• Immigration
  • May28

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    I have been on the trail of trying to find a lost Aunt in my family for several years. She was my grandmother’s daughter, born in Ireland and likely emigrated to New York as a teenager, many years after my Gran did.

    I have a much longer post in the making on this search and some possible good fortune – but I am in need of some help with one thing. I have not been able to discern what the handwriting says over the typewritten information on the following image.

    Lizzie Jennings Ellis Island record - handwriting in question

    Click to Enlarge.

    Does anyone out there have an idea of what it might be? Some quick context: this is a possible record for the Aunt I am seeking, and this part of the emigration lists the name and address of the person she is joining in the US.

    I have not found the “Father, Thomas Jennings” in question in NY at the time in censuses, directories, etc. BUT, this address is where my Gran lived in the 1920 census. No evidence of anyone named Jennings living at that location found yet.

    I am not sure the text handwritten in is anything special, but I am not getting anything from it but the initial “D…” and probably the second word is “to.” I’m wondering if it might be some common notation other researchers might recognize right off the bat.

    The original record on the Ellis Island site can be found here.

  • Jul3

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    While resurrecting my family photo scanning project again (now aka PROJECT LAZARUS) I stumbled upon one of my very favorite family photos: my 15 year old grandfather Josef Vanac and his sister Marie all dressed up for a photo in New York city.
    Joseph Vanac and sister Marie, New York, circa 1906I love this photo not only because we have no other photos of my grandfather and great-aunt at this time, but because he is right off the boat from the Czechoslovakia. (Around this time known as Bohemia, Austria Hungary, and/or Galicia depending on the record and they area people came from.)

    Marie had been in New York since she arrived in 1902 at the age of 16. The contact listed on her ship record was a cousin (actually listed as a sister, oddly) who had been here for many years.

    My grandfather came over in 1907 when he was 15 years old, and his ship record has Marie as his contact.

    I’ve included detail of his immigration record below.

    The Vanac family came from a rural farming background in the town of Zamlyni in Czechoslovakia and my grandfather was a stone mason at a monument company in the middle of the cemeteries of Queens for his entire career. I would love to know what my Grandpa was thinking at this point in time.

    In any case, they look terrific, and serious and at the beginning of their adult lives in a new country. And Aunt Marie looks especially beautiful.

    Joseph Vanac ship immigration record, 1907

  • Mar2

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    My grandmother Marie Simanek emigrated from Predmir, Czechoslovakia to New York in 1922, then returned home in 1926 to ask permission to marry my grandfather Joseph Vanac.

    In this photo she is returning to New York – with approval to marry! (She is the upper left-most woman in the rear. Click on the photo for a larger image.)
    It was taken in September, 1926 on the S.S. George Washington.

    Group Photo - SS George Washington, circa 1926

    The photo as a whole is one of my favorites, but the ladies at the bottom are my favorite favorite.

    Group Photo Crop - SS George Washington, circa 1926