzmich (born 1904 in Snietnica, Poland) and Maksim Petrovich Kuzmich (born 1910 in Snietnica, Poland).

My America relatives had already lost contact with Peter's relatives long before 1945, so these relatives now living in Ukraine were completely lost to us. In 1997, I was found two dear Ukraine citizens in Kiev (Mrs. Lidiya Lyubarets and Mrs. Olga Roytsina). Mrs. Lyubaraets was acted as my translator and Mrs. Roytsina agreed to search for my lost Ukraine relatives based on only three surnames and one incorrect death date for Ivan (John) KUZMICH. In only three months time, Ms. Roytsina traveled to eastern Ukraine and found my relatives living in Maximilianovka in Maryinka district near Donetsk. What was so amazing is that there are no computer records in Ukraine and no published phone books to aid in doing family research. At one point she went to the Ministry of Defense in the Donetsk Region and demanded assistance. And to her surprise, they helped her and she soon found two relatives living next to each other in Maximilianovka, Maryinka district. She was given only a street but no house number. Once she found my relatives, Anatoly KUZMICH and Ivan KUZMICH, she spent three days living at Anatoly's home and asking questions and visiting, searching of pictures, photos, new questions and so on. Here is what she found.

Ivan Petrovich's family and his brothers Vladimir, Semen and Maxim, his sister Feodosia, all had decided to move to Ukraine voluntarily. Though they had lived in Snietnica, they moved from the neighboring village of Brunary on June 18, 1945. They took with them: 2 cows, a wagon, some potatoes, grain, flour and everything they could carry. For the property that they left in Poland, they received a big money compensation in 1948. First they moved to the city of Krasnogorovak but then they were distributed to the village of Maximilianovka. Because only one truck was given to take things of newcomers to the place of destination, Ivan Petrovich KUZMICH used his own wagon yoked by cows to take their things about 40 to 45 kilometers. They were given a house and all of them began to work in the collective farms. They were given a better house which Ivan Petrovich bought for their property in 1952. Now this house is remodeled and Anatoly, Ivan's youngest son, still lives in it. He was born in that house on August 24, 1953. A kind of a small apartment is attached to their house. It belonged to Yaroslav Ivanonich. Ivan Ivanonich, Anatoly's brother, built his house on the next site. Ivan Petrovich was a very kind and good person. He was a good husband and father. He loved his family and took care of everyone. People loved him. Anatoly tells that many people used to come to his father, and also their friends from Luhansk Region of Ukraine. He was very hospitable.

Ivan Petrovich worked as a stableman in a collective farm. The cows that they had were of much help. They had cows before 1961. Not those that they brought from Snietnica. Then after Khrushchev's decree all the cows were taken to collective farms. It was done so that USSR could "Reach and Overcome" USA in meat and milk per capita. Those who kept their cows wouldn't be allowed to work. His daughter, Maria Ivanovna was warned that she would be fired from her position of an accountant because her father, Ivan Petrovich still kept his cow. It was very hard but they did it. People were taught not to keep cows at home. But in 1997, they can have cows, but people do not want to do that because they can't take care of and because of their laziness. Ivan Petrovich died in the night of May 8-9, 1968 because of cancer. He was suggested surgery but he refused saying he didn't want to be cut. He was buried at the graveyard in Maximilianovka. Now at that cemetery there are graves of six KUZMICH relatives. All the graves are in one line.

1. Ivan Petrovich KUZMICH - only a picture with no information on head stone, but lived 1904 to May 9, 1968
2. Eva Stepanovna KUZMICH - only picture with no information, but lived 1910 to August 21, 1979
3. Vasily Ivanovich KUZMICHI - March, 1946 to September 11, 1966
4. Marta Petrovna KUZMICH - 1883 to 1962 or 1965
5. Maxim Petrovich KUZMICH - August 25, 1910 to July 28, 1984
6. Yaroslav Ivanovich KUZMICH - August 25, 1933 to March 2, 1988
7. Maria Ivanovna Pugach (KUZMICH) is buried at the cemetry of the neighboring village, Georgiyevka, but lived May 2, 1936 to April, 1993.

Maria Ivanovna Pugach (KUZMICH) lived in Georgiyevka after her marriage. Her daughter, Elena Ivanovna PUGACH and her husband, Ivan Sviridovich PUGACH live in that villege in Maria's house.

Ivan Petrovich grieved a lot because of his son's death, Vasily. Vasily was kicked by a motorcycle and he got under a car and was run over and died.

Maxim Petrovich was born on August 25, 1910 in Snietnica, Poland. Germans occupied Poland in 1939. Maxim was an adult. In either 1939 or 1941 or 1942, Maxim, according to Ivan Ivanivichi's words, went to work in Germany voluntarily. From there he got into Austria in a village called Nurish near Vienna. There he met a Ukrainian girl from Sumi Region, Ukraine. Her name was Alexandra Yefimoovna Kulish. They fell in love. They became husband and wife without being officially married. There first daughter, Maria was born there on May 11, 1943. Their landlords were very good to them. Maria was christened for the first time in Vienna. The landlord's wife insisted on that. She was christened for the second time in a Russian Orthodox church in Ukraine. Before his daughter was born, Maxim had vacations and was able to go to Poland. His father, Peter Fedorovich KUZMICH, was alive at that time. And when he returned home after the war, his father was dead. Ivan Ivanovich states that Peter died in 1943 soon after Maxim's departure back to Austria. Soon after the war, Maxim Petrovich came back home to Snietnica and had to move to Ukraine together with his family. Maxim brought Alexandra and their daughter to Maximilianovka. On October 14, 1947, their son, Nicholay, was born. Maxim Petrovich and Alexandra Yefimovna were officially married in May, 1954. They were a good family. They lived in peace and understanding. Alexandra told many good things about her husband. He was very careful about her needs, very helpful, very kind and loved to work. He worked as a stableman in a collective farm. He loved horses and died because of a horse. Ivan Ivanovich KUZMICH was the oldest son of Ivan Petrovich KUZMICH. Ivan is very shortsighted from his birthi. In Poland, the doctor promised that his eyes would be alright after the wore three pairs of special glasses. But he managed to wear only one pair of glasses. The war began and they stopped his treatment. His is still shortsighted and wars glasses. Now it is more difficult because he has a cataract. Doctors say he is not ready for surgery. As a result, he is an invalid. And the surgery costs a lot of money. His pension is 30 dollars a month. His wife, Anna Alexandrovna, has a pension of 28 dollars a month. But because of the economic difficulties, even pensioners do not get their pension in time. And if they are paid, they get 60%. Fortunately, they have a vegetable garden, a goat, and a chicken. They bake bread themselves. It is expensive to buy bread for them. They sell some vegetables from their garden and buy what is the most necessary. They live bad. He can't see well, and she can't hear well. She wears a deaf-aid wich is very bad she says. They have the one daughter, Olga. She was born on September 11, 1960 in Maximilianovka. She graduated from the institute in Bila Tserkva, Kiev Region. She is a veterinarian. But she didn't work much according to her profession because there people can't afford to hire here and the responsibilites for cattle are very high. So she decided to work as an accountant. She married Victor Dmitriyevichi Chernikov. He is a driver. They went to work according to the institute distribution to the village of Charivne, Kirovograd Region. They have two daughters, Elena (born July 2, 1984) and Natalia (born July 5, 1988). She comes once a year to visit parents in Maximilianovka. Ivan Ivanovich worked as a cattle-farm worker. He can't carry heavy things because of his shortsightness. But he had to. To feed cattle, he had to carry food which is very heavy. Then he had some other jobs. Then he was prohibited to work and he was given a category of invalid.

His brother, Anatoly Kuzmich, lives next to him. His family consists of his wife Natalia, and two daughters: Tatiana and Margarita (Rita). Tatiana graduated from a secondary school with a gold medal. She wanted to study foreign languages but she failed the entrance exams for the University of Foreign Languages. Anatoly was told to pay a bribe of $3,000. After considreation, Antoly decided that he cannot pay so much money. He decided that she would enter the institute of light industry to study management. Both girls are very good. They are very close to one another and all of them love to work. Each of them have their own responsibilities in the house and in the garden. They have a very big garden with fruit trees and vegetables. It is very helpful because they can have a food supply. They also have ducks, pigs, geese, chickens and bees. They bake bread as most of the people in the villages do. They work in the former collective farm which is now called a cooperative farm. Anatolyi's wife, Natalia, works at a pig farm. Anatoly also works as a bee-master. He keeps his own bees with the farm bees. So they supplied with honey. Anatoly is a very good master. He can do nearly anthing. He is a helicopter mechanic. While serving in the army, he was an airplane mechanic. When he came back from the army, he worked as an agricultural machine mechanic on the collective farm. Then he studied at the school of welders. Then he was a collective farm storage keeper. The last two years, he also works as a bee-master. He made most of his home equipment himself. He has a steam boiler for heating. He can do many things. That is why he is wealthier than his brother, Ivan Ivanovichi. He spent all of his life in this village of Maximilianovka with the exception of two years in the army where he served in the Far East.

Ivan Invanovich remembers Snietnica and his life there. He was 15 when he and his family left Poland. He remembers very well that they had a big farm, a mill, fields, a forest, pastures and more. When his family moved to Ukraine, they left eleven hectares of land. Six of those eleven hectares were used to grow grains. Before 1932, all the family including Peter Fedorovich's family lived in a large old house. In 1932, they built an outhouse. The total size was 510 square meters. It was built of wood with a tiled roof. In 1924-25, some storages were built in the yard. In 1934, they built a mill. Everything was new and firm. They had horses. But Germans took them during the war. Two of the cows were brought to Ukraine. And a cart. Even Anatoly remembers that cart. It stood in the yard for a long time. In Snietnica, there were two churches: Greek Catholic and Russian Orthodox. Kuzmich's are Ukrainians by nationality.

(More to be soon continued about my Ukrainian ancestors)

Generations of KUZMICH Relatives Born in the U.S.A.

From Anthony KUZMICH's line, my father's sister, Mary, married John Seventko in 1929 in Passaic, New Jersey. They had two children: Donald and Mary Ann. Donald married Irene STRAVROVSKY in 1958 in Garfield, New Jersey. They had two children: Bobby and Elaine. Both of these children are single and reside with the parents. Mary Ann married Sergius SKOK, JR. in 1959 in Garfield, New Jersey. They had one girl, Susan. She is presently engaged with a 1994 wedding date. My uncle Walter KUZMICH is retired and living in Baton Rouge, Louisana. He was welfare worker for the State of Louisana. To my knowledge, he was the first KUZMICH relative to graduate from college. He earned his bachelor and master degrees from Louisana. My sister, Joan married Fredrick M. Nicholas in 1982. They live in Beverly Hills, California with my mother, Helen KOVAC KZUMICH, living with them. Joan was a professional dancer with many professional credits: Rocket Dancer at 16 years old at Radio City Music Hall in New York, 4th runnerup in the 1952 Miss America contest, tour the world dancing in nightclubs, made a movie with Marilyn Monroe in "Some Like It Hot" and others. Joan has three daughters: Rebecca Fields, Joanna Fields, and Judy. Judy married Vasily SHUMOV in Beverly Hills, California on November 3, 1990. They present reside in my mother's apartment in West Los Angeles. Rebecca is a sound engineer for professional rock groups, including "Air Supply," "Boss Skaggs," "Glenn Campbell," Rita Colledge" and many others. Joanna is a rock star in Russia. She married Yuri KASPARYAN on November 2, 1987 in Simferopoli, Russia. Joan's first husband, Sidney Felds was an an artist manager. Most notable client was the famous comedian, Ben Blue. In recent years, Sid was a successful real estate sellsmen. He is now retired and living in San Diego. Joan's second husband, Fredrick M. Nicholas, is a noted Los Angeles lawyer and shopping mall entrepeniur. Most recently, he is in charge of the construction of the Los Angeles Performing Arts Center and is the chairman of the Board of Directors for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

From Demitry KUZMICK's first wife, Anna ELCHAK, there are the following brother and sisters living: Mary, Mildred and Joseph. Joseph resides with his wife Anna EVANINA, in Olyphant, Pennsylvania. Mildred resides with her husband, Demitri KIDON, in Florida. Mary married William STUCHLAK.

From Demitry KUZMICK's second wife, Anastasia KUZMICH, there are numerous brothers and sisters living: Anastasia Kuzmich: Olga, Antoinette, Irene, Alice, Helen, and Nicholas. Olga is single living in Blakely, Pennsylvania. Irene married Michael GLOWATZ, SR. Her husband has passed away and she lives in Peckville.

From John KUZMICH there are the following brothers living: Harry and Stephan. Harry married Pelagia (Bessie) PASERP of Mayfield, Pennsylvania on October 5, 1940. They have three children: Barbara, Harry, Jr. and John. Barbara married Hugh STEVENSON on July 31, 1976 and reside in Binghamton, New York. She is a special education teacher and her husband is a psychologist. Harry KUZMICK, JR. married Carol MOROHOVICH on October 24, 1968 and they reside in Carbondale, Pennsylvania. John Michael KUZMICK married Joyce CHAPIN on June 24, 1972 in Glenburn, Pennsylvania.

Stephan KUZMICK is living in Olyphant, Pennsylvania. He married Mary JUBINSKI on March 5, 1938 in Jermyn, Pennsylvania. They have two children: Gerald and Joan. Gerald married Sandra HUBIAK. They presently reside in New Jersey. Joan married Paul F. ZADROZNY. Elaine married Michael HENZES.

This Writer - John Anthony KUZMICH, JR.

Born in Passaic, Passaic County, New Jersey September 7, 1943 to John Anthony KUZMICH and Helen KOVAC (TURK). Received high school education at Clifton High School, Clifton, New Jersey in June, 1961. Graduated from Michigan State University in December, 1965 (B.M. in music), in August, 1967 (M.M. in music), and in 1973 received a Ph.D. degree in music education from Brigham Young University. Presently, he is a computer teacher at Carmody Middle School in Lakewood, Colorado. Previously to that, he was a high school band director for 25 years in New Jersey, Missouri, Illinois and Colorado. He married Roslyn CHRISTENSEN of Fullerton, California in Westwood, California on July 29, 1972. Roslyn is a music educator, talented in strings, piano and church choir directing. Roslyn presently teaches general music, art and physical education at Coal Creek Elementary School in Jefferson County. They have four children: Rhys (1975), Quinn (1977), Reva (1979) and Dallin (1982). Rhys is a senior at the University of Southern California with a history major and an interest in graduate study in Public Health along with a German minor. He wants to be a pediatrician. Quinn is presently serving a two-year Church mission in Moscow, Russia. He is a sophomore Novell engineering computer major when he returns to college after his two-year Church mission 1999. When Reva graduated from high school she worked at Disneyland in Anaheim, California for the summer. She is presently a sophomore attending the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas on a music scholarship. Her ambition is to be a professional violinist. Dallin is a junior in high school and desires to study engineering in college.

 


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