29 December 2014

Mystery Monday: Nowakowsky commits suicide, leaves questions

A friend’s grandfather was said to have committed suicide in jail and he asked me to research it a bit. He knew very little to start. His grandfather was born in the Ukraine and died sometime before September 1918 in the Clearfield County (PA) jail. His name is another puzzle. His first name was Ludwig. His last name was Novakosky or sometimes it was spelled Nowakosky. It might have been spelled other ways as well.

After a few unsuccessful searches, I turned to the Clearfield County PA Genealogy group on Facebook. Back around Thanksgiving, I posted “Looking for info pls on a Ludwig Novakosky. He allegedly died before September 1917 in Clearfield County Jail. Story is suicide. Looking for proof ... or direction. TIA

One lady actually found an article dated 30 August 1917 titled “Gulich Township Citizen Makes Noose of His Belt and Is Found Dead by Attendant.” The article states Ludwig Kowokosky committed suicide while at the County Home. He was mentally defective and had been in and out of the Home. She also found his death certificate of the same date.

His name of the death certificate reads Ludwick Nowakowsky. He was a white male born in 1870. He was married, though his spouse was not listed. His parents’ names are not listed but his and their birthplaces are listed as Romania. He died, at the age of 47, on 30 August 1917.

I can not find Ludwig on any Census records. Depending on when he immigrated though, this is not surprising. Aside from this single life experience, he remains a mystery at this time. His suicide leaves so many questions: why? What happened to his widow? When did he come over? How did he land in Clearfield?

Mystery Monday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.
© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2014
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.