John was born in the village of Toporoutz, Austria-Hungary in 1877. As a young man he served from 1902-1905 in the Austrian Cavalry, a very prestigious honor. After completing his military service he journeyed to Canada, a sixteen-day trip.
From Halifax he travelled to Edmonton where he worked installing sewer lines. When the High Level Bridge was being built he worked there pouring concrete for the pillars. At that time he worked with another Romanian, Fred Bidulock. From Edmonton he went to Medicine Hat where he worked for one year. It was at this time that he decided to go north and homestead, so he purchased a horse and set out. He filed on a quarter of land in the Shalka area and settled there in 1907. He cleared some land, built a log cabin and plastered it. In 1908, John married Vera Kachuk and together they raised a family of ten children: Mike, Dora, Mary, Lena, George, Katie, Kathleen, Nick, Bill and Sally. In March, 1939, tragedy struck the Kokotilo family. Fire broke out in the house and before anything could be saved, the whole building was ablaze. The contents and the house burned to the ground. Luckily no lives were lost. That summer the family lived in granaries while a new building was built.
Mike, the eldest, married Helen Yasenko of Vilna and they had four children. They farmed at Two Lakes before moving to Whitecourt where Mike was employed by Western Construction for thirty-five years before retiring to Indianapolis, Indiana. Dora married Metro Darda of Shandro and they had six children, two of whom died young. They farmed in the Brinsley district till they retired in Willingdon.
Mary married George Kereluik and they raised eleven children, three of which are deceased. Elsie died in infancy. R.C.M.P. Constable Clifford Kereluik died of cancer in 1969 and Eugene was killed in a traffic accident in December, 1983. The Kereluiks farmed in the Shepenitz and Shalka districts before moving to the Willingdon area. They are now retired in Willingdon.
Lena married Bill Skoreyko and raised four children. They farmed at Andrew before moving into the town where for a time Bill and his son John operated the Andrew Tire Shop.
George married Katherine Chebree and had two children. Johnny died in infancy. They farmed the home place before moving to the Boian district where George learned the plastering trade. He later moved to Edmonton where he worked for the Brotherhood of Plastermen’s Union until retirement.
Katie married John Morgan and had nine children. John was a carpenter and they lived in Willingdon. After John’s death in 1974, Katie moved to Vancouver where she was employed in a hospital until her retirement in 1983.
Birth and marriage records from church books. Boian, Bukovina
Iwan Kokotailo birth record.
Iwan was born on Aug.5, 1876. Father – Georgi Kokotailo. Mother – Domnika, daughter of Mihail Skipinski.
Georgie Kokotailo and Domnika Skipinski marriage record. Oct. 29, 1872.
Georgie, son of Iwan Kokotailo married Domnika, daughter of Miahail Skipinski and Elena Hnelechuk. Georgie was 24 and Domnika 21 years old.
Georgie Kokotailo birth record.
George was bon Jan 1, 1848. Father – Iwan Kokotailo. Mother – Eudochia.
Iwan Kokotailo and Eudokia Kushneriuk marriage record. Nov.9, 1847.
Iwan, son of Mihail Kokotailo married Eudokia, daughter of Georgie Kushneriuk. Iwan was 23 and Eudokia 21 years old.