Sunday, July 17, 2016

Stephen A. Gabuzda 1885-1966 Part 1

My First Family Reunion

Stephen A. Gabuzda

I have finally been inspired to start a blog (after reading many for the past 10 years). I started an interest in genealogy back in the 1990s, after a distant cousin on my maternal side sent a fifty question survey for my mother to fill out. Mom would take strips of scrap paper and write pages of details to his questions. She would then rewrite her answers by hand on larger pages to mail to him. I know cousin, John, was ecstatic when he received her packages of photographs & detailed stories.

The summer of 1999 was the family reunion, we all so forwardly looked to attend. My mother’s paternal family has a great history. Her father, Stephen GABUZDA, was born in a small town of Raslavice, in Austria-Hungary on 16 Nov 1885. He was the fourth child of nine children born to Andrew GABUZDA and Maria SZABOL. His older brother, Joseph GABUZDA, born 1882, was the first of the family to come to the United States in 1899. Anna GABUZDA, born 17 Jan 1884, followed in 1902 and settled in Mahanoy City, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania, with her brother, Joseph. George GABUZA, born 10 Nov  1889, followed in 1905, and Stephen GABUZDA, came in 1906. Both George and Stephen settled in the little coal mining town of Mahanoy City, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania.

By 1910, I find Stephen living with his cousin-in-law, George PALYA, apprenticing in the butcher/meat business in Freeland, Luzerne, Pennsylvania. George PALYA was married to the GABUZDAs’ cousin Anna TKACS (pronounced KOTCH and later spelled). Anna’s mother, Anna SZABOL, was the younger sister of Maria SZABOL, mentioned above. PALYA came to the US in 1895 and he married Anna TKACS who was born in the US. Her parents came to the US in 1893 after they were married in the “old country.”

George Palya & George Gabuzda stand in doorway. Stephen Gabuzda stands in front of delivery truck.
Of these four GABUZDA siblings, who traveled to a new world, worked hard, and found love; their descendants gathered together for a weekend in Poconos, Pennsylvania, to learn of their history and shared stories.

I will follow with more entries of these stories and memories of this side of my family. 
But I must say, Thank you cousin, John Gabuzda, for all of your diligent work searching through courthouses, libraries and family’s personal stories WITHOUT the computer...and inspiring me to continue on. I am sad to say that he died 5 April 2015.

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