Gene Notes

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

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Working Emigration-Immigration Records and Spelling Doesn't Count Here at All!

Husband's family has largely been a mystery to him and his relatives. For years, I've researched this family, finding the Klijewskis and Siekierskis (for Siekierski see my Surname Saturday for March 6.)

Several years ago, I had located the arrival record for Antonina/Antonia Siekierska and children and for Michael Kruszka and his stepson Jan Fryczynski.  Antonina Siekierska was actually very easy to find, yet her husband Tomasz/Thomas eluded me. So did Michael Kruszka's wife and other step-children and his oldest child, Walenty/Valentine.

Some of the problems I've had searching these surnames are the surnames themselves. Sometimes doing a soundex search results in way too many hits. For instance, a soundex search of the immigration/emigration records on Ancestry results in 283,440 hits.

Finally, I began searching each port of arrival for variations on the name Kruszka, i.e. Kruszka - Kruska - Kruzka - Gruszka - Gruska - Gruzka. Searching Gruzka gives me Michael, but I already had him arriving with his stepson Jan Fricinzki.  Michael and Jan arrived in April 1891.

A check of my records shows that the first Kruszka child born in Buffalo, was Martin, born October 26, 1891. So searching for Jozefa or Josefa might work with a filter of 10 years on her birth date of 1858 and an arrival date of 1891, I finally found Josefa Kruozker in the Baltimore arrival records. Bringing up the image on Ancestry revealed:

     1. Josefa Kruszka (I really think it is an indexing problem) age 30. The age is a little off, but that is not unusual.
     2. Michala, age 10. Again two years off (according to census). She is dittoed as Kruszka. In reality, she is Michalina Fryczynski, a daughter of Josefa and her first husband.
     3. Josef, age 7, again a son from Josefa's first marriage.
     4. Leonora, age 6, daughter from first marriage.
     5. Valentin, age 11 months. He is the oldest child of Michael and Josefa. Again, birth date is a year off.

I had searched under Fryczynski and all variables plus soundex that I could come up with with the only result being Jan/Johann who came over with step-father Michael Gruzka/Kruszka.

On the Siekierski line, searching for Tomasz did not yield any results, so I anglicized the name to Thomas, typed in his last name and came up with the Hamburg list without a problem. The problem was finding his arrival record. Eventually I searched by Thomas, born 1850, (he was born in 1849 - I have the record of his baptism which took place in 1849) arrival in New York aboard the Gellert in 1887. Bingo. You won't find an entry record if the name is spelled wrong and it is actually spelled Sierkrierski on the arrival record. Those first two r's don't agree with the Hamburg record or baptismal, marriage or death records.  Those first two r's also threw off the soundex code.

For Max Klijewski I had to open my mind to arrival ports. I finally found him arriving at the port of Philadelphia from Antwerp, Belgium as Max Kligewski on May 18, 1893.

So far, I've been able to find all of DH's direct line ancestors who emigrated to America from Poland, including his maternal grandparents who came in 1907 and married in Massachusetts. I wish mine were as easy!

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

1 comment:

  1. WAHHOOOO, great searching. Nope, spelling don't count!