Tracing ancestral roots: Where to begin the searchThe challenge of becoming a naturalized citizen during World War II is one of the stories to be told during the upcoming Ukrainian Festival in Dickinson and Belfield.
By: Linda Sailer, The Dickinson Press
The challenge of becoming a naturalized citizen during World War II is one of the stories to be told during the upcoming Ukrainian Festival in Dickinson and Belfield.
Ukrainian Cultural Institute Director Agnes Palanuk will talk about her father, who went through the citizenship process three times.
“He failed because he didn’t know the language,” she said.
His story will be shared during a “Power of the Print” seminar at 1 p.m. Friday in the Dickinson State University Beck Auditorium.
Research of family histories has been emphasized since the UCI’s inception in 1980. About 10 histories have been published, yet hundreds more remain only in memories, Palanuk said.
This year, the “Power of the Printed Word” committee was formed to assist members with their research.
The committee invited Greg Wysk, a reference specialist at the North Dakota Heritage Center, to present a program regarding archival material available at the center.
Wysk said the naturalization records of homesteaders are the most requested. Other documents that give authenticity to family histories are death, marriage, cemetery records and transcripts of interviews in the 1940s as WPA projects.
After the presentation, members of the committee and guests will present oral stories. The topics may range from Ukrainian weddings to making home brew. It’s during this hour that Palanuk will share her memories.
Dr. T.B. Pedeliski (retired, University of North Dakota) will give additional insights into the stories. A discussion will conclude on “Why we should write our family histories.”
The “Power of the Printed Word” Committee also is preparing a display of materials regarding family history research.
Martha Namyniuk and Mary Solberg are sharing personal items of historical interest. These displays will be exhibited in the St. Josaphat Chapel of the UCI beginning at 9 a.m. Friday.
Namyniuk will display a collection of laundry items, including wash tubs and irons. She also has a collection of antiques that include a cabbage shredder, whiskey keg and lanterns.
“The women had to work very hard,” Namyniuk said of her collection.
Her granddaughter, Natalie Brown from Phoenix, Ariz., assisted with the exhibit.
“I come home almost every summer to visit my grandma,” she said. “Grandma is so involved in the Ukrainian heritage.”
Palanuk said the UCI is the place to view the displays, buy a raffle ticket, visit the gift shop and relax with their friends. The public is invited.