After retirement, I started working on my family's ancestry.
Visiting area cemeteries has given me an insight to my family's history. Find A Grave is a wonderful website and tool. I became a volunteer as a way to give back to the genealogical community .
The city of Farrell, Pennsylvania grew rapidly in the early 1900's due to the steel industry and a great migration of Slavic and Italian immigrants from Europe in hopes of having a better life. Many families rest in these cemeteries from that migration.
I have completed photographing and documenting the six cemeteries that are on Sharon-New Castle Road, East of Mercer Ave., Hermitage, Pa., Saint Michael's Byzantine Cemetery, Saint Ann's Cemetery, St. Anthony's Cemetery, Holy Trinity Hungarian Catholic Cemetery, Holy Cross Cemetery and Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I also have completed Saint Stanislaus Kostka, Fairview Cemetery, the cemetery behind Saint Stanislaus Kostka Cemetery, both in Hermitage and Saint Elizabeth Cemetery of Farrell.
Please notify me if you find any errors in any of these cemeteries.
Also, I will only process edits that have documentation.
My parents and grandparents are buried in Saint Michael's cemetery and most of my family. I have considered it an honor to document this cemetery as a tribute to my Grandfather John Bohach (Bohacs), one of the founding fathers of Saint Michael's Byzantine Catholic Church and all the hardworking faithfully dedicated Carpatho-Rutheian families.
My husband's parents and grandparents are buried in Saint Ann's cemetery. My husband went to grade school at Saint Ann's school and we were married in Saint Ann's Catholic church. His father coached basketball for the school in the 1950's. Some of my family and many friends of our families are also buried there.
To all those, Rusyn, Slovak, and other ethnic cultures, who rest in these cemeteries, you are not forgotten. You all are remembered for the building of the "Magic City", Farrell, Pennsylvania. All the mills and factories of the early 1900's are gone now and the land is as peaceful as the cemeteries. But their spirits live in our hearts.
**WHY I DO GENEALOGY**
We are the chosen. My feelings are, in each family, there is one who seems called to find the ancestors.
To put flesh on their bones and make them live again, to tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve.
To me, doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, breathing life into all who have gone before.
We are the Story Tellers of the tribe. All tribes have one. We have been called as if it were in our genes.
Those who have gone before cry out to us. " Tell our story. " So, we do. In finding them, we somehow find ourselves. How many graves have I stood before now and cried? I have lost count. How many times have I told the ancestors you have a wonderful family you would be proud of us? How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there for me? I cannot say.
It goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to who am I and why do I do the things I do. It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever to weeds and indifference and saying I can't let this happen. The bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh. It goes to doing something about it. It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish. How they contributed to what we are today.
It goes to respecting their hardships, their losses and building a life for their family. It goes to deep pride that they fought to make and keep us a Nation.
It goes to a deep and immense never giving in or giving up, their resoluteness to go on understanding that they were doing it for us.
That we might be born who we are. That we might remember them. So we do.
With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence, because we are them and they are us. So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family.
It is up to that one called in the next generation to answer the call and take their place in the long line of family storytellers.
That is why I do my family genealogy and that is what calls those young and old to step up and put flesh on the bones.
Search memorial contributions by Andrea Grega