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© Douglas Hykle
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This website, which has been in the making for several years, would not have been possible without the continuing support of numerous people, to whom I would like to express my sincere gratitude.

The inspiration for my research, and my desire to tell Tovste’s story to the world, was Mr. Jaroslav Pawlyk, director of the local museum. I have always come away richly rewarded when I have tapped into his fountain of knowledge about Ukrainian history and of the town to which he has dedicated his life’s work. I should also like to thank Jaroslav’s wife, Stephania, not only for providing me with wonderful nourishment (including the best borsch in Ukraine) during my visits to Tovste, but also for tolerating the long absences of her husband in my company.

From my very first days in Ukraine to the present day, I have been assisted by a very capable interpreter/translator — Ms. Zorema (Zoya) Danylovch — who has always gone beyond the call of duty to help with all manner of special requests. The abridged English version of Jaroslav Pawlyk’s ‘History of Tovste’ is largely the result of her efforts. Ms. Olha Buina, also from Chernivtsi, supported my early work and tolerated (but hopefully also enjoyed) many long hours with me in archives, administrative offices and many other places. I am thankful also to Ms. Nadiya Kurilyuk, teacher of English in the local school, for her invaluable interpretation assistance on many occasions.

I am very grateful to all of the residents of Tovste – including distant relatives – who allowed me to interview them to gather new information and to confirm my findings. They include Yaroslav Chajko and family, Anna (Chajko) Smutylo and family, Anna (Trakalo) Chajko, Nicolaus and Jaroslaa Hrabowecky, and Evgenia Demkiv. Several other residents extended their kindness to me in many ways, including facilitating contacts and passing on important information. I am grateful also to the public officials of Tovste, most recently Mayor L.V, Drants, who extended to me their warm hospitality and allowed me unimpeded access to all corners of the town.

In the early years of my genealogy research, the staff in charge of the Zalishchyky registry office granted me access to records that were indispensable for my work, among them Ms. Katerina Rudik and Victoria Harvasyuk. I am indebted also to Zalishchyky's chief librarian Olga Trakalo for her continued interest in and support for my work; and to museum director, Vasili Oliynik, who granted me access to vital documents and kindly arranged tours of his institution. Elsewhere, I visited archives in Lviv and Ternopil whose staff were always very cooperative in attending to my requests for information.

In Chernivsti, I am grateful to the friendly staff of the Hotel Cheremosh, which has served as my home base on most of my trips – so often, in fact, that I am instantly recognized whenever I arrive at the hotel, even after a long absence.

Much further afield, in Germany, I found in Prof. Eugeniusz Nowak, a former work colleague, a kindred spirit who took interest in my research, and assisted me with Polish translations and other tasks. Mr. Florian Keil, also of Bonn, gave generously of his time to help me design the original layout of the website's home page.

In Washington DC, I was assisted by the largely anonymous staff of the Library of Congress (Ms. Rachel Becker of the African & Middle Eastern Reading Room has been especially helpful), the National Archives at College Park, as well as the Holocaust Memorial Museum, on visits to these remarkable institutions. While I have conducted rather little research in my native Canada, apart from a few trips to the National Archive in Ottawa, I am very appreciative of the information provided by relatives in western Canada who supported my genealogical work on the Canadian side.

Finally, I wish to extend my thanks to Mykhailo Kokhanyuk for use of the panoramic photo of Tovste in winter, seen in the banner; and the many scholars and others who have written passionately about the corner of the world that is dear to me, and who are duly acknowledged in the detailed references scattered throughout this website.