Alexander Skowronski and the S.S. Graf Waldersee

When the Ellis Island Records database first came online several years ago, I rapidly found the passenger manifest for my grandfather Michael Danko, but had difficulty finding the manifest for my grandmother Mary Danko, who arrived a few years later.  As it turned out, the transcriber misread my grandmother’s surname and listed it in the index as “Dauko” instead of “Danko”.  I asked the folks at Ellis Island Records to correct the error and they did so.

S.S. Graf Waldersee 1

The S.S. Graf Waldersee 

As I mentioned two days ago, two of my uncles married daughters of Alexander Frank Skowronski.  Alexander immigrated to America in 1903, but neither my cousin nor I could find him in the Ellis Island Records database.  After many months, my cousin Joe finally found the record.  Alexander had been listed in the passenger manifest with his mother and stepfather, but had been listed with his stepfather’s surname Siborowski, not his own surname, Skowronski.

Generalfeldmarschall Graf Waldersee

Generalfeldmarschall Alfred Graf von Waldersee

Siborowski Manifest

Passenger Manifest for the Siborowski/Skowronski Family 

The manifest shows that:

  • Antoni Siborowski (age 37) was traveling with Margarete (age 34), Alexander (age 17), Jozefa (age 10), Pawel (age 10), and Jan (age 5)
  • They departed Hamburg on the S.S. Graf Waldersee on March 13, 1903 and arrived in New York on March 29, 1903
  • The relationships among the members of the group are not provided.
  • Their nationality was Russian
  • Their last residence was Grondi
  • Their ethnicity (recorded under “Seaport for Landing in the United States”) was Polish
  • Their final destination was Baldwinsville, Mass., where they were planning to stay with a cousin, Anton Rachepka, Box 187, Baldwinsville, Mass.
  • They paid their own passage, they didn’t have a ticket to their final destination, and the family was in possession of $85 or $90

Pawel’s entry includes the notation 1X-94580-505-9-4-41- in the occupation column, which indicates that he was probably naturalized.  The first number is the naturalization district, the X indicates that no fee was required for the Certificate of Arrival, the second group of numbers is the number of the Certificate of Arrival, the 505 is the verification form used to transmit information to the requesting Immigation and Naturalization Service Office, and the last group is the date of issuance of the Certificate of Arrival.  A more detailed discussion of the annotations found on passenger manifests can be found at “A New Look at Immigrant Passenger Manifests“.

The X between columns 1 and 2 on the manifest indicates that the Siborowskis were temporarily detained upon arrival.  There may be a list of detained aliens at the end of the manifest, but I haven’t yet looked for this list.

S.S. Graf Waldersee 2

S.S. Graf Waldersee

The family settled in Worcester County, Massachusetts, but where is Grondi, their place of origin, according to the passenger manifest?   A search of maps at Expedia.com reveals no place named Grondi anywhere in the world, but does show places named Grondy and Grądy.  Tomorrow, searching for the Skowronski’s ancestral village.

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One Response to Alexander Skowronski and the S.S. Graf Waldersee

  1. Jasia says:

    Good investigating! I experienced the same sort of thing in trying to find the ancestral village of my grandfather (also from the Russian section of Poland). It took me 4 years to find the village after I got the name from the Ellis Island manifest. In the end, the name on the manifest didn’t have a single letter in common with the actual village name nor did it even have the same number of letters. I hope you have better luck!

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