Mike Buryk






Sanok Area

Coal Country






A small company settlement near a working coal mine in Pennsylvania was often called a 'Patch'.


Dyakooyu Doozhe za vse! (Thanks very much for everything!)

Since tracing the origins of my ancestors has taken more than half of my lifetime, it is difficult to acknowledge everyone who helped along the way. Without the care and concern of many, many people, including both close relatives and some folks whom I have only met through the miracle of email, this Web site would only contain blank pages.

My parents and grandmothers gave me a sense of being Ukrainian, not in so many words but through the places we went and the things we did together as a family over the years. My brother provided additional support and encouraged me in my genealogy efforts. If it was not for Aunt Helen Kost-Buryk and her copy of Baba Julia's baptismal certificate, I would never have known where my grandparents came from. The stories of Uncles Wally and Joe added many missing details to the rich mix of our oral family history. Cousin Pat Buryk kept urging me to put all this stuff on a Web site and helped find the space and did the early Web page development to get this up and running. My wife, Rosemary, and my children, Alexis and Stephen, have listened over the years to my sometimes boring stories of the past and yet were interested enough to keep me digging up more. All my Kost and other cousins, aunts and uncles whose gatherings in Coal Country in Pennsylvania have always been a lot of fun have offered me a sense of real family wrapped in some of the traditions of our Ukrainian past.

Besides my family, I am greatly indebted to the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (LDS) Family History Centers in Caldwell, N.J., and New York City. Without their dedication to microfilming the civil records of many villages in Galicia and other documents, the memory of our past would be lost forever. Also, their warmth and help in finding what I needed has always been appreciated. Also, the staff of the Genealogy and Slavic Divisions of the New York Public Library have always been ready to lend a hand to locate those shards of the past that are not easily found.

Then there are my Internet friends. Greg Gressa through his Carpatho-Rusyn Web site showed me where to dig for Buryks and Czerepaniaks in southeastern Poland. He also graciously made for me the "Our Patch" logo. Walter Maksimovich brought me hours of fascinating discovery about our past through his Lemko Web site and great email postings regarding the finer points of how to search for information about Ukrainian ancestors through his Infoukes/genealogy listserv. Dariusz Polanski and his Ulucz Web site added more interesting facts about the Sianik lands and the deep Ukrainian roots that run through them. Also, the Ukrainian Gateway Brama.com for its digital embroidery used on my opening page (the roses) and also UkraGrafix for the background there and the frame surrounding the Lemko home.

And who could forget Jan Popiel. He is never one to mince words in his efforts to chronicle the history of the Ukrainian nobility and the Popiel families in the villages of Dobra, Popiele and elsewhere in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. Through a meeting with Walter Polanski and his son Andrew facilitated by him, Jan led me to renewed ties with my Ukrainian Czerepaniak cousins in Poland, Anna Hirniak and her brother Harry Podgorski. Anna and Harry in their correspondence of the last year have sketched out Siemuszowa life on the Czerepaniak side of the family and what was lost as a result of Operation Vistula.

Through Jan Popiel, I also met on the Internet Marcel Domin, a current resident of Sanok (Sianik). Marcel further expanded my family and its memories by locating relatives and near relatives, laboring in the USC archives in Tyrawa Woloska and giving me a visual feel for the region through his many excellent photographs of Siemuszowa and surrounding villages (the page is in Polish, click on any/all of the links on it). His Region Web site has other information as well.

There have also been other Buryks, not direct relatives, like Linda, Christoph, Jaroslaw, Krzysztof and Mary. They have willing put up with my incessant questions and generously shared with me their own family history so that I could present a larger view of the ancestry of those who share this name.

Finally, there is my grandfather Mike Buryk (Gburyk). We never set eyes on each other in this world and yet he has been a major source of inspiration for me in my strong desire to know about our Ukrainian past. Wherever they are now, I am sure that he and my grandmother, Baba Julia, probably laugh together when they see my persistence (which others sometimes call "Ukrainian stubbornness").



Copyright (c) 2019 by Michael J. Buryk. All Rights Reserved