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Canadian looking for Valley relatives



Published: Thu, August 16, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The man is seeking descendants of two Valley residents.

By SEAN BARRON

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- A Canadian man's research into his father's side of his family has brought him to the Mahoning Valley and taken him back to the early 20th century.

James Gnida of Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada, said he recently began searching for descendants of two uncles, both of whom left Russia and settled in Youngstown before World War I.

The uncles arrived in the United States around 1912 and 1914 and came to Youngstown shortly thereafter, he said.

Gnida, who's in the Valley this week, said he's hoping to track descendants of Feodot Gnida and learn what happened to an older great-uncle, Feday Gnida, after his arrival in Youngstown.

Both men were from Rovno Rowenskaya Province, Ukraine.

About the ancestors: Feday Gnida, who was married and had two children when he came through Ellis Island in 1912, reached Youngstown sometime that year.

Gnida said his younger uncle probably immigrated to America to flee Communist rule and may have changed his last name -- perhaps to Thompson -- to make escaping from the Russian Army easier.

Feodot Gnida was about 15 when he came to Youngstown by himself. That uncle later had at least one son, Gnida said.

Shortly after arriving, both uncles likely worked in the mining industry, although it's unclear if the two worked together.

Gnida said he has conducted various Internet searches, but neither uncle's name has shown up.

Gnida plans to check records at the Mahoning County Courthouse, as well as several Ukrainian churches in the Valley, before leaving Youngstown on Thursday.

Anyone who has information about his relatives can call Gnida at (780) 464-2261 or e-mail him at jimpatrish@aol.com.

barron@vindy.com




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