Meet the Kuzmich Family Lines
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 spread to Passaic, New Jersey and 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. 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. The name is of Russian origin meaning one who deals with metal (heavy metal), mechanic or blacksmith. In Polish, KUZMICK means a dweller near or worker in a smith's shop. In Croatian, 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; It is bordered by the small village of Stawisza. Around the 1880's there were seven different KUZMICH families living in Snietnica and three different KUZMICH families in Stawisza. Oddly enough, both towns had a Theodore KUZMICH (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.
Oldest Direct KUZMICH Ancestral Line: Timotheius Kuzmicz
In the summer of 1996, my entire family traveled to Poland and Slovenia to do family history. We were very successful in identifying the specific places of our family progenitors and the time frames that they lived.
The earliest direct KUZMICH family line is that of Timotheius KUZMICZ (1725 -1800). His wife was named Fevronia (1738-1799), they both lived and died in Snietnica. They had 5 children that we know of.
* Elias (1754-1831) was married to Tatianna Bozcniewicz (1752-1808) and had 10 children; he then married Teodosia Pawlik (1783-1833) and had 7 more children.
*Parascevia (b.1760) was the twin of Euphemia, her death is unknown.
*Joannes (1766-1831) and his wife Jrina HOC (1771-1823) were married on Jan. 15, 1789
*Anastasia (b.1778) Death is unknown.
Second Oldest Direct Kuzmich Family Line: Joannes Kuzmicz
Joannes KUZMICZ and wife Jrina HOC had the following eight children:
*Katherina (b.1790) married Theodor KALAKUKA (b.1790) on Nov. 12, 1812 in Snietnica.
*Josephus (1792-1855) married Maria CZYCZYEO/CZYCZYŁA (1805-1865) on Nov. 17, 1823 .
*Maria (b.1795) married Joannes Kieleczawa (b.1795) on February 21, 1813. They had four children, Catharina (1816-1816), Julianna (b.1818), Fevronia (b.1820) and Andreas (b.1822).
*Pelagia (1801-1842) in Snietnica.
*Thcobor (1804-1804) in Snietnica.
*Bartolomeus (1805-1806) in Snietnica.
*Pantaleon (b.1808) in Snietnica.
*Eva (b.1811) in Snietnica.
Third Oldest Direct KUZMICH Family Line: Josephus Kuzmicz
Josephus KUZMICZ and Maria CZYCZYLO/CZYCZYŁA had 12 children:
*Theodorus (1826-1886) married first wife Euphimia DOROSZ (1834-1873) on Feb. 2, 1857. He married his second wife Christina Czura (1846-1878) on Sept. 23, 1873; and his third wife Maryanna Sysak (1839-1901) married him on Jan. 23 1879.
*Mafrona (1829-1873) married Georgius STAWYSKI (1823-1890) on October 9, 1848.
Fourth Oldest Direct KUZMICH Family Line: Theodorus KUZMICH
The fourth oldest direct family line from Snietnica in my KUZMICH family are Theodorus KUZMICH and his 3rd wife Maryanna SYSAK.
Both of my paternal great-grandfathers Theodorus KUZMICH and Bartholomew BOCZNIEWICZ/BOCHNOVICH, were involved in 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 children of Theodore KUZMICH and first wife Euphimia DOROSZ are as follows:
*Peter (1865-1944) married Cecilia Sycz (1871-1913) in 1899. They had four children; Theodoska (b.1898), Simeon (b.1901), Ivan (1904-1968) and Maxim (1910-1984). His second wife Marta Kanuk (1883-1965) was a widow with a grown up daughter; they had a son named Vladimir (b.1930).
*John (1871-1920) married Mary BASALYGA (1882-1962) in Passaic, New Jersey. They had nine children; Anna, Harry, Stephan, Andrew, Helen, Peter, Michael, Eva and Olga. John settled his family in Dickson City, Pennsylvania. John, along with his brother Demitry changed KUZMICH to KUZMICK and joined the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. John worked in a brewery that made "delicious root beer" and later worked for a mining company as a fireman with his brother Demitry. John died in 1920 and the cause of death was sulphur poisoning from the air he breathed as a fireman.
Children by the second wife Christine CHURA:
*Demitry (1875-1935) immigrated to the United States and settled in Olyphant, Pennsylvania. He was married twice. He married his first wife Anna ELCHAK (1888-1915) on May 16, 1903. They had two daughters, Mary (1904-2000), Mildred (1906-1993), and a son Joseph (1908-2002). She was a wonderful dress-maker and because she was born in Mayfield, she spoke good English. By his second wife, Anastasia KUZMICH (1893-1979), they had seven children; Nicholas (1916-1917), Helen (1918-1918), Walter (1919-1922), Olga (1922-2009), Antoinette (1923-1998), Irene(1926-2018) and Alice (b.1928).
Demitry worked driving a big beer wagon and later worked for a mining company, Hudson Coal Company. He was killed in a mining accident at the age of 59. He was well known as a great story teller, especially ghost stories. His favorite meal consisted of soup, which he ate almost daily. In addition, he loved eating meat for breakfast. His wife would need to wake up at 4 a.m. in order to make breakfast for him so he could leave for work at 6 a.m He loved music, especially opera. Demitry never talked while listening to music. He owned approximately thirty to forty records which he was very proud of. He became a U.S. citizen in 1923. He was about five foot eight inches tall. His nickname was Metro. When Demitry said no, he meant it!
Child by third wife Maryanna SYSAK:
*Anthony (1880-1937) married Tekla BOCZNIEWICZ (1875-1933) in 1898 in Passaic, New Jersey. They had at least four children; Olga (1900-1976), Mary (1901-1983), John (1903-1985) and Walter (1915-2011). It is speculated that there were a total of nine children born. Anthony immigrated to the United States in 1898. He was a foreman in the press department of the woolen mill industry in Passaic at the time of his death. He was a member of the Russian Orthodox Church St. Peter's & Paul's, and one of the first President's of this Church. He also worked in his spare time as a driver for an undertaker. On one occasion he rode a white horse dressed in a rented Austrian Army officer's uniform for a parade for the opening of a new Russian Church. His favorite foods were mashed potatoes and butter milk.
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. Mary Ann married Sergius SKOK, JR. in 1959 in Garfield, New Jersey. They had one girl, Susan. My uncle Walter KUZMICH was living in Baton Rouge, Louisana. He was a welfare worker for the State of Louisana. To my knowledge, he was the first KUZMICH relative to graduate from college and earn a bachelor and master degrees. My sister Joan, a professional dancer, married her first husband Sid Fields in 1958 and had 3 daughters, then married Fredrick M. Nicholas in 1982.
From John KUZMICH there are: 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 resided 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.