Thursday, 12 April 2012

the Kazukes?

My mother's Ukrainian maiden name was Kazuke.  This is what my siblings and I grew up thinking (much to the amusement of our childhood friends who gleefully called some of us the Great Gazoo of Flintstones fame).  A couple of years ago, though, my cousin Patricia, who was the custodian of various family documents, sent me copies of my maternal grandparents' Ukrainian passports from when their part of the Ukraine (Galicia in the South West part of the country) was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  Much to my surprise the name on their passports was spelled Kaziuka.

Somehow between them leaving Ukraine and settling in Montreal their name got corrupted.  I don't know if it was an intentional corruption by my grandparents, or whether upon arriving in Canada immigration officials transcribed what they thought they heard and my grandparents just lived with the change - not an uncommon occurence.  I think this is the more likely scenario.  Many new Canadians changed their names to anglicize them and make their integration into mainstream society easier, but Kazuke versus Kaziuka would have a feeble change.

Anyway, this should be a lesson for would-be genealogists - names of immigrants often got changed, either by the family or over-worked immigration officials, so you should be vigilant for this when doing your family research.

For more information on genealogy, please check out my wife's family history blog.  She hasn't made an entry in a while, but her past posts are informative and interesting.


  1. Thanks for the plug, Sweetie!

  2. I love family history. It's fascinating. We always thought our family came from England, but it turned out that many on one side came from Ireland and lied when they got here because of the severe persecution against the Irish.