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I have a similar family legend about my Great Grandfather. The Malogolowke
family lived in Lysyanka, which is in the Kiev Oblast on the road between
Uman and Kiev. >from maps of the time (ca 1900) it appears to be the only
town in the vicinity with buildings on both sides of a river, implying it
was a river crossing. Since there was no bridge present at that time, I
presume it was a Ferry Crossing. This makes the town an ideal stopping
point on the road and an ideal place for a Tavern.
I have been unable to find any records confirming this story, but there is
circumstantial evidence. There is a voting record (1907 Duma) for my Great
Grandfather in that town showing he was a property owner. In 1908 when he
and his family (including my Grandmother as a young girl) emigrated to
America, they came with a large amount of cash - declared; many thousands of
dollars when most immigrants could only declare the required $25. So it
seems they must have had property to sell to come to America.
Any ideas on how to confirm this story would be welcome.