Costache Soprovich was born in June 1865 in Bucovina. Sanfira was born in Rarancea, Bucovina in 1866, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Cocosco. When they got married, Sanfira spoke no Romanian but fortunately her husband was fluent in Ukrainian. In the old country the Soprovichs owned a big house with a shingled roof, two pigs, fifteen chickens and a cow. When there was talk in the villages about free land in a far-off country, Costache decided to go and find out. He left his family behind and came to Canada where he worked for a year and a half. Then he went back. When he was approaching the house with his new hat and coat the children mistook him for some important official. However the misunderstanding was soon cleared up and Costache began narrating stories of what he had seen. They decided to emigrate.
The Soprovichs left Bucovina in 1899, boarded the ship S.S. Numidian and sailed for Halifax. The family consisted of the parents, and four children, Maria age 8, Domnica age 6, Sandra age 4 and Metro who was only two. They landed in Halifax on May 1st, 1899. En route westward their first major stop was in Winnipeg where they had to wait two days for the next train connection to Edmonton.
In Winnipeg just as the train was leaving, Costache rushed to find the conductor and began hollering in Romanian and waving his hands. Seeing that the conductor did not understand him, Costache grabbed him by the arm and led him to where his wife was sitting. She was in labor and the conductor knew that some-thing had to be done immediately. He stopped the train and the whole Soprovich family disembarked and the train proceeded westward. Mrs. Soprovich was taken to the hospital where a healthy boy named Elie was born. After a week’s rest, the family once more boarded the train for Edmonton.
Once in Alberta, the Soprovichs first homesteaded in the Wostok-Andrew area, N.E. 36, 56, 17, W. of the 4th. Here they lived in a bordei for two years and cultivated a few acres of land to raise vegetables. They then moved to the Desjarlais area and settled on S.W. 32-56-14-W4. Here too, they struggled a few years then decided to move again. This time they moved to Rouleau, Sask. in 1906 where some of his friends had homesteaded. Here he bought an abandoned farm which had a small shack and a small patch of land cultivated for a garden. After checking the farm itself, Costache found it to be rocky and more surprising that there was no bush. One reason that they had come to Canada was to find plenty of land, water and forests for building and for firewood. Here, ironically enough, they had to use buffalo chips for firewood. Being a carpenter Kost worked in the district building houses, barns, chicken coops and granaries. After two years at Rouleau they decided to move back to Alberta. This time they settled on S.W.-14-56-14-W4 in the Boian area. Kost built a sod roof house into a hillside where they spent the winter. The following year the Soprovichs decided that a forty-acre farm was not enough so they sold the land and bought a quarter of land near Hairy Hill, S.E. 33-55-14-W4 where they spent most of their lives. In this new community, Kost found himself busy building and also doing a bit of blacksmith work, as well, for his neighbors.
The Soprovichs were deeply religious folks and helped to build and support the Romanian church. Kost also served as cantor for many years. The family consisted of Maria who married Wasyl Visitew. This couple had four children, Martin deceased, Andrew, Sandra and Judith. Wasyl passed away in 1956 at the age of seventy-seven. He is remembered for his lam-entations at funerals. Maria died in 1976 in Victoria, B.C. at the age of eighty-five. Domnica married Steve Eliuk in 1910 and lived near Hairy Hill. Steve passed away in 1956 at the age of sixty-eight. His wife retired to Vegreville where she lived to the ripe old age of ninety-three. The Eliuk family consisted of William, George, Tom, Andrew, Mary and Helen who died of cancer in 1972. Sandra married Nick K. Kachuk and their family consisted of George, John, Pearl, now deceased, Mary and Dorothy. Sandra passed away in the early thirties and Nick died in the seventies. Metro married Vasilca Kelba and they had three children: George, Mary and Katie. Metro passed away in 1972 at the age of seventy-six. Lena is retired happily in Edmonton. Elie Soprovich married Mary V. Toma. They raised a family of four children: John, Willis, Rose and Jeannette. Elie died in 1981 at the age of eighty-two. His wife is residing in Edmonton. The youngest son, Nick married Sadie K. Iftody and they farmed in the Hairy Hill area for several years, then moved to Edmonton where Nick was involved in real estate. He passed away in 1957 at the age of fifty-two. Nick and Sadie had two boys, Mike and Edward. Sadie later remarried Bill Maciborski who passed away in 1985.
Of the parents who started all this, Costache died in 1937 at the age of seventy-two and his wife Sanfira died in 1946 when she was eighty.
Birth and marriage records from church books. Boian, Bukovina
Constantin Suprovich birth record.
Constantin was born on May 18, 1864. Father – Ilie Suprovici. Mother – Catrina Toma.
Constantin Suprovici and Samfira Cocosca marriage record. Nov. 2, 1886.
Constantin, son of Ilie Suprovici and Catrina Toma married Samfira, daughter of Ion Cocosca from Slobozia Rarance. Constantin was 22 and Samfira 21 years old.
Ilie Suprovich and Catrina Toma marriage record.Oct. 26, 1847.
Ilie, son of Georgie Suprovici married Catrina, daughter of Stefan Toma. Ilie was 21 and Catrina 18 years old.
Maria birth record.
Maria was born Juy 11, 1889. Father – Constantin, son of Ilie Suprovici. Mother – Samfira Cocosca. Godfather – George, son of Toader Cuciurean.
Domnica birth record.
Domnica was born March 3, 1891. Father – Constantin, son of Ilie Suprovici. Mother – Samfira Cocosca. Godfather – George, son of Toader Cuciurean.
I am the great granddaughter Sanfira, and the daughter of Judith Hale,who is the daughter of Maria, and the granddaughter of Sanfira.
Really great to be able to see this on Alberta’s Family Day Weekend. I am Wally (Walter) Hansen, eldestest son of Martin and Edith Hansen, son of Maria and Wasyl Visitew. As a little boy, I remember some of the stories Grandma ‘Mary’ told when she lived next door in Edmonton, before moving to Victoria.
Today, May 18, 2018, would have been my Dad’s 100th birthday. He was born Martin Visitew, eldest son of Maria (aka Mary) and Wasyl (aka William / Bill) in Hairy Hill, Alberta. For various reasons / stories he changed his surname to Hansen. Between 1954 and 1960 he and my mother had four children, Wally (aka Walter), Ruth, Raymond and Linda. There are numerous Grand and Great-Grandchildren in this branch of the family. He lived in Anchorage, Alaska (late 1960’s) before settling in Seattle, Washington (1970’s) where he eventually died (1979).
From what I can remember, he was self-taught to play violin and button accordion, Morse Code / Ham Radio Operator, sold and installed lightning rods, built houses in Canada and US as well as repaired TV’s. Wish I knew / could say more … Happy 100th Dad!
I am the youngest granddaughter of Andrew Eliuk whose mother was Domnica Eliuk daughter of Sanfira Suprovich.
Thus, Sanfira is my great-great grandmother.
Thank you for sharing this history!