After learning about Great Aunt Stephania’s legal name change in 1944 from Stefania Chmielewska to Stephania Meleski, I made another attempt to find her in the census. I found one entry for a Stefania Chmielewska living in Pennsylvania. When Stefania immigrated in 1901, she traveled to Worcester, Massachusetts to stay with her brother. When she filed her Petition for Naturalization in 1943, she stated that she had lived in Massachusetts continuously since February 1933, so she very well could have been living in Pennsylvania in 1910.
1910 U.S. Census Record for Stefania Chmielewska
Click on the link for a PDF copy of the US Federal Census Record for Stefania Chmielewska 1910. The census shows that:
Stefania was a border in a rented building at 818 East Race Street, Shamokin Borough, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania
She was a single, white female, age 23
She and her parents were born in Russia (Poland) and spoke Polish
She immigrated in 1902, but there was no indication of whether she was naturalized
She could speak English, and could read and write
She was a sister in a convent
This information actually agrees with some family stories I had heard. I had been told that my great aunt was a nun, but all the information I could find stated that she worked in a rooming house in Worcester, Massachusetts. This census record seems to be evidence that she was a nun for a period of time. This could open up a whole line of research into religious records.
The data in this record agrees well with the other information I have about Stefania. Her legal name at the time was Stefania Chmielewska, she was born January 7, 1886 (making her 24 in 1910) in the Russian Partition of Poland, she could speak Polish, and she immigrated in 1901. She was also very religious. While not all the information matches the data in the 1910 census exactly, everything is close enough to convince me that this is probably my Great Aunt Stephania Meleski.
Unfortunately, I still can’t find her in the 1920 and 1930 census indexes.
Copyright © 2006 by Stephen J. Danko