DNA Matches & the Kucharik Family

Recently, I made contact with a Kucharik descendant. We share 28 cM on just a single segment. This person has a family tree online, but I didn’t recognize her Kucharik ancestor:

Anna Kucharik was born in 1843 and married Michael Vargo. She is shown to be the daughter of Joseph Kucharik and Maria Matisz.

I included the family tree branch below Michael and Anna because of the Karahuta surname.

Although I couldn’t readily figure out who these people were, I am certain that they belong in the collateral branches of my family tree because the towns identified in the tree were Felso Sebes, Korosfo and, today’s version of these towns – Vysna Sebastova, Slovakia. These are exactly the same tiny neighborhoods where my Kuchariks originated.

My new cousin is in the 4th-6th cousin range, which unfortunately places our common ancestor born before the earliest surviving church register began.

There were not many Kuchariks living in the area of Vysna Sebastova in the 19th century. Here is my working theory of their relationships:

The earliest Mr. Kucharik was likely born in the 1760s and died before 1810, when the parish register begins. The Kucharik family was Greek Catholic, although they often married Roman Catholic spouses.

Mr. Kucharik, married to one or more unknown wives, was probably the father of four sons who lived to adulthood:

  1. John, born c1786; married Anna Pelahat, c1808
  2. George, born c1793; married (1) Anna Miklus (2) Anna Pelahat (3) Anna Batsa (4) Anna Lucats
  3. Michael, born c1800; married Anna Mihaly
  4. ? Joseph, born c1802 or c1810; married Maria Foltin

Let’s look at each of these children.

First, John Kucharik and Anna Pelahat were the parents of one known son: John, baptized 15 May 1814, in Okruzna, Slovakia.

Second, we have George and Anna Pelahat were the parents of one child: Anna, baptized 20 January 1815, George and Anna Batsa were the parents of one child: John, baptized 8 November 1816. George and Anna Miklus were the parents of two children: John, baptized 28 November 1820 (and who married Maria Repka) and Maria, baptized in 1882 and George and Anna Lucats were the parents of one child: George, baptized 1 April 1830.

My ancestral line is through George and Anna Miklus and their son, John, born 1820, who married Maria Repka.

Third, we have Michael and Anna Mihaly were the parents of five children: Anna, baptized 31 January 1830 and buried 24 March 1831, Michael, baptized 28 August 1832, Anna, baptized 14 January 1836, Maria, baptized 29 November 1836 and Basil, baptized 30 December 1842.

Fourth, we have Joseph, but there is some conflicting information about him. When Joseph married Maria Foltin on 26 April 1834, his age was given as 24 years, so born c1810, and Maria was 20 years old, born c1814. However, when Joseph, husband of Maria Foltin, was buried on 20 May 1847, the priest’s notes said he was “found dead” and 45 years old, so born c1802.

This family was found in the Roman Catholic church register of Also Sebes (now Nizna Sebastova), not in the Greek Catholic church register in Okruzna/Felso Sebes/Szengeto parish.

I think the priest might not have been overly diligent when he made entries in his books. He identified Joseph Kucharik as a Roman Catholic when he married Maria. Not true! He was Greek Catholic. He failed to include Joseph’s Kucharik surname in the burial record, only identifying him as the husband of Maria Foltin.

There is a baptismal record for Anna Kucharik, daughter of Joseph Kucharik and Maria Matisz dated 13 October 1843. That led me to believe Maria Foltin had died and Joseph remarried. I found NO burial record for Maria Foltin Kucharik and NO second marriage to Maria Matisz (and I think the surname would actually be Matyas, but with a more phonetic spelling here.) I think the priest erred when listing Anna’s mother’s name.

Anna Kucharik was identified as Roman Catholic, but her marriage record identified her as Greek Catholic.

What difference does any of this make? Well, the most important discrepancy is in the birth year of Joseph Kucharik. If he was born in 1802, I believe he was the son of Mr. Kucharik the progenitor of the family.

If Joseph was born in 1810, he could still be the son of Mr. Kucharik, by a first or later wife, but he also might be the son of John Kucharik and Anna Pelahat. However, I tend to believe that he was a younger son of Mr. Kucharik.

I think the priest may have estimated ages in his records. The priest also appears to have forgotten to enter some baptismal records, as Joseph buried a son, Joseph (10 years old), and daughter, Maria (3 years old), in 1847 and there were no baptismal records found for either of them.

By the way, the fact that John and George both married an Anna Pelahat is of no consequence. These families used the same given names over and over, several times in a generation of cousins. I have found four Maria Repkas of marriageable age who were contemporaries of my Maria Repka, who married John Kucharik, detailed above.

Joseph Kucharik and Maria Foltin were the parents of: Michael, baptized 29 September 1835 and buried 16 January 1836, Joseph, born c1837 and buried 28 April 1847, John, baptized 27 January 1841 and buried 8 April 1847, Anna, baptized 13 October 1843 (but given Maria Matisz as her mother), and Maria, born c1844 and buried 8 April 1847.

I have to wonder what happened to Joseph, who was “”found dead” and buried on 20 May 1847, just weeks after burying children John and Maria on 8 April 1847 and son Joseph on 28 April 1847.

Anna was the only surviving child of Joseph Kucharik.

If my theory is correct about the early progenitor, Mr. Kucharik, and his children, then my Kucharik cousin is my 4C1R:

As a reminder, I mentioned earlier that we share 28 cM on just a single segment. According to Blaine Bettinger’s March 2020 shared cM relationship chart, 4C1R share an average of . . . . . . . . 28 cM!

I think our relationship chart is quite accurate. Absent the discovery of an earlier church register, this theory will stand.



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