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
mcdonald0517
PO Top Contributor & Patron


Joined: 27 May 2012
Replies: 691

Back to top
Post Posted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:23 pm      Post subject:
Reply with quote

Great catch on the priest logging a whole batch of marriage returns at once! That is curious. Here is another curiosity - his surname in the civil marriage license Is actually Ozylak not Czylak. Look carefully at the scribes capital O and C on the page. Also, I found another document that is an index of marriages in Lowell Mass and his surname is Ozylak in that document. Again, nothing earth shattering, but it makes me question it .....

Best,
Cynthia
View user's profile
Send private message
Send e-mail
nick3371



Joined: 01 Nov 2020
Replies: 53

Back to top
Post Posted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:09 pm      Post subject:
Reply with quote

Good catches! I tried looking up passenger manifests with all three last names again but didn't find anything obvious. Very confusing! Thanks for looking into it!

Nick
View user's profile
Send private message
Sophia
PO Top Contributor


Joined: 05 Oct 2014
Replies: 618

Back to top
Post Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:56 am      Post subject:
Reply with quote

nick3371 wrote:
Hello,

I am looking for the immigration record/passenger manifest for Michael Czylak or Michael Sokol. From what we learned above, he was from Dokudowa, Vilna gubernia which is now in Belarus. His marriage record from Lowell, MA shows that he was married 13 September 1913 to Amelia Wojtowicz. But his naturalization papers show that he immigrated in October 1913 from Hamburg, which would be after his marriage. I think he possibly just reported this date wrong? I've searched for his passenger manifest, searching both last names but haven't had much luck. I'm looking to locate it to gain more information about his life before coming to America/relatives etc.

Thank you,

Nick


Hi Nick,
You are saying Michael Czylak or Michael Sokol is from Dokudowa, because you have that from the marriage record. This naturalization petition that you attached here shows he is from Jelna, Russia (today, Jelna, Poland). That is a disconnect.
The petition says he sailed from Hamburg and arrived on or about Oct. 18th, so I looked at the two ships that meet those criteria (the Graf Waldersee and the Amerika) and I looked at every page. (In fact, my search covers Oct. 16-20.) Rather than scanning down the surname column, I scanned down the column for the given name, and paused at every Michal. Nothing close to Czylak or Sokol.
Best of luck with this puzzle,
Sophia
View user's profile
Send private message
nick3371



Joined: 01 Nov 2020
Replies: 53

Back to top
Post Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:34 am      Post subject:
Reply with quote

Hi Sophia,

Thanks so much for doing this! I looked up Jelna on a map and it is very close to Zarnowiec, where Michael's wife was from. But every other document says Vilna on it (WW2 draft card, obituary, etc.) His 1930 Census info says he immigrated in 1911 but these dates have often been off in my other research. All very confusing! Thanks for all you work! Hopefully I will figure this one out!

Nick
View user's profile
Send private message
mcdonald0517
PO Top Contributor & Patron


Joined: 27 May 2012
Replies: 691

Back to top
Post Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:20 pm      Post subject:
Reply with quote

Hello Nick, Sophia, and Dave,

I saw some information in the naturalization record that hooked my curiosity and I have been running it down these past several days. This has yielded and solved yet another mystery and provokes more questions. I will summarize what I discovered in bullet points:

1. The naturalization record you posted for Mike Sokol is not easy to read, but when you look carefully at every word, it reveals information about the circumstances of his naturalization and where he was living at the time. First, Mike lists his occupation as “soldier”, specifically machinists helper. Second, his residence is listed as Camp Devens in Massachusetts. Third, as Sophia mentioned, his birth place is listed as “Jelna” Russia (but this could be a scribal error hearing the verbal report of Wilno incorrectly – that happened quite often). Fourth, there is a comment written on the paper: “Act of May 9 1918”; this was a federal law enacted on that date that rewarded immigrants for serving in the US Military by granting them citizenship upon discharge. Fifth, the witnesses were army officers. Sixth, the date of his oath was within one day of his military honorable discharge date (which I found on another record; more on that later). Names of his wife and child match. Also, under the question of if he ever filed for citizenship in another country the answer was ‘France”.
2. These clues got me tracing his military history. I found several more documents on Ancestry and Family Search related to his military service. First, the official request for a military gravestone marker made by his daughter, Olga. This had lots of information about Mike’s military history such as: date and place of enlistment, unit he was in, date of discharge, etc. The curious mystery on this record was that the corrections made in red pencil. His place of enlistment was typed as Mass then crossed out and NJ written in red. Next to his discharge date is written in red “honorable”. Across the top of front of card is written his place of birth “Russia” and age at enlistment “22”. Across the top of the back of the card is written in red “purple heart”. This caused me to look for a WWI registration for him in New Jersey. There is also his service number which is important for connecting all the records as the same man. More later on that.
3. I found a WW1 registration for Mike Sokol in Passiac, NJ. The birth date is close, but not the same as that written on his other records. However, when I searched, I saw no other records for a Mike Sokol in NJ with anything near this birth date, which makes me think it could be his record. Also, the place of birth is “Wilna” Russia. That lines up. His age is listed as “22” which lines up with his enlistment age and place on the headstone record. His physical description is very similar to the WWII registration card (stout, short-med build, dark hair, eye color differs but I find that depends on who is taking the information; men typically don’t look into mens eyes to note color on military registrations.) Now here is the big mystery: he says he is single!!! Now, why would he lie about that on military registration? Perhaps because he is unemployed per the card. Perhaps his family needed the money and that motivated him to sign up. The reason I say this is because I traced other military records that also line up with this registration card except for this difference in marital status. More on that…
4. I found his card in the Master Military Index on family search. The information on this card lines up with all the information on his application for military grave marker = especially the serial number. In addition, the index card provides file numbers for other paperwork he filed like insurance, payment, bonuses, etc. So, if you want, with these case file numbers, you can request a search and copy of his complete military file from the veterans archives.
5. I found Army transport records for Mike Sokol embarking from NJ to Brest, France, and return from France to NJ. He lists a friend as his contact: Nick Martoni. The military serial number matches the military serial number on the application for grave marker and the master index card. So, this basically means the WW1 registration card for the “single” Mike Sokol in NJ is the same Mike Sokol who applied for a military grave marker (your Mike Sokol). His date of departure to France lines up with his enlistment date and the unit in which he served (that unit fought many battles in France). His date of return from France to the US lines up closely with his naturalization date and his eventual discharge date.

I found all of this to be fascinating. At first, I just couldn’t reconcile that the NJ Mike Sokol was the same as the MA Mike Sokol, but when I found the army transport records and saw the military serial number was the same = that confirmed it. So, the question is why did he say he was single when he was actually married with one child? My guess is that he was unemployed and desperate for work. I am fairly sure that in WW1, they took single men first. If you were married with dependents, you were exempt. He could have lied and signed up for the paycheck. If you want me to send you these documents or post them to this thread let me know. I am unsure how much of this you already know or have.

The mystery continues to unfold…..
Cynthia
View user's profile
Send private message
Send e-mail
mcdonald0517
PO Top Contributor & Patron


Joined: 27 May 2012
Replies: 691

Back to top
Post Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 2:07 pm      Post subject:
Reply with quote

Me again…

Continuing with my previous summary.......Here are links to military documents and information of interest. Also, just musing on this, could this be the reason for the surname change… perhaps he assumed a new surname when he enlisted so his false statements could not be tracked???? From arrival in US to just before enlistment (about 1912 – early 1917) it was Czylak or Culick; from the time of his enlistment in NJ (mid 1917 onward it was Sokol).

Another possibility is that Amelia was married twice. First to Mike Czylak pre-war then to Mike Sokol post-war. However, I haven’t found any evidence of that.

General historical information about Camp Devens, MA
https://history.army.mil/html/bookshelves/resmat/wwi/pt02/ch06/pt02-ch06-sec04.html

WWI draft registration from NJ on Ancestry:

https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/6482/images/005218927_04431?treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true&usePUBJs=true&_ga=2.55294635.1693538967.1605998768-8802485.1593995157&pId=31323989


Military transport documents from Ancestry:
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?ti=0&indiv=try&db=narawwitroops&h=2921729

https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?ti=0&indiv=try&db=narawwitroops&h=9968692


Application for veterans grave marker from Ancestry:
https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/717911:2375?indiv=try


Military master index card from Family Search:
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:W7VJ-SZN2

Best,
Cynthia
View user's profile
Send private message
Send e-mail
dnowicki
PO Top Contributor


Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Replies: 2086
Location: Michigan City, Indiana

Back to top
Post Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:38 pm      Post subject:
Reply with quote

mcdonald0517 wrote:
Me again…

Continuing with my previous summary.......Here are links to military documents and information of interest. Also, just musing on this, could this be the reason for the surname change… perhaps he assumed a new surname when he enlisted so his false statements could not be tracked???? From arrival in US to just before enlistment (about 1912 – early 1917) it was Czylak or Culick; from the time of his enlistment in NJ (mid 1917 onward it was Sokol).

Another possibility is that Amelia was married twice. First to Mike Czylak pre-war then to Mike Sokol post-war. However, I haven’t found any evidence of that.

General historical information about Camp Devens, MA
https://history.army.mil/html/bookshelves/resmat/wwi/pt02/ch06/pt02-ch06-sec04.html

WWI draft registration from NJ on Ancestry:

https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/6482/images/005218927_04431?treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true&usePUBJs=true&_ga=2.55294635.1693538967.1605998768-8802485.1593995157&pId=31323989


Military transport documents from Ancestry:
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?ti=0&indiv=try&db=narawwitroops&h=2921729

https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?ti=0&indiv=try&db=narawwitroops&h=9968692


Application for veterans grave marker from Ancestry:
https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/717911:2375?indiv=try


Military master index card from Family Search:
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:W7VJ-SZN2

Best,
Cynthia


Hi Cynthia, Nick & Sophia,

Cynthia, you certainly put in tremendous time & effort into your research of Michael Sokol. Everything is predicated on the identity of Michael Sokol & Michael Czylak. My question to Nick is how do you know that the two are the same person? Did you know Michael & Amelia personally or did you know their children personally? Did you receive the info regarding the identity from family members who were privy to accurate personal information? More proofs/data seems to be needed in order to “proof up” the conclusions. We all know that the old saying “Genealogy without clear proof is mythology” is so true. My suggestion to obtain evidence to “proof up” the argument and its conclusion does not admit of online research. The suggestion is to contact Holy Trinity in Lowell and ask them to look for some info. An important piece of data would be if they could locate a marriage record for Michael Sokol & Amelia. Another bit of corroborating evidence would be the birth & baptism record of the child Anna (and of any other children). Is this link to the 1930 Federal Census https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9R4H-CJ4?i=5&cc=1810731&personaUrl=%2Fark%3A%2F61903%2F1%3A1%3AXQRP-8FF for your Michael Sokol?

Sophia & Cynthia, Yes Alexander Ogonowski was a busy dude in the autumn of 1913, but no more so than many pastors of large immigrant congregations. He was a young man in his early 30s at the time so he must have had the energy to handle a busy schedule. Just because so many marriages were entered under the date of October 20 does not mean that he returned the licenses with the certification that the wedding took place on that date. The usual practice was for priests, ministers, rabbis, justices of the peace, etc. to fill out the certificate portion of the license and to mail it to appropriate county office. All that the October 20 date means is that the office assistant recorded those entries on that date and had the ledger ready for the county clerk’s signature. This is not just my opinion but is based on what I know from my maternal uncle who was a priest in Chicago. Granted that the Archdiocese of Chicago is not the Archdiocese of Boston, but the way things were done in the big cities was quite similar throughout the country. Since we lived in the same house with my maternal grandparents when I was growing up I saw my uncle twice a week when he came to visit and we frequently visited him at his parish and I saw the ins and outs of what he did as the pastor of a large parish and remember much of what he spoke about when he visited.

Regarding the surname changing...It is true that some men who left Russian controlled areas in Europe left under another individual’s name. This was usually done in connection with avoiding service in the Russian army. Being in the Tsar’s infantry often meant a dramatically shorter life span and who needs that. In order to legally leave Russian Poland or other parts of the Russian Empire men of military age needed to have papers showing that they had completed their military service or that they were exempt. If a man’s number was up for the quota where he lived the way to get out of the country was either to cross the border at a place other than a legal checkpoint or to leave using another man’s papers. Once in the USA there was no real incentive for a man to change his identity and certainly not when he wanted to marry. It is not like the Tsar sent secret agents to the USA to track down conscription dodgers.

All this brings me to something which I find useful in research of Polish Catholics on this side of the pond—learning as much as possible about the parish were the immigrants settled. Granted that is certainly not important direct genealogical evidence but it can paint a picture which makes it easier to evaluate the evidence found in church records in the US. Here are 3 links to Holy Trinity which I find informative: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Trinity_Parish_(Lowell,_Massachusetts)
http://holytrinitylowell.org/enghist.html
https://liturgicalcenter.org/media/parish_pdf/BO/bo-5.3.pdf and attached is the description of Holy Trinity c. 1907 by W. Kruszka (Vol. XIII, page118) What makes me give great credence to the info in the marriage record is found in the 3rd link. Alexander Ogonowski was pastor of Holy Trinity from 1904 until 1955. He was born in Poland and educated for the priesthood in Pułtusk and Płock and was ordained for the Diocese of Płock in 1900. He served in 2 parishes in Russian Poland and had immigrated to MA by 1904. Since he and Michał and Amalia all spoke Polish as their primary language he certainly would have understood them very well. Thus I find the info in the parish marriage record to be worthy of great credence. If there is an error in that record the most likely place could be the surname of the groom. If that is an error, I would say that it is a scribal error by Father Ogonowski —“errare humanum est”, as dead Romans like to say. Hence the importance of obtaining copies of the baptismal record of the daughter Anna and of any of their other children baptized at Holy Trinity.

Anyway, that is quite enough rambling for a Sunday evening.

Good luck in the search for answers.

Dave



Screenshot_2020-11-22 Harvard Mirador Viewer.png
 Description:
 Filesize:  707.11 KB
 Viewed:  0 Time(s)

Screenshot_2020-11-22 Harvard Mirador Viewer.png



Screenshot_2020-11-22 Harvard Mirador Viewer(1).png
 Description:
 Filesize:  282.21 KB
 Viewed:  0 Time(s)

Screenshot_2020-11-22 Harvard Mirador Viewer(1).png


View user's profile
Send private message
nick3371



Joined: 01 Nov 2020
Replies: 53

Back to top
Post Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:49 pm      Post subject:
Reply with quote

Hi all!

Your suggestions and guesses are very interesting! The family was very very poor from what I heard, so Michael changing his name and enlisting might make sense? Michael's daughter was my great grandmother who I knew personally, though I didn't ever talk to her about her family growing up. I'm going to post any info and documents that I have on the family.

My mother interviewed my great grandmother in the 1980s and this is what I have on the Sokol family from it. She said that Michael was born in 1895 in Vilna, Russia and Amelia was born in 1894 in Poland. She said that they immigrated in 1911 (the manifest I attached before shows this true for Amelia). Amelia was said to have worked at her aunt's store in Lowell, MA area and Michael worked as a moulder in a foundry before marrying. My great grandmother talked extensively in the interview about Mike and Amelia's wedding, with no details about dates, but the context makes it seem like it happened in Lowell.

My great grandmother states that Michael enlisted on July 19, 1917 in WW1. On July 18, 1918 he was shot on his left arm. My mother wrote that my great grandmother said "During the war, the two had a young daughter named Anna". While Mike was away at war Amelia worked in a cotton mill in Lowell, MA. He was discharged on February 21, 1921. The couple had two more children, Olga (b. September 24, 1922) and Julia (b.November 12, 1920). The family was very poor during the depression and Michael received WW1 bonus and worked in a foundry while Amelia worked in the cotton mills.

Then the family moved to Chelsea because of suggestion from a friend, who said there was work there. They eventually moved to New York (unsure when but had to be between 1930 and 1940), where their daughter Anna had moved, looking for work. They were still very poor and received food and clothing from the red cross. The family returned to Chelsea after about 13 months.

His obituary says: he lived at 191 Second Street when he died. It says he was born in Vilna, Russia. He served in France with the Co. C. Ninth Infantry as a private first class. He was employed by the Beacon Wiper Company and a member of a textile union. He was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery Malden, MA.

Documents that a cousin provided:
1. A marriage abstract, ordered in 1949, that says the couple was married on September 13, 1913. His last name is spelled Czylak (this is an abstract of the same marriage record from Massachusetts vital records which I posted before. All the information is the same) but a note from the cousin reads "his original last name" with an arrow to the "Czylak"
2. the actual naturalization certificate, but it has all the same information as the previously uploaded image.

I ordered the birth record of his youngest daughter Olga, and it lists his last name as Sokol and his birthplace as Poland. His residence is 236 Suffolk Street, Lowell, MA.

His death record shows him as "Michael Sokol". He was living at 191 Second Street Chelsea, MA, aged 58 (September 16, 1953). It shows his birthplace as Russia, his father's birthplace as Russia but his mother's as Poland. Their names are not shown.

I think this is all the information I have on him! I hope it helps, but doesn't clarify his last name. It seems that he went by Sokol after the birth of his first daughter, since both other children have Sokol on their birth records. I hope to order any documents relating to his service which might give some clues. Its strange that there doesn't seem to be any immigration records for either name. Very confusing! Thank you all for researching this!

Nick



Sokol 1930 Census.jpg
 Description:
 Filesize:  1.37 MB
 Viewed:  0 Time(s)

Sokol 1930 Census.jpg



Sokol, Michael Intention of Naturalization.jpg
 Description:
 Filesize:  334.52 KB
 Viewed:  0 Time(s)

Sokol, Michael Intention of Naturalization.jpg



Sokol, Mike Headstone 2.jpg
 Description:
 Filesize:  501.58 KB
 Viewed:  0 Time(s)

Sokol, Mike Headstone 2.jpg



Sokol, Mike Headstone.jpg
 Description:
 Filesize:  590.78 KB
 Viewed:  0 Time(s)

Sokol, Mike Headstone.jpg



Sokol, Julia Birth.jpg
 Description:
 Filesize:  473.64 KB
 Viewed:  0 Time(s)

Sokol, Julia Birth.jpg


View user's profile
Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    PolishOrigins Forum Index -> Research in Poland All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2 Page 2 of 2

 
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 ©

© 2020 COPYRIGHTS BY THE OWNER OF POLISHORIGINS.COM