In one of my previous posts, Ancestral conspiracies! I discussed the possibility of Jan Micik (father of Andrew) and Jan Micik (father of Maria, my great-grandma) being the same person. It has indeed been confirmed to me that Maria’s mother Zuzana had a son by an unknown man before she married Jan, which is what what we’d assumed after finding the records of Maria’s birth. I have also found out that Maria’s son Jan was born in 1887, about three years before Maria. So the assumption that he would have been closer in age with Andrew’s sister Katrena, born in late 1885 than to his own sister Maria was also correct. As he was less than three when his mother married Micik, he would not have realised that his older sister was not really a blood relative. But I’m back to speculations now.
What we know for sure is that Andrew’s parents lived at Parnica no. 139. This is one important piece of information that my mum squeezed out of the birth records of not only Andrew, Jan and their two sisters but also Pavol Micik (*1858) who we think might have been Jan’s brother and Andrew’s uncle.
My mum has also done some on site snooping around however and made her way to Parnica last weekend. From old maps, as well as from what my grandma remembers of the old time Parnica, she has located the site of no. 139:
The house where Andrew was born is not there. All that’s left is a little hole in the ground. It used to be a hole directly in the floor of the house, through which they would pour potatoes into the cellar. It was probably only roofed over after the house has been destroyed, presumably during the Second World War, when the front lines swept across the village. A lot of the houses burned down then, including no. 99, where my grandma was born. They all hid in the cellar and came out to a burned down house with nothing left but the clothes they were wearing. One of the things that burned in the house was the “bible,” the chronicles that my great grandfather kept, supposedly beautifully written and containing a lot of information on births, deaths and marriages, a family tree of his own.
Maybe a similar cellar still exists under that little roof at no. 139.
But let me get back to the point. That house at the back of the site is what my grandma remembers as the house of Jan Harmaniak, the half-brother of her mum’s. Is it a confirmation of my theory that he built his house on the property that belonged to the man who would have brought him up? Jan and Zuzana would have married before Jan was two years old so he would have been brought up by Jan as his father. It would make perfect sense for him to stay nearby and care for his ageing parents.
It could also have been a coincidence of course, but it’s only a week until archive time and if it turns out that Maria Micikova was born at no. 139 it would be a much stronger argument. I’m also hoping the marriage records will yield information and I will be back with more next week!