25 August 2014

Mystery Monday: Who was Adolf Medeksza?

A friend recently received some information and included in it was an envelope addressed to a Mr. Adolf Medeksza in Philadelphia, PA in America. So who was he?

I quickly found (with the help of Ancestry.com of course) seven year old Adolf on the SS Haverford arriving in Philadelphia on 30 September 1907 with his mom and two siblings.


Adolf was born approximately 1900 in Tzawb, Russia, although they list their ethnicity as Polish. His mother is Anna. She is 26 years old at the time. His brother Alen is five. He also has another sibling who is only a couple months old. The handwriting is difficult to read but Ancestry.com identifies him as Kazimer. The passenger list notes who they left behind and that person is identified as Anna's father! I cannot read the first name but his last name is Hatusky.

The 1910 Philadelphia census reveals young Adolf, who is now 11 according to the census, is a junior. Adolf Sr., who the letter mentioned in the beginning was addressed to, is 39. He immigrated in 1903. Wife Annie is 10 years his junior. Kaize is nine; Walter is seven and little Stella is one. The family also has four boarders living with them. The census also reveals that Adolf and Annie have been married for 12 years and they had five children. Only four are living. Hence, Alen must have died between 1907 and 1910. The immigration notes show Annie and the boys all immigrated together, yet Walter was not included on the passenger list shown above. The last name also looks like Medekaga.


A 1918 Philadelphia City Directory showed an Adolf Medeksza living at 849 North American Street. He was a dyer.

Adolf Junior was living at 3096 Memphis Street in Philadelphia in 1923 when he applied for citizenship. Immigration then was completely different than it is today. Adolf listed his birth as Szawle, Lithuania.

Admittedly, I only did a fast search but I did not find either Adolf in the 1920 Census. In fact, nothing more is found on the father Adolf. What happened to the family?
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.