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 TONY SKOKUN & CATHERINE (WHEELTON) SKOKUN


Pylyp Bilyk & Mychalina Kolishka HOMEPAGE

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Last update July 17, 2014

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Pylyp Bilyk and Mychalina Kolishka

Photo of my Baba "Mychalina Kolishka" and Gege "Pylyp Bilyk"

Baba is the daughter of Hryhory (Gregory) Kolishka and Efrosyna Pylypchuk

Gege is the son of Tony Bilyk and Ylyni Hladish

History of my Baba  (Grandmother) and Gege (Grandfather)

In the early 1900's King George V was granting free land in the West of Canada to settlers in the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. The agent for the Government was a Dutch Company by the name of “North Atlantic Trading Company” who advertised for farmers from the Galicia region of Ukraine to settle the free land in Canada of160 acres.  This part of Europe was very unstable and the area of Galicia was a farming area in Ukraine the bread basket.

 It’s borders where changed by who was the most powerful at the time.    In the early 1900’s  when farmers from this region were asked to move to the Canadian West for free land.  My Gege and Baba from both of my Parents where living a distance of about 60km from each other in the oblast of Ternopol.   My mother’s side was part of the Austrian Emperor and my dad’s side was part of the Polish Emperor.    I was told that when the Polish occupied this region of Ukraine.   One’s loyalty had to be to the Polish Government to keep your land.  This was an  opportunity for may to move to Canada for free land and to leave the struggle where one’s loyalty was to their homeland or an invader.  Today’s Ukraine’s borders where set by the Russian’s after WW11 when Russia set up the USSR.

Many of the people who immigrated to Canada had their accommodations known as “Steerage” or “Zwischendeck” in German as per the Ship Manifest.   The steerage area of the ship was once used to accommodate passengers travelling on the cheapest class of ticket, and offered only the most basic amenities, typically with limited toilet use, no privacy, and poor food. Many of those who immigrated to Canada, at this time travelled in this area of the ships for a voyage that was about two weeks. The name "steerage" came from the fact that the control lines of the rudder ran on this level of the ship.

One of the early settlers were my grandparents, Philp Bilyk and Myhalyna Kolishka who immigrated from the Galicia area in the Oblast (Province) of Ternopol, in Western Ukraine.  My Grandparents lived in the Village of Panivtsi, Ukraine.  There hope was to find peace and a better life in Canada.   They settled in the Province of Manitoba near the Town of Pine River about 2 km west off Hwy 10.   Google link:  https://goo.gl/maps/bGZV4 

My Gege (Grandfather) Bilyk  immigrated to Canada in the year of 1902 at about age 27 by himself leaving my Baba (Mychalina) behind in Ukraine.  The ship Manifest from SS Lake Simcoe shows that his “Date Of Arrive” was 30 May1902 at the Port of Montreal, Quebec from the Port of Liverpool, England and Gege’s destination was Winnipeg, Manitoba.     My guess is that Gege Bilyk initial Port of Departure was Hamburg, Germany to Liverpool, England.  

 Uncle Metro did say that his dad built a house on this land but sold the house to a neighbour and the house was moved across the road.  My guess is the house was sold to generate some revenue.   I have photo’s of the homestead where the family lived which are posted on the webpage.  My Gege Bilyk was an excellent builder as the photo’s will show.   The land grant was set up that one had to clear land to keep the property.  Eventually, Gege Bilyk was give clear title to this property.   He was reunited with his wife Mychalina nine years later in 1911 and shortly after in 1912 they had their first Child "Hanna" born at Pine River Manitoba.

My Baba, Mychalina Bilyk (Kolishka) at age 28 arrived at her new homeland in 13 Aug 1911 at the Port of Quebec and her destination was Pine River as per SS Wittekind Manifest, Manitoba to join her husband Pylyp. Baba left her birth place of Paniowce, Ukraine departed from the Port of Hamburg, Germany 28 July 1911 and her accommodation for 16 days aboard the Dutch vessel Wittekind  was steerage.  I have the original documentation from the vessel Wittekind for Baba’s  journey to her new homeland. Mahalyna (Kolishka) Bilyk was granted  a Canadian Citizenship on September 25, 1947.

My mother, said that Baba was accompanied by a family member the manifest for SS Wittekind showed  a Anna Kowcz who was travelling to the new world destination Sifton, Manitoba, Canada to pair up with her husband (Fred Kowcz)  as a farmwife on their new land granted to them.  The family name common to both My Baba Mychalina  and Anna  was Pylypchuk.   Pylypchuk was  Anna's maidian name and Mychalina Kolishka mother was a Pylypchuk, (they where cousins).  The manifest for SS Wittekind shows Anna's residence as Paniowce, Ukraine.  Present spelling  "Panivtsi, Ternopil's'ka Oblast, Ukraine."    Google Link:    http://goo.gl/maps/CGrxc    Manifest shows only names for the Wife's.   The children for these two marriages all where born in Manitoba, Canada. From this Village of Panivtsi, Many Ukrainians immigrated to Canada and a great number to Manitoba.    There is still family Presentley living in Panivtsi who I have been in contact with.   

My Grandparents where blessed with seven Children Hanna (Ann), Dmytro (Metro), Anton (Tony), Genowfa (Jean), Wasyl (William), Maria (Mary), and Ivan (John). All the children where born at Pine River, Manitoba.