Michael Pawlak's parents were Stefan Pawlak and Anna Serniak. Stefan was born in Peregrimka while his wife Anna was from Kopitnyci, a tiny village nearby. Michael had three brothers; Johannes, Andrej and Pawel. Michael also had two sisters, Justina and Maria. Actually, Michael had two brothers named Johannes, three sisters named Maria and two sisters named Justina. Child mortality was high and the names were reused until they stuck on a child that survived.
This picture shows Stefan and Anna together with daughter Maria. The original photograph was taken about 1910-1915 by the photographer A. Kukulski. It is believed that the photograph was taken at the Kukulski atelier on Kosciuszki street in Jaslo, a town near Peregrimka.
Stefan died about 1927 and Anna is believed to have died during the late 1930's.
The oldest brother Andrej was the first to leave for America. He earned enough money to bring Michael over, but died of the flu in 1917.
Brother Johannes was hung together with two others after they were caught singing Ukrainian songs on the way back after the end of the first World War. Actually, they were singing in Rusyn, their mother tongue, but Rusyn is close to Ukrainian, the enemy at the time.
While in the army in 1924, Michael's brother Pawel was killed by snipers who refused to accept that the First World War was over. Pawel was wading across a river at the time and was a sitting duck.Michael's sister, Justina, died in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa in November 1986. Maria, the sister in the picture here, died of a stroke in Hylnna, near Lvov in the Ukraine, in December of 1988.