The Palinchik Family

These were the ancestors of the mother of my Copeland siblings. It is the story of  her parents and "The American Dream".

At the right is the wedding photo of Alden Copeland and Sue Palinchik.

This is the Palinchik story, as I know it.

Alden Copeland & Sue Palinchik

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The Palinchik  Family Roots

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Andras Palencsik & Maria Chromi

1st Generation

Andras Palencsik was born in the village of Kochanovce, Zemplin County, Hungary in. 1868. He was said to have been an orphan, on his own at a very early age. Maria Chromi was born in the village of Humenne Zemplin County, Hungry in 1875. Her father's name may have been John Chromi. However, they were not Hungarian. They were Slovak and this was Eastern Slovakia. The Slovak peoples are an ancient group with a unique culture and language but they have been under the rule of various nations and principalities for most of their history. During the late 1800's and early 1900's the Slovak lands were ruled by the Austo-Hungarian Empire.  The name spellings given for this first generation are the Slovak spellings.

The couple was married in the town of Trebisov, Zemplin County, in 1893. He was 25 and she was 18.  They lived in Kohay in those early years. We can surmise that life was not easy for them because the Hungarian government was making efforts to integrate the Slovaks into the Hungarian culture.  They lost two babies in their infancy. Mary (or more probably named Maria) was born in 1898 It may be that other family members had immigrated to the "New World", America, looking for freedom and opportunity. In 1900 Andras booked passage and left for America. He arrived on December 20, leaving a pregnant wife and two year old daughter to follow when he could establish a home and earn enough for their passage. During the transition he changed his first name to Andy. He was to be an American. It is possible that other relatives had preceded Andy and he settled in Hocking, Ohio to become a coal miner. Meanwhile, back in Hungary, Michael (Mike) was born in 1901.

Life was not easy as a coal miner. For a sample of how it was see Coal Minning. It was not only hard work but it was dangerous, unhealthy and the pay was poor. But if you were frugal, you could save some money and build a future for your family. This, Andy did. It was the kind of work you could get if you didn't speak, read or write English.

In 1902, Maria, her now 4 year old daughter and her infant son, left Hungary and sailed to join her husband. She Americanized their names to Mary in the process.  The family could now grow and grow it did. Anna was born in 1903 followed by Susan on October 12 of 1904, then Julia Celia on May 20, 1906, Kate in 1908 and John L on December 26, 1909. The family name was a tongue twister to American census takers, and probably others. The "cs" in Slovak is pronounced "ch" and in the 1910 census it was recorded as Paleneik. They lived in Murray City, Ohio and in the Catholic Church the family name is listed on plate connected to a pew  Picture of town  In 1910 Andy and Mary took their oath of citizenship in their new country.

Joe was added to the family in 1912, followed by Elizabeth in 1914 and then Andrew on June 16, 1917. By the time of the 1920 census when the family name was recorded as Polyncheck, Mary, Mike and Anna had married and moved out of the household. Sometime between then and the 1930 census it was probably decided to solve the problem of the family name and it was Americanized to the present Palinchik, spelled the way it should be pronounced. Mike and his family are listed under the Palinchik name in the 1930 census and since Czechoslovakia was formed in 1918, following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire after World War I. Mike listed his homeland as Czechoslovakia. That was far better, in their opinion, to being Hungarian.

Sometime before 1930 the family moved to Cleveland and lived at 2198 W. 100th St.  In that census with the Palinchik name misspelled as "Poliashik",  Andy was listed as a Janitor in a factory and along with Mary living at at home were Suesil (Sue) (25) a twister in a silk mill, Catherin (22) a shade maker in a lamp factory, John (20) a radio inspector in a radio factory, Joe (18) a packer in a cigar factory, Betty (15) & John (12) both unemployed, along with their daughter Mary Ballas and her son John. Mary (32) worked with her sister Sue as a twister at the silk factory. Her 13 year old son John was listed as being born in Pennsylvania. The parents listed their birthplace as Czechoslovakia.

Marry was born to Eternal life on Christmas day in 1950 at the age of 75 followed by Andy on January 9, 1956 at the age of 87.


Susan (Sue) Palinchik & Alden J Copeland.

2nd generation


In 1933 Sue married Al Copeland. He had been married previously and during that marriage he and his first wife lost a daughter at birth. They had been divorced for several years before his second marrage. Over the next 13 years Al and Sue parented 5 children, Rita Mae, Jean Marie, Irene, John Alden, and Marilyn Copeland.

The family lived in the Cleveland area. Al was a truck driver but had early health problems and was unable to work for much of the time the children were being raised. It was up to Sue to support the family. That could not have been easy. She had learned the art of Slovak cooking and passed it on to her daughters. Al was born to Eternal Life on November 20, 1967 and Sue survived another 31 plus years to die on January 8, 1999. She saw her children grow to responsible adults and to know several grandchildren.

This is the story of a second generation coal miner's daughter marrying a 9th generation American with roots in England and ancestors who arrived on the Mayflower. It is a story of renewal and the American dream. Sue did not have an easy life, not as a child, nor as a wife and mother. She is said to have proclaimed that she would not have changed any of it. 



This of course is not the entire story. It does not include the child (me) that Al fathered before knowing Sue. See other parts of the "Family" pages for that.  Nor does it include the story of the lives of Al and Sue's children, a continuation of the American Dream built on honesty, hard work and a lot of love. I am proud to have a connection to these people if only through their descendants.

~ Don