2X Great Grandma's Passport

Great Great Grandmother's Passport
Great Great Grandmother's Passport

A significant document in the history of my family is the passport that belonged to my great-great-grandmother, Hafia Szkwarek. This story begins in the early 1900s. It’s the only official document that we have about her. It was issued in Horodenka, located in Austria-Hungary in 1912, which is in modern-day Ukraine. It was written mostly in German. While the passport had no photo, it describes her as blond-haired, blue-eyed, of medium height, oval faced and proportional. She was accompanied by her seven-year-old son named Nycolas Szkwarek. He also had blond hair and blue eyes. The passport also contains one entry: her destination, Canada.Hafia and her son came to Canada to join her husband Stefan. He came to Canada several years before Hafia and Nycolas for work. The job was offered to him by a French coal mining company that sponsored Stefan’s journey to Canada. He mined in Alberta, in the Crowsnest Pass, Hillcrest area.  The family story is that Stefan was working at the Crowsnest Pass the shift after the worst coal mining disaster in Canadian history when 189 workers died. We know that the family had another child in Canada. We know this because of a photograph and a family portrait which both include a baby girl. She was the first family member born in Canada. In 1918, they also had another son John. Both Nycolas and John went on to be coal miners. At some point, they changed their last name.

Place(s): Austria-Hungary, Canada, New York
Year: 1912


Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more