The Kulich Clan

                                   The Kulich Clan

I was unable to complete the Kulich line because I do not have access to info such as birth dates, death dates etc of my Aunt Mary Kulich, her family, John Jr family, Mary Ann, and Jerry’s family so I would suggest that some one from this group should complete the history as I did with the Malkovich family. I also do not have any info on my Uncle Nick, My Uncle Tony or my Aunt Lee so I cannot do a study on their linage.

Again, you can read all notes and documents that I took this info from in the appendix area following this summary.

                                         First the Kulich name

On the Marriage Certificate of Michael and Mary Ivanica (Evanica?) the original name of the Kuliches was Andrijkulich. I have been using this spelling of their last name but on some documents it was spelled differently (Andriakulich, Andrakulich, Andrikulic, etc.) According to Anna it was shortened to Kulich (name change) when Michael went to work in the coal mines and they thought it was 2 names Andrew and Kulich. It looks likely it was then adopted from then on. I tried to find documents from the county or state of Pennsylvania to see when the name was changed and registered because it would have had to have been recorded somewhere if only for tax and property purchases. After some research and a phone call to the Clerk of Courts in Scranton, PA, I sent a letter requesting information on the name change and am waiting the results.

Luckily I have notes that my mother Anna Kulich Malkovich wrote about her background.

She states that she was born on May 26, 1908 in Stavnow Uzhorod Austria Hungry (now Stavne, Ukraine- see maps). Her father was Jacob Andrijkulich and was married to Mary Evanica but Jacob died in late 1907 while Mary was pregnant with Anna. Mary then married Jacob’s brother Michael Andrijkulich in Scranton, Pa on Feb. 28, 1908. This was a common practice in those times that the unwed brother would marry the widow and take over that responsibility. I also find this practice in the Bible at Deuteronomy 25:5

According to the 1920 census, I find that the Michael Kulich first immigrated to America in 1905. Since he was married in Scranton, PA in 1908 that means he was here working in the coal mines in 1905.

Anna tells us that she came to America on May 12, 1912 from the port of Hamburg on the ship Bremen. I do not know if they arrived on that date or left Hamburg on that date. Most all of the archives of the shipping line were lost during the world wars. I am also not sure if they entered through Ellis Island or another port like Philadelphia. . I tried searching the manifests of the Bremen but most were destroyed during the world wars except for the years of 1907, 1908, 1913 and 1914 and I did not find either family or individual listed on any of them.

There is a rather interesting item, if you look at the dates of her marriage and Anna’s birth. Mary was married in Scranton, Pa. Feb. 28, 1908 and Anna born in Stavnow, Austria Hungry on May 26, 1908 which would have meant that Mary was about 6 months pregnant when remarried and went back to Stavnow in Europe. This had me confused until I found a small note that said he went back 5 times. It doesn’t say why.

It just recently dawned on me that Mary would have to already have been here at the time her first husband Jacob died and he must have died here in America. Going back nine months from when Anna was born in May 2008 which would be Aug/Sept. 2007 meant he was undoubtedly still alive then. DUH Looking at the timing, he would have died in the last part of 2007 and Michael married Mary in Feb. of 2008. This would have put Jacob in America. Now that I believe I have the approximate time and place of his death which would be the coal mines in the Curtisville area I will be trying to track down his death certificate. This might take me some time as we have a problem with the spelling of his last name. Was it Andrijkulich (or some form of) or Kulich??

Note: on a few of the docs, I find Mary Evanica’s name as Maria and her last name spelled Ivanica. This could be from translation but Anna Kulich Malkovich names her mother as Mary Evanica not Ivanica. Depending on which nation’s alphabet you use it could be Maria or Mary.

Anna then tells us that they first lived in Dunmore, Pa for one year and then settled in Curtisville, Pa where Michael worked as a coal miner. Michael was injured in a mine accident on March 30, 1915 and had to have a metal leg brace which prohibited him from working in the mines. Michael then opened up a pool hall in Curtisville to support his family and they lived above it. I remember being there for my Aunt Mary or my Aunt Helen’s wedding. Not sure which one I was pretty young at that time.

Michael was born according to Anna in Bestri (which I cannot find using that spelling) county of Uzhgorod (which I have found) in the Ukraine. Others have given me thoughts that Michael was born in Czechoslovakia but I find no evidence of this even though on the death certificate of Mary Kulich (where that thought may have come from) they have on the genealogy that they came from Stavne Chezoslovakia but I find that Stavne is in the Ukraine in the Uzhgorod district close to now what is the Slovania and Poland borders. (See the map in the appendix). Since this was also the birth place of Anna Kulich Malkovich, I have concluded that this is where the family of Mary (Evanica) Andrijkulich lived.

I have even perused the Uzhgorod archives in the Ukraine and cannot find a town of Bistra. Anna has another note with a spelling of Verhovina Bestria and I have found a village close by that is spelled Verkovyna-Bystra which I totally believe this to be the village that Michael Andrijkulich was born in. It probably also is where his brother Jacob Andrijkulich, father of Anna, was born and where his family resided.
The village of Verhovyna-Bystra is located in the Carpathian Mountains of Ukraine. One of the challenges of doing research in this part of the world is the shifting national border. For example, this part of the Carpathians was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire before World War I. Between the two world wars 1918 to 1938 it was part of the Republic of Czechoslovakia. (The first U.S. census that their name appeared on was in 1920 and had the country of origin as Czechoslovakia) In 1938, after Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia, he gave this area back to Hungary, which was an ally of his. The area had strong Ukrainian nationalists so after the war, the area was given to the Ukrainian Socialist Republic and it is now in the independent country of Ukraine.
Because of these shifts in ownership, even the name of the town is different in different languages. With Slavic languages there is also the issue of transliteration of the Slavic alphabet. The current Ukrainian spelling is Verkhnyaya Bystra but I have also found it spelled as Verkhniy Bystryy, Verchnja Bystryj and Verkhovyna Bystra.
I believe that this clears up the confusion as to Czechoslovakia being the birthplace of Michael Andrijkulich. Once the Kulich’s started using Czechoslovakia as their country of origin in the1920 census, which it was during that time, they never changed it when it went back to be in the nation of Ukraine. Shirley Erwin told me that our Uncle John Kulich always said we were Ukrainian.
So there it is!!!
I really enjoyed doing this genealogy study even though there were many frustrating times due to translations, mistranslations and misdirection’s.

It is my hope though that someone down the road would continue adding to it and keep this study alive throughout the years for future generations.

Finally I did not want to wait until I have exhausted all avenues (which there are more) as it will probably take quite a lot of time yet so I am releasing this study with what I have up to this date. As I uncover more information, I will make addendums which I will email to anyone who gives me their info.


Phil Malkovich