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"The ancestor of every action is a thought." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Entries in koval (3)


Finally! A Lead in my Hyrcuniak Family! 

Recently I've been spending a good amount of time researching Anna Hyrcuniak Koval, my maternal great grandmother. And let me tell you, the last name Hyrcuniak is a tough one to research. It's hard to say, spell, originates from a different language, and she came from a place that was Austria and has since been Poland, Ukraine, and now it's back to Poland. So you can imagine the MANY different ways I've found it spelled and the roadblocks I've faced.

Anna married Fedor "Frank" Koval in Wilkes-Barre, PA and had 11 children.  I stalked the Ellis Island website, searching and searching for anyone with a name close to Hyrcuniak who came to the general area of Wilkes-Barre, PA in the early 1900's. I found a pair of brothers, Wasil and Michael Hyrcuniak, who came to and from Austria to the mining regions of eastern PA in the early 1900's. And then it happened. I found a single Anna "Hryciniak" coming from Lutowiska going to Scranton, PA to meet her brother Michael! So I not only found my great grandmother's passage to the US, but connected her to 2 brothers! An it just so happened that she arrived in the US June 1904, 3 months before she was married in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Obviously this is not 100% without a doubt, but it's a VERY good lead. And sometimes when researching your genealogy, you just have to have that feeling. You've done so much due diligence and you just know that these pieces fit together.

Not long after finding this record I received some very interesting news. A possible distant relative contacted me. Her great grandmother was a Hyrcuniak and this person had been in frequent contact with my maternal great aunt before her death. This person had traveled to Poland, TWICE. Guess where? LUTOWISKA! This past weekend we had a great, almost 2 hour long phone call discussing all of our information and sources. Growing up, her uncle and my great aunt had said that our great grandmother's were sisters. Enter the 3rd party. There is another researcher involved! His grandmother is another supposed Hyrcuniak sister. I'm not convinced we're all connected to the same exact family, but it seems we are all very avid researchers dedicated to finding our family. Either way these connections are valuable and worthwhile.

I'm feeling very encouraged and excited!




Thank you, Mom! 

It's been 8 weeks since my mother died suddenly. Still doesn't feel real. I am heartbroken and missing her every single day. But, my life must go on. I will never take my time here for granted. It's a tough lesson to learn, but each day is so very precious.

I am a mom to the sweetest girls. They just turned 8 months old. Yes, they are twins! Identical twin girls. My mom was so excited to be their Grammy. She never knew any of her Grandparents and her own mother died very young. This was a new and very special bond for her. My husband, Steve, and our twin girls were living in Brooklyn, NY until early this year.  After having the girls we knew we wanted to be closer to family. Both of our families live in upstate NY within 30 minutes of each other. As we made our plans to ditch the city life, we were so excited to move our girls into the arms of both sets of grandparents. The very day we packed up the moving truck and made our way from Brooklyn to Rensselear, NY- my mom suffered a ruptured aneurysm and passed away.

I want to dedicate this blog to my mom, Sharon Marie Koval Wright. She was the hardest working person I have ever known. She loved, worked, and dedicated her life to those she loved. The biggest gift of all- she taught me how to be a mom. Thank you for being such an amazing mom. I love you.


* I've been ancestor approved!

The Ancestor Approved Award was started by Leslie Ann (Ancestors Live Here) to show appreciation of bloggers sharing interesting - helpful - fun content. Jennifer (The Erudite Geneagloist) has passed on the Ancestor Approved Award to me! Thank you so much for the recognition. When given the nod you are asked to share 10 things you have learned about your ancestors that have surprised, humbled, or enlightened you. I thought it would be easy to make the list, but I was surprised how competitive I made it for my ancestor's stories! Here are a few of my moments.

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