At its heyday, the Skorinets village, where my Cossack great-great-grandfather settled his family in the late 18th century, was once a thriving and populated community. My grandfather could not in a million years pass the opportunity to show me where our family tree planted its roots. The photo below begins our tour on a rough dirt road to the village.
My great-great grandfather, Nazar, built this very house to accommodate his wife and 8 children. As we walked around the gate to take a closer look, a woman came out and asked us if we wanted to come in. We went inside the gate with smiles and kind words and were offered nothing less as my grandfather talked about the customs and celebrations of the villagers and what had changed in the village since his youth.
Dedushka Andrey stopped to say hello to everyone we passed as a sign of respect. His easy conversation with the villagers made me proud and much at ease since the journey without him would be impossible. I kept thinking about Alex from Toronto making a similar journey back to where his family came from and the similarities of our experiences.
My gramps and me sitting underneath a tree.
Other photographs of interest…