13 March 2015

Fearless Females: Great grandmother’s passenger list reveals clue

The past week has been pretty busy and stressful so I forgot about the Fearless Females prompt.  

Last Saturday’s prompt was to share a favorite recipe from your mother or grandmother’s kitchen. My mom never taught me how to cook. In fact she rarely let me in the kitchen. Sunday’s prompt was to share an entry or excerpt from a female ancestor’s diary or journal. Monday’s prompt was to feature a family document (baptismal certificate, passenger list, naturalization petition, etc.) and write a brief narrative using the information. 

Bessie Hruszczak is my great grandmother. I knew her maiden name was Matys and I had an idea when she immigrated and where she came from before I had found this record – a New York Passenger List. This record shows she sailed on the SS Cincinnati from Hamburg, on 16 October 1912. She arrived in New York on 28 October 1912. Her name is listed as Paska (consistent with other records before Americanizing to Bessie) Matys. 
Paska Matys, an 18 year old single servant maid, left her home and Josef Matys, her father, in Fraga, Austria to come to America. Her destination was her brother Tevdor (Americanized to Frank) Matys in Coatesville, PA. Two men from her hometown came over at the same time, also destined for Coatesville. Both were in their 30s and both were married. She was not able to read or write but the one man – 34 year old Mikhail Malyniuk – could. The other was Frank’s brother-in-law! 

Fearless Females is a daily prompt throughout March celebrating Women’s History Month initiated by Lisa A Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist  
© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.