While searching for records on the immigration of Jan Savitt, I came across the 1911 Immigrant Passenger List for a David Sarwetnik. Much to my surprise, this individual stated on the manifest that he was going to stay with his brother J. Serwetnik at 235 Monroe Street in Philadelphia – the same address at which Jan Savitt, then known as Jacob Sarvetnick, was living. Since Jan’s father’s name was Joseph Sarvetnick, I concluded that David was Joseph’s brother.
1911 Passenger Manifest for David Sarwetnik, Page 1
1911 Passenger Manifest for David Sarwetnik, Page 2
Click here for a PDF copy of the Passenger Manifest for David Sarwetnik – 1911. The manifest shows that:
- David immigrated on the S.S. Uranium which left Rotterdam on September 7, 1911 and arrived in New York on September 20, 1911
- David Sarwetnik, listed on line 14, was a single, 17 year old male with no occupation
- David was able to read and write, was a Hebrew from Russia and last lived in Szumsk, Russia
- David’s nearest relative in the country from which he came was his father Chaim Sarwetnik in Szumsk (Volhynia) Russia
- David was traveling to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he was planning to stay with his brother J. Serwetnik at 235 Monroe Street
- His brother paid his passage and he had no cash with him, but had a ticket to his final destination
- He was in good physical health, 4 feet – 11 inches tall, with fair complexion, brown hair, and brown eyes
- He was born in Szumsk, Russia
- David was traveling with Chaje Katzman, a 47 year old widowed woman who worked as a housekeeper
- Chaje could not read or write, was a Hebrew from Russia and last lived in Szumsk, Russia
- Chaje’s nearest relative in the country from which she came was her brother Chaim Sarwetnik in Szumsk (Volhynia Gubernia) Russia
- Chaje was traveling to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she was planning to stay with her son Shaia [?] Katzman at 340 North Randolph [?] Street
- Chaje’s son paid her passage and she had no cash with her, but had a ticket to her final destination
- She was in good physical health, 5 feet – 1 inch tall, with fair complexion, grayish hair, and brown eyes
- She was born in Szumsk, Russia
Notice the marks to the left of David’s name on the manifest. David was held for a Board of Special Inquiry before being admitted to the United States. Imagine how he must have felt, to have traveled all this way at age 17 and then be told that he might not be admitted and that he had to state his case before a Board of Special Inquiry!
Record of David Sarwetnik Held for Special Inquiry
Click on the link for a PDF copy of the Special Inquiry Record for David Sarwetnik – 1911. The record states that:
- David arrived on September 20, 1911 and his record is indicated on line 16
- He was a 17 year old male, recorded in Group 7, No. 14 (this means page 7, line 14 of the manifest)
- He was held alone (Chaje was not held) as a “lpc” or “likely public charge” – the officials were concerned that he wouldn’t be able to support himself – although the remark “asst” indicates that someone had promised to assist him
- He was excluded on September 21, but was admitted to the United States on September 22 at 2:45
- While detained, the Immigration Service fed him 2 breakfasts, 3 dinners, and 2 suppers
This record leads to the tentative conclusion that Jan Savitt’s grandfather was Chaim Sarwetnik, that his uncle was David Sarwetnik, that his aunt was Chaje Katzman, and that his uncle was Shaia [?] Katzman, living in Philadelphia. It also leads to the tentative conclusion that Jan may have been born or may have lived in Szumsk, Russia. Today, Szumsk (or Shumsk) in the Volhynia Gubernia of Russia is known as Shumskoye, Ternopol’, Ukraine.
Question: Is this David Sarwetnik the same as the David Savitt who is enumerated with Joseph Savitt’s family in the 1930 Census? The immigration year is correct, although the year of birth doesn’t match up exactly. Also, in the 1930 Census, David Savitt is listed as Joseph Savitt’s nephew, not his brother.
Copyright © 2006 by Stephen J. Danko