When I started researching my great-grandfather Andrew Sabol through census records, I kept tripping over another man with the same name, living in the same town and roughly the same age. To make things even more complicated, both men married women with the same last name. My Andrew married Maria (Mary) Daniel. The other guy married Elizabeth Daniel.
The 1930 census shows the two Andrews living a few blocks apart in Raritan, New Jersey. My great-grandfather’s family lived at 37 Frelinghuysen Avenue. Andrew worked as a laborer for a steam railroad and Mary was a homemaker. The couple rented one or more rooms in a house owned by Alexander and Mary Sipsky, immigrants from Czechoslovakia. By this time, my grandmother Anna Sabol was married and living elsewhere, but her three youngest siblings – Hermina, Stephan and Ruth – were still at home.
Andrew and Elizabeth Sabol lived at 34 Thompson Street with their nine children. Andrew owned a grocery store and seems to have made a decent living from that since the family owned a home valued at $7,000.
Later on, when I located my great-grandparents’ October 1896 marriage record, I saw that one of the witnesses was Andrew Sabol Jr. Was this the same guy? And did this suggest that the two men were related?
So I went back to find a marriage record for Andrew and Elizabeth Sabol. It turns out they were married a couple of years later, in June 1898, in the same church as my great-grandparents. One of the witnesses to the ceremony, Michael Tkacik, was also a witness to my great-grandparents’ wedding.
From that record, I also learned that Andrew’s parents were Andr. Sabol and Dorotha Filak (the same maiden name as my great-great-grandmother). Elizabeth’s parents were Andr. and Lizzie Daniel (my great-great-grandfather was also Andrej Daniel). So what was the deal?
I turned to records from Evangelical Lutheran Church from Obišovce, Slovakia, available online from the Family History Center, which allowed me to finally solve the mystery. The two Andrews were cousins!
The other Andrew Sabol was born in Trebejov on December 31, 1873, a year and a half after my great-grandfather. His father, also named Andrej Sabol, was the younger brother of my great-great-grandfather Jan Sabol. And the two families lived in neighboring houses, Trebejov 10 and 11.