Email Wayne Bartesko


Family Tree Chart

Correspondence

Montevideo Uruguay
April 10th  1970

Dear Frankie-
            I am your cousin Johana, called Annie B. Recouso (1), why you canít imagine
what a surprise it was, & a pleasure at the same time, to know that you are all alive &
well off, we often wondered what happened to you folks, and how nice of Elsie (2) &
Martin to find you, they did not tell me that they were going to make a trip to Canada,
but Iím very pleased they did, they like to make surprises, we both thank you for the
presents.

           We use to call you Frankie (3), you were little Frankie, & my father the big 
Frank (4). Elsie asked me if I knew where you were born, you were born in Germany,
 but Iím sorry to tell you I donít know what town. My brother William (5) was born in 
Milheim, & I in Ober-Marvloh, Kreis Hamborn, Ruhart, Johnny (6) in Oster-feld West 
fahlan, I know your father (7) was in board by us there when he was single & when he 
married. I donít know, my father, & suppose all of your Uncles were born in Radlin, 
Kreis Rynik, Ober-Schlesien Germany, your not a German now, you are a Canadian, 
you lost your German rights, one has to renew the past-port every 10 years if you 
want to be a German. When your parents came to Canada with Augustine (8) & you 
all wrapped up in a blanket, you were a baby & got the measles on the ship, so we 
all kids got the measles, we lived in the same house, your parents came with my Aunt 
Elisabeth & Uncle Nowak (10), my motherís brother, this about your birth-certificate, 
go to the German Consul & explain it, they will find it out for you, here they do it like 
that, & if not go to a lawyer. Now I am going to put you up to date of the past years.

            My father was the first one to go to Canada, that was on a homestead he bought
in Hardisty (Alberta), it was a very nice one, the homesteads then were cheap, father and 
mother worked hard, we kids did our best, William was 6 years old, Johnny a baby & I 
was four, we had dogs, cats, chickens & cows, but no horses, we use to hitch the cows
 to the wagon to go town to fetch provisions. When we were going home, father went 
the other direction, it was getting dark, the mosquitoes were picking us deadly, the cows
 stopped, did not go farther, surely tired, we were getting ready to pass the night there, 
so mother said lets try again, & let the cows go their own way. The cows turned to the 
other direction & brought us home, father said the cows know the way better than we, 
dear cows. One day we had a great fright, there came a big prairie fire, we nearly got 
burned, the cows ran into the pool, had their hairs burned a little, all of us watered all 
around the house, so it wouldnít get burned, we ran into the green woods, thank God 
the wind turned to the other direction, so we were saved, cows & house. The haystacks 
we had stored for winter were burned, the cowís food, how many worries. We had a good
 neighbour, he was English, Mr. Jeton, he helped us to plough 4 yards all around the 
house, a distance of a block, to prevent prairie fires, also gave us hay for the cows. 
Father was tired of the homestead, to much work for us, so he went to Bankhead (Alberta)
 to work in the coalmines, they earned good wages, as soon as he could would send 
for us. Mean time a cow had a calf, the cow died, mother & we kids dragged the cow a 
block away from the house, at night we could not sleep, the barking of the coyotes was 
heard, they were having a feast, in the morning we just saw the bones nice & clean.

            Then mother got sick, we all alone, we prayed altogether for help, the next day 
came Mr. Jeton, he said that he dreamt of us all every night, so he thought something 
must be the matter, he got the Dr. & mother got well in a few days. He helped us in 
everything, got the provisions & mail, God bless Mr. Jeton a million times for the good 
deeds he done. At last we received a letter from father saying he was working in 
Bankhead, rented a house, everything ready for us, also the fares, mother sold 
everything, but not the homestead, Mr. Jeton & Mr. Bloom the store keeper, helped 
mother in all. Mr. Jeton took us to the station, it was winter, the day we left it snowed 
hard & was cold. We were wrapped up in blankets, now & then we had to clean the 
snow off the wheels, when we arrived the station, poor Johnny was nearly frozen, 
he was all stiff, mother wanted to give him a warm bath, the people crowded & said 
No! No! brought snow & rubbed him for a quite long time till the Dr. came, gave him 
some medicine & Johnny got well again. Mr. Jeton stayed in town that day, put us in 
the train, told the conductor to help us, we did not speak English, just a few words, 
we arrived Bankhead, there was father waiting, so we were altogether again, we liked 
the house, & place, we had everything. Now we had better times, William started school 
& learned quickly, he was intelligent. When William was older he was a good drawer, 
he drawed President Washington & Lincoln, won a golden metal badge of Captain Nelson, 
after a time we were in Bankhead, came your parents with Augustine & Frankie (you), & 
Aunt Elisabeth & Uncle William. I already wrote that you had the measles, Aunt Elisabeth 
& Uncle William didnít stay long in Bankhead, said it was too cold, so they went to the 
states to Centralia Illinois where a sister (11) from my mother lived, they liked it there, 
warm climate & plenty of work. After a time in Bankhead Edward (12) was born, when he 
was 6 months, he was a lovely baby, so we went to the states, we all liked it for the warm 
climate & it was nice. After a few months Edward got very sick & died, the change of 
climate, we lived 3 years in the states, Rosie (13) & Emil (14) were born, the twins. Also 
father got the malaria fever, was sick for quite a long time, a Dr. giving him the wrong 
medicine, our neighbour next door told us of a good Dr. German one, he cured father 
in 8 days, so we were happy again. Then the mines just worked in the winter, there was 
no other work worthwhile, the miners earned good wages then. So father went back to 
Bankhead, to your parents, worked in the mines again. We stayed in the states, it was 
harvest time, we used to pick fruit (to) earn money, it was fun. When the twins were five 
months old, back to Canada to your parents, we lived in the same house, there was 
Augustine, Frankie (you) & Julia (15) in the cradle, she was a baby, we used to play with 
her & carry her around. Then Angela (16) was born, your mother said to Julia, hurry up & 
walk I need the cradle for Angela. My mother did the cooking, we kids all helped till your 
mother was able to manage alone, I use to comb Augustinesí hair, she had two lovely 
braids with 2 bows, she looked really sweet, we went to the same school together. The 
house was now too small for us, meantime the company was building a house for us 10 
blocks away from yours, the company builded the houses just as the families arrived, 
but we saw us in school every day, the fathers in the mine. Our fathers & we all kids went 
to pick berries & mushrooms, sacks of them, they were dried for winter, Bankhead was 
nice. We also handled with drinks, one order for my fatherís name, & the other order for 
your father, that was against the law, we hid the drinks under the floor, there were many 
drunkards in town, no one knew where they got the drinks, so the police began to search 
all the houses, so our fathers in the night make a big hole to hide the drinks under the ash 
pile, mother was washing the floor when the police came to search the house, we kids 
running up & down the ash pile, the police looked everywhere, also under the floor, found 
a bottle with water in it, they asked have you more bottles, & what is in this bottle? Mother 
said, I brought it from Germany, it is holy water, I saved it very much, they laughed, took 
the bottle to see if it really was water, after a months time, they sent her a bottle full of holy 
water, since then we didnít sell any more drinks. It was dangerous & a big fine to pay, but 
we earned a lot on them.

            I will never forget the lovely Christmas Eve we had in the Bankhead hall. A great big 
Christmas tree, it reached to the ceiling, was full of presents. Every woman, man & child had
 a present, the school children & big ones made a concert, the girls all dressed in white with
 sashes over one shoulder, red, white & blue, with a bow on one side, the boyís dressed all
 in blue, a girl (and) a boy in pairs marching & performing, an 8, a star, a ring, a tunnel, then
 came through the tunnel, every one had a flag, they were crossed, all sang Oh Canada, 
three cheers for the red, white & blue. The lights in the hall were put out, then they flashed
 us with the lights red, white & blue. Augustine & you were there too, doing your part it was
 really beautiful. The second part, I was the queen of Canada, the queen of Canada was 
poor, no jewels just a white cheese cloth dress all pleated, with long & wide sleeves, a cord 
around the waist, a homemade crown of silver paper, with 3 peaks, 2 small ones, the big one 
in the middle, in every peak a Maple leaf. I had 3 to choose, Englishman, German, or Uncle 
Sam, I choose Uncle Sam. Uncle Sam was my brother Johnny, we made a lovely pair, 
William was Germany. There were a lot to eat & drink, we had a wonderful time the happy 
school days. The ones that could not go to the hall, the next day the presents were delivered
 to the homes, Angela was a baby, for Angela Bartesko, a lovely doll. Then Elsie was born, 
after a time Bankhead work slowed, so we went to Ohaton (Alberta) with Frank Becker, rented
 a farm, fifty fifty in gains, but Becker was lazy, we had to do all the work, but he wanted the
 same gains, so that did not result, so father went to Hardisty to his homestead, when he got
 there it was sold for $2500 how can that be, this is my homestead, I bought it in 1908, showed
 his paperís & everything he had, they said you lost your rights, you didnít pay the yearly taxes
 & did not cultivate, father nearly got into a fit, lost 160 acres, he was very sad. Then he went to
 British Columbia for a homestead, but did not like them, the land was very stony, but cheap, 
now he decided to go to Germany, not to be working under a boss all his life, weíll make a business. 
Now Iím going to work & save all the money I can, (so) we went to Georgetown Station (near) 
Canmore (Alberta), it was a nice place, something like Bankhead, after a short time it closed, 
then we went to Frank (Alberta), a nice place something like Bankhead too, then we went to 
Bellevue (Alberta). Bellevue was not bad, but I did not like it, the (train) station was Hillcrest. 
From Bellevue I went to Wayne (Alberta) with Mrs. Faylor, she lived in Bavernis (Alberta), & 
had a boarding house in Wayne, just for the winter, the miners worked there. I was the waitress 
& she was the cook, a dear old woman, she wanted me to marry one of her sons, she had three, 
but I was too young & did not think of marrying. Then I went to Calgary (Alberta) to work for 
Lawyer Delong, in the household, they were very nice people, Mrs. Delong was from California 
(USA). Then I went to work in the Banff Springs Hotel (Lake Louise Ė Alberta) for the season. 
Half (of) Bankhead worked there, many of my school friends worked there, we were just like 
a big family & we surely had a great time. From Bellevue we left to go to Germany, it was nice 
in Germany, we had a business, a lot of work, had a girl & boy to help, but it was hard to save 
money. Then there were rumours of a coming war, so father said he didnít raise his children, 
to be killed in a war, he use to read a lot, always looking for a better living, we wanted to go to 
North America, but there was no immigration allowed, so that is why we went to Brazil, then to 
Montevideo (Uruguay) to work, but here was no work for men, for women a lot, here are many 
rich families who have 3, 4, till 7 servants, years behind, now it is getting difficult. So the whole 
family went to Brazil on a farm, I stayed in Montevideo to work & send them money to help 
them on the farm, the start is always hard. After 3 years I went to fetch Rosie & Elsie to work 
for a time & then go to Brazil but we liked it here better, and all got married in Montevideo. 
Emil is still in Brazil, I suppose Elsie told you how it is there, over 30 years or more, my brother 
Johnny was in the store, a gentleman came to him & said, Hello foot-ball player Bartesko when 
are you going to play again, Johnny looked at him and said, Iím not a foot-ball player, Iím a 
farmer, the gentleman said, now donít kid me I saw you play in Sav Paulo (Brazil), so the store 
keeper said, I know Johnny as a farmer many years there must be a mistake, the gentleman 
looked at Johnny a few times, then said, you are exactly, just you are a little taller. We thought 
must be a cousin of ours, perhaps they are in Sav Paulo, hope to meet them. None of you are 
foot-ball players so perhaps a stepbrother of yours. My father was a great traveller, he also 
was in Peking, China as a soldier, also in France, he worked there, spoke French, but did not 
like it there.

            How old were you when you left Bankhead? I was some where around 12 or 13 years. 
Elsie told me you have (4) children, a big family, hope you get on well, I have one daughter 
(18). She is very good & intelligent, I suppose Elsie told you all these. Grandmother Bartesko 
(19) had 7 sons, & twice twins, a girl (20) & a boy (21), but they died. Uncle Thomas (22) & his 
wife visited us in Germany, Thomas was like my father, but shorter. Thomas drank a lot, his 
wife as a good soul. Andrew (23) lived with his mother, he was separated from his wife, his 
wife did not like to work on the land & milk cows, went back to her mother, they had a
daughter (24). I knew cousin Emil (25) & his wife, they were married young, had a flourmill, 
that little boy is Emil, on my mothers wedding photo. A cousin (26) or Uncle of ours was a 
lawyer in Oppeln (Poland). I saw all my mothersí brothers, my uncles, Joe (27) had a picture 
store & things for school. John (28) was a boss in the mine, Ludwig (29) my mothersí step 
brother was a postmaster. William (10) left the states, that is my uncle, & lived in Germany, 
they had no children but adopted a little baby (30), a real doll, very intelligent, when she was 
7 years old she got very sick & died, they were very sad, my brother William was in board by 
them. Our grandmother Bartesko was a good soul, but grandfather Bartesko (31) had a bad 
temper just like our fathers, Nicolus (9) was good & loving, an angel, how different are the 
brothers. I hope you donít take after your father, my mother said one day, good I did not 
marry Florian (7), he is worser than Frank (4), poor your mother, how did they get on? Elsie 
gave me a snap of you, why you look fine, you take after your father, your father was fair. 
All the snaps I saw, you are a nice family Iím proud of you just like a mother when she sees 
her children all healthy, wealthy & happy.

            Iíve been sick, had an high pressure attack, the Dr. said I was lucky, that the nose 
bleeding is a life saver, Iíve been strong & healthy all my life, my stomach is a pill box & makes
 me feel very bad, I have to control my pressure every week, I would rather work & not be sick, 
I will close for now wishing you all the best in this year. Greetings to your wife & children, heaps
 of love & God bless you all.

As ever Cousin Annie Recouso  

P.S.- Did any of your children study anything? My daughter is an accountant economist so they 
can make their living easier. Elsie feels sorry for you she said you work hard, wish you health, Bye Bye.

Franz (31) and

 

Grandmother(?)

(19) Bartesko

Erick(?) & Brother(?)

(twins -21)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(26) John (?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(7) Florian

(8) Augusta

 

 

 

 

(3) Frank

 

 

 

 

(15) Julia

 

 

 

 

(16) Angela

 

 

 

 

Phil

 

 

 

 

Annie

 

 

 

 

Floyd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(23) Andrew

(24) Daughter(?)

 

 

 

 

(25) Emil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(22) Thomas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(9) Nicolus

& Sister(?)

(twins -20)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(4)Frank*

(5) William

 

 

(11) Sister(?)

 

(6) Johnny

 

 

(4) Aloiza (wife to Frank*)

 

(1) Annie

(18)Hilda

 

(29) Ludwig

 

(14) Emil &

(13) Rosie

(twins)

 

 

(10) William

(30) Daughter(?)

(2) Elsie

 

 

(28) John

 

(12) Edward

 

 

(27) Joe

 

 

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