I don't have much about my dad's father's side of the family. They resided in Brandon, Manitoba and were on the 1911 Census as Stephi, Annie and Mary Pravada . I don't know if Stephi was short for something, but his headstone says Steve.
I also know that, for whatever reason, there are 3 different spellings of their last name. One being Pravada (per censes), one being Prawada and my maiden name was Prewedo.
My family attended a Ukranian Catholic Church in Brandon. I'd really like to find their immigration record or more about the family.Melissa's query intrigued me as ancestors with such a variety in their surname are often very challenging to find. And I like a challenge! So I did a little research on Melissa's behalf and thought I'd share with readers how I found records that will provide answers for Melissa and will take her back at least one more generation to the parents of both Stephi and Annie
Melissa search of the 1911 census didn't include viewing the actual image on Collections Canada or Ancestry.com. She relied on a transcript on Automated Genealogy which only shows part of the actual census page.
The image for the 1911 Census on Ancestry.com for Brandon Manitoba shows the family as
PRAVEDA, Stephi, b. Dec.1881 Galicia, 29 yrs old, immigrated 1905, Roman Catholic
Annie b Nov. 1890, 20 yrs old, immigrated 1906
Mary b Sept. 1907 Manitoba, 3 yrs old
There are several clues in this one census. The immigration years are different for Stephi and Annie. This indicates they may not have travelled together and might not have been married before arriving in Canada.
Keep in mind that immigration years are often mis-remembered but we still can narrow the timeframe for a ships passenger list to 1904-1907. Canadian ships passenger lists are available on Ancestry.com and on Archives Canada. Archives Canada are not indexed so you would be best to search Ancestry's indexes.
Since your surname can have many variations and since Stephi is no doubt a nickname or shortened form of his real name, you will need to use wildcards in any searches.
You may want to hunt for a marriage record for Stephi and Annie. That will give you her maiden name and other details such as parents' names for both bride and groom.
How about looking for baby Mary's birth record? That also would give you Annie's maiden name and might provide Stephi's full legal name.
But before we jump into immigration or vital records, I decided to have a hunt in the online 1916 Prairie Provinces census. Bingo there they were - misindexed on Ancestry.com as PRURDO but clear on the image as PREVEDO. Do you see why wildcards are helpful? By searching for PR*D* I was able to find the misindexed entry PRURDO.
The census shows (in part)
PREVEDO, Stephen, 34, born Austria, immigrated 1904, naturalized in 1912
Annie, 29, born Austria immigrated 1907
Marie, 7, born Canada
Annie, 1, born Canada
Mike, 4, born Canada
Now you see why it is adviseable to leave a year or two on either side of a given immigration year. Here Stephen and Annie have both changed their immigration dates by one year. Now we have a bonus of a naturalization year for Stephi/Stephen
And we could look for the births of all three of their children.
The birth location will vary as there were many boundary and name changes for those European areas and it is unlikely that you will see a consistent name for their places of birth.
Manitoba Vital Records
Manitoba Vital Records indexes are online at http://vitalstats.gov.mb.ca/Query.php
Using wildcards I was able to quickly find the marriage of Stephi and Annie, the birth of little Marie, and the death of Stephi. There may be more records there that you can obtain.
The marriage entry (remember it's only an index) shows the marriage of Stephen PREWDA [sic] and Onna [sic] SNATKO [sic] on Feb. 10, 1908. You can order the full record online after you find what you want in the indexes. It is quick and easy so you can now have the thrill of obtaining the record and getting more details.
Stephi's death is listed as Steve PREWEDO, age 59, Brandon Manitoba, Died 21 June 1941. You can order his death certificate online too
I also suggest ordering Mary's birth record just to get a confirmation of her mother's proper name - both first and last.
Manitoba Cemetery Search
The City of Brandon cemetery is online at http://gis.brandon.ca/arcgis/flex/cemeterysearch.html
A search reveals several of your family members: Stephen born 16 July 1882 in Austria; Annie born 13 January 1888 died 3 Feb 1943; Michael Stephen born 16 April 1915 died 1 May 1979.
This now provides you with a precise date of birth for both Stephen and Annie which should help in finding them on ships passenger lists and if you decide to conduct research in European databases.
Let's not forget the notation of religion in the census records. Since Stephi and Annie were Roman Catholic you may wish to check for Catholic Churches in the Brandon area. Find out what records exist and where they are kept. Then you may be able to obtain more information on the family by hunting in those church records.
Immigration & Naturalization
Since you do not know whether Stephi and Annie arrived in Canada or in America you will want to keep your search parameters open. I suggest using Ancestry.com ships passenger lists search to have a hunt for them.
You'll have to use wildcards but you may have to widen your search even more by not using a surname. You can always try using a date of birth (plus or minus one to allow for variations in manifest information), and a year of arrival plus or minus one or two years to allow for errors. I'd try a partial first name such as STE* for Stephi and Ann* for Annie. Since one index shows her as Onna, I'd also try Onn*
Naturalization records are somewhat tricky. You may wish to read what is available in Canadian Naturalization records and where they can be found, at http://naturalizationrecords.com/canada/
Many indexed records are online but you are going to have to write to Citizenship and Immigration Canada to request a lookup in the 1912 records. The complete address and explanation is found at NaturalizationRecords.com website. Remember to add a year at least on either side of the date Stephi gave in 1916.