Konstanti Arrives at Ellis Island

My maternal grandfather, Konstanti Niedziałkoski (who later in life spelled his name Kostanty Niedzialkowski) left his home in the Russian Partition of Poland and set off for a new life in America.  From what I have learned about the process, agents for the shipping companies actively recruited potential emigrants throughout Europe, arranging most of the details for their passage to America.  These details included transportation to a port of departure in Europe, passage on a ship to America, and transportation in America to their final destination.  They may also have arranged for their lodging for them at the port of departure, since the emigrant may have had to stay in the port for a time while waiting for the ship to sail.

S.S. Ryndam

Konstanti obtained a passport from the Russian government, traveled from his home to the port of Rotterdam and registered for passage on the S.S. Ryndam, a ship operated by the Holland-America Line.  He purchased a third class, or steerage accommodation on the ship, which amounted to a bunk deep in the ship’s hull, with relatively little opportunity for privacy.  Food was poor, sanitation was something to be desired, and the opportunity to visit the upper deck for fresh air was limited.

 

Steerage

The S.S. Ryndam was a 12,340 gross ton ship, built in 1901.  The ship provided accommodations for 286 First Class passengers, 196 Second Class passengers, and 1800 Third Class (Steerage) passengers.  The ship was able to achieve a speed of 15 knots and made the journey from Rotterdam to New York in ten days.  Konstanti left Rotterdam on May 14, 1910 and arrived in New York on May 24, 1910, where he was processed through Ellis Island.  The Passenger Arrival Manifest of Konstanti Niedzialkoski lists him on line 8.  It shows that:

  • He was 18 years old and single at the time he immigrated
  • His occupation was farm laborer
  • He was able to read and write
  • His nationality was Russian, but his “race or people” was Polish
  • His last permanent residence was Omaszki, Lomza in Russia
  • His father was Teofil Niedzialkoski, living in Omaszki, Lomza
  • His final destination was Worcester, Massachusetts and he already had a ticket to his final destination
  • His passage was paid by his uncle and he had $9 with him
  • He was going to stay with his uncle, Franciszek Niedzialkowsky at 18 Huntington Avenue in Worcester, Massachusetts
  • He was 5 feet, 3 inches tall, of fair complexion, with blond hair and blue eyes
  • He was born in Omaszki, Russia

 

Ellis Island

Konstanti had arrived.  He was examined, processed, and sent on his way to lead his new life in America.  Next, Konstanti files his Declaration of Intention to become a citizen of the United States.

Copyright © 2006 by Stephen J. Danko

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