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kzgupta
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Post Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:59 pm      Post subject: Emigration to avoid conscription
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My Great Uncle Kajetan arrived at Ellis Island in 1913 at the age of 21. Our family story is that he was smuggled out of his village of Krzynowolga Wielka in the middle of the night to avoid conscription into the Russian army. He was taken taken to the German border in a horse drawn cart, after which he made his way to a port and then to America where he was met by his older brother ( my grandfather ) who also left at 21.

Were draft age men generally free to emigrate from the Russian partition ? If so, what types of circumstances would cause a young man to leave in this way ? Was there a kind of "Underground Railroad " that smuggled men out if they were in some kind of trouble ? And what were the penalties if he was caught ?

I would appreciate any insights that the Forum members can offer.

Thank you,
Kathy
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Ute
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:45 am      Post subject: Re: Emigration to avoid conscription
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kzgupta wrote:
My Great Uncle Kajetan arrived at Ellis Island in 1913 at the age of 21. Our family story is that he was smuggled out of his village of Krzynowolga Wielka in the middle of the night to avoid conscription into the Russian army. He was taken taken to the German border in a horse drawn cart, after which he made his way to a port and then to America where he was met by his older brother ( my grandfather ) who also left at 21.

Were draft age men generally free to emigrate from the Russian partition ? If so, what types of circumstances would cause a young man to leave in this way ? Was there a kind of "Underground Railroad " that smuggled men out if they were in some kind of trouble ? And what were the penalties if he was caught ?

I would appreciate any insights that the Forum members can offer.

Thank you,
Kathy

Kathy,
If he was in the drafting age for military service, he probably would not have been legally allowed to leave his home village, had he tried. I imagine the thought to be drafted into military service and to have to fight in a war where there was the possibility that they might get seriously injured or even lose their life led some of them to look for an illegal way to leave their home country to avoid military service, and they were willing to take risks and face hardships, especially if they had encouragement and financial backing from a relative in the US who was willing to help them start a new life abroad. It would indeed be interesting to know how your Geat-Uncle managed to purchase a ticket and get the necessary papers to board a ship and gain entry to the US, what the penalties would have been had he been caught, and if there had been negative effects on his non-emigrant family members left behind in his home country because of that.


Last edited by Ute on Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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Cheri Vanden Berg
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:57 am      Post subject:
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Kathy,
I believe that my grandfather emigrated to avoid the draft in the Austrian army. Years ago, when I suspected this, there had been a discussion on either a Galician mailing list or message board. I didn't have any luck looking at the Archives (this might have been as long as ten years ago). I do remember that any young man of draft age would not have been able to leave.

I don't have a family story about my grandfather, Jan Depa, emigrating to avoid the draft. I hadn't found him at Ellis Island, but my mother's cousin knew he had a brother named Wojciech, and that they were from Swilcza, father's name Tomasz. What I found was a Wojciech Depa who arrived April 21, 1913 going to a friend in Chester, PA, and a Wojciech Depa who arrived July 12, 1913 going to his brother-in-law Tomasz Mista in Hammond, Indiana. They both were 17, they both had a father Tomasz, they both had the exact same description. My aunt had known that her father Jan Depa first lived with the Mistas in Hammond when he immigrated.

When the discussion came up on the Galician mailing list/message board, I had asked if it were possible that my grandfather's brother could have sent my grandfather his papers so that he could emigrate. I was told yes. People gave examples of what their family members had done, which is why I wish I could find the discussion for you. Wojciech wouldn't have had a problem emigrating at 17, but my grandfather was old enough to be drafted. When I told my mom about my theory, she didn't know anything about it, but thought maybe he'd been afraid to serve. I didn't look at it that way at all. Not that I am as well versed on the politics of 1913 as I would like to be, it doesn't seem like he avoided the draft in "his" country, since Poland wasn't on the map. I wonder if being in the Austrian army, or the Russian army would have had these men doing things that they didn't not believe were in the best interest of the Polish people (once again I have to plead ignorance on the matter).
Cheri
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kzgupta
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:54 am      Post subject:
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I should add the other part of the story. Kajetan's father -- my Great-grandfather Stanislaw -- actually did serve in the Russian army. He somehow wound up in Siberia where he developed a lung condition that almost killed him. He was sent home to recover but spent the rest of his life struggling with his illness and had to live in the countryside. He was an educated man and we know that he taught secretly in Polish when that was forbidden. ( possibly another Forum topic ) So there seemed to be a spirit of resistance to the Russians in the family that they were proud of and they may have encouraged the draft age sons to leave. Thank you both for helping to put my family story in a larger context.
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Cheri Vanden Berg
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:36 pm      Post subject:
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Kathy,
Your family stories are interesting, and probably more typical than we might imagine. There should be more members at Polish Origins with stories, although sometimes our emigrants did not tell us what happened.

I did a quick search at Rootsweb mailing list archives. You could probably try the message boards as well.
I searched for: conscription russia 1913 - I wanted the time frame you were looking at. You could also search for: avoiding the russian draft, or whatever. I just got ten messages with the words I used. Here are two messages from:
http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/search
I don't know how accurate the information is:

My maternal grandfather from Warsaw, did not want to fight for Russia in the
1910's...I got the impression from his children that it was very anti Polish
?? anti Polish freedom and liberty?? He emigrated to the U.S. in 1913 and
immediately volunteered for the U.S. Army and was sent back over during WWI
a part of the U.S. force. My understanding was that Russia was doing forced
conscription of soldiers from the farms, etc. arbitrarily picking out one
son and one horse to join the Russian army.


Avoidance of conscription into Tsarist military service was typically the
proximate cause of emigration. It is estimated that as much as 25% of the
entire population of Lithuania emigrated between 1864 and 1914.
The Russian Statute on Universal Military Service went into effect 1 January
1874 requiring all males, without regard to class or birth, to perform
active military service from their twenty-first year. The prescribed term
of service was fifteen years, six years active service and an additional
nine years reserve service.
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Elzbieta Porteneuve
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Post Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:22 am      Post subject:
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Thank you Cheri for reminding that Russian Military Service was extremely long - 15 years.

In "Russian records translation", page 30, Gilberto posted jpeg's of two booklets, including official Legitymacja ID given to those who made a Russian military service.
Translation here http://polishorigins.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=335&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=435,
- more than 12 years of service ending in 1905.

Escaping such a long military service with *ennemy* army was no doubt adding reasons to emigrate.

Elzbieta
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johndrca



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Post Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:04 am      Post subject:
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My Great-Great Grandfather, Wladyslaw Rusinski,apparently fled the Poznan region in the 1880's from a 25-year conscription to the Prussian Army.He emmigrated East to the Russian part of Poland,near to-day's Hrubieszow,where he married and raised two sons and four daughters.My Grandfather, Dyonizy Rusinski,one of the two sons, emmigrated in turn to Canada in 1927.While the two sons carried the surname Rusinski,the daughters used Rosinski.At the time of applying for Canadian Citizenship in the 1930's my Grandfather had the family name changed to Rosinski which confuses all of us here in Canada.However,name changes were apparently common when avoiding this 25-year conscription.Anyhow as far as this Great-Great Grandfather Wladyslaw Rusinski goes,after raising his family near the parish of Nabroz,he finds himself a widower,re-marries and vanishes without a trace to the part of Poland where he came from.I've always been curious to find out where he originated and where he died,but no family in Poland ever had contact with him again after he left the east.John
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Ute
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Post Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:53 am      Post subject:
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johndrca wrote:
My Great-Great Grandfather, Wladyslaw Rusinski,apparently fled the Poznan region in the 1880's from a 25-year conscription to the Prussian Army.He emmigrated East to the Russian part of Poland,near to-day's Hrubieszow,where he married and raised two sons and four daughters.My Grandfather, Dyonizy Rusinski,one of the two sons, emmigrated in turn to Canada in 1927.While the two sons carried the surname Rusinski,the daughters used Rosinski.At the time of applying for Canadian Citizenship in the 1930's my Grandfather had the family name changed to Rosinski which confuses all of us here in Canada.However,name changes were apparently common when avoiding this 25-year conscription.Anyhow as far as this Great-Great Grandfather Wladyslaw Rusinski goes,after raising his family near the parish of Nabroz,he finds himself a widower,re-marries and vanishes without a trace to the part of Poland where he came from.I've always been curious to find out where he originated and where he died,but no family in Poland ever had contact with him again after he left the east.John

John,
Thank you for sharing your interesting family story with us.
I found another discussion on the subject of evading conscription in Galicia here: http://dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/GaliciaPoland-Ukraine/message/30841
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Elzbieta Porteneuve
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Post Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:58 am      Post subject:
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Hi,

Your Great-Great Grandfather Wladyslaw Rusinki had a famous homonym, 1911-1986, professor in Poznan, Władysław Rusiński, http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/W%C5%82adys%C5%82aw_Rusi%C5%84ski

A glimpse on his bio is here (I am quoting just the first sentence):
http://www.zhg.amu.edu.pl/zaklad/historia/rusinski
Prof. dr hab. Władysław Rusiński, kierownik katedry Historii Gospodarczej w latach 1954-1962 urodził się 24 marca 1911 r. w Nowej Wsi koło Żnina w wielodzietnej rodzinie robotniczej.

When I had a look on books or articles written by prof. Władysław Rusiński, he did have an enormous knowledge on history of Poland, people's migrations, and it might happen interested himself in his own ancestry. Sometimes you just need a small chance to find a new hint.

Today's geography of the name Rusiński (with diacritic on n) reflects perfectly the emmigration of your ancestor from Poznan area to Hrubieszow area.
http://www.moikrewni.pl/mapa/kompletny/rusi%25C5%2584ski.html

I wish you to find more.

Elzbieta

NB. Making basic arithmetics and "les plans sur la comète" (sorry for that): WR leave Poznan area in 1880's - say he was born circa 1865. Dyonizy born 1892 (WR had six children with his first wife, and raised them in Nabróż, Poland, Hrubieszow area). In 1911, the year of birth of professor your WR is circa 46 years old, Dyonizy is 19, grown up. Your WR lives in Poznan area with his second wife, second family.
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johndrca



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Post Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:54 pm      Post subject:
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Wow Elzbieta ! I'm very impressed and thank you!My Great-Grandfather Wladyslaw Rusinski,had a 2ND. son Pawel (brother of my Grandfather Dyonizy).This Pawel had a son,also Wladyslaw Rusinski,who was a research scientist of sorts at the Instytut Zootechniki,in Balice k/Krakowa.Wladyslaw Rusinski from Balice ( next to the Krakow airport) had as a specialty,something to do with the development & production of feed for animals.He was born about 1923 and passed away in 1989, I believe.The Instytut Zootechniki in Balice was in a very neat old Radzilwill Palace.Its still there and worth a visit if you are ever stuck at the Krakow airport and need to kill some time.Thanks Again!John
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Elzbieta Porteneuve
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Post Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:14 am      Post subject:
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Hi John,
You idea to visit Krakow fits so well to my own story.
I was born in Krakow, my parents moved to Warsaw when I was 3. Definitely have to go there to spent a week, smell the city, get a feeling of life there, visit, and see my old places I know only from my parents: I was born at the hospital of Swiety Lazarz, they lived at Filipa street, my Mom was walking with me on Planty.
I went to Krakow in 2002 for two days conference, our Polish collegues invited us for a dinner "Pod Aniolami".
Souvenirs souvenirs.
Elzbieta
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johndrca



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Post Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:39 am      Post subject:
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Krakow is also very dear to my heart.I spent a year there at the Uniwersytat Jagiellonski and remember the warmed beer with some kind of syrup that was offered for sale at these butki in the Planty.This of course was a winter specialty.I was last there only briefly this past September while driving from Wroclaw to Lwow.Lwow is so similar to Krakow in so many ways.As a first time visitor I was amazed how beautiful the city was.For a taste of the music of Lwow in the 1920's,check out "Ukrainian Retro in the 1930's" on YouTube.
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susan_dearth



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Post Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:47 pm      Post subject: Avoid Conscription to army
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My grandfather, whose name was Franciscek Szwajnos and later changed to Frank Bittner, left Poland around 1905 to avoid the army. My grandfather did not speak much about it, however, talk through the years gave me the impression he had to go on very dangerous missions and decided to flee. He came to USA and lived in Southwestern PA working in the coal mines and had a farm. He came here with his younger half-brother Jan , and later another half-brother, James joined them. My grandfathers mother died giving birth to him and he was raised by someone other than his father. Does the name Joseph Szwainos and Tillie Krupa or Kruka sound familiar to anyone?
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Cheri Vanden Berg
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Post Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:25 pm      Post subject:
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Susan,
I saw your grandfather's Declaration of Intention and Petition for Citizenship. I had to smile that he had said he had come on a different ship in each document, and a different date too. I had commented that I thought my grandfather came under his brother's name in February, and since then I have gotten my grandfather's naturalization records. It was the same thing - different dates and ship names on the different papers, and one of the ships wasn't sailing yet when he arrived. Do you know if your grandfather emigrated with a different name?

I did see his brother Jacenty (James?) going to Frank's in 1910. He was from Ciche, Czarny Dunajec, Poland and his father's name was Jozef. Was Tillie Frank's mom?
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teto wais



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Post Posted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:11 pm      Post subject: joseph Utecht Austrian army
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My grandfather was in the Austrian army in the 1800's not sure of the dates. My cousin had a small black book with his army information but it got lost. thank you the last name Utecht any information
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