Monthly Archives: May 2013

The Cossack Letter to the Sultan Mahmud IV

In the 17th Century, Ukraine was a constantly disputed borderland between Catholic Poland and Muslim Turkey (both more powerful in those days), and Orthodox Russia (just starting to emerge as a great power). Indeed the very name “Ukraine” means “border.”

The Cossacks were Ukrainian cavalrymen originally chartered by Poland to establish autonomous military communities on the Turkish border. The most famous Cossack settlement was the Zaporogian “Syech'” near present-day Continue reading


Note: This is a process for searching for immigrants who came over between 1925-1935.

Before coming to the library, search the online data base of the Canada Archives for the name you are seeking. Note that if your ancestors changed their name, don’t use that name. Use the name they had on their passport. In my case I first tried the name Onyschuk to no avail. When my sister told me that my father had the Polish spelling of Onyszczuk, I then tried that name and it worked.

If you try a name and nothing comes up, try a Polish version of the name, eg. For Continue reading

Save Library & Archives Canada

Save Library & Archives Canada: How Ordinary Citizens can Make an Impact
Library-and-Archives-Canada-logoThis is a follow-up to my earlier article at Kimberly Silk has posted a blog article describing how Canadians can take action now to save and greatly improve Library & Archives Canada. You can read Kimberly’s excellent article at Do you have comments, Continue reading

Mismanagement of the Library and Archives of Canada

Concerns About Serious Mismanagement of the Library and Archives of Canada
Library-and-Archives-Canada-logoA political scandal is brewing in Canada. The head of Library and Archives Canada (LAC), Daniel Caron, resigned after billing taxpayers nearly $4,500 for personal Spanish lessons. The scandal over his expenses followed controversy over a new code of conduct for employees instituted a few months ago by the same Daniel Caron. (You can read about that in my earlier article at Caron’s Continue reading

Updated 1901 Census

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has released an updated version of the 1901 census of Canada. This new version includes revisions to the database that were sent in by users over the last several months as well as revised district and sub-district information.

The 1901 Canada census was the fourth general census of Canada (1871, 1881, 1891 and then 1901). It covered the provinces and territories then in existence: Continue reading

THE GALICIANS—A Letter Prom Dr. Oleskow

Manitoba Morning Free Press
Friday, July 23, 1897

A Plain Statement of Fact of One Who Knows A Dark Side And A Bright Side.

Dr. Joseph Oleskow of Lemburg, Austria, to whose visit to this country in 1895 the immigration of Galicians has been in part attributed, writes the
following letter to the Free Press, dated July 6th.

Immigration from Austria, in such a form as it now exists, must indeed be a subject of great anxiety to the government as well as to Canadian society. The thousands of people who come in a state of the utmost poverty, dirty and Continue reading


Manitoba Morning Free Press
Thursday, July 8, 1897

The New Arrivals Located In the Sliding Hills District Public Works For Their Benefit

Originally from the July 3 Yorkton Association Enterprise

The sharp toot from the engine of a special train on Monday drew all the citizens from their avocations to go and see a fresh contingent of Galicians arrive. Eight densely loaded coaches drew up alongside of the platform, and immediately some 500 future Yorkton settlers at last realized a faint idea of what their future home and future market town was like.  The town and the general aspect of the country was not very entrancing just then, mud and wet everywhere. However Continue reading

1897 Voyage of the Arcadia


The voyage of the SS              Arcadia was described by Dmytro Romanchych and              is taken from Early Ukrainian Settlements in Canada              1895-1900 by Vladimir J. Kaye, (Toronto: University              of Toronto Press, 1964) :

After            a short wait in Hamburg, one and a half thousand Ukrainian emigrants            were loaded into an very old but not very            large ship, the Arcadia. It was a boat that had steam engines as            well as sails which were hoisted when a favourable wind was blowing.            Under the top deck there were about a dozen passenger cabins where            the “city-coated gentlemen” travelled. Under the second            deck were the galleys and the dining room. Below water level, under            the third and fourth decks, there were no cabins, Continue reading

Digital Photo Notes

Names of Digital Photos

Digital camera owners know that a main issue to deal with is renaming photos that have cryptic names like IMG_001.jpg. The traditional way to do this is to right-click an image’s file name, choose Rename from the drop-down menu, and then type in the desired name, being sure to preserve the .jpg extension.

This is laborious and time-consuming, to be sure, but there are some shortcuts that can make the chore easier. If, for instance, you’ve taken pictures on a trip Continue reading

Free Online Translations

There are a number of free online translators which translate from English to Ukrainian or Polish and vice versa. The best known is “Google’s Language Tools.”

To test each online translator, I used to following English sentences to see how they translated into Ukrainian. “Hello! My name is Jim and I am very pleased to meet you. I’m from Toronto, which is in Canada”.

Then I took the resultant Ukrainian sentences to see how they translated back into English. The differences are highlighted. Continue reading