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Monday, January 13, 2014

Seven years in Manitoba



For about the last 7 years I have been looking for any information about my maternal grandmother's family. My grandmother was born and raised in Manitoba.  She went to Toronto for her sister's wedding and never went back.  I interviewed my great aunt when she was in her 80s and was able to get alot of details about the family.  She explained to me that the family lived in Winnipeg but were relocated to Lorette because they were poor (I was under the impression that it happened after her dad died).  Her father died when she was young and she didn't know alot about him, only that his name was John (on a different visit she said it was George), he was Ukrainian, served in the Russian army, and married his wife after her entire family was killed. At my great aunt's funeral her cousin told me that that the family name was Krywyj but anglicanized in Manitoba to Krovetz, by school teachers. 

 Last night I was organizing my genealogy material and I came across some Manitoba cemetery transcriptions that I had purchased on the off chance that I might find a familiar name.  I ordered them at a busy time in my life and didn't really look at them but decided to take a quick peek last night. In the Notre Dame de Lorette transcription I found a George Krovetz who died in 1926, I figured it was a long shot. In my mind I thought anything I uncovered would be registered under his original last name.  I did a quick internet search and found a picture of his stone: http://billiongraves.com/pages/record/person/5194078. Although I was initially surprised to see the anglicanized version of the name, the stone looks more recent to me than 1926 and based on the inscription "father" I believe his children erected well after his death (and explains why the name appears as Krovetz).  A further search of Billion Graves revealed another Krovetz stone for Joseph (born 1922-died 1939).  I remember my grandmother and great aunt talk about their brother Joey but I didn't realize he had died young. The stone is very similar to George's so they were probably erected at the same time.
  Armed with this new information, I decided to see if I could find the family in the 1921 census.  Searches by Krovetz and Krywyj on Ancestry did not find them so I started a manual line by line search.  Lorette is in the electoral district of Provencher, but a manual search of each Provencher subdistrict showed that Lorette was not in that district at the time.  I then branched out to district just north of Provencer (Springfield).  Lorette was there.  Eight pages in I found George, his wife Annie (not Helen?) and their eight children (a ninth was on the way).  There were two big surprise for me:
-The first 5 children, including my grandmother were all recorded as being born in Austria (nationality Russian)! 
-My grandmother had a an older brother named David and an older sister named Marianne.
-They came to Canada in 1915 (I thought it was at the turn of the century)

This explains a couple of things:
-Why my grandmother could not find a record of her baptism or birth back in the 60s when she applied for it.
- Why I could not find them in the 1901, 1906 & 1910 census records.

I visited the Manitoba Vital Stats website and discovered that there are death registrations for George, David (who died at 17) and Joseph. I've ordered the records and I'm excited that I am one step closer to discover where the family originated from, before settling in Canada!

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