Friday, November 28, 2008
More and more I have heard from researchers who cannot locate their Polish families in the Calumet area in the 1900 U.S. Census. Indeed, I am missing a few. So I decided to extract the Polish names from the 1901-1902 Houghton County Directory for Calumet and Laurium. This would be a supplement to the census information and might help some people locate their missing ancestors.
Here are a few comments on this extraction.
(1) I copied the names exactly as they appeared in the directory. For the most part the spelling was quite accurate, but some are clearly incorrect.
(2) Some people are listed twice. A careful reading will show that one entry was for the place of employment and the second was for the home. For example, my great grandfather Nicholas Kaptur was listed as a miner residing at “17 Oak Tam loc” and also as Nicholas (sic) Kuptar as a miner at Tamarack Mining Company.
(3) Check carefully for other people living at the same address. Some of these people were living with friends, neighbors or other family members. I found Peter Pavlovic, a drill boy, boarding at 17 Oak with my Kaptur family. I have no idea who he was, but from the 1900 census I found that he was 27 years old, had just immigrated in 1900, and was living at a different location for the census. He probably needed a place to live for a time. Another surprise came when I saw Slavka Severinski as a domestic at “17 Oak Tam loc.” The family story is that my great grandmother Marcyanna Kaptur was frequently ill. They already had five children at the time, so if she was ill, she needed the help.
(4) I slightly altered the addresses of some of the people who lived in Laurium. For example, Ignatz Flens was listed as a miner “res n s Fulton 1 e of Ahmeek,” which tells where the house was located. I recorded his address as “res Fulton and Ahmeek.” Those who want the exact location can check the directory.
(5) Some of the names (Calumet, Laurium, Hecla) were also street names. The directory clarified that by using “Calumet Mich.” in the listings.
(6) I believe that I located one of my missing persons. My Peter Wojkiewicz does not appear in the 1900 census, but he is apparently the Peter Zwitkovich who was also living in Tamarack and worked as a trammer. Happy hunting.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
In Calumet one of the Polish fraternal organizations was the St. Albert Bishop and Martyr Society. It was Lodge 104 of the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America (PRCUA). A few years ago I was able to obtain a copy of the ledger book with the names of some of the members. That list has been posted on the Michigan GenWeb page for Houghton County. Then the Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA) has a web page that provides information about the PRCUA and allows a search of societies by the name of towns or cities. Some years back it was also possible to enter the number of a specific lodge and obtain the names of all the members for whom insurance was paid. For some reason the PGSA no longers offers that option. In January 2002 I used the search feature and uncovered the names of 16 Polish members for whom insurance claims had been made. Since that search option is no longer available, I am providing the names and dates of death for those who might be interested. It is possible to find the volume and page number for these people and to obtain copies of these insurance files by using the search features on the PGSA web page. Typically, insurance files include a copy of the insurance certificate, a copy of the death certificate, and other pages. PSGA requests $15 for a search and copies - a bargain for what the file contains.
Jacob Draszkowski (26 Feb 1920), Marya Dudzinski (12 Nov 1917), M. Ernard (25 Apr 1929), Maryanna Jagielski (28 Jun 1913), Antoni Kowalski (21 Jun 1911), Wojciech Krzeminski (23 Sep 1907), Jan Luka (4 May 1922), Jozefa Luka (10 Oct 1932), Jozef Pawlicki (31 Dec 1930), Antonina Stefaniak (23 Dec 1930), Jozef Stefaniak (8 Jun 1928), Jan Szatkowski (27 Oct 1898), Lucya Szatkowski (3 Feb 1922), Sebastyan Szczepanski (7 Aug 1920), Katarzyna Wawrzyniak (15 Apr 1938), Jozef Zaborny (4 Mar 1932).
Joseph F. Martin