Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

This Isn't Misspelled - It's Just Wrong

I'm still working on the 1892 New York State Census and it appears that the collection is not yet complete over at Family Search Labs pilot site. For more information on what counties are included you can click here for a description of the database.

A couple days ago, I commented on misspellings in the census. Since I am presently working in New York's 1892 State Census, I will use this as an example.

Remember Michael Krushka* (should be Kruszka) in Buffalo in 1892? Well, here is a list of those enumerated with him.

1. Michael Krushka, age 37, born Germany, alien, occupation is laborer.
2. Josephine Krushka, age 37, born Germany, alien, no occupation is listed.
3. John Krushka, age 15, born Germany, alien, no occupation listed.
4. Michaeline Krushka, age 13, born Germany, alien, no occupation listed.
5. Joseph Krushka, age 10, born Germany, alien, no occupation.
6. Leonara Krushka, age 9, born Germany, alien, no occupation.
7. Valentine Krushka, age 4, born Germany, alien, no occupation.
8. Martin Krushka, age 1, born US, citizen, no occupation.

This is the first census in which this family appears. You might infer from this that Michael and Josephine are married and came to the US with 5 of their 6 children (at this point in time) from their home in Germany.

This first inference would be correct, Michael and Josephine are indeed married, but were married abt 1888. Therefore, the first four children are not Michael's, and are incorrectly listed as Krushka. Their real last name is Fryczynski (FUR-shinski). They were the children of Josephine's first marriage to Andrzej (Andrew) Fryczynski. Church records in Buffalo bear this out.

Finally, the family was from Poland, not Germany. Okay, they were from German Poland, but it was Poland, nevertheless. The fact that Poland was usurped by Germany is incidental to me. Also, the census taker was J. C. Knoll. I can just imagine him sounding out the last name of Kruszka and coming up with Krushka. Maybe the Kruszkas never got around to telling him the other children were named Fryczynski. Maybe they didn't want to get into the first marriage/second marriage stuff.

If I had been looking for Fryczynski - which I was - I wouldn't have found it by any means. Not with the name listed as Krushka. So in this case, be real creative to find that elusive ancestor.

*Husband's great grandfather.


  1. I've been looking for my great great grandfather in the 1900 census for a few years now....and I think I found him. All of the information matches up. Except his first name. It's something that's not even really a name. But he's living with a family that he lived with in 1910 so I'm about 90% sure it is him. But yes, had I not been creative, I probably would've overlooked this entry.

  2. One thing you have to remember is that you don't know who gave the information to the census taker, or how accurate it was.