I just received following email from my friend in Volyn. I had told him about your inquiry. He is having a problem logging on and asked that I post following:
Was your grandfather Orthodox or Catholic? In both cases there are chances to trace your family records but it is important in terms of your further research.
The second part of his surname does not look Polish/Catholic. It is most probably the surname of Sylvester’s mother or grandmother. It's like a mix of both Ukrainian and Polish surnames but it looks more Ukrainian. The correct spelling and pronunciation of the nowadays Ukrainian suname is Pshonnik (Pszonnik is the Polish way of spelling). The surname has the stem of the word “pshono” – "millet" and we can suppose that those people dealt with growing millet in the past. It can also be spelled with one “n”. The typically Polish surname would be Pszoniak.
The oldest person with Pshonnik (Pshonik) surname from Solovychi I found information on is
Pshonik Maria daughter of Stepan.
There are more people with this surname in the village and its area.
So, Orthodox metric records on Bobly Blessed Virgin Protection Church (most Solovychi citizens were registered there too) are available in the State Archives of Volyn Oblast in Lutsk:
Birth/Death/Marriage: 1829, 1832, 1871-1881, 1883, 1887-1889, 1900-1914, 1918, 1921-1927, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1926-1927, 1928-1929, 1929-1930, 1930-1931, 1932-1933, 1933. As you see, some years are repeated, it means that there are separate files on the same period in the archives which contain different information.
Confession lists: 1936, 1937, 1938.
Some Orthodox Bobly and Solovychi citizens were also registered in
- - Mokrets Village Assumption Church
- - Obenizhy Village Hrestovozdvyzhenska Church
- - Torgovyshche village Assumption Church
- - Turiysk Town Transfiguration Church (Solovychi citizens only)
- - Turiysk Town St. Nicolas Church (Solovychi citizens only)
Researching these records would make sense if you failed to find information in Bobly Blessed Virgin Protection Church records.
Krawiec surname can be either Polish or Ukrainian (Catholic or Orthodox in our case). It is very popular, it means “tailor”. There are about 40 000 people with this surname residing in Ukraine nowadays (I forgot to mention, there’re about 100 with Pshonik surname). I see one person with Kravets surname in Bobly:
Kravets (it is the Ukrainian/Russian way of spelling the surname) Oksana daughter of Jakiv (Jacob)
I suppose if you started researching you could find more Kravets living there.
Catholic metric records on the area have not been preserved so well but there are some lists of parishioners and confession lists too. Bobly and Solovychi Catholic citizens mostly went to Turiysk Roman Catholic Cathedral.
But for the metric records, there might be property owners lists and voters lists kept in the Archives in Lutsk but I am not ready to tell you for sure at the moment.
Do you know when your grandfather was born? When were his wives born?
It is not clear from your post which village your grandfather is from. His 2nd wife?
You say his 1st wife is either from Bobly or Solovychi. They are very close, about 7km from each other. Both located in Turiysk Region. The 1st written record on Bobly dates to the 15th century – it was on the list of the villages along with the castle in the town of Volodymyr, the former capital of Halych-Volyn Principality granted by Polish King Sigizmund to Prince Andrew Sanguszko. The records on Solovychi are even older, they date to the 13th century. Nowadays Solovychi is known for its beautiful lake with crystal clear water where people from many towns around go to rest in summer. The legend says the original settlement was at the place where the lake is nowadays but one day it sank under the ground and a lake appeared at that place. People who remained alive settled on its bank. They say on some days when the weather is good you can still see the cupola and the cross of the ancient church deep underwater. The name of the village is beautiful too, it means "the nightingale village" and yes, you can hear many of them singing by the lake. I've been there many times. I also like the names of the districts and “hutors” – separately standing houses in the area, they can be translated as Gipsy Land, Seagull’s Swamp, Turtles and other. The area is picturesque; it’s in the geographical zone of Polissia – the forest region in the north of Ukraine and local people are very nice people.
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