Category Archives: New York City

Six immigrant ancestors and the fault lines of World War I

To the day they died, I’m sure my immigrant ancestors remembered where they were when they learned of the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, one hundred years ago. That calculated act of terrorism plunged the countries of their … Continue reading

Posted in Family Line - Agin, Family Line - Bosakowski, Family Line - Kowal, Family Line - Sabol, Germany, Kharucha Vel'ka, New Jersey, New York City, Slovakia, Zalozce/Zaliztsi | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Andrew Sabol’s final chapter

Tracing the life story of my great-grandfather Andrej (Andrew) Sabol has been a painstaking effort. But now I can write the final chapter. I first found Andrew (he used his English name after he emigrated) on ancestry.com, in U.S. census records for … Continue reading

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My connection to the very first settlers of New Amsterdam

I have lived in Manhattan for most of my adult life. But I did not realize until very recently that I descend from the first European colonists to call this island home. My ancestors were part of an advance party … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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18th pale descendant

In the song “The Queen Is Dead,” from my favorite Smiths album of the same name, Morrissey sings: And so, I checked all the registered historical facts and I was shocked into shame to discover how I’m the 18th pale … Continue reading

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The Lower East Side or the Eastern Front: the Bosakowski family during World War I

In earlier posts, I told the story of how my grandmother Katarzyna Bosakowska came to America. She was one of at least sixteen Bosakowski family members from the town of Zalozce, in the far northeastern corner of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, … Continue reading

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The phonograph swindler

Not long after my grandmother Katarzyna Bosakowska arrived in New York in April 1912, she landed a job as a live-in servant with the family of Joseph H. Mayers. Mayers, an immigrant from Russia, lived at 101 Essex Street with … Continue reading

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