Saturday, May 4, 2013

Handwriting Challenge #1

Okay folks.. I've got a handwriting challenge for you all. This is some information from ML's grandparents as they came over to America. I'm trying to glean any more information from this record and thought I'd see what you thought. I'm pretty bad at reading handwriting, so I'm opening it up to your suggestions.

I know it says the following:
to son in law _________?
Shenandoah PA ______    302?

Would love to know the son-in-law's name, especially.  Arriving just a month earlier was another family member, also headed to Shenandoah:

This one though, is easier to read, as I have already encountered the family member.  It says:
to brother in law Mateusz Mikolajczewski Shenandoah PA ______ 230

It definitely looks like these family members are different, so any suggestions on the name would be fantastic!  :)  I'll have more handwriting challenges in the future.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Third visit with ML

I need to come up with a better title for this series.. :)

I had some time to visit with ML tonight... I'm pretty sure her smile is a little bigger each time she sees me walking down the hallway to visit. Today I shared with her the first Census (1910) that her family is listed on, her father's arrival at Ellis Island in 1907, and an all-in-one chart showing all of her relatives. I think she was most shocked by the all-in-one chart, realizing just how many other people she was connected to. I've only connected a little over 50 people, but seeing them all in one place certainly makes an impression. I could tell she really loved the Ellis island immigration form as well, and it took her back to her own memories of climbing all the stairs up to the arm of the State of Liberty. "I couldn't walk for two days after that" she described. Reading immigration records make me appreciate the sacrifices our ancestors made in the voyage to America in search of new lives. I try to imagine the faith it must have taken for the very first family member to venture to a new world. The spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation fill me with a sense of patriotism.

On the topic of innovation, ML also mentioned her father was smart and had invented something or two. I asked if there might have been a patent for it, and she didn't think so, but I still think it's worth pursuing. Has anyone tried this type of research before? She thought it was related to cars.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Fact or Fiction? That's the dilemma that seems to hinder this kind of research. I was able to find a record of ML's grandparents in the 1910 Census, along with her father and some uncles. I hadn't found it right away as it was indexed incorrectly, but very happy to have it now! The problem I'm facing now is that her grandparents list that they've been married for 23 years. This 23 is present on both the line for Simon, and for Elizabeth. The problem is their sons are listed as 29, 25, 22 and 20. I also know there are some daughters older than that too. So, is it an error in the transcription? Was the information just flat out wrong? Or is it possible some of these children were from a first-wife and Elizabeth is actually the second? Dun-dun-duuuun! Have you run into similar situations? What did you do to prove it one way or another?

Another interesting bit from the census is that Elizabeth mentions she has 8 living kids. I've found 7 so far, so I'm hoping I can confidently track down number 8.