The Grinkevich Family

The Grinkevich Family
For years this family with the many varied name spellings has been a source of fascination. I never knew my great grandparents-- we visited when I was very young, but I have no memory of this momentous occasion. Pictures show them as two tiny, wizened people aglow with love for each other. Perhaps therein lies the source of my interest. Though they went through many trials in their lives, from living in poverty in a Russian ruled country with no hope of a happy future, to burying several children in the spring of their young lives. Their tenacity carried them through. That, and their devotion, and faith in God.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Baptism Records from St. Michael the Archangel

Click on each image to enlarge it.
William and Magdeline's son, Charles Grinker, was baptized Casimir Grinkevicius at St. Michael the Archangel Church not long after the family's arrival in Shamokin.   Keeping in mind that sponsors or godparents are either family members or very close friends, I tried without success to find out about them. Mrs. Catherine Neumaniene (probably Neuman or Newumanas) could be one of Magdeline's sisters I've been unable to locate.

Francis, is one of four of William and Magdeline's children who never lived beyond childhood.  In the above record, Magdeline's younger brother Joseph (who was single in 1905) and sister-in-law Mary are the baby's sponsors.  Mary, would have been her older brother George's wife.  

About four years ago, the kind and able Sister Helen Dirig, took care of the genealogical queries for the consolidated churches of Shamokin/Coal Township, called Mother Cabrini.  I corresponded with her numerous times in my quest for records from the original books, always enclosing a donation with my query. She was unable to locate any record of Francis death, or the baptism or death records of any of the other "unknown" Grinkevich children.  Perhaps they were stillborn and baptized by a family member or midwife. We don't know.  My timing for the queries was excellent, as Sr. Helen retired soon after these searches, and notified me the records would soon be sent to the diocese.

Less than a month after Francis birth, Magdeline's brother Anthony, and his wife Helen had a son, baptized Albin, later called Albert York.  His godparents were William "Vincent" Grinkevich, and an unmarried woman named Catherine(--maybe a York?). 

In 1907 there was a family baby boom of sorts.  It began with Joseph and Contance Grincavage adding a son, Joseph to their family on March 16. Chosen as his godfather was his Uncle John. Mary Melnikaitiene is the wife of Jacob Melnikaitis who was the Grincavage's neighbor when they lived in Scotland as documented by the 1901 Scotland Census.

Anthony and Helen added a daughter, Nellie, to their growing family July1, 1907.  Her sponsor, is her Aunt Mary, Helen's sister.

A month and a half later, Agnes was born, her baptism recorded as "Agatha" .
Agnes godmother was her Aunt Helen York, and godfather Jacob Melnikaitis.

Joseph and Constance, who normally used Grincavage as the spelling of their surname, added William "Vincent" to their family in 1909.  He was their fourth child. Joseph's sister, Eva, was Vincent's godmother.  Later, this child grew up to be known as "William Grinn".  Every William I have found in this extended family also goes by "Vincent", and vice versa. 

The last baptism record for the family from the St. Michael the Archangel Baptismal Registry is for Valeria "Violet" Grincavage. Violet's Uncle George, Constance's brother, is her godfather.

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