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Hazleton, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre Plymouth Edwardsville PA

Salem Massachusetts

Detroit, Michigan

Perth Amboy, New Jersey

From the Ellis Island records, I found this to be the first destination of the Kotlar/Kotlarz, Wdowiak and Warcholyk lines of the family. My grandmother, Anna Kotlarz, who arrived on March 30, 1910 aboard the ship Neckar from Bremen page, #186 of the manifest, line #13, claimed as her destination the residence of her uncle, Jan Kotlarz whose address was 713 Charlie [Charles} Street, Perth Amboy. I tried to search the 1910 and 1920 New Jersey census for this person but currently the census is not indexed and after searching line by line until I was nearly blind I decided not to continue.

Shamokin, Pennsylvania

The Warcholyk and Kotlarz lines spent some time in this town. Antoni Warcholyk a half-brother to my grandmother, Anna Kotlarz, married Anna Ambicki in this town before moving on to Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. Antoni arrived at Ellis Island on Feb 16, 1906 at the age of 22 destined for the residence of his uncle, Jan Kotlarz, living at #8 Wayne Street, Perth Amboy, New Jersey.

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e-mail me at Carpatho_mts@hotmail.com

Hazleton, Pennsylvania

The Dran and Chomyk/Homik lines made Hazleton their home about 1890. Anna Chomyk my grandmother arrived in the town first (the date and with whom, not confirmed, but I speculate that it was with Chomyk family members). She and my grandfather, Michael Dran, were from the same village, Swiatkowa Wielka, in Galicia. Michael arrived in December 1890 as stated on his naturalization papers. They applied for a marriage license in January 1891 and were married on Jan 24, 1892 at St. Mary’s Greek Catholic Church in Hazleton by Rev Gugasat Volksy. Click for church Web Site

St. Mary's B.C.Church, Hazleton, PA Their witnesses were Michael Ruscinyak, Andreas Jawkevics, Anastasia Ruscinyak, Anastasia M_uba and Maria Lombichovc. Michael worked in the coalmines as stated on his marriage entry in the church record, but he later worked as an orderly at the Hazleton State Hospital for Injured Persons in Coal Regions.

Anna and Michael had six children, Barbara (aka Bertha), Julia, John, Fred Theodore (my father), Michael and Emlyn. Barbara, Julia and Fred and Emlyn married. John left home at an early age and was last known to be in Newark, New Jersey in 1931, but never contacted the family afterwards. Michael never married. He was a career army/air force member, joining in about 1920. Emlyn worked in Detroit, Michigan. His death certificate noted that he had married Florence Skinner there. I have no other information about this marriage. Emlyn was a lithographer by trade and also served in the army and in the war industry during WWII. He then returned to Hazleton residing there until his death.

Anna Chomyk Dran died in 1906 at the age of 41. Michael Dran, my grandfather, married a second time to Julia Yankowicz Grazcon, a widow from Swiatkowa. There were no children from this marriage, but Julia had Graczon daughters, Barbara and Anna Gracon/Graczon, who remained in Hazleton and raised their families there. Barbara married John Popiak and Anna married Konrad Skimbo. Descendants still live in the Hazleton area. Julia also had a daughter named Milka Graczon Makowski who lived in Jersey City, N.J. This connection was found in the Ellis Island immigration records of Julia and also in a travel diary notation of my father, Fred Dran, when he traveled from Hazleton to Swiatkowa Wielka via New York City.

Houses the Dran family owned and lived in were located on Muir Avenue, Samuel Avenue and Samuel Avenue Rear. Churches they attended were St. Mary’s Greek Catholic Church and St. Michael’s Greek Catholic Church in Hazleton and also St Marys Ukrainian Catholic Church McAdoo PA Other surnames associated with this family by marriage are Sirak, Tresh and. Sharwarko

Detroit, Michigan

Barbara Dran Tresh (older sister to Fred Dran, my father) her husband, Nicholas, and their three children, Michael, Anna and Margaret, left Hazleton, PA for the Detroit, Michigan area. For most of his life, Nick worked for the Hudson Motor Company. Descendants still live in that area. Other surnames associated with this branch of the family are Tima, Palahnuk and Pollick. The churches associated with this family are, St. John’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, Detroit, Michigan and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Ukrainian Catholic Church, Dearborn Height, Michigan,

Salem, Massachusetts

Michael Dran (b. 1860) and his sister Julianna Dran (b.1868) were the only members of their immediate family to immigrate to the USA. Julianna had married Wasyl (Basil) Nestor/Nester in Swiatkowa W. Wasyl was from the nearby village of Desznica. After they immigrated, about 1901, they established themselves in Salem, MA. Wasyl opened a grocery store in the “Polish” section of town on the corner of Hardy and Derby Streets. There is a candy store located on the spot now. They soon purchased a house on Hardy Street, which a member of their family still owns. Wasyl died an early death in 1917 at age 45. Julianna was left with 6 small children, Michael, Paul, Nicholas, Mary, Anna and Amelia. All grew up in Salem and descendants still live in the area. Their first child, Daria, was born in Swiatkowa prior to her parents’ emigration. Daria remained in Swiatkowa and married there. Wasyl Nestor’s brother, John Nester also immigrated to the USA. He and his descendants lived in the Binghamton, NY area. Other surnames, associated with the Salem Nestor family by marriage, are Orzeckowski, Gary, and Wladyka. Surnames associated with the Binghamton Nester family are Sosenko, LePay, Holda, Jablowski, Tellup, Klimash, Latture, Michalek and Skurski

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e-mail me at Carpatho_mts@hotmail.com

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania and surrounding areas of Plymouth and Edwardsville

The Siry/Sirak, Slota, Warcholyk and Kotlarz lines established themselves in the greater Wilkes Barre area. Catherine Slota Siry immigrated (possibly with Slota relatives) between 1890 (death of her husband in Hrabovcik) and 1893. She married, in the USA, a man surnamed Martin. No family member now living remembers anything about this man. Neither does anyone know where Catherine is buried. She brought her three children to the USA, one at a time between 1893 and 1897. Her children were named Mary, Michael (my grandfather) and John Siry. The children took the surname of the stepfather and were known in the community as the Martin children.

Michael was 10 years old when he immigrated to his destination, which was Plymouth PA. Catherine, his mother, may have died by 1900. According to the 1900 census, all the children were living “on their own”. Michael married Anna Kotlar in 1912 at SS Peter & Paul’s Greek Catholic Church in Plymouth. They established a household in Breslau, a suburb of Wilkes Barre. They produced ten children, Mary, b. 1913, Michael Jr., b. 1915, Anna, b. 1918, Steven, b. 1917, Olga, b. 1920, Julia, b. 1922, Theodore,b. 1927, Peter,b. 1925, Joseph b. 1923, and John, b. 1931. Michael began using a variation of his birth surname by the 1920 census. The surname Siry became Sirak for whatever reason, but still the family and his children were known in the community as the Martin family. In 1922 the family bought property and built a house in the Buttonwood section of Wilkes Barre. Mike and wife Anna resided there until their deaths. Five of six sons would serve in the military, either in WWII or the Korean War. Many descendants still live in that community. Other surnames associated with this family by marriage are Uhas, Yuhas, Dran, Zeveney, Olex, Rowe, Rock, Gruber, Lenar and Flynn. The church associated with the family is SS Peter&Paul’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, Byzantine Rite, Plymouth PA. In 2010, one of their descendants completed and published a history of the church and a survey of its cemetery. Anna Kotlar and Michael Siry/Sirak were married in this church and their children were baptized there. Anna and Michael are buried in St. Mary's Cemetery, Hanover Twp PA (map)

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Mary Siry was my grandfather Michael’s older sister. She immigrated in 1893 at the age of 9 years. By 1900 she was recorded as Mary Martin, according to the census, and was working as a domestic in a hotel in Plymouth, PA. She eventually married Andrew Mazur and lived in Edwardsville, PA. In 1910 her brother John, who was still single, was living with her family. Mary and Andrew Mazur produced five children. They were Anna b. 1907, Leo b.1908, Eva b. 1910, Elizabeth b.1915 and Olga b.1917. Mary Siry Martin Mazur died between 1920-1923 and Andrew, her husband, married again. I have lost contact with this line of family. A surname associated with this family by marriage is Fera. The church associated with this family is St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church, Edwardsville PA.

John Siry, Mary Siry Martin Mazur’s brother, immigrated in 1885. He lived as a single man with his sister’s family and then he married the sister of brother Michael’s wife. He married Eva Kotlar who was the younger sister of Anna Kotlar Sirak. Are you confused? Two brothers married two sisters. John’s marriage produced two living children, Margaret b. 1915 and Elizabeth, b.1917. Unfortunately, John was not healthy and succumbed to tuberculosis about 1923. His wife Eva married two more times. Her second husband was Milan Krlic with whom she had six children and raised them in Breslau, PA, a suburb of Wilkes Barre. Some are still living. Her third husband was Philip Lenio. There were no children from this marriage. A few descendants of Eva reside in the Wilkes Barre area. Surnames associated with this family by marriage are Zematoski, Rembish and Wargo

Michael Siry/Sirak’s wife was Anna Kotlar. Anna’s mother was Maria Wdowiak from the village of Dudynce. Maria had two marriages in Dudynce, the first was to Stephan Warcholyk. That marriage lasted two years and produced one child named Antony, before Maria was widowed. She then married Stephan Kotlarz in Dudynce and had three daughters, Margaret, Anna and Eva. Seeing no future for his children in Dudynce, their father sent Antony, Anna and Eva to the USA. Through family story, Margaret immigrated to France (Paris area) and married a Jewish jewelry merchant. They lived at one time in the Sampigny area.

Another immigrant relative in the Wilkes Barre area was Nick Wdowiak. My family is not sure whether he was an uncle or cousin to Maria Wdowiak Warcholyk Kotlarz of Dudynce. He married Amelia Pstrak in the U.S.A. and had eight children. Some are still living. Nick and Amelia resided in the Breslau section of Hanover Township near Wilkes Barre until their deaths. There are a few of his descendants still living in the area.

Click Wilkes-Barre Almanac 1940 to read about events in Luzerne County PA

Click Bald Mountain Childhood to read an online book about the life of a Carpatho-rusyn family living near Wilkes Barre in the 1920s. The introduction contains historical information about the homeland and origins of Carpatho-Rusyns. There are some very interesting personal interviews with Rusyns who were deported to the Ukraine during Operation Vistula in 1947 (all worth reading).

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