manchester’s ukrainian community
Last week I attended a fascinating talk by Larysa Bolton, archivist at Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester. Larysa outlined the history of the Ukrainian community in Manchester and then spoke more specifically about her role in collecting community archives.
The Ukrainians in the city have been reinforced since 1991 by a new wave of immigrants but the longstanding community is founded on two earlier waves. The first of these comprised essentially economic migrants from the Austrian province of Galicia (Halychyna to Ukrainians) in the 1890s and 1900s. The second wave was mostly of political refugees, from the same region (which had become, between the World Wars, SE Poland) via occupied defeated Germany and Austria, in the immediate post-WW2 era (under the British government’s European Volunteer Worker scheme of 1946-1951). Most Ukrainians tended to settle around Red Bank and Cheetham, along the artery north out of the city towards Bury.
From the archival point of view, neither the first nor the second wave of Ukrainian immigrants placed great importance on preserving the documentary history of their life in UK. This is changing, partly through successful archival outreach work and partly through the growing interest in family history as second, third and later generation descendants of immigrants discover their Ukrainian roots.
Bluebird Research undertakes family history research in Poland and throughout Ukraine and is happy to provide advice on genealogical research in Eastern Europe for those investigating their Ukrainian family history.