HUSBAND        Maxim Romanick

Born 8/25/1881 Snietnica  Poland
Married  11/7/1910 Brooklyn New York
 Died 1/6/1937 Brooklyn New York
 Buried 1/9/1937 Plains Pennsylvania
FATHER Jerzy Romanick Other Wives:
MOTHER Makryna Kaniuk

WIFE        Mary Symochko Romanick

Born 2/1/1889 Hanczowa   Poland
Married 11/7/1910 Brooklyn   New York
Died 10/2/1963 Wilkes-Barre   Pennsylvania
Buried 10/5/1963 Plains   Pennsylvania
 FATHER John Symochko
MOTHER Anastasia Cap Other Husbands:
Children Birth date Birthplace Date of Marriage Date of Death
In order of birth M/D/Y City State Country Name of Spouse City, State
Anastasia Romanick  9/20/1911 Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 7/1/1939 Joseph Wimmer
John Romanick 7/23/1914  Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania   11/19/1976
San Leandro, CA
Mary Romanick  8/5/1916 Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania   9/17/1994
New York City
Frank Romanick  6/11/1918 Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania  12/23/1944
Frances Kleine
Joseph Romanick  8/18/1920  
Anne Romanick 6/25/1922  Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania  2/4/1950
Philip Drago
Olga Romanick  6/7/1924 Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania  6/2/1951
Simon Fusiak
George Romanick 8/4/1925 Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania  n/a
Wilma Cummings
New York City
Harold Romanick 8/20/1929  Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania  5/5/1962
Bessie McVey

My father, Maxim Romanick, on his Petition for Naturalization for U S Citizenship showed as being born August 24, 1881, in Snietnica, Galicia, Province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. While we visited Poland in June 1990, we found out that Galicia became part of Poland under the 1919 Versailles Treaty.


For hundreds of years, Lemkos people have suffered persecution in their native homeland, Galicia (Poland). Lemkos are Carpatho-Russians that lived on both sides of the Carpathian Mountains. My parents were Lemkos.
Even though the country of Poland in which they lived was removed from the map of Europe as a sovereign nation in 1795, the Lemkos continued to be downtrodden because Austria-Hungary, which took over as sovereign, permitted the local Polish gentry and the Catholic Church to continue to suppress the Lemkos people and the Eastern Churches.
Many people from this area emigrated to the United States in the late 19th century. Why did people leave Galicia in great numbers? Between 1870 and 1910, the population of Carpatho-Russians in Galicia increased over 50%. This population explosion created a food shortage because there was too little arable land. Famine and poverty were always camped on their doorsteps. They were basically in servitude and trying to survive was foremost. If they were forced to borrow money, they were forced to pay excessive interest rates. They could seldom repay the debt; at best they paid the interest. Their housing consisted of a one-room house with a thatched roof. In cold weather, humans and animals shared the room,
To escape this intolerable situation, over half a million Lemkos came to Canada and United States up to 19 10. Most of them were between 14 and 24, single, in good health and with only a rudimentary education at best. They sailed to the United States in steerage class. Upon arrival in Amerika, they gathered in areas where heavy industry and mining were the main places of employment, which required endurance rather than technical skills. One came and soon others from the same village joined them.
The church was the center of the faith and of people's activities. Because of language difficulties, the parish priest often represented his flock in legal and civil matters. The priest backed by the church was a "culturization agent" for the immigrants.
At the churches, these immigrants soon formed brotherhoods for social, psychological and informational purposes. Many of these became lodges when mutual help or insurance was added. These lodges became the foundations of many parishes.
Young women came to escape the poverty and many worked in New York in Jewish households. They met the young men who came to church services, married and left with them to their place of work and residence. Their families were large and always struggled financially.
The sons left home to serve in World War II and never returned to settle in the same town since they went where they could find work or they took advantage of the GI Bill.

Before our visit to Poland, We did not expect to find any information on the family name Romanick and my mother's maiden name, Symoczko, because we were informed that the Russian Communists destroyed the church and civic records.
Much to our surprise, our interpreter/translator, Jacek Krecina, a Polish historian in Uscie Gorlickie who worked in Krakow, was able to get the civil records from the City Hall in Uscie Gorlickie and the church records from the Orthodox Church in Hanczowa for the period from 1815 to 1980.
The earliest date for the Romanicks was recorded as 1815 when Frank's Great-Great-Grand Father Pantelemon was born in the village of Snietnica, some six miles from the village of Hanczowa in southeast Poland. All the Romanicks were born in this village. Only two of them came to the United States. Frank's Father Maxim and his Uncle Aleksander (Prokop) in 1900. The last of the Romanicks left Snietnica in 1936. And today there is nothing left of the house where Frank's father spent his childhood.


Discovering our ancestral heritage was not as difficult as we had thought. While shopping for Christmas gifts, we found the origin and history of our family name Romanick at the Citadel shopping Mall in Colorado Springs. There was a vendor in the mall doing business in family name histories. This vendor, Ezell Enterprises, receives his computer information from a European Historical Research Center.
We wish you could have been there, standing next to me at the shopping mall, and seeing the expression of happiness on my face when I saw the name "Ramanick" come up on the screen. The family name of Romanick was registered among the aristocracy of Galicia (Southern Poland) in 1782. For $20, 1 was able to get a complete history of the family name Romanick.
From the same vendor, I was quite surprised to learn about an authentic ancient coat of arms for the family name Romanick that was documented in the archives. For $44, I received in the mail the "Romanick Coat of Arms". What a shopping day! It was just unbelievable.
Our good luck continued. For $30, I was furnished with the addresses of 171 Romanick families living in the United States and Canada. The Halbert's Family Heritage Company of 3687 Ira Road, Bath, Ohio 44210, used a highly sophisticated network of computer sources. Over 150 million records were searched to find all the names and addresses listed in the "World Book of Romanick". The data banks searched listings from electoral rolls, telephone directories, and automobile registrations and cross street directories.
Tracing my family in the United States was challenging because of the name changes of families and villages. At Ellis Island, the entrance to "Amerika," Polish family names and village names, unpronounceable to non-Poles, were changed phonetically to the way they sounded to the immigration officials.
To meet naturalization requirements, my father Maxim Romanick filed the Declaration of Intention or first papers, June 24, 1919. He filed his final papers or "The Petition for Naturalization" on June 21, 1921. He was sworn in and became a US citizen on October 7, 1921.

In both papers, the place of birth and the family name of Romanick were misspelled. But we were all smiles when we received a copy of my parents' wedding certificate, which was recorded in the Russian language when they were married on November 7, 1910, at St Vladimir Russian Orthodox Church, in Brooklyn, New York. After the translation, we found the correct spelling of their surnames and the Polish village where they originated.
Mary Durniak, my second cousin who lives with here husband in Flushing, New York, was kind enough to share some background information on Frank's father, Maxim Romanick. The mother of Mary Durniak had taken in boarders to supplement her income. My father and his brother Prokop (Aleksander), unknown to me, were boarders at this home in 1903. His two sisters, Irena and Fotina, remained in Poland.
In addition we have the names and addresses of the following. No doubt some of these are our relatives. They are:

Romanik 150, Romaniak 115, Romaniuk 105, Romanek 263, Romanczuk 106, Romanowicz 148 and Romanuk 14.

My brothers and sisters 1963 (left to right) Anastasia, Frank in my naval uniform, Olga, George, Mary, Harold in his army uniform, Ann and Joseph. Not present, my oldest brother John.