Tag Archives: Kowal

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

The Kowal family moves to Staten Island

I recently came across a batch of old photos that provide a window into the year my grandparents moved from the teeming tenements of the Lower East Side to a remote, rural corner of Staten Island. The photos belong to my cousin … Continue reading

Posted in Family Line - Kowal, Staten Island | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Goodbye to all that

One hundred years ago today, my grandfather Alexej (Alex) Kowal arrived at the dock in Libau, a port city in present day Latvia. There, he waited with 130 fellow Ukrainians who had all been recruited by the Canada Pacific Railway … Continue reading

Posted in Family Line - Kowal, Kharucha Vel'ka | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

My dad’s household in the 1940 census

I took my first peek at the 1940 census. The government released it last week after a 72 year privacy restriction was lifted and it’s all up on the ancestry.com site. It will take some time before all 132 million … Continue reading

Posted in Family Line - Kowal, Staten Island | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

New details on Alex Kowal’s journey to America

In a recent post, I recounted the story of my grandfather Alex Kowal’s journey to America, which I pieced together from travel and immigration documents. Since then, I have learned some interesting new information about the friends who traveled with … Continue reading

Posted in Family Line - Kowal, Kharucha Vel'ka, Staten Island | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Maps of old home towns

I’ve been searching the web for vintage maps of my grandparents’ home towns – Zalozce, Austria (now Zaliztsi, Ukraine), where my grandmother Katarzyna Bosakowska grew up, and Kharucha Vel’ka, Ukraine, where my grandfather Alex Kowal grew up. The latter seemed … Continue reading

Posted in Family Line - Bosakowski, Family Line - Kowal, Kharucha Vel'ka, Zalozce/Zaliztsi | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

There’s nothing like a good obituary

Researching your family history can lead to frustrating dead ends. This is especially true when it comes to tracing the lives of female ancestors since you need to know both maiden and married names. It can also be challenging for … Continue reading

Posted in Family Line - Agin, Family Line - Bosakowski, New Jersey, Staten Island | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments