Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Three (or More) Things About a Great Grandparent

Saturday’s here, so it is time for SNGF with Randy Seaver on Genea-Musings.

This week’s challenge:

1)  Pick a great-grandparent of yours – any one of your eight.  Tell us three (or more) things about him or her.

I’ve written quite a bit about several of my great grandparents, but not as much about Michael Scerbak, so he’s the subject of this week’s post.

Michael Scerbak was born on 17 February 1868 in the village of Udol, Slovakia as the third of eight children born to his parents, John Scerbak and Maria Patorai.

Michael was the first of the family to emigrate to America to work in the Passaic, New Jersey mills.

Michael married Anna Murcko on 22 October 1892 at St. Michael’s Greek Catholic Church in Passaic, New Jersey. Anna was the first of her family to work in America’s mills, too; Anna was also from Udol.

Michael returned to Udol more than once, but sadly learned that his second child and first son Michael, born 30 January 1895, died on 15 October 1895,  just a few days before he returned to New Jersey.

About 1898, Michael decided to return to Udol with his whole family in tow. Nana, his daughter, told me that her mother was the driving force. She said the air in Passaic was no good – and given the pollution produced by all the mills, she was probably correct.

My grandmother returned to New Jersey for good in November 1910. She never saw her mother again, but said Michael returned at least a couple of times. I’ve been able to document one return visit in 1912.

Michael Scerbak died on 16 March 1932 in the same small village where he was born – Udol, Slovakia.

Like his Rusyn ancestors, Michael had no opportunity for any formal education, but did learn some carpentry skills. However, unlike his ancestors, he did have an opportunity to see some of the world through his travels to America.

Thanks, Randy, for this week’s challenge.

4 thoughts on “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Three (or More) Things About a Great Grandparent”

  1. It’s interesting that Michael went back and forth from New Jersey to Slovakia. Any idea what he was doing, besides visiting?

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