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At a dead end with my lost Ukrainian family

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  • At a dead end with my lost Ukrainian family

    Hi all, my first post here but most definitely not my last...what an amazing resource. I really hope that some of you can help me.

    I have a Ukrainian grandfather and a Belarusian grandma. I found my Belarusian family via Zhdi Menya but have reached a dead end with my grandfather. This is what I know, his story and what I have found so far:

    -Born Ivan Sklinar () on 29 December 1927, in or near Drohobych (then Poland as I'm sure you all know).

    -He had a brother called Basil () who I think was younger than him who was taken during the war. After the war, Basil returned to his hometown and settled in Stebneke (). I have an address for him but he's likely to have died now. However on I have found another Sklinar living at that same address (they are called ).

    -My granded joined the SS Galizien and worked in their stores, he never fought.

    -Became Prisoner of War and was interned in the Rimini camp in Italy.

    -Came to UK in 1947 or 1948 (this seems to be classified info so no passenger list available etc. I have found some information about general prisoners but nothing with our surname).

    -Met my Belarusian grandma in the UK, my dad was born in the UK and here I am!

    -The Sklinars I have found on are all around Drohobych (Stebneke, Borislav, Oriv) and nowhere else, so looks like a rare surname concentrated in Western Ukraine - surely related to me somehow? I have contacted 2 of them and they have no knowledge of a Basil Sklinar.

    I really don't know what else I can do or where else to look. I've been googling in both English and Cyrillic.
    I am going to Krakow in mid-2015 - could there perhaps be some archives I might find useful?

    Thank you in advance for reading this - I desperately want to find my relatives and don't know what else I can do! I hope someone can help me.

  • #2
    You missed two living in Stebnyk. There may still be surviving family there, but females do give up their nee surnames. I would write to these people and ask. You might be happily surprised.

    1937-07-10 2/62
    Olha, daughter of Vasil
    1920-09-06 21
    Vasil, son of Oleksa (Olexandr)

    According to Wikipedia Stebnyk is a burb of Drohobych.

    æ, !

    Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


    • #3
      Wow thank you! I thought about writing to them as they all live on Shevchenko Street (which is the address my grandad used to write to his brother before he died - my mum found it last week on a random piece of paper!) Basill wouldn't have been old enough for a daughter before the war so any children of his would be post-1945...this so hard!!!! I believe their father was called Nicholas/Nikolai?

      Do you know any records I could search perhaps?


      • #4
        Also - yes Stebnyk is a suburb, and so is Borislav, they all seem to be located around there and nowhere else in Ukraine.


        • #5
          Trushkewiec and Drohobych are closest, within 5 miles.

          There is a Vasil, son of Mykola (Nykolaj) in selo/village Oriv, but he might be too young to be brother???

          In writing you have nothing to lose...
          LDS FILMS:
          Metrical books, 1776-1941
          Author: Greek Catholic Church. Stebnik (Drohobycz)

          Start w/following site. Exc resource for anyone w/Galician Heritage. Records Sections covers what you
          will encounter in documentation:
          HalGal: Vital Records

          æ, !

          Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


          • #6

            If you are still looking for family, I highly recommend Odnoklassniki- Одноклассники I believe it is the best social networking site for Russians and Ukrainians. I have found so much family on here. I just found relatives of two adoptees from Russia very easily. I didn't charge the adoptees a cent.

            I wrote about this site on my blog- https://lostrussianfamily.wordpress....kraine-easily/

            Good luck!



            • #7
              Nowadays one has to be especially cautious re any URL (site address) that ends in RU (.ru). Many are carriers of Russian malware that create serious computer problems!

              æ, !

              Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


              • #8
                That's why my computer has Malwarebytes installed. I'm on Russian sites daily without one problem on my computer. Without the Russian language sites, I would have never found all my distant cousins in Russia and Ukraine.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by veramiller View Post
                  That's why my computer has Malwarebytes installed. I'm on Russian sites daily without one problem on my computer. Without the Russian language sites, I would have never found all my distant cousins in Russia and Ukraine.

                  Vera, unfortunately Russian malware is a fact of life now, but thank you for your input.

                  æ, !

                  Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


                  • #10
                    Hi everyone - thank you. I'm so confused. I've spoken to some people on but nobody knows of the family, even though Sklinars only seem to be concentrated in Lviv Oblast.

                    Just found out that although my grandad Ivan came to the UK, the family left behind (including his
                    brother Basil) were rounded up and taken to a Siberian work camp that was a salt mine.

                    At some point Basil acquired a wife, and some children. Apparently children died (not sure how many, or if onloy some of the family) died in Siberia, and Basil lost an arm in a mining accident.

                    In 1976, my grandad received a letter from "a cousin" asking about his assets in the UK, and my grandad (considering he's a Rimini 'lister') suspected it was a KGB thing and ignored it.

                    A few years later from that, the Siberian Sklinar family came back to Drohobych - Stenbnyk, and that's all I know. As there may be no children to be descendants, that could be the end of the Sklinar line there, and any people with the same name are distant cousins.

                    On I can see some people near Vladivostok, a Sklinar family are there and seems a bit odd so wondering about them being something to do with the mining and if anyone stayed behind there.

                    So confused, no idea how to find out! It's not a popular name!


                    • #11
                      Update - I've just emailed the Lvov State Archives and the Polish one too, asking for birth details. Fingers crossed!


                      • #12
                        emailing lvov state archives

                        hi dearbarbie. i read in your post that you emailed the state archives in lviv.because records from my grandfather's village do not exist, i emailed them also asking for help, many times at that. never got anything from them. what email address did you use for lviv and poland? thank you, maria


                        • #13
                          ̦, (most likely son of Oleksa***)

                          Did you write to Myroslava/
                          (female) listed in selo/village Stebno ? Family plots were kept/are kept in family).

                          You said your Grandfather was born in 1927...those records are likely still in Drohobych RAHS (Civil Registration Records). You will need a Intl Privacy Release. It would be easier for you, if you submit inquiry in your Father's name.

                          ***Basilius = Wasyl (DOB 1920) in Ukrainian (likely listed w/Oleksa - Olexandr as father)

                          ͦ ̦ æ
                          . , 20
                          - UKRAINE

                          telephone.: (03244) 2-31-30 - all inquiries need to be submitted by snail mail. No public email available. They perform no research. They will only provide a specific record requested. I would ask for Wasyl's certificate as well...

                          BTW based on his village, you should know that your Grandfather (if from Stebnyk) was highly likely BOJKO - BOYKO - BOIKO, a micro-ethnic Ruthenian/Ukrainian group. Archaeologists have conducted studies and suggest that Bojko are descendants of 9th century White Croats (originating in Ancient Persia Empire - and Eastern Slavs.
                          Ukrainian highlanders: Hutsuls, Boikos, and Lemkos
                          04.09.2007 | 12:57By Dr. Marko R. Stech

                          Distinguished by their unique dialects and folklore traditions, the Ukrainian highlanders in the eastern Carpathian Mountains are divided into several ethnographic groups: the Lemkos, the Boikos, and the Hutsuls...

                          Distinguished by their unique dialects and folklore traditions, the Ukrainian highlanders in the eastern Carpathian Mountains are divided into several ethnographic groups: the Lemkos, in the Low Beskyd and the western part of the Middle Beskyd; the Boikos, up to the Bystrytsia Solotvynska River; and the Hutsuls in the Hutsul region further east.

                          The central part of Transcarpathia is settled by the Zahoriany (tramontanes) or Dolyniany (lowlanders), who are related to the Boikos and speak a central Transcarpathian dialect.

                          The Hutsuls are renouned for their colorful, richly ornamented folk dress and their handicrafts, such as artistic wood carving, ceramics, handmade jewelry, vibrant handwoven textiles, embroidery, and distinctive wooden folk architecture.

                          Engaged primarily in animal husbandry and agriculture, the Boikos have preserved many ancient folk customs and rites that have disappeared in other parts of Ukraine.

                          The Lemkos are a distinct ethnic group within the Ukrainian nation. Their dialects and spiritual and material culture preserved some unique archaic elements that have been lost by other Ukrainians. Almost all Lemkos were resettled from their native territory to the USSR (in 1944-45) and western Poland (in 1947).

                          HUTSULS. An ethnographic group of Ukrainian pastoral highlanders inhabiting the Hutsul region in the Carpathian Mountains. According to one theory, the name hutsul was originally kochul (`nomad,` cf literary Ukrainian kochovyk) and referred to inhabitants of Kyivan Rus` who fled from the Mongol invasion into the Carpathian Mountains.

                          Other scholars believed that the name derives from a subtribe of the Cumans or Pechenegs-the ancient Turkic Utsians or Uzians-who fled from the Mongols. Since the 19th century the most widely accepted view has been that the name comes from the Rumanian word for brigand, hotul/hot.

                          Archeological evidence of human existence in the region dates back 100,000 years. Certain localities (eg, Kosiv) were settled as early as the Neolithic Period (6,000-4,000 BC). The Slavic White Croatians inhabited the region in the first millennium AD; with the rise of Kyivan Rus`, they became vassals of the new state.

                          References to salt mines in the region are found in the Galician-Volhynian Chronicle, and the earliest recorded mention of a settlement there (1367) is that of the salt-mining center of Utoropy. Many other Hutsul settlements and monasteries are mentioned in charters and municipal and land documents beginning in the 15th century...

                          HUTSUL REGION (Hutsulshchyna). A region in the southeasternmost part of the Carpathian Mountains of Galicia, Bukovyna, and Transcarpathia (the basins of the upper Prut River, upper Suceava River, upper Bystrytsia Nadvirnianska River, and upper Tysa River valleys), inhabited by Ukrainian highlanders called Hutsuls. Except for eight settlements in Romania, the Hutsul region lies within the present-day borders of the Ukraine.

                          In the southeast the Hutsul region borders on ethnic Romanian lands; in the west, on the region of the Boikos; in the north, on the region of the Subcarpathian Pidhiriany; and in the southwest, on long-cultivated Transcarpathian Ukrainian lands.

                          The region is located in the most elevated and picturesque part of the Ukrainian Carpathians. The gently sloping mountains are densely populated, and the land there is cultivated to a considerable height owing to the moderating climatic influence of the Black Sea and the massiveness of the ranges, which make summers in the region warmer than in other parts of the Carpathians. Highland pastures (polonyny) are widespread, and herding, particularly of sheep, has traditionally been widely practiced.

                          BOIKOS. A tribe or ethnographic group of Ukrainian highlanders who inhabit both slopes of the middle Carpathian Mountains, now in Lviv oblast, Ivano-Frankivske oblast, and Transcarpathia oblast. The name boiko is thought to be derived from the frequent use of the particle boiie by the population.

                          The Boikos are believed to be the descendants of the ancient Slavic tribe of White Croatians that came under the rule of the Kyivan Rus` state during the reign of Grand Prince Volodymyr the Great. Before the Magyars occupied the Danube Lowland this tribe served as a direct link between the Eastern and Southern Slavs.

                          The Boiko region occupies all of the High Beskyd, the eastern part of the Middle Beskyd, the western part of the Gorgany Mountains, and the Middle Carpathian Depression south of these mountains. In the north the limits of the Boiko region coincide with the borderline of the Carpathians; in the south the region borders on the Middle Carpathian territory, inhabited by the lowlanders (dolyniaky), whose dialect is considered the archaic Boiko tongue.

                          In the west the Boiko population extends as far as the Solynka River, which is a tributary of the Sian River and marks the border with the Lemkos, and in the east it extends to the Limnytsia River valley.

                          LEMKOS. A Ukrainian ethnic group which until 1946 lived in the most western part of Ukraine on both sides of the Carpathian Mountains and along the Polish-Slovak border. The name seems to be derived from the frequent use of the word lem `only` by the Lemkos. They usually call themselves rusnaky or rusyny (Ruthenians). Scholars and the intelligentsia began to use the name Lemko for the western groups of Ukrainian highlanders in the mid-19th century, and by the end of the century some Lemkos had accepted the name.

                          It is not used widely in the Presov region of Slovakia. The intrinsic conservatism of the Lemkos preserved them from Polonization but at the same time impeded the rise of Ukrainian national consciousness. The Old Ruthenian cultural mainstream, led mostly by local priests, turned in a

                          Russophile direction in the 1900s and received support from the Russian tsarist government. The Ukrainian national movement gained strength among the Lemkos only toward the end of the 19th century and was centered in Nowy Sacz and Sianik...

                          LEMKO REGION (Lemkivshchyna). The territory traditionally inhabited by the Lemkos forms an ethnographic peninsula 140 km long and 25-50 km wide within Polish and Slovak territory. After the deportation of Lemkos from the northern part in 1946, only the southern part, southwest of the Carpathian Mountains, known as the Presov region in Slovakia, has remained inhabited by Lemkos.

                          The Lemko region occupies the lowest part of the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains-most of the Low Beskyd, the western part of the Middle Beskyd, and the eastern fringe of the Western Beskyd. The landscape is typical of medium-height-mountain terrain, with ridges reaching 1,000 m and sometimes 1,300 m. Only small parts of southern Low Beskyd and the northern Sian region have a low-mountain landscape. A series of mountain passes along the Torysa River and Poprad River-Tylych Pass (688 m), Duklia Pass (502 m), and Lupkiv Pass (657 m)-facilitate communications between Galician and Transcarpathian Lemkos.
                          Ukrainian highlanders: Hutsuls, Boikos, and Lemkos : UNIAN news

                          more reading re Bojko:

                          Last edited by Hannia; 28th September 2015, 18:18.

                          æ, !

                          Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


                          • #14
                            Hi Mprima - I emailed - no response yet

                            I have convinced my husband that we should go to Lvov and Drohoych next year as our holiday so we can do some first-person research.

                            If you're interested, the other grandparents (Ivan's wife) was from Belarus and was a Nazi POW, and we found them via Zhdi Menya - I just made this video if you want a happy story!!

                            Thanks Hannia too - I don't think they're from Stebnik, I believe they moved to the next village they originated from when they returned from forced labour in Siberia in the 1970s. Is a name that suggests son of Oleksa? Indeed his father was Alexander yes!!! I can't find a birth notice or anything for them.
                            I haven't written but I will, thank you, they're probably not alive anymore - how up-to-date is

                            Thank you all so far!!


                            • #15
                              Ivan's wife) was from Belarus and was a Nazi POW
                              Technically your Belarusyn Grandmother was not a POW (prisoner of war). She was an Ostarbeiter (forced laborer). Did you contact Bad Arolsen Archives and obtain her records from Germany? There can be a lot of personal detail in those records, like her mother's maiden name. Every bit of information will help to ascertain any found relatives, who might or might not be your own.


                              Displaced Persons' (DP) Camps Table of Contents

                              I believe they moved to the next village they originated from when they returned from forced labour in Siberia in the 1970s.
                              I am not clear what you mean. After enduring their Siberian or Khazakstani experience, they likely returned to their nest, Stebnyk, and maybe at a later date moved to Drohobych??? That would be the more usual occurrence.

                              how up-to-date is
                              It's not, but it is frequently used to point one in the right direction.

                              they're probably not alive anymore
                              Probably so, but the family house is still likely owned by the family. Maybe someone there can connect some dots for you.

                              Since Grandfather Ivan (John in English) was born in ?1924, chances are you will need to contact the RAHS in Drohobych.
                              Last edited by Hannia; 30th September 2015, 22:15.

                              æ, !

                              Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp