Introduction to Family History: Grandparents, Parents, Siblings and RelativesMy mother's parents arrived in America at Ellis Island on May 1, 1894. Anna Babyak, or Bubba as we called her, was listed as a 19-year-old Hungarian girl on board the ship 'Werkendam' that sailed from Rotterdam-Boulogne (Manifest 0169). This I found on the Internet. The bit of history passed down from Bubba to her family agrees in part with the information found on the Ellis Island records.Anna Bak married John Babyak in Eastern Europe - exactly where I do not know. Anna was from Michalovce, a small village in eastern Slovakia, while John was from the Ukraine, likely from another village just across the border. Michalovce is about 30 km away from the border and now has a population of around 20,000 inhabitants.
In 1970 I visited Michalovce during my 8 month hitchhiking trip in Europe and Turkey. I remember being dropped off by a truck driver on the roadway just above a cluster of small wooden houses with straw roofing. There is no way of really proving the villagers were relatives of Anna and myself except for the fact that everyone's' last name was Bak. I stayed the night with a Bak family and got the feeling that my grandmother might very well have been born in this village. My bed consisted of wooden plank benches with a goose filled down quilt over top.
John and Anna were likely directed to the Pennsylvania town of Windber where John found work in the coal mines. A few years later, after John contracted an eventually fatal disease from inhaling coal dust, they moved north to Niagara Falls, New York, where most of their children found work in Niagara's many factories. I believe grandfather Babyak was still alive when I was born and I likely sat on his lap a few times.
Unfortunately I have no clear memory of this; nor do I have any more dates than those already mentioned. This album is likely to be of interest only to family members. On both sides of my family our grandparents and our parents did little to help pass on basic facts about their histories. In fact things happened quite the opposite, especially on my father's side of the family. None of us know what happened to our grandfather Herbert who remained in Wisconsin and was never spoken about by my grandmother. I am surprised that Herbert's Confirmation Certificate survived and ended up in my hands. It likely has to do with my study of German during high school and college. Anne Moldenhauer: born October 25, 1922, died January 14, 2003. Jearld Richard Moldenhauer: born August 8, 1924, died November 1970.