I believe that this is a photo to commemorate the departure of Ion "John" for Canada.  It was a common custom to have a photo taken on the day of departure. A luxury these peasants were lucky to be able to afford.

We can guess the date of this photo to be around 1907 and that it was taken perhaps in, what is today called, Liteni, Comuna Moara, Județul Suceava, Romania.

I haven't found records for John & Maranda (#1 & #2) crossing the ocean or arriving in Canada yet. When I say that I am dating the photo in 1907 it is based on two things. First, John's older brother Nick left for Montreal, Quebec, Canada in February 1907 from Hamburg, Germany and we know he was first to emigrate. Secondly, there are a number of documents where John stated that he immigrated to Canada in 1907 and more specifically in one case 'Spring 1907'. 

So far, this is the only photo I have where Timofti Cojocari and his wife Elisaveta “Elizabeth” appear.  Timofti died in 1918 so the photo had to be taken before then.


List of people in the photo by number:

1. Ion "John" Cojocari was born in what was at the time Bucovina in the Austro-Hungarian Empire (today Județul Suceava, Romania) during 1888. He would have been around nineteen (19) years of age in this photo. He married Maranda (#2) at some point in the previous year (1906). John is the second-born of Timofti (#4) and Elisaveta "Elizabeth" (#3). We can assume that he had saved as much money as he could and also sold everything he owned in order to pay for his ticket to North America. If his trip was like his brother Nick's the previous year he would travel almost 2000km to Hamburg, Germany with other people he knew and board a ship which would take 15-20 days to reach New York, USA where he would then board a train to Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Until I can find his travel records I do not know if Maranda accompanied him. In census responses Maranda says that she arrived in Canada the following year in 1908.

2. Maranda Cojocari nee Tehulka was born in what was at the time Bucovina in the Austro-Hungarian Empire in about 1883, making her about twenty-four (24) years old. She is older than her husband John and had been married once before. We think that she and John and been married for less than a year (abt 1906). I have not yet found Maranda's travel records but in Canada census records she said that she immigrated to Canada in 1908 which is a year later than her husband John. This was something that I have seen other couples do as well. John may very well have reached Canada in 1907 alone and then spent the next year raising the money to pay for Maranda to join him.

3. Elisaveta “Elizabeth” Cojocari nee Cosmachuk was probably born in what was at the time Bucovina in the Austro-Hungarian Empire around 1865. She would have been about forty-two (42) years old in this photo. Elisaveta was the wife of Timofti (#4) and mother of nine children that we know about. Of those nine children, four (Nick, John, Costan and Rachela) immigrated to North America. She may have been married to Timofti for about 32 years until the time of his death in 1918.

4. Timofti Cojocari was probably born in what was at the time Bucovina in the Austro-Hungarian Empire around 1865 which would make him about forty-seven (47) years old in this photo. If we assume that Timofti and Elisaveta (#3) were married before the birth of their oldest son, Nick in 1886, they would have celebrated their marriage in about 1885. Timofti likely had mixed feelings about four (Nick, John, Costan and Rachela) of his nine children emigrating for Canada. He may have assumed that they would have more opportunities there but they were effectively gone forever.


 

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