my grandfather's grave in the USA- Mykola Hnat/ Huat
- If by now my message has not appeared, I will post this. Hi from Winnipeg, I am new to your site. I would appreciate any suggestions, advice etc. If you feel this part of my research should go to
as a project to a genealogist' additional services for a fee, please advise me. I have located second cousins in the US - however Micheal Hnat, his nephew who also emigrated from Vykoty with my grandfather and who would have information crucial to this research passed away in 1948
My paternal grandfather Mykola Hnat was born in the village of Vykoty, Ukraine/ then under Austro- Hungary/ in 1879.
His Ellis Island record read HUAT- that is why I am including this version.
He had signed a contract to work in the coal mines of " Ameryk".
None of my relatives or villagers in Vykoty who heard the story from their parents know which state he worked in.
The Ellis Island record simply states that he was going to Michaly Hnat, his nephew.
What folows is an account I have checked and double checked, it is remarkable in it's consistency except for the void common to all - ie the state where he mined and where he is buried.
In May of 1914 my grandmother received a telegram that my grandfather had been accidentally killed by a fellow villager.
His name was mentioned and he was from the neighboring town of Biskovychi.
She was left with four small children and debt.
After consulting with a lawyer Kytsula in Sambir, she followed his advice and "negotiated" compensation suggested by the perpetrator- his land was sold and a portion of the monies was given to my babunia Kateryna / Onyshkevich/ Hnat.
There are no documents I can go on since as soon as my parents hitched up a wagon in 1944 and headed for the Slovak border, the family was exiled to Siberia until the early sixties. I
I am born in Sechovce, Slovakia and one day will share with you the emotional and successful visit to find my maternal god-mother
As far as my grandfather's grave I have tried the site Find a Grave- nothing for Mykola/ Huat/ Hnat.
The fellow villagers that were present when he died, came from Biskovice and they were destined for Bolton, pa, Phoenixville, Pa. and one manifest read Fayette County.
In telephone conversations with the descendants of the villagers who stayed behind in the US, one mentioned mines in West Virginia, his grandfather's coal mining loyalty badge read
Spencer. There is a Spencer Pa. and there was a Spencer Coal mining Co at the time that had workers in Pa.!! Such a vast territory and so many mines. Skeptics say- you will never find the body, they disposed of it. I want to believe that in May of 1924 still before the war, he was buried if even in a pauper's cemetery.
I leave you with this as an introduction happy to find the site, impressed with the messages I have read and not wanting to over- bombard you. I have many questions but for now -
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Per your request, Ellis Island changed Wykoty to Vykoty in the passenger index. I would not have done that.
Wykoty was the official (Austrian) place name spelling. Vykoty is "English spelling".
For example, if a researcher wants to search the Ellis Island databse to find all people who emigrated from Wykoty they will not find Mykola Hnat, for now Mykola Hnat is indexed as being from Vykoty. Very few people will search for Vykoty. Right now only one person is found as being from Vykoty, but thee are many from Wykoty, including many Hnats and "Huats".
Changing "Huat" to Hnat was appropriate and required since the name on the manifest is clearly written as Hnat, for people who can read the old cursive handwriting.