Following along with Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors, this third week enjoys the theme of “longevity”. What information for my tree took the longest time in locating? What puzzle piece was missing and needed to be found?
When I first started the search for my father’s family, I had little clues…just family facts related by my aunt. My grandparents had emigrated from Poland at the beginning of the 20th Century. Their names were Frank Slabik and Anna Mroz. They did not reach Ellis Island together; in fact, at that time they did not even know each other. In combing through Ellis Island records, I found my grandmother…or so I thought. Where was my grandfather Frank listed on these ship manifests? I searched for many, many months. Could his records be missing? One Sunday morning as I sat at the computer once again, I told myself, “Today I am finding my grandfather!” I understood that he had come to America in 1912. I read the entries slowly and deliberately. Then, I came upon a name that made me stop and wonder…Franciszek Stabik. Yes, this Franciszek was from the same region of Poland as my grandfather…same possible age. Suddenly, I realized that his surname was written in Polish with the second letter as the letter L with a line diagonally across the top part of the letter. The recorder for the manifest listing had written it like our letter T. Also, Frank’s first name was written as Franciszek, the Polish name for Francis/Frank. There he was…found at last!