Tuesday, October 28, 2014


My grandmother saved things: magazines, recipes, newspaper articles, letters, post cards, greeting cards, copies of poems and obituaries. Among those mementos was a box of holy cards, which were  a little smaller than a playing card and depict the image of a saint or religious scene on one side, and a message on the reverse. There were cards given out at funerals with the person's date of birth and death, and those that marked ordinations, first communion and confirmation.
Some, like that for the funeral of John Malenoski, reveal that Malenoski was probably a Carpatho-Russian immigrant, belonged to the Orthodox Church, was familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet and lived a long life.
Teresa Kosick's funeral card reveals her origins in her Slovenian name, that she was Roman Catholic, a parishioner of Holy Rosary Church and also lived a long life.
Some holy cards were used to reward school children, with a hand-written message, such as "from Sister Agnes, in remembrance of her" on the blank side.
Holy cards can provide clues for those piecing together a family history as well as offer a glimpse of a gentler, faith-filled era.


K Stone said...

Malenoski is a distant branch in my family tree. John Malenoski's first wife, Rose Wysowatcky Malenoski, was my grandmother’s first cousin.

According to U.S. census records, John came to America from Russia in 1911 or 1912.  He and Rose married in 1913.

The 1920 U.S. Census shows John, wife Rosa(Rose) and their son, William, living at 4651 Pennsylvania Avenue, Denver (Globeville).  They lived next door to Rose’s parents and siblings.

Rose died in 1925.  John's second wife was Elizabeth, widow of John Marko.

The 1930 U.S. census record shows John, Elizabeth, and various children still living on Pennsylvania Avenue in Globeville.

John and Elizabeth's son, James, was born in 1930.

The 1940 Census list shows John, Elizabeth, and some children living at 4553 Grant Avenue, Denver (Globeville).

John Malenoski, Rose Wysowatcky Malenoski, their children (William Malenoski, Irene Malenoski Dorchinez, Dorathy Malenoski), and a granddaughter, Marsha Dorchinez, are buried in Riverside Cemetery, Denver (Globeville). 

John's second wife, Elizabeth, died in 1987. Their son, James, died in 2006.

References:  Ancestry.com, Findagrave.com

Mary Lou Egan said...

K Stone, My grandparents lived at 4552 Sherman, across the alley from John and Elizabeth at 4553 Grant.
My mother said they were good neighbors, and helped each other with such things as building a fence, passing on children's clothes when they they had been outgrown and exchanging recipes and ingredients. That's probably why the holy card for the funeral was in the box of mementos.
I'm still trying to find more information on the Homyak wedding photo. Good to hear from you. Mary Lou