Svekla-Vasile-and-SandaVasile Svekla and his wife Alexandra were both born in Boian, Bukovina. Vasile was the son of Simeon Svekla and Catrina Yurko. Alexandra was the daughter of Gregori and Catrina (nee Mihalcean) Pavel.
They were married Oct. 21, 1895 and came to Canada in 1899 with three small children, George, Katie and Elie. They arrived in Halifax by boat, then boarded the train and eventually landed in Strathcona, south side of Edmonton. From there they travelled to Andrew and Whitford Lake by oxen and cart. By the lake Vasile pitched a tent and left his family there.

hen off to work he went on foot as far as Fort McLeod. There he took a job for 50tf a day. He then filed on a homestead in the Boian area and worked at improving it.
He got logs to build a house first. He built the walls, put a roof on and then mud-plastered the chinks. This plaster was smoothened and then a second layer was applied, this time a mixture of clay, fine sand and dampened with water. When the mud plaster was completely dried Sanda whitewashed the walls. Other buildings were put up on the farm but these others were not whitewashed.

Each year more land was cleared and as the children grew older they were able to help with the heavy farm work and the many farm chores.
Although neither Vasile nor Sanda had attended school in Europe, they made sure that their children went to school. Two of their children became school teachers – Nick and Lena.
Unfortunately, Alexandra Svekla died in 1932 at age 58 following a gall bladder operation. Vasile outlived his wife by many years but died suddenly a few days short of his seventy-fourth birthday in 1944, when he was struck by a car while walking home from a neighbor.
George Svekla was born in Boian, Bukovina on January 25, 1896. He attended Bojan (Shalka) school but left home early to work and earn some money. In 1920 he married Dora Darda and they farmed in Boian area. He passed away in 1959.
Katie was born in Boian, Bukovina too, July 10, 1897. She helped her mother with the numerous household chores and in 1916 married Elie Basaraba. They raised a large family of their own. In 1968 she passed away.
Elie, the second son, was also born in the old country in 1899. He attended Boian school and also went out working early. Later he married Annie Kelba and farmed in the Warwick district. They raised a family of 3 boys, William, Nick and George, and a daughter, Marie, who became a hairdresser. He passed away in 1960 at age 61.
Dora was the first Svekla child born at Boian on June 4, 1901. She attended the local school and helped at home. In 1925 she married Walter Tanchuk and they moved to the Hythe district where they farmed. Dora died in 1978 at age 77.
Nick Svekla was born in 1902. He attended Boian school and then completed high school in Vegreville.
After attending Normal school he began teaching and taught at Moose, Ispas, Desjarlais, Boian and Willing- done. In 1929 he married Marie Rusnak and had two children, Ruth and Willis. In 1941 the marriage was dissolved and Nick raised the two children himself. In 1953 he married Mrs. Mary Fedorak. After retiring they moved to Edmonton where he passed away in 1974 at age 74.
Nick Svekla was one of the first teachers of Romanian origin. Those who knew him remember him as a quiet gentleman who always took part in community affairs, often heading the many organizations to which he belonged.
Lena was born January, 1904. She followed in her brother Nick’s footsteps. After completing Normal School she taught school at Alderina, then Bojan and Ispas. In 1928 she married John Fedorkey. They had two children. She passed away in Edmonton in 1973 at age 68.
Charles was born December, 1905. He attended Bojan school and later Vegreville high school. He started out as a grain elevator agent in Kaleland. In October, 1933 he married Dorothy Mihalcheon and they had a son Edward. Dorothy passed away in 1947. Charles later married Anne and they lived in Hairy Hill, then to Unity, Sask. where they operated a hotel. The next move was to Two Hills where they owned the hotel. Charles passed away in 1984.
Harry was born April, 1907, and also attended Bojan and Vegreville schools. Then he took up farming with his dad. In 1930, he married Helen Iftody and they lived on the same quarter as Harry’s parents and continued mixed farming. Harry loved horses and began raising registered Percherons. In 1940 his stallion won the Grand Championship at both the Edmonton and Calgary exhibitions. He was awarded a silver medal. In 1945 he sold the home place and moved to North Battleford to a hotel business. Two years later they sold out and moved to Bonnyville and bought a theatre. One more move took them to a farm west of Edmonton where they farmed until retirement in 1971.
Wherever the Harry Sveklas lived they had many friends and they became well known for their singing, especially the old favorite Romanian folk songs.
Anne was born in 1908. She attended the local school and after completing public school she helped her mother on the farm. She married John Porozni in the fall of 1926 and they farmed in the Boian district for many years till retirement to Vegreville. Both John and Anne led very active lives in both the Boian, Willingdon and Vegreville communities.
Mary was born Nov. 1910. She attended Boian school and helped on the farm. In 1929 she married Thomas Yurko and they farmed south of Boian school. They sold out eventually and went into farming near Vegreville.
Martin was born July 1, 1914 and like his older siblings attended the local school and then helped on the farm. Unlike the others, Martin early learned to play the violin and in his late teens started a band and for years he was in great demand to play at weddings and parties. In 1932 he married Mary Chebree and continued farming.
In 1966 he left farming and went into the construction industry in Edmonton. Because he was a capable builder he became a building inspector for the government of Alberta where he worked till retirement in 1979. Mary and Martin have four children, two sons and two daughters.
Ruby was the baby of the family. She was born in April, 1916. She attended Bojan and Desjarlais schools. In 1936 she married Toder Kelba and farmed in the Boian district. Later they moved to Calgary and brought up a family of three. Ted passed away in 1982.

Birth and marriage records from church books. Boian, Bukovina

Vasile Svecla birth record.
Vasile was born on Jan. 15, 1870. Father – Simeon, son of Vasile Svecla. Mother – Katrina Iurco. Godfather – Vasile Iurco. (Vasile and Nicolai Svecla were brothers)

Alexandra Pavel birth record.
Alexandra was born on June 5, 1874. Father – Grigore Pavel. Mother – Catrina Mihalcean. Godparents – Nestor Bujenita from Mahala and Alexandra Vaipan from Boian.

Svecla Vasile and Alexandra Pavel marriage record. Oct. 22, 1895.
Vasile, son of Simeon, Vasile Svecla and Catrina Iurco married Alexandra, daughter of Grigori Pavel and Catrina Mihalcean. Godparents – Nazar and Acsenia Iurco. Vasile was 25 and Alexandra 21 years old.

Simeon Svecla and Catrina Iurco marriage record. Oct. 22, 1867.
Simeon , son of Vasile Svecla married Catrina, daughter of Vasile Iurco. Godparents – Simeon and Eufrosinia Medvig from Slobozia-Rarance. Simeon was 30 and Catrina 20 years old.

Grigore Pavel and Catrina Mihalcean marriage record.
Grigori, son of Gheorghi Pavel married Catrina, daughter of Ilie Mihalcean. Godparents – Teodor and Alexandra Vaipan. Grigori was 26 and Catrina 21 years old.

Catrina Mihalcean birth record.
Catrina was born on Jan. 10, 1847. Father – Ilie, son of Kasian Mihalcean. Mother – Alexandra. Godmother – Anna, wife of Simeon, son of Toader Basaraba.

Passenger ship lists

Hamburg. May 24, 1899. Vessel - Bulgaria
Halifax. June 5, 1899


Census - 1901
1 Comment
  1. Susan Dow-Walhood

    My Great grandmother immigranted to Smoky lake area and homesteaded. Her husband was John Blaschuk. I have found her last name to be Swekla on a death certificate. I have lost touch with any branches of her family. She was from Pjojan, Austria born 1882. I have a dna match with Porozni, Yurko and Pavel family trees on ancestry. I have some copies of homestead documents and it apppears that John Blaschuk bought land from Georgy Pavel. Township 58 rand 14 W of the 4 meridian. Any suggestions?

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