PolishOrigins Forum

 FAQFAQ    SearchSearch    MemberlistMemberlist    ProfileProfile    Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages    Log inLog in    RegisterRegister 
Author
Message
Ute
PO Top Contributor


Joined: 13 Dec 2009
Replies: 593
Location: Germany

Back to top
Post Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:00 am      Post subject: Emigration
Reply with quote

Welcome to our new forum topic on emigration!

Migration of Polish people is not a new phenomenon. It has been going on for centuries and still continues today. A variety of economic, political, and social reasons caused our ancestors to permanently or temporarily leave their home country.

A first wave of Polish people, mainly intellectuals and lesser nobility as well as political dissidents, emigrated to the United States of America between approximately 1800 to 1860. Between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century tens of thousands of Poles migrated to other parts of their country, to large cities like Budapest, to other European nations, and across the Atlantic to seek work. Due to lack of jobs, in particular in rural areas, it was the only option many of our ancestors had to escape hunger and poverty and to support their families. Some left for a short period of time, for example, at the end of summer when it was time for harvesting, and then came back home, others, usually the men in the family, went away for weeks, months, or even years with the intention to return with the money they had made to buy a piece of land or to build a house, some never returned. Especially the younger generation that descended from impoverished farmers escaped from poverty and deprivation and searched for a better life abroad. The migration flow to the United States of America that reached its peak in the first decade of the 20th century and only slowed down at the beginning of WW I was followed by waves of mainly political refugees and dissidents between the end of World War I and the end of the Cold War, and of so-called "Solidarity Emigrants" between 1978 and 1990.

Aside from the United States of America that became the most popular target country of Polish emigrants, a large number of Poles also went to Canada, South America, Australia, New Zealand, and other European countries. Australia, for example, was the destination of many Polish post-WW II emigrants in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Many came from forced labor camps and concentration camps in Germany and from refugee camps in Africa that had harbored Polish people who had been deported to the Soviet Union to work in labor camps. Unable to safely return to Communist Poland (like many other Poles), they found a new home in Australia.

Many of us are descendants of Polish emigrants who had left their home village or town in the hopes to find a better life for themselves and their children in another country. Some of us have researched their family history for many years and have already learned a lot about their ancestors, while others are still at the beginning of their research struggling with family and place names, hard to read or incorrect records, and incomplete family stories that are conflicting with genealogy records and resources. We all have one thing in common – an interest in learning more about our ancestors, where they came from, what their life was like in their home village or town, and what caused them to leave their home country. Be it for economic, political, or social reasons, it was a big step leaving everything and everybody behind and making a new start in a foreign country.

I would like to invite you to share your memories and experiences, links to relevant literature, movies, websites, and databases, and perhaps even family stories that have been passed along orally by your parents or grandparents. We are all here to learn from each other, each contribution – big or small -- is valuable and appreciated and can help us to better understand our ancestors’ life conditions and the factors that influenced their decision to emigrate. Thank you.


Last edited by Ute on Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:20 pm; edited 7 times in total
View user's profile
Send private message
Shellie
PO Top Contributor & Patron


Joined: 18 Feb 2009
Replies: 998
Location: Atlanta, GA

Back to top
Post Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:33 pm      Post subject:
Reply with quote

Ute,
What a great idea for a forum! You have given so much to the members here over the years and I am so happy to see that you are hosting this forum topic. I and look forward to seeing this section grow!
View user's profile
Send private message
Ute
PO Top Contributor


Joined: 13 Dec 2009
Replies: 593
Location: Germany

Back to top
Post Posted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:27 pm      Post subject:
Reply with quote

Shellie wrote:
Ute,
What a great idea for a forum! You have given so much to the members here over the years and I am so happy to see that you are hosting this forum topic. I and look forward to seeing this section grow!

Thank you, Shellie! I'm very happy to host this forum topic and hope that many people will share their knowledge and thoughts on the topic of emigration!
Ute


Last edited by Ute on Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:23 am; edited 2 times in total
View user's profile
Send private message
mportney



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Replies: 2

Back to top
Post Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:29 pm      Post subject: emmigrants from 1908-1915
Reply with quote

Your information was a real eye opener.
Can you tell me about the emmigrants from the years 1908 thru 1915.I am trying to look for ancestors .Any help or direction would be appreciated.I do have the ship and the port ancestors left from but where do I go now
View user's profile
Send private message
Rich Gibson



Joined: 01 Dec 2010
Replies: 6

Back to top
Post Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:22 am      Post subject:
Reply with quote

Ute, thanks for the invitation. My mother's grandparents emigrated to the U.S. and settled in Chicago. They grew up in what was unofficially called 'Little Poland.' Sadly, like many of us I never took the time to ask my grandfather about his parents and their background so all I am left with is hand-written entries on official records. Sadly, many places have changed names. When many slavic immigrants arrived in the U.S. their family names were changed, often because of the difficulty officials had spelling them and sometimes because they wanted a new start with a new 'Americanized' name. My grandmother left Slovakia (then called the Austro-Hungarian Empire) as a young girl. She lived only 7 miles from the Polish border in Velky-Lipnik. I've found the site on the internet and saw the church she attended. Her last name, Spes (changed to Spetz) is a district in Slovakia. Grandpa's parents were from, Grudzieu, a place which no longer carries that name. Grandpa's family name Bienka, went to Binko, Binka and finally Behnke over the years.

As s young boy I grew up in a polish neighborhood and attended St. Wenceslaus church. My memories are filled with Polish weddings, Polish Masses, golumpkis, kielbase', paschal lambs made of butter at Easter time, opwatki (sorry for the spelling) at Christmas and Polish Christmas carols. I can still sing one of them all the way through. My grandchildren stare puzzled as I go through the words in Polish...the English title is 'In Bethlehem.' I met a beautiful brown eyed girl at a dance in a high school gym on 20 May 1960. As fate would have it she also was Polish, Opolony second generation Polish-American! Our wedding was at the church where her parents were wed, St. John Cantius, in the heart of Little Poland. Even our reception was Polish, at Przybyla's (White Eagle, right?). It's still in business.

In 2000 we spent part of our annual holiday in Krakow; a lovely city untouched by WWII. We visited Czestahowa and saw the Black Madonna. We couldn't get close because there was a First Communion celebration going on with all the boys and girls dressed in white. This May we're going to Bavaria for a few weeks. As I mentioned above I regret not asking my grand parents about their childhood. Those of you reading this who still have yours around, take the time to ask them about their youth before it's too late!

Thanks, Rich
View user's profile
Send private message
Ute
PO Top Contributor


Joined: 13 Dec 2009
Replies: 593
Location: Germany

Back to top
Post Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:47 pm      Post subject:
Reply with quote

Rich,
I was touched by your story of growing up in a Polish neighborhood, of Polish weddings and Masses, Polish food and Christmas carols, how you met your wife, and that your wedding was at the same church where her parents were wed, St. John Cantius Church. My paternal grandparents were married at St. John Cantius Church also! They moved several times when the family grew larger (they had 13 children, 10 of which reached adulthood), they lived at W. Superior St., Fay St., N. May, Roscoe Av., W. Austin Av., and Hubbard St., -- most of the streets you are probably familiar with.
How wonderful that you can still sing one of the Polish Christmas carols all the way through. I can imagine your grandchildren's surprise when they hear you sing in a totally different language. They may be puzzled now, but when they grow up and get older, this will be part of their childhood memories, and perhaps they will remember the Christmas carol and be able to tell their own children or grandchildren about their grandfather and the Polish Christmas carol he used to know by heart. Isn't that a nice thought?
That's why we are doing all this here: To share and pass on memories, family stories, and pictures and to help each other to learn more about our ancestors and their home country to ensure that all these memories will survive even when we are gone. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Rich.
Ute
View user's profile
Send private message
Rich Gibson



Joined: 01 Dec 2010
Replies: 6

Back to top
Post Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:25 pm      Post subject:
Reply with quote

What a small world! Laughing St. John's is featured in a movie, did you know? "Only the Lonely" starring John Candy is a love story situated in Chicago about a policeman who meets a girl who is a funeral parlor makeup technician. Mad Maureen O'Hara is his troublesome busybody mother. I one scene he is walking through the church after wedding rehearsal. It was then I realized it was St. John Cantius.

Here we are on 13 June 1964 on the steps of St. John Cantius



The interior


Rich
View user's profile
Send private message
Ute
PO Top Contributor


Joined: 13 Dec 2009
Replies: 593
Location: Germany

Back to top
Post Posted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:15 am      Post subject: Re: emmigrants from 1908-1915
Reply with quote

mportney wrote:
Your information was a real eye opener.
Can you tell me about the emmigrants from the years 1908 thru 1915.I am trying to look for ancestors .Any help or direction would be appreciated.I do have the ship and the port ancestors left from but where do I go now


We will be happy to help you with your research, but you need to specify a little more which information you already have and what exactly you are looking for. You have the ship and port your ancestors left from? Is the information from family records or did you search for your ancestors on the Ellis Island site and need help on how to go on now?
If you need help with the Ellis Island site, please check out, for example
http://www.nyharborparks.org/visit/elis-faq.html (What can I see and do on Ellis Island? How can I look up immigrants who came through Ellis Island?).
If you are at the very beginning of your research, please check out this site: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~polwgw/howto.html

Would you mind sharing your ancestors’ names, dates, and any additional information you have that might help us to assist you with your family research? There are some knowledgeable people at PolishOrigins who may be able to help you, and perhaps someone may even be researching the same family line as you. It would be nice to hear a little more from you.
Ute
View user's profile
Send private message
James
PolishOrigins Team


Joined: 06 Jul 2007
Replies: 226
Location: WEST VIRGINIA , USA

Back to top
Post Posted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:23 pm      Post subject:
Reply with quote

UTE,
Great idea for a new topic in the forum.
That is one of the questions I do not have a sure answer for. It does seem that several of the reasons that you have listed could apply to my great grandfather, who came to the USA in 1906.

My great grandfather , Antoni Cybulski was born in May, 1877, in Wloclawek, Poland. His father, Franciszek, a farm laborer, was 52 years old and married to his second wife for four years, when Antoni was born. Antoni was the ninth and last child born to Franciszek, as Franciszek died in November 1877. As far as I have been able to determine, Antoni grew up without a father. He had an older sister and seven step brothers and sisters, but I have no information on any of them.

In 1896, Antoni is 19 years old, and living in Pruszkow, a suburb of Warsaw. A rail line had been completed between Wloclawek and Warsaw, and many people from the country side moved closer to the city, most probably for better work opportunity.
Antoni is working as a farm laborer and a carpenter, and has just married Julia Dolecka.
Julia gave birth to two daughters between 1896 - 1897, both of whom died within their first year. Julia then gave birth to two boys, Antoni 1903 and Franciszek , my grandfather, in 1905.

In the earlier 1900's , there was a great deal of civil unrest in Warsaw. The city was controlled with a strong fist by the Russians. A riot occurred in the city , in 1905, and many civilians lost their lives, as the cossacks raced through the streets on their horses, beating anyone in their path, while trying to put down the protesters.
In May , 1906 Antoni boards the ship Amerika, and sails for N.Y., USA. Julia and the two boys follow in January, 1909.
My assumption is that the shortage of work and the civil unrest and riots , were the main factors in Antoni's decision to immigrate to the USA.

In 1910, Antoni and his family are living in the city of Brooklyn, N.Y. He is employed as a wagon washer for a bakery.
In 1917, Antoni and his family are living in Atlantic Township, New Jersey, and has purchased several acres of farm land," for one (1) dollar, and other valuable considerations " . Antoni has returned to farming.
The 1920 US census shows Antoni as a shoemaker, and by the 1930 census he has died.

I had the joy of knowing my great grandmother, Julia. She was the strength that held the family together in the depression years. Farming was still in her blood, as she always had a large garden, and sold whatever produce she could. She also worked many years as a domestic. As a small boy of 7-8 , she would chase me and my older brother out of her garden and root cellar, yelling at us in Polish the whole time. She made the best sweet (bread n butter) pickles, and they were easy to snatch from the root cellar.
Julia passed away in 1963. I am fortunate to have several photos of Antoni and Julia, and many of Julia after Antoni died.

Though the work was hard, Antoni did make a better life for his family, here in America. So whatever his reason for leaving Poland, he did well .
View user's profile
Send private message
Ute
PO Top Contributor


Joined: 13 Dec 2009
Replies: 593
Location: Germany

Back to top
Post Posted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:50 pm      Post subject:
Reply with quote

Rich Gibson wrote:
What a small world! Laughing St. John's is featured in a movie, did you know? "Only the Lonely" starring John Candy is a love story situated in Chicago about a policeman who meets a girl who is a funeral parlor makeup technician. Mad Maureen O'Hara is his troublesome busybody mother. I one scene he is walking through the church after wedding rehearsal. It was then I realized it was St. John Cantius.

Rich,
What pretty pictures! You were a beautiful couple, your wife looked so pretty in her wedding dress and you looked great in your white Marine uniform. And what a beautiful church St. John Cantius is. I didn’t know that St. John Cantius is featured in the movie "Only the Lonely", I have to see if I can get that movie, I’m curious to see the scene you're describing. Thank you so much for sharing with us!
Ute
View user's profile
Send private message
Ute
PO Top Contributor


Joined: 13 Dec 2009
Replies: 593
Location: Germany

Back to top
Post Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:58 pm      Post subject:
Reply with quote

James wrote:
UTE,
Great idea for a new topic in the forum.
That is one of the questions I do not have a sure answer for. It does seem that several of the reasons that you have listed could apply to my great grandfather, who came to the USA in 1906.


James,
You must have put a lot of work into researching your family history. I really enjoyed reading it and I love your description of how your great-grandmother was and how she would chase you and your older brother out of her garden and root cellar, yelling at you in Polish. Yes, it’s usually the women who hold everything together when times get rough. It was the same with my grandmother, she was a strong woman with a good heart who knew what really counted in life.

As to the reasons for our ancestors’ emigration: We can only collect their names and dates of births, marriages, and deaths, honor their memory, and think of their sacrifices, but we’ll never know how they felt inside about their lives and what influenced their decision to emigrate. We can only assume that it was the conditions in which they lived (poverty and lack of work, especially in rural areas, diseases related to hunger and poverty, religious and political persecution and oppression) that caused them to leave their home country on a temporary or permanent basis. But as you said, whatever your great-grandfather Antoni’s reasons for leaving Poland were, he did well!
Thank you so much for sharing your family history with us!
Ute
View user's profile
Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    PolishOrigins Forum Index -> Emigration All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum


Powered by phpBB ©

© 2009-2022 COPYRIGHTS BY THE OWNER OF POLISHORIGINS.COM