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Meet the Turk Family Lines

History of the Turk Family Lines

The surname TURK appears to be both locational and characteristic in origin, which is believed to be associated with the English and Yugoslavian peoples, meaning, "one who came from Trukman (now a Soviet Socialist Republic), one who came from Turkey, a TURK, and the TURK, a Mohammedian ." Different spellings of the same original surname are a common occurrence. Dictionaries of surnames indicate probable spelling variations of TURK to be TURCH, TURCUS, TURCHE, TURKUS, TORKE, TURC, TURE, TRUK, TRUKMAN, TRUKE, TURKE, TURKS, and TURKES.

Preliminary information suggests that my TURK Family Lines (Anthony TURK, great- grandfather) were part of the Austrian immigration from the Yugoslavian area of today during the 1880's. The Anthony TURK family first settled in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania and then moved to Clifton, New Jersey, and Waukegan, Illinois. His children and descendants have settled in many parts of the U.S.A. (Alaska, Hawaii, Indianapolis, Washington, California, Illinois, New Jersey, etc.). Ann FLETCHER of Indianapolis is a descendant of Anton Turk's brother, Joseph. Many of her descendants settled in Indianapolis and are still there today.

History of Our Oldest TURK Relatives

About 27 years ago, I was fortunate to make contact with the village clerk of Novo Mesto in Yugoslavia. She provided me with information about the TURK homestead there. Apparently, many generations of TURKS resided in the homestead. Consequently, it was easy to trace ancestors back to the early 1800's. Our oldest TURK ancestor is Martin TURK who was born in 1790. He married Mary STANGEL. They had at least one son, Joseph who was born in 1813. Joseph married Mary HROVATIC in 1836. They had six children: Joseph, Mary, Margaret, Cecilia, John and Florian. Mary HROVATIC passed away in Novo Mesto August 30, 1855. Joseph then married Mary GAZVODA in Novo Mesto on November 14, 1855. She bore 10 children: Joseph (1856 birth), Mary, John, Frank, Matthew, Anton (1965 birth), Matthew, Frank, Ana and Teresa (1877 birth). Mary GAZVODA passed away August 11, 1916 in Novo Mesto. Unfortunately, many of Joseph's children by his two wives passed away in childhood because of illness.

1996 Family Trip to Slovenia

In the summer of 1996, I took my entire family Poland and Slovenia to do family history. It was a fantastic experience to not only validate that my Slovenia ancestors came from Novo Mesto, Slovenia, but to also see where they lived. In one instance, we found the home of where our oldest TURK was born in 1790. To our amazement, there was still a TURK family living there. Because of this trip, I was able to research three generations beyond my great-father, Anton TURK.

Martin Turk is our oldest identified TURK ancestor. He married Marija SEVEROVLJA and they had six children. Martin was probably born in the 1760's.

The next generation of TURK's in my director family is that of Martin TURK (born 1790) who had six children with his wife Mary TURK.

The next generation of TURK's in my direct family line is that of Joseph TURK who was born on January 7, 1813. Below is an account of his eight children including my great- grandfather, Anton TURK.
Early TURK Immigration to the U.S.A.

Two of Joseph TURK's (1813 birth) and Mary GAZVODA's children immigrated to the United States: Anton and Teresa. Anton TURK is my great-grandfather. Teresa married Joseph ZUPANCIC in 1898 and passed away in Elgin, Illinois on July 9, 1946. She had a family of seven children: Rose, Mary, Luddie, John, Joseph, Frank and Louis. They resided in Waukegan, Illinois. Earlier, they had lived in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. Anton Turk lived with his sister in Ambridge, Pennsylvania around 1905 for a year or two before he moved to Waukegan, Illinois.

There are other TURKs from the Martin TURK (1790 birth) line that immigrated to this country through Ana and Josephine TURK. Ana is the daughter of Joseph TURK (1856 birth), Anton TURK's brother. Joseph was born in Novo Mesto on August 25, 1856. He married Mary UMEK on February 22, 1881. They had nine children: Joseph, Mary, Ana (1886 birth), Frances, Josephine (1891 birth), Agnes, Janez, and Frank. Ana and Josephine were the only children of this family that immigrated to Indianapolis from Novo Mesto. Josephine (1891 birth) married John Sebance and died in Indianapolis in 1926. Ana was born in Novo Mesto on September 16, 1886. She married Frank KLOBUCAR in Indianapolis on April 26, 1909. Ana bore six children with her first husband, Frank KLOBUCAR): Frank, Mary, Anna (1911 birth), Stanislaus, Joseph and Francis. Her first husband passed away in 1919. She married John BACAR in 1921. They bore three children: John, Justine and Louis. This summer, I met with a descendant of Frank KLOBUCAR and Ana TURK (1886 birth), Mrs. Ann TURK FLETCHER (1911 birth), in Indianapolis with many of her immediate family. Ann TURK FLETCHER was born in 1911 and married Art FLETCHER in Indianapolis, date unknown. They had two children: Arlene and John. Arlene married Don Christie and Donald W. BATES. She had three children by her first husband: Arlene, Jon and Paul. She had two children by her second husband: Pat and Amy. All of her children live in Indianapolis.

History of the Anthony TURK Family Line

The oldest identified member of my direct ancestors of the TURK Family Line who immigrated to this country are Anthony TURK and his two wives, Barbara KUCHTA or Pelagia WOLOSHYNOVICH and Elizabeth KASCASK, who are my maternal great-grandparents. I would estimate dates of birth to be in the 1860's in the region of Untrichstreich, Austria. I have been to find the exact geographical location of this village to be Novo Mesto and even the homestead address which was lived in by many previous generations of TURKs. Anthony TURK married Barbara KUCHTA (Pelagia WOLOSHYNOVICH) either in Austria before immigrating to America in the 1880's or was married in America shortly after her original nationality. Anthony TURK immigrated to America in New York City, arriving July 2, 1887. He applied for citizenship on December 2, 1893 and admitted to citizenship on September 18, 1897. Their first known residence was in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, where Anthony was employed as a miner. Their religion was Roman Catholic.

His wife, Barbara, died suddenly in 1901 of an unknown illness. At that time six children had been born: Michael, Anthony, John, Mary, Sue, and Joseph. In 1902, Anthony and Elizabeth Kascask were married in Passaic, New Jersey. In about 1905 the family moved to Ambridge, Pennsylvania. The reason for leaving Clifton was because their house burned down completely. In Ambridge, Anton's sister Teresa ZUPANCIC, was living. The remained in Ambridge for about a year and a half and finally settled in Waukegan, Illinois in 1907. The following children were born to Elizabeth and Anthony: Jack, Ann, Francis, Rose, and Frank. Anthony TURK passed away in Waukegan at the age of 88 in 1952 and Elizabeth in 1945 at the age of 75. Anthony had been a coal miner in Pennsylvania, a butcher in New Jersey, and a teamster in Illinois. As of now Anthony TURK is known to be oldest direct male progenitor of all of my maternal and paternal ancestors in the United States. He also had the most children, fifteen, in this country.

First wife is Pelagia WOLOSHYNOVICH or Barbara KUCHTA:

There is speculation that Michael TURK KOVAC and John TURK had a different father. To date, I have never been able to obtain a birth record for either person. However, I have been able to find a birth record for a Michael KUCHTA in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania on the same day of Michael TURK KOVAC's birth, December 22, 1889. The parents were Theodore KUCHTA and Pelagia (no maiden name given). Until I can verify further information about this matter, it is only a rumor.

Second wife is Elizabeth KASCSAK:

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