Sunday, December 11, 2016

Mary Hudak or is it Kostelnic? (1862-1951) Part 1

Ever since I got interested in genealogy back in 1999 (attended a family reunion), I got started researching other family lines. My maternal grandmother’s, Mary Irene SARNA, both parents immigrated to the United States in the 1880s. I have yet to find actual records of their arrival. I first find the Sarna family in the 1900 US Census living in Freeland, Luzerne, Pennsylvania.

1900 U.S. Census, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Freeland, p. 28B, dwelling 497, family 498, George Sarna; digital image, ( : accessed 3 March 2016); citing NARA microfilm publication T263, Roll 1431.

According to this census record, both George and Mary SARNA came to the US in 1880. They were both born circa 1863. They were married for fifteen years. There are five children listed. This also states that Mary lost two children in death. I will cover in more detail Mary's life in her husband George SARNA's story.

They include:
Anna Sarna (1884-1970)
George Sarna (1890-1912)
John Sarna (1891-1984)
Mary Sarna (1894-1991)
Andrew Sarna (1896-1977)

Looking at my personal records in my own possession, I have a copy of my grandmother’s, Mary Irene SARNA Gabuzda, baptism record. This states that her parents are George SARNA and Mary HAJDUK. Her birth date is 26 Apr 1894 and was baptized three days later. This document is copied from the Baptismal Register of the Church (St. John’s Nepomucene Roman Catholic Church of Freeland, PA) on 8 Jan 1930. Was this an error in the copying of the original document?

X marks Mary Irene Sarna

I also find in my family possession, a group photo of the confirmed children of St. John’s taken around 1906. The girl with the x mark is Mary Irene SARNA. This is taken in front of the original church located at Ridge and Lucerne St. built in 1892. You can see the matching building in the photo below from a local Slovak newspaper, Kalendar Jednota, also dated 1906.

Translation - Slovak Church and Rev. Karol Pajdusak, pastor in Freeland, Pa.

Tancin, Charlotte. History of Freeland, Pa. website. ( : accessed 9 Mar 2016).

The second church building was built in 1915 at 420 Vine St. on the corner of Vine and South St. This church has been closed since 2008.

Tancin, Charlotte. History of Freeland, Pa. website. ( : 
accessed 9 Mar 2016).

I also have a duplicate copy of George and Mary’s Marriage Certificate. They were married on 20 Aug 1883 in the Immaculate Conception Church of Eckley, PA, by the Rev. Joseph Jaskovic. This states the bride as Mary Koscelnik. This was copied from the original on 20 Dec 1911. 

In reading about the history of St. John, The church's website as listed below states that
 “In 1889, with Fr. Fallihee's encouragement, 72 Slovak families united to begin the process of forming the present St. John Nepomucene Church. Having obtained land, and able to secure collateral for a loan, they received permission from Bishop O'Hara to commence construction of their first Church. It was dedicated on September 10, 1890 and in 1891 Rev. Josef Libar Jaskovik,” the one who married George & Mary, “became the first pastor.”

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Parish. Parish History. St. John Nepomucene 
Church. : accessed 6 March 2016).

Are these two different Marys? Could be? But, I do not think so. As the 1900 Census say they were married by 1885. Family says no; this is the same Mary! 

My next entry will cover my process of finding the answer to this Hudak or Kostelnic name mystery.

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