daughter of Dimiter and Elena (Mandieva) Stephanov was Katerina, whose
birth in the village of Bansko, Macedonia occurred between 1868
although one source shows 1871, and two others show the year of
her birth as 1873.
Her birthdate appears to have been April 23rd.
According to a memoir she
composed late in life, some of her earliest memories were of the
events surrounding what was later termed the 1878-1879
Kresna-Razlog Uprising, a valiant, but failed attempt of
Macedonians to throw off the yoke of Turkish occupation. This
effort that had been successfully achieved by their Bulgarian
kinsmen during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, but Macedonia
remained under Turkish rule for another three decades.
events that directly affected the citizens of Bansko was recalled by
American missionaries in 1893 as part of a series of Notes and
Reminiscences of Insurrection and War:
University Alumni Association Questionnaire, completed 28 May 1933,
by Skender Gregor Tzilka; copy in possession of Dr. Richard M.
Cochran, Big Rapids, MI.
Marriage Record #8775,
Gregory M. Tsilka to Katherine Demeter Stephanova, (1900) issued by
Bureau of Records, County of New York, State of New York.
This record was signed by Katerina, and
states she was then 30 years old (born 1870).
Certificate #830, Katerina Cilka, (1952)
issued by the Albanian Bureau of Vital Statistics, Tirana,
certificate issued 29 Jun 1992; copy in possession of Dr. Richard M.
Cochran, Big Rapids, Michigan. This record lists her birth
year as 1871. The
1900 U.S. Census, 54 Eighty-Third St., Borough of Manhattan, New
York Co., New York, ED 513, Sup Dist 1, Sheet 16b, 9 Jun 1900;
digital copy seen on ancestry.com [82/212 Stephanove, Kate, boarder,
b. --- 1873, 27 years old, single, b. Turkey/Turkey/ Turkey;
immigrated to America 1892; nurse] Note: Katerina was among 18
boarders with Miss Aliza[s] Lapham, b. Apr 1847 NY/NY/Canada; one of
the other boarders was Lucy Ryder, b. 1875 VT/VT/VT who is mentioned
in some of the correspondence following her abduction. Katerina is
also listed as born in 1873 in the passenger list of the ship that
transported her and her family to America in 1903: Manifest of
Passengers on the S.S. Patricia, sailed from Cuxhaven, April 4, 1903
and arrived at New York on April 16, 1903; printed page 50, line
25. Available at ellisislandrecords.org and ancestry.com.
Missionary News from Bulgaria, Samokov, Bulgaria #45,
July 27, 1893, p. 4