Mihai Yurko was the son of Toader and Ana Bujenita. He was born in Boian, Bukovina in 1855 and died in 1938 at the age of 83. In his twenties he married Maria Harasim, daughter of Dumitru and Catrina Harasim. Maria was born in 1860 and died in 1941 at the age of 81. In Boian, Bukovina, Mihai Yurko was very active in community affairs and eventually rose to the position of vornic (chief magistrate). As a vornic he could mete out punishments and since he was a very strict man, these punishments were often severe when one thinks of the petty crimes committed. Mihai liked partying and so he had many friends but because of his position he had enemies too.
In the old country five daughters were born to the Yurkos. In 1899 they, along with many other Romanians, including Mihai’s brother-in-law Gheorghe A. Mihalcheon, came to Canada. When they arrived in Strathcona, they crossed the Saskatchewan River into Edmonton. There Mihai Yurko and Gheorghe Mihalcheon bought a wagon and a team of horses and set out for Pakan, where a settlement of Métis and Ukrainians already existed. The Yurkos spent only a short time there.
They moved south across the river and east where they filed on a homestead S.W.V4 section 2-56-14-4 in the Boian area. They lived here until 1912 and then moved to Vegreville. After operating a livery stable in Vegreville for five years, they moved back to Boian.
Like other newcomers the Yurkos went through a great number of hardships. Their first home was a bordei and next they built a log cabin and mud plastered it. They had very little money so Mihai left his wife and children on the homestead and went out seeking jobs. Often the pay was pitiful, amounting to $7.00 to $10.00 a month. To bring home groceries, Mihai would pack them on his back and walk and walk following the Indian trails or newer trails made by the many immigrants that were pouring into Western Canada. Sometimes Mihai and his friends would build a raft in Fort Edmonton and try to steer it down the swiftly flowing Saskatchewan River. If the water was very rough, the sugar and flour would get wet.
To Mihai and Maria Yurko, five daughters were born in the old country – Rafira, Raveta, Domnica, Anita and Dochita. Two more children were born in Alberta, another daughter, Catrina who died in 1917 at age of 16 and their one and only son Thomas (Toader) who was born in 1903.
Dochija married Elie Vaipon and the couple moved to Calgary early in their marriage and then went back to Boian, Bukovina. They established their home there
and the descendants are still there today.
Thomas farmed at Boian for many years. Then he sold out and bought land near Vegreville where he proved to be a very successful farmer. When he became ill, he retired with his wife Mary to Vegreville, but his heart remained on his land.
Mihai Iurco birth record.
Mihail was born on May 23, 1855. Father – Toader Iurko. Mother – Anna. Godmother – Ioana, wife Ioan Grigorko.
Maria Harasam birth record.
Maria was born on March 18, 1862. Father – Dimitrie Harasam. Mother – Katrina. Godmother – Maria Toma.
Mihai Iurco and Maria Harasam marriage record. Oct. 21, 1879.
Mihai, son of Toader Iurco and Ana Bujenita married Maria, daughter of Dimitrie Harasam and Catrina Darda. Godparents – Vasile Iurco with his wife from Rarancea. Mihai was 24 and Maria 17 years old.
Toader Iurco and Ana Bujenita marriage record. June 4, 1850.
Toader, son of Elie, son of Maftei Iurko married Ana, daughter of Toader Bujenita from Mahala. Toader was 24 and Ana 22 years old.
Dimitrie Harasam and Katrina Darda marriage record. Oct.14, 1854.
Dimitrie, son of Nicolai Harasam married Katrina, daughter of Vasile, son of Stefan Dirda. Dimitrie was 23 and Katrina 20 years old.
Children born in Boian, Bukovina.
A bit information about Eudochia (Dochita). She married Elie Vaipan and after a short time went back to Boian, Bukovina. My grandmother told me that Dochita got a illness when she passing the ocean. Dochita passed away and the last 4 months she lived in my great grandmother’s house, Dochita’s aunt Alexandra. On the day of the funeral photographer was called to make photo for parents, brothers and sisters in Canada.
After communists came, Ilie Vaipan, in 1940 with his three sons tried to go to the Romania but all of them was killed by the border guards. Today in Boian live descendants of Ilie and Dochita’s oldest daughter – Catrina. In the photo Catrina is on the Ilie’s hands.