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SHORT HISTORY: Swiatkowa Wielka is a small village situated in the heart of the Beskid Mountians ( a part of the Carpathian range) at the confluencse of the Swierzowla and the Wisloka streams. Nearby is the village of Swiatkowa Mala There are no documents that note the year the village was founded, but some oral histories say the ancestors of the inhabitants and the surrounding areas came from Transcarpathia. . Swiatkowa W. is one of the oldest Lemko villages and is first mentioned in the 14th century during the rein of King Casimir the Great.. Along with several other villages in the area, it was owned by Andrew Castellan Sanok Stadnicki.. In 1554, the assets were divided between this nobleman’s two sons. IN 1581, there was already a priest in Swiatkowa. In 1633, rights and privileges ( felling trees, grazing sheep in the woods, right to fish in the rivers, the right to grind corn at the manor mills without charge, etc.) were given to a priest . Before the present church was built (circa 1757 from the lintel inscription) there had already existed a church and priest documented in records in 1746.. In 1785, the village covered 19 sq. kilometers and was inhabited by 528 Greek Catholics and 14 Jews.
The 19th century was very difficult for residents of Swiatkowa and the surrounding countryside. In 1815 , a cruel winter resulted in Springtime flooding that destroyed the land. In 1830, 1831, 1849 and 1873, cholera epidemics caused great death tolls among the people. In 1831, 1846 and 1847, hunger and typhus were rampant.
The 1980s began the time of emigration to America. This threatened local authorities in Jaslo as they sought the help of parish leaders to to urge residents to abandon foreign travels, telling of hardships , dangers and costs of travel, describing the hard work encountered and separation from family. But people did not believe it and they continued to save money for the journey to look for a better future. Many diligent Swiatkowians were successful in America and benefited the family that remained through material assistance and the church through donations.
In 1849 a village parochial school was established with 42 children attending and their teacher Dmyro CHowanski. In 1855 there were 3 classes of students under the tutelage of Philip Procko. An additional school was built in 1882
During WWI, up to 56 people from Swiatkowa fought on the side of Austria. Three casualties of that war were Vassily Reszetar, Nicholas Motyka, and J. Michael Labiki Senczak. Four men returned with war injuries and the remaining came home safely.. The village itself suffered from military operations. As the Austro-Hungarian troops retreated from the Russian army, villages were burned and destroyed. In Swiatkowa, all the buildings around the church were razed. Afterwards, some residents lived in the basement of their homes or were taken in by those with homes in the surviving part of the village.. Prior to WWI, three residents of Swiatkowa were deported to Tallerhoff concentration camp. They were later returned safely to the village, In the spring of 1915, as the Russian troops retreated from the Carpathian Mountains, a portion of the Swaitkowa population went with them. Initially they settled in Rostov-on-Don, but conditions there led to misery and hunger. After the was, most of them returned to Swaitkowa, exhausted mentally and physically.
IN 1918, residents in and near Swiatkowa started a movement shoes aim was to define its future after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Activists debated whether to align the Lemko Republic to Czechoslovakia or to be directed toward Ukraine. Most people in Swiatkowa wanted the establishment of a sovereign Ukraine and created a Ruska National Council. Council authorities negotiated with international contacts independently.. The area, now under the dominance of the Polish government, paid little attention until contacts with the Czechs were made. In 1919, Polish troops were sent to squelch the activities. Swiatkowa residents were not easily resigned to Polish authority
By the 1920s, villagers began to forget the turmoil of war and political matters. By 1925, a food coopt was built and there were two shops with Lemko owners and two smaller establishments one run by a local Jewish family on the road to Wolowiec and another by a local Lemko famil near the junction with the road to Rostajnego.
In 1927, all but one family converted to Orthodoxy. In 1929 the Swiakowa Orthodox Church was built near the road to Wolowiec, the property of the Orthodox priest. In 1934 four families returned to the Greek Catholic faith .
In 1945, almost all of the inhabitants of Swiatkowa were transported away from their mountains and the lands of their ancestors and to the Soviet Union. Many settled around Drohobycz, Lvov and Stanislaviv. Only four Lemko families remained in the village. However, in 1947, even those residents were transported during “Actina Wisla” A few Lemko families returned after 1957 and today the few houses that exist in Swiatkowa have mostly been rebuilt. (excerpted from http://www.beskid-niski.pl/ )
The village is surrounded by Magura National Park and is a recreational area for ecotourism. A few tourist chalets have been built. There is a excellent café that serves trout dinners owned by the Gracon/Gratson family. The occasional shepherd and his flock can be spotted in the surrounding fields. Osipki cheese, a smoky young sheep cheese is the delicacy of the area.
e-mail me at Carpatho_mts@hotmail.com
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OTHER SURNAMES OF SWIATKOWA WIELKA
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OTHERS RESEARCHING SURNAMES/SWIATKOWA WIELKA
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Jchulick@aol.com is researching Swiatkowa Wielka and Swierzowa Ruska. His ancestors were the CZULYK/ CHULICK family who lived on the outskirts of Swierzowa Ruska. His great-grandfather, Andrew CZULYK married Therese SOSANKO/SOSENKO. The Sosenkos were originally from neighboring Jaworze and Desznica. Andrew was the 3rd of six children born in the village. Others were Joseph, John, Samuel, Elias and Anna. In the US, the main locations for the family were Mayfield, PA, Benld, IL and St. Louis, MO
firstname.lastname@example.org is researching the surname FILIAK. Paraska (Priscilla) FILIAK, born Jan 1 1895 in Swiatkowa Wielka, was the daughter of Iwan FILIAK and Anna GLUEHANICK. Iwan was a furniture maker.
Kmonagha@aol.com is researching Andreas MAJCHRYCZ, born May 17, 1864 in Swiatkowa Wielka. His father was Theodore and his mother Eva PROCHKO. His father’s second wife was Anastasia RESETAR. His siblings were Anna, Harry, Michael, and Theresa. Andreas migrated to Mayfield PA and married Macrina LESCZAK in Wilkes Barre PA. They moved to Jermyn, PA where Andreas died in 1951.
email@example.com is researching villages of Swiatkowa Wielka and Swierzowa for the following surnames: DZIADYK, ZAPERACH, BABIAK, CAPP, KONCHUGA, SCHERBA, KILKO
Bacsiknj@aol.com is searching for information about Anna Parocha born in Swierzowa. She married Michael Yurkowsky, born about 1763 from Pielgrzymka.
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