Wasylciw: Wasyl is a variation of Vasyl, Ukrainian for Basil, meaning king and in Greek the name Vasyl means regal. Petro (Peter) Wasylciw was born on August 10th 1882 in what was then the city of Borscsov, Poland. Marja (Mary) Turkewycz was born January 31st 1885 in the same city. Peter and Mary were married on November 11th 1907.
My father, Anton, wrote of Grandfather Peter Wasylciw, “He also became Trade Minister for Poland and travelled many parts of the world. My Dad’s Trade Minister term ended in October 1913.” Uncle Bowden wrote, “My dad left the Ukraine and went to Poland because of trouble with Russia. He lived in Poland until 1912. It was then that he decided to move to Canada. When the war broke out, in 1914, he could not get back to the Ukraine.”
The Wasylciw family first settled in Prud’homme, Saskatchewan, and were dealt with a triple knockout: drought, grasshopper infestation and a dreadful economy. The Prairies were experiencing the perfect conditions for insects to proliferate, and they devoured every last blade of grass. With hope and promise on the horizon the Wasylciw family escaped the dustbowl just before the worst infestation of grasshoppers hit in 1933.
From Anton’s writings, his recollections from when he was ten years old, “In the spring of 1931 we moved, with horses, cows, chickens and machinery. The sky was our roof until a log shack was built. There were no roads, just a bush trail, no schools, no town or even a store.”
The Wasylciw family had arrived in Worsley, Alberta.
Want to read more family history and what has shaped me?
My memoir is available here: ‘It’s My Story and It’s Sticking To Me’
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