stories: familyseach-Rootstech

Welcome!

Welcome to my Polish blog! My Polish great grandpa was orphaned during the Chicago flu epidemic of 1918 & spent his life looking for all of his siblings. Some family stayed in Chicago & some returned to Poland. Some family was Catholic, & some are believed to be Jewish. I post the things I learn in efforts it may help someone else in their research. I also hope this blog helps me connect with others that know about the people I'm learning about. Digital images of records or links are put inside most postings so you can view records full screen. I encourage comments. Feel free to sign the guestbook, stating who you're looking for. Maybe we can all help each other out this way, because there are many challenges with Polish research. I hope you enjoy learning with me. And I hope to be taught more about my Polish heritage.
I have added a few languages to this blog through Google translate. I hope that it may be accurate enough with the communication of ideas.
Thanks! -Julie

Witam! (Polish translation of Welcome)

Witam w moim polskim blogu! Mój pradziadek został osierocony w czasie epidemii grypy w 1918 roku i spędził wiele lat poszukując swojego rodzeństwa. Część rodziny pozostała w Chicago a część wróciła do Polski. Część rodziny była katolikami a część, jak przypuszczam, wyznania mojżeszowego. Piszę w moim blogu o rzeczach które odkrywam i o których dowiaduję się mając nadzieję, że pomogą one wszystkim zainteresowanym w ich własnych poszukiwaniach. Wierzę, że ten blog pomoże mi w skontaktowaniu się z ludźmi którzy wiedzą coś na temat osób ktorych poszukuję. Zdjęcia cyfrowe lub linki umieszczone są w większości moich komentarzy i artykułów, można więc otworzyć je na cały ekran. Gorąco zachęcam do komentarzy. Proszę wpisać się do księgi gości i podać kogo Państwo szukacie. Może będziemy mogli pomóc sobie nawzajem, ponieważ nie jest łatwo znaleźć dane których szukamy. Mam nadzieję, że zainteresuje Państwa odkrywanie ze mną tajemnic przeszłości. Mam rówież nadzieję poznać lepiej moje polskie dziedzictwo.

Dodałam do mojego blogu automatyczne tłumaczenia poprzez Google. Ufam, że będą wystarczające w zrozumieniu o czym jest mowa w artykułach i komentarzach.

Dziękuję! - Julie

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26 July 2011

Szczotka or Sotka Genealogy-resources for Cleveland, Ohio

On 5 Apr 2011 Rosemary Sotka (Szczotka) signed my guest book. I have several things I can tell her, (that might interest others with Cleveland roots) so I am answering her questions here in this blog post, where I have more space.

"What a wonderful site this is. I am searching for information for surname Szczotka from Slaskie Province, Zywiec, Milowka. Poland. My Grandfather Michal (Michael) born around 1875,came to US in 1906 with his wife Katha nee Porenski and 2 daughters and settled in Cleveland, OH. He was 31 in 1906. He died around 1928-1930 in Cleveland. My Father was around 8 at the time and now has memory loss so he is unable to help. I do know that my Grandfather came to US first to stay with his brother Jozef in Cleveland. At some point they changed the name to Sotka. Any information or referrals would be much appreciated."

Rosemary, thank you for signing my guestbook!  I went to check my 3 favorite databases for records: familysearch.org (free records), footnote.com and Ancestry.com, (The latter two I pay for subscriptions.) Here are some helpful things available for Cleveland Ohio, which is in the County of Cuyahoga. On footnote.com, there is a collection called "Ohio Northern Naturalizations". This is not the index, this is the actual record that I have had to send off for my relatives in Chicago! Footnote also has the Cleveland City directories from 1861-1923. These two databases are extremely valuable regarding looking for immigrant ancestors. I did not see your family in here on quick searches. I even manually went to 1907 and 1908 in the directories, then went to the "Sz" page. It doesn't mean your family is not in these collections. It just means their names are not spelled correctly in this database. I would keep searching with various spellings. Clerks may have dropped a "Z" or "S", at least. Also, the city directory should be complete, but the naturalization collections are still being digitized and not complete.

On Ancestry.com and Footnote.com, the 1930 Census is there. (click on icon to view full screen) Katha is listed as Catharina B. Szczotka. I thought it was odd she was not listed as widowed, but rather married. Yet I couldn't find her husband. Then I found Michael on the Ohio death index as dying on 28 Apr 1930. The Census was taken 15 Apr 1930, so Catharina wasn't a widow, until 15 days after this record was made. My guess is that Michael was in a hospital, with his name spelled incorrectly, or he was overlooked. Katha is on the Ohio death index for 13 Feb 1969. This Ohio death index was on Ancestry.com.

On familysearch.org, I found several immigration records. It was an easy find because Ellis Island spelled the name correctly. 8 Oct 1905, Michael immigrated and said he was going to his brothers house, Jozef Szczotka, at 1133 Clair St (?), in Cleveland, Ohio. Michael-Ellis Island 1905 Then in 8 Nov 1906, Jozef again comes through Ellis Island saying he's going to his brother-in-law's house, Marcin Zientik (?). Michael-Ellis Island link 1906 Ten days later, 18 Nov 1906, Katha arrives with their children Anna and Franciska. Katha, Anna & Franciska-1906 There is a Jozef Szczotka who arrived 17 May 1904, which I believe should be Michael's brother that arrived before him. But the name is not linked to the right page, so I couldn't read the record, just the index.

You are fortunate that Michael, Katha and some of their their children remained in Cleveland and didn't move. That will make them much easier to find. From the Ellis Island record and this 1930 record, I can tell you they had at least 5 children:
               1) Anna born about 1903
               2) Franciska born about 1905
               3) John J. born about 1911
               4) Mary born about 1919
               5) Charles born about 1921

Since the family arrived in 1906, the first Census they would be on, is the 1910 census. I recommend searching for the family on the 1910 and 1920 Census. I recommend taking Michael and Katha's death dates, and looking for Cleveland newspapers that day, (and maybe also 2-3 days later) for an obituary. That would tell about other family members. Some areas with a lot of Polish Catholics, like Chicago and Minneapolis, have obituaries in Polish, in a Catholic church newspaper. I don't know what newspaper resources are available in Cleveland. I would also take the death indexes and get a copy of their death certificates. If the informant knew, then the parents names should be listed on the death certificate. I didn't even do Sotka searches. Micheal and Katha's death records did not have their name changed, so my guess would be the next generation. But since you know there are two spellings, keep trying both spellings! If you can find the church for where your family lived, in Poland, write to get the marriage record for Micheal and Katha. Probably between 1900-1903. Their marriage record in the church will list their parents and possibly grandparents names. Baptismal records I've seen in that time and area, have parents, grandparents and godparents names on the record. So I recommend looking for a baptismal record for Anna and Franciska. I will email you a copy of this post, as well as the list of names on the Ohio death index list. Here is a link to Cleveland Genealogy help and resources, at Rootsweb.com: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ohcuyah2/. Here is also a link to Cindi's List, for Ohio genealogy resources: http://www.cyndislist.com/us/oh/societies/. Happy searching! Hope that helps with a few ideas of things to look for, to learn more about your family.

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