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Recollections of Anna Suzanska Makar by Rosemarie Pysh

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: 20 Apr 1992 [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Surnames/tags: Makar Pysh Sozansky
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Melissa Theis distributed prompts to family members across three generations to get their personal recollections of women in our family tree for a research project for school.

This is a transcript of the answers Rose (Pysh) Huggins gave about Anna (Sozansky) Makar (1888-1927).



I know nothing about Anna's immigration. Although I always assumed that she did, I'm not sure.

Family Life

Mom (Anna Pysh) had a picture that showed, she said, Anna with a sister, Pelagia a.k.a Pearl, who lived in Glenwood, PA; a brother, Piotr a.k.a Peter, who lived in Pittsburgh; and a decreased brother. They look Americanized in the picture, so I might assume they were all in the U.S.

My impression is that the Ukrainian family was fairly close and that Anna spoke and dealt with mostly Ukrainians. She was, however, a young woman. While the children did go to a "Ukrainian school" I understand that they all learned English and that the family did have at least some normal contacts with the non-Ukrainian community.


Estimating dates, Anna died at around 30 of tuberculosis after a very lengthy bed-ridden time at home. Mom (Anna Pysh) talked often about taking care of her, and her coughing more and more until the end.


I do not know how much schooling Anna had. She did seem to value education and wanted schooling for her children.

Occupation and Activities

With six children, probably within 10 to 12 years of each other, she seems to have been primarily home bound. Mom (Anna Pysh) said she seemed to work so hard and looked sad. One probably apocryphal story about Anna: Mom (Anna Pysh) said Anna's mom was a great cook, employed by rich families and possibly royalty back in Ukraine, although "royalty" could easily have meant a local feudal head.


Since mom (Anna Pysh) was born in Hammond, and I remember seeing a note that one of Alex's (Alex Makar's) sisters lived in Hammond, I can maybe assume that some part of the Makar family and some part of the Suzanska family lived in Hammond at the same time? Maybe that is how Alex (Alex Makar) and Anna met. How they got there, and how they ended up in Pittsburgh later, I do not know.

Leisure Time

The little leisure seemed to revolve around the church and family. Mom (Anna Pysh) remembers dancing with Anna at home and making up songs for the children.

Causes and Political Views

I don't know of any "causes". I do remember the traditional attitudes of dad (Wasyl Pysh) and Didi (Alex Makar), which were strongly anti-Bolshevik and anti-communist (and a few other not-so-nice prejudices). How much Anna might have bought into these, I don't know.

Someone in the family has a picture of some relative on a horse--a Cossack. Of course, World War I and the Russian Revolution were happening at the same time, with great slaughter and starvation. As I understand it, dad (Wasyl Pysh) came here to avoid the draft in 1913.

Of course, she would have had little or no legal rights and few personal ones. It was only very recently that women in the U.S. had any claims on their husband's property, even after the husband's death. The husband was the one and only boss and, according to mom (Anna Pysh), Alex (Alex Makar) was totally authoritarian. He was also an alcoholic and possibly a womanizer.

But I've had the impression from mom (Anna Pysh) that Anna somehow kept her spirit: fought for the kids' schooling, and kicked up her heels occasionally, even if in a mild way.

Turning Points

Mom's (Anna Pysh's) life seems to have changed a lot after Anna's death. Without a "protector" she may have been emotionally and physically abused, as well as neglected. After Anna's death, Alex (Alex Makar) took a live-in housekeeper who had small children of her own who, mom said, always ate first, got the most food and best clothes, and so on.

Didi (Alex Makar) married, I think, at least twice after this. I met the last one when I was about twelve. She stayed with us the night after their wedding and left Didi the next day, never to return.


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