Nashi Predky Spring 2020 program details

Due to the rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the region and the recent ban on gatherings of more than 50 people anywhere in the state of New Jersey, the in-person Nashi Predky conference has been cancelled.

However, we will be presenting the same talks by the same speakers on the same day as an online conference!

Register today

Please note that the talk times have changed compared to the planned schedule of the in-person conference. Also, the schedule is subject to change, but we will make every effort to notify you of any modifications as soon as we know about them.

The one-on-one help and other sessions that had been planned for Friday, April 3rd will not take place. We are working on developing a way to do these types of sessions online, but unfortunately we will not have this ready in time for April. Please stay tuned!

The schedule is in Eastern Daylight Time (UTC−04:00).

Saturday, April 4th, 2020

9:00 am Welcome
9:15-10:15 am

The Genealogical Value of Royal, Government and Private Estate Inventories of Galicia

Daniel Bucko

10:30-11:45 am

Our Ukrainian American Heritage - Documentary film presentation and Q&A with the director

Roman Brygider


Lunch/stretch break

12:30-1:30 pm

Fraternal Organizations, 1890-1918

Fr. Ivan Kaszczak

1:45-2:45 pm

Finding Ukrainian, Polish, Belarusian and Russian Records on FamilySearch

Joe Everett

Session Summaries:

The Genealogical Value of Royal, Government and Private Estate Inventories of Galicia

Documents that were drawn up in the royal, governmental or private estates are called inventories. They are some of the most valuable documents in genealogical research. They contain not only detailed descriptions of the estates, manors and villages but what is perhaps most important for us genealogists: these documents contain lists of registered residents including entire families - information that can detail the lives and background of ancestors who lived there - information that is not documented in any other source.

I will present different types of royal, government and private estate inventories from south-eastern Poland and western Ukraine (former Galicia) for Ruthenians/Ukrainians and show you the wealth and diversity of information they provide. Here are some examples of the type of information that can be present in these inventories:

  • Resident's name, as well as the name/age of their spouse and any children; name/age of servants (who worked for wealthier estate residents). These details are significant for regions that lack vital records/detailed vital records.
  • Resident's financial status, including details about their livestock (number of oxen, cows, chickens, etc).
  • Specific details about a resident's estate duties (length of serfdom, if bound to an estate); the amount of tax discharged.
  • Resident's location of origin (prior to settling in the village), especially helpful since older vital records only include basic information.
  • Specific notes about residents (disabilities, etc).
  • Names of local leaders.
  • Basic village information, including the distance to the city, court; arable or workable land; and topographical details - all providing a description of the place where ancestors lived.

This type of information can help with additional research, especially when you are stuck; it can open doors to new areas of research, and it can offer different perspectives for taking a fresh look at information.

Fraternal Organizations, 1890-1918

When Ukrainian-Ruthenian immigrants came to the United States they found no organization to greet them. They began to organize themselves. Fraternals became the vehicles for national and ecclesiastical organization. Much of the organizational dynamics had their origin within the Austro-Hungarian Empire. These ideas were transplanted and produced organizations that perdure to this very day. In this presentation we will speak about the origin of fraternals and their impact upon the ecclesiastical and national aspirations of its members.

Finding Ukrainian, Polish, Belarusian and Russian Records on FamilySearch

FamilySearch has acquired tens of millions of records from Poland and the Former Russian Empire. Many of these records, especially for Belarus, Poland, and Ukraine, are available online, however, they can sometimes be challenging to find. Learn more about the scope of the records, how they are organized, and how to navigate to them on FamilySearch.

Our Ukrainian American Legacy (documentary film)

OUR UKRAINIAN AMERICAN LEGACY is a labor of love financed by family funds that took over 1600 hours during an 18 month period beginning with the New York City East Village Ukrainian Festival in 2017. Originally Mr. Brygider had submitted the first 15 minutes of the documentary to the ITVS Call for independent filmmakers looking for production funding. He was not selected but decided to continue on with the production as an educational and social commitment to himself, his family and the larger Ukrainian American Community.

American news media stories reporting on Ukraine, the USA and Russia never seemed to include enough background information on the Ukrainian people and what matters to them. Here was an opportunity to get back into documentary production and use some of that equipment Mr. Brygider owned having worked for PBS television station WLIW21 for 18 years. Three of his grand parents came from the Ternopil Oblast of Ukraine before the 1917 Russian revolution. Mr. Brygider had produced American assimilation stories for other ethnic communities for PBS in the past and thought this would be a wonderful dedication to the memory of his ancestors and a good “introductory program” for others interested in Ukraine.

“I do not speak Ukrainian, my parents moved from the Ukrainian Community in NYC out to Long Island in1950 before I was born. Growing up my brothers and I heard the language spoken between mom, dad and grandma, but we were not encouraged by our elders to learn Ukrainian. At the time, that was ok with me, the Beatles, American TV and sports were all I cared about.  Looking back, that was a mistake!”

A LEGACY can be an inheritance of an organization, money or property but it can also be an obligation to a duty or a responsibility that we embrace because it personally connects us to our heritage. There are hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian Americans many of whom do not speak the language, but still support the citizens of Ukraine engaged in creating a democratic republic based on the rule of law. These good intentions have become personal commitments for the talented and devoted people we meet in this documentary. They inspire us all by keeping up the communications and special events that connect the Ukrainian American diaspora with the Ukrainian homeland.

OUR UKRAINIAN AMERICAN LEGACY is to continually uphold that spirit of independence that was so powerfully rekindled by the lives of the protesters on the Maidan.  Taking a closer look at the events that have defined Ukraine’s historical record helps us to understand why preservation of the culture and the nation are so important.

“I’m grateful today for having begun this cultural exploration, says Brygider.  There are more stories to tell and with the help of the Ukrainian American Community, I look forward to future productions.”

Speaker Biographies

Daniel Bućko is a Polish professional genealogist born and raised in Poland. He has resided in Kraków since 2003. He holds a Master’s degree from Jagiellonian University in Kraków (2008). Daniel started his genealogy research in 1998 and has vast research experience in a wide array of civil and church records from Polish, Lithuanian, Belarusian and Ukrainian Archives. In addition to his native language Polish, Daniel also speaks English, Russian and Belarusian. In 2008, he became a member of the Małopolska Genealogical Society in Kraków. He was also an originator and organizer of the local genealogical initiative: The Walerian Bujnowski Sokółka Area Genealogical Society (2010). He was a speaker at the genealogical conference of Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Northeast in New Britain, CT and at the genealogical meeting of Polish Genealogical Society of New York State. Besides civil and church records research and translations, he has extensive experience in organizing Polish genealogy guide services in Poland and looking for heirs for legal cases.

Rev. Dr. Ivan Kaszczak , a Ukrainian Catholic priest since 1985, is pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Kerhonkson, NY and St. John the Baptist Church in Hunter, NY. He is the author of a book about Bishop Ortynsky (2016), in addition to three others, including one about Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky (published in Ukrainian in 2003, and in English in 2013), The Education of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Clergy (1882-1946) (English edition in 2005, and Ukrainian in 2006), and editor of Ukrainian Catholics in America: A History (2017). Formerly, Vice Rector, Academic Dean and Lecturer at St. Basil College Seminary in Stamford, CT. He also lectured at Sacred Heart University (Fairfield, CT) and the U.S. Air Force Academy during Basic Cadet Training in Colorado Springs Colorado. He is a retired U.S. Air Force Reserve Chaplain having served from 1989 to 2010.

Joe Everett is the Family History, Local History, and Microforms Librarian at the Brigham Young University Harold B. Lee Library. He has over 25 years combined experience in the genealogical field at BYU, the FamilySearch Family History Library, and At FamilySearch, Joe was a program manager providing library patron services support for family history centers. Prior to that, he supervised the International Reference floor at the Family History Library, and also worked for several years as a technical services librarian, cataloging Slavic and Germanic records. At, he worked in content management, putting genealogical databases online. Joe earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Family History and Russian from Brigham Young University and a Master of Library Science from Emporia State University.

Roman M. Brygider is a three time Emmy Award winning producer/director of documentary films that have aired nationally since 1993. "New York The Way It Was" an eight part series on growing up in NYC between 1920 and 1970 recalled the fond memories and historical events that shaped the character of the city's diverse communities. "Health Chronicles" presented half hour medical programs that helped people to learn about common illnesses and serious health issues so individuals could advocate for their own healthcare. "The Visions Series" provided beautiful HD aerial footage of some of the worlds most famous destination vacation and travel locations. "The American Heritage Series" focused on the hyphenated-American stories of immigrants coming to the United States and their experiences of assimilation.  Mr. Brygider enjoyed a wonderful 18 year run at PBS station WLIW21 and WNET13 where he had the privilege and honor to produce hopeful, positive and life-affirming programs for viewers across the country.