The final chapter in the Bosakowski immigration story

In a series of earlier posts, I described how my grandmother Katarzyna Bosakowska was one of over a dozen family members who came to America in the early years of the 20th century in a classic chain migration. Katarzyna’s older cousins were the first to make the trip, starting in 1905. They settled on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, sending word (and probably money) back to relatives in their home town of Założce, Austria. In 1912, my grandmother emigrated, following in the steps of her younger sister Honorata. They were joined a year later by their younger brother Wincenty. By 1915, with World War I in full swing, the opportunities for immigration came to a halt. For the fourteen Bosakowski family members now living in the U.S., it was a time to start families and put down roots.

By 1920, when my series of posts left off, these new immigrants were mostly still living on the Lower East Side. My grandmother and her sister Honorata were the first to move out of the city. My grandmother relocated with her husband Alex Kowal and their newborn son Anton (my dad) to a remote corner of Staten Island. Honorata moved to New Jersey with her husband Michael Romaniszyn (the name would later be changed to Romanish).

By then, the war was over and the country yearned for a “return to normalcy.” Pretty soon, that would lead to sharp restrictions on new immigration. But before that happened, four other family members managed to make it through. They all arrived on the same boat.

Andrzej (Andrew) Bosakowski

On October 17, 1921, Andrzej Bosakowski arrived in New York on the S.S. Kroonland, sailing out of Antwerp with stops in Cherbourg and Southampton.

Andrzej was the 16 year old son of Michael Bosakowski and Klimintyna Szarzyńska. He was coming to America to be reunited with his parents. His father had come over in 1906, when Andrzej was only fourteen months old, and his mother came over in 1913, give or take a year. Needless to say, it must have been a poignant reunion.

There were about 11oo passengers aboard the Kroonland, including a fair number of U.S. citizens. The non-U.S. citizens traveling in steerage, as Andrzej did, were sent to the Ellis Island immigration center for processing. There, 277 of Andrzej’s fellow passengers were held for special inquiry as “likely public charges” or for medical reasons, although only three were ultimately deported. Another 124 passengers, mostly women, were detained until a relative could come and pick them up.

Young Andrzej sailed through the immigration process, probably because his father paid his fare and made sure he had $25 in cash to show the immigration officials.

Immigrants awaiting examination at Ellis Island.

According to the ship’s passenger manifest, Andrzej was a laborer who was able to read and write. As his next of kin back home, he listed a brother named “St. Bosakowski,” living in Założce. This is the only evidence I have showing that Michael and Klimintyna had another child.

It appears that Andrzej made the journey without adult accompaniment. It turns out he had three female relatives traveling on the same ship, but he wasn’t listed as traveling together with them. That seems odd but maybe men and women were kept separate.

We learn from the passenger manifest that Andrzej was 5′ 3″ tall with fair complexion, dark hair and “black” eyes. We are told that he was in good health and was not an anarchist or a polygamist.

Page from S.S. Kroonland passenger manifest dated October 17, 1921. See line 13 for Andrzej Bosakowski. Click to enlarge.

After passing through customs, Andrzej moved in with his parents at 117 Henry Street, where they had been living since at least 1915.

Five years later, in February 1926, he applied for U.S. citizenship under the name Andrew Boska. (He wasn’t the only member of the family to experiment with shortening the family name.) He was still living at 117 Henry Street, working as a chauffeur. Andrew eventually married and moved to Long Island, where he died in 1980.

Agnieszka Bosakowska

Also arriving on the S.S. Kroonland was 17 year old Agnieszka Bosakowska in the company of two cousins, Stanisława and Aniela Byczek (more on them below).

Agnieszka was the daughter of Karol Bosakowski and Katarzyna Czechowicz, the youngest of twelve children I have found in the records (although there may have well been more). She was following in the footsteps of her four older brothers Michael, Paul, Peter and Antoni. She was 23 years younger than Michael, who left for America when she was only two. That meant she was only a year older than Andrzej, her nephew.

According to the passenger manifest, Agnieszka did house work. She could read and write. She was 5′ 2″ tall with fair hair, fair complexion and gray eyes. She was in good health and also did not dabble in anarchism or polygamy.

Page of passenger manifest from the S.S. Kroonland, October 17, 1921. See line 12 for Agnieszka Bosakowska, lines 10 and 11 for Stanislawa and Aniela Byczek. Click to enlarge.

Her brother Pawel (now Paul) paid her passage and ensured she had $25 in cash, just like her nephew Andrzej. But, as was typical for young women, Agnieszka was detained at Ellis Island until her brother could come for her. He must have come right away. The record shows that Agnieszka was detained at 10:00 AM and discharged less than two hours later. Some of her fellow passengers had to wait for two or three days.

Agnieska Bosakowska and her cousins Stanislawa and Aniela Byczek appear on the list of detained passengers from the S,S, Kroonland, October 1921. Click to enlarge.

Agnieszka went to live with Paul at the apartment on 21 Eldridge Street where he lived with his wife Karolina Jankowska and their young children Frank and Jennie. Three years later, she would marry Antoni (Anthony) Karpowicz at St. Stanislaus Church on East 7th Street. Amazingly, Agnes Karpowicz lived to be 100 years old, passing away in February 2005. She apparently never strayed too far from the old neighborhood. I’m sorry I never got a chance to meet her.

Stanisława and Aniela Byczek

According to the passenger manifest, Stanisława (21 years old) and Aniela Byczek (19) were sisters from Założce. They are listed together with Agnieszka on the roster of passengers and the three women were all detained together.

The passenger manifest indicates that the two women were nieces of Ignacy Bosakowski, who emigrated to the United States in 1905 but was now living back in Założce with his wife Dominika. (This is the only evidence I have to show that Ignacy returned home to Założce. I don’t think he ever came back to the U.S.)

From a review of vital records held at the state archives in Warsaw, I can conclude that Stanisława and Aniela were the daughters of  Zuzanna Bosakowska, the oldest of twelve children of Piotr Bosakowski and Maria Czechowicz, and her husband Jan Byczek. The couple married in Założce in August 1897. Stanisława would have been born in 1901 or thereabouts and Aniela would have been born two years later.

Five of Zuzanna’s younger siblings – Ignacy, Jan, Kata, Ludwika and Karolina – emigrated to the United States between 1905-1915. By 1921, all but Ignacy were still living in New York.

Apparently, Zuzanna Byczek was living here too! The record shows that Stanisława and Aniela were coming to live with their mother, who was living at 15 Essex Street, the same address where her brother Jan lived with his wife Marya Kozakiewicz and their three daughters. But when did Zuzanna come to America? I can’t find any other record of her.

According to the passenger manifest, Stanisława and Aniela did house work. They could read and write. They had $50 together for expenses. They are both described as being 5′ 2″ tall with fair hair, fair complexion and gray eyes.

Like Agnieszka, the two women were briefly detained until their mother came and picked them up. I have no doubt that the two women lived with their mother at 15 Essex Street, but I don’t know what became of them.

As far as I know, this was the end of the family’s immigration story. By my count, including the suprising Zuzanna Byczek, 19 members of the Bosakowski family came to America between 1905 and 1921. They were the offspring and grandchildren of three Bosakowski brothers – Piotr, Karol and Jozef – who were the sons of Bazyli Bosakowski and Rozalia Kwaśnicka.

So we now know that six of Piotr Bosakowski and Maria Czechowicz’s twelve children emigrated to America, along with two granddaughters:

Name Date of birth Date of arrival
Ignacy Bosakowski July 27, 1878 May 26, 1905
Katarzyna (Kata) Bosakowska November 27, 1885 January 5, 1906
Jan Bosakowski May 12, 1883 June 5, 1906
Ludwika Bosakowska July 19, 1890 May 8, 1907
Karolina Bosakowska July 16, 1893 before 1915
Zuzanna Bosakowska Byczek September 8, 1875 before 1921
Stanislawa Byczek about 1901 October 17, 1921
Aniela Byczek about 1903 October 17, 1921

Five of Karol Bosakowski and Katarzyna Czechowicz’s twelve children also made the trip, along with two daughters-in-law and a grandson:

Name Date of birth Date of arrival
Michal Bosakowski September 28, 1881 May 23, 1906
Klimintyna Szarzyńska Bosakowska about 1886 about 1913
Pawel Bosakowski March 21, 1891 March 25, 1910
Piotr Bosakowski February 17, 1886 September 17, 1913
Anna Stójkiewicz Bosakowska about 1886 September 17, 1913
Antoni Bosakowski October 20, 1895 September 23, 1913
Agnieszka Bosakowska February 2. 1904 October 17, 1921
Andrzej Bosakowski January 12, 1905 October 17, 1921

And three of Jozef Bosakowski and Maria Buczna’s seven children emigrated:

Name Date of birth Date of arrival
Honorata Bosakowska September 23, 1892 February 17, 1911
Katarzyna Bosakowska November 8, 1889 April 16, 1912
Wincenty Bosakowski September 8, 1895 September 17, 1913

Four of them – Ignacy and his wife Dominika, Piotr and his wife Anna – eventually returned back home to Założce. Why did they do it? Perhaps they missed their homeland. Or perhaps they only intended to stay for awhile to make a little money. It would be interesting to learn what became of them.

The rest of the group gradually assimilated and raised new, American families. I’ve tracked most but not all of them through the 1930 census. I’ll write about this in a subsequent post.

This entry was posted in Family Line - Bosakowski, New York City, Zalozce/Zaliztsi and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The final chapter in the Bosakowski immigration story

  1. Pingback: The immigrants in my family tree: 1624-1913 | John Kowal's Family History Blog

  2. Pingback: Betting on a better life back home | John Kowal's Family History Blog

  3. Pingback: Preparing to visit my grandmother’s home town | John Kowal's Family History Blog

  4. Pingback: A visit to Założce, my grandmother’s hometown | John Kowal's Family History Blog

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