The Year Was 1908

Lisa at 100 Years in America wrote about where her ancestors were in 1908 – 100 years ago. She then challenged others to do the same. In 1908, only one of my ancestors was in America. The rest were still in Europe.

My paternal grandfather, Michał Dańko, was in America, exactly where I’m not certain. He immigrated from Nienadowa, Galicia (now Poland) on 07 Mar 1905 and apparently lived in New York City with a Jewish umbrella maker who had, himself, emigrated from Galicia some years earlier. By 1908, I suppose he had found his way to Worcester, Worcester County, Massachusetts because he sent for his wife to join him there in 1909. He did not appear in the Worcester City Directory until 1910, the first written record in America I found for him since his immigration.

Michał’s wife, my paternal grandmother Maryanna Dziurzyńska, was still in Galicia with either two or three children in 1908. Zofia had been born on 12 Jan 1901 and Jan had been born on 02 May 1905. My grandfather had left for America several months before Jan’s birth. Another child, Karol, had been born in Galicia but died before Maryanna left for America on May 15, 1909. No one remembers when Karol was born or when he died, but he may have been born between 1902-1904 and died before 1909. I don’t know for certain where Maryanna was living in 1908, but I suspect she may have been living with her parents in either Sielnica, Nienadowa, or Śliwnica, all in Powiat Przemyśki, Galicia (Austria-Poland).

Most likely, my maternal grandfather, Kostanty Niedziałkowski, was living with his parents in Pomaski, Powiat Makowski, Gubernia Lomżyńskiej, Congress Kingdom of Poland (Russia-Poland). He left for America on 14 May 1910. In 1908 he was 16 years old and probably working on his father’s farm.

My maternal grandmother, Helena Chmielewska, was living with her parents in Likiszki (now Likiškės), Gubernia Wilenska, Russian Empire (now Lithuania). She was 11 years old in 1908, probably with no idea that she would immigrate to America on 04 Jan 1913. She was living on the family farm in a small village which, in 1866, included only five houses and 42 residents. The photograph below is the farm where my grandmother lived in 1908. The structures in thes photo were probably all built after my grandmother left the farm and came to America.

Buildings on the Chmielewski Farm - 2 

Buildings on the Chmielewski Farm -2

SOURCE: Buildings on the Chmielewski Farm – 2. Photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 24 October 2007.

Copyright © 2008 by Stephen J. Danko

This entry was posted in Chmielewski/Meleski, Dańko, Daily Journal, Dziurzyński, Niedziałkowski. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Year Was 1908

  1. Donna says:

    Steve, great post. I followed your lead and checked out Lisa’s original post, which then prompted me to join the crowd and do one of my own. I enjoyed it!

  2. Lisa says:

    Thanks for sharing your family’s whereabouts back in 1908. It is especially fascinating to me to think about how quickly our families and others have “assimilated” into the American culture in a century, often with those born a few generations after the immigrants having little realization of the culture, language and homelands of their ancestors.

    I enjoy reading your blog and am inspired by the detailed research that you have done about your family. Keep writing!

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