01 August 2014

The 1790 Census - an anniversary

Today marks the Anniversary of the First Census. In 1790 the government began keeping track of specific information via the census.

Charles Still, b. 1760, was living in Uwchland, Chester County when that first census was taken in 1790.

The first number is the number of free White males aged 16 years and older. The government needed this figure to assess the country's industrial and military potential. The second number represents the number of white males under the age of 16 in the house. The third number is the number of white females, regardless of age. The fourth column is for all other free persons (this would be for example any free blacks). The final column is for any slaves.

In the above example, it looks like 1-3-5-0-0 for Charles Still. He naturally would be the older than 16 white male. I know he had three boys: Charles (b 1779), Henry (b 1780) and Jacob (b 1782). The third column indicates there are five (5) females in the house. One would be his wife Margaret Rhoades. One would be my 4th great grandmother Margaret (b 1788). I do not know the missing three females. The span between Jacob's birth in 1782 and Margaret's in 1788 certainly allows the possibility of additional children. Women then were indeed harder to trace since they normally did not leave home until they married.

The 1790 Census, according to the Census Bureau, was taken in the original 13 States, as well as the districts of Kentucky, Maine, and Vermont, and the Southwest Territory (Tennessee). Every 10 years since, a census has been taken. The information gathered differs from year to year.

31 July 2014

Throwback Thursday: Sixth Grade

Sixth Grade
Coatesville Area Catholic Elementary School
Coatesville, PA
Row 1 (Top): James Huff, Greg Ramaley, (forget teacher), Billy
Row 2: Audrey, Maureen Doyle, Deanna Skowood, Helen, Troy Gaines, Tony Previte
Row 3: Ben Walus, Michael Jason, Bridget Olesky, Kathy, Gina DeFazio
Row 4: Susan Pacana, Cindy, Steve Dovidio, Brenda Barlow, Brian Blakely, Reuben, Steve
Row 5 (Bottom): Tom Masculli, me, Kim Karmilowtcz, Marty McDonald, Bronwyn Zappacosta, Stephanie Palmer, Bridget Fuller

29 July 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Michael & Magdalena Sushinski

Michael 1893 - 1964
Magdalena 1890 - 1981
buried at Holy Ghost Ukrainian Cemetery
Valley Township, Chester County, PA

28 July 2014

Military Monday: World War I

Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia today back in 1914 after a Serbian nationalist assassinated  the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and his wife. By 1914 my immigrants from that area were all here, already settled in Coatesville, Chester County.

Panko Hruszczak (my great grandfather) arrived at Ellis Island on 20 April 1911 aboard the Volturno from Rotterdam, Holland. His last known address was Prusy, Austria. He listed his ethnicity as Austria, Ruthenian. He was an 18 year old single white male. According to my grandfather he had only two sisters and they both ended up married in France. It is believed that his parents Theodore and Catherine Romanko Hruszczak remained in Prusy, Austria. Panko registered for the draft but was not called upon to fight.

Panko met and married Bessie (Paska) Matys. Bessie was her Americanized name. She arrived at Ellis Island on 28 October 1912. She listed her ethnicity as Ruthenian-Austrian and she was from the village Fraga. She was an 18 year old single white female. Her brother Frank was waiting for her in Coatesville. They left behind their parents - Joseph and Olena Vaspelship Matys - and three sisters. I have not found Frank's draft registration, although he would have been 36 in 1917.

My other paternal great grandfather is John Kurenda. He arrived in Baltimore on 10 May 1906. The 1930 Census however states he immigrated in 1910, which is incorrect. On 1 January 1908 he and Frances Skrbalik (later records and family spell it Skrabalek) applied for their marriage license in Reading, Berks County. The two arrived in Coatesville already married. I have no immigration notes or records on her.

I'm still working on my other lines, as well as the husband's lines. I know he has family members who fought in the War. I believe I may on one of mom's lines.

The United States managed to stay neutral for almost three years. We finally entered the War on 6  April 1917. Shortly thereafter we established a draft registration. More than 24 million US men would register for the draft, according to Ancestry.com. Not all obviously would serve. Some would be excused because they had young families. Some would be excused because they were farmers or they filled another need here at home that was war related.

27 July 2014

Sunday's Obituary: Charles Eckman

Charles M. Eckman, 86, formerly of Strasburg, died Tuesday at ManorCare Health Services, 100 Abbeyville Road, after a long illness.

A Pennsylvania Department of Transportation employee early in his life, he then worked in quarry operations for D.M. Stoltzfus & Son Inc. for 30 years.

Eckman served in the US Navy during World War II.

Born in Strasburg Township, he was the son of Galen and Octilla Eberly Eckman.

He was married to the late Hazel Fisher Eckman and the late Dorothy Brown Eckman.

Eckman is survived by a daughter, Jane L. Horner of Lancaster; a grandson; three sisters, Bertha Spade of Denver, Martha Dominick of Middletown and Mildred Ness of Columbia; and a brother, Edgar Eckman of Leola.

NOTE: Published in Lancaster Newspapers, Lancaster PA on Wednesday, 14 June 2000

26 July 2014

Surname Saturday: Matys

I joined a Polish Genealogy group on Facebook and came across a resource, similar I suppose to our white pages here. The site, Moikrewni, led me to realize that the surname Matys is more common that I had thought.

There are, according to this site, 2,446 people with the last name Matys. That said, it does say "people" as opposed to "families" or "households."
On a whim, I searched for Matys in Ancestry.com using only a location as "Fraga, Poland" (which by the way did not self populate. The results? Over 47,000 entries! I should point out that I currently only have the US edition of Ancestry. I am so close to upgrading but I wanted to wait until I had several lines ready to cross the pond, to make it cost effective.
Find A Grave (yes I realize it is now owned by Ancestry.com) revealed 52 entries using only the last name Matys as my search requirements. That's a little more manageable! It also includes some from Poland, including at least one person, Cwajbaum Matys, who died in 1945 at the Auschwitz Death Camp. The entry states Cwajbaum was "deported from France through Drancy Detention Camp." I have to admit I have not heard of this camp.
The Ellis Island Passenger Database reveals 62 people named Matys. That said, if someone traveled back and forth, they would be listed each time. There are even a few who listed Fraga as their last residence, although most list Fraga as being in Austria not Poland. I have found, in tracing my Polish/Ukrainian/Russian/Austrian roots that it depended on the year as to where they said they were from ... but that will be an conversation saved for a Mappy Monday!
Before Ellis Island, immigrants would enter through Castle Garden. Yes there were other ports, like Baltimore, at this time too. A search in the Castle Garden database revealed only two Matys men. One was Johann (arrived in 1892) and the other was Janos (arrived in 1884). Little Janos was only eight when he immigrated from Hungary. Johann was 29. He immigrated from Germany and was headed for Utica.
Just these few sources give me both hope and dare I say frustration! I did not realize it was such a common name.

25 July 2014

Family Recipe Friday: Anna's Culinary Treats

This is a shot from my daughter's blog. She is quite the baker and does a good job cooking meals too. I, sadly, am domestically challenged. My mom would always shoo me out of the kitchen and do things herself. I would get yelled at - or worse, laughed at - every time I attempted to do something in the kitchen so much so that even now if I do not have to enter the kitchen and cook up something so much the better. I actually have come to hate the kitchen ... but enough of that and back to my Anna!
Anna has started Anna's Culinary Treats! Once she has a few more recipes that are uniquely hers, we will create a Recipe Book. Until then, I invite you to check out her site, try out a recipe, and please by all means leave your comments.
Note: Family Recipe Friday is a GeneaBloggers writing prompt that I rarely use since I do not cook much. I may have Anna try out a few recipes and perhaps guest blog on those days!