Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Joseph Joshowitz's American Journey - Ancestor Deep Dive (Part 1: 1885-1921)

Joseph Joshowitz, 1922, McKeesport, PA
My great grandfather Joseph Joshowitz was born about October 15, 1885 in what is now Subcarpathian Ukraine, in the Tiachev District (possibly in Tiachev itself; possibly in Kolodne).  When he was born, though, it was part of Austria-Hungary, and later Slovakia.

Joseph came to America twice.  The first time he came in 1906 as a single 20-year-old man "Josef Jasowics" with his 30-year-old brother Isak.  They were going to join their uncle Josef Eisikovitz in Brooklyn.  They were last from Darva, which was the Hungarian name for Kolodne.
Isak and Joseph Joshowitz's boat record, 1906 (lines 1-2)
Joseph didn't stay too long.  He went back to Kolodne in 1908, by way of England.  On that manifest, he is a 22-year-old laborer, "Josef Josavitz."

Joseph Joshowitz's boat record, New York to Southampton, 1908 (line 11)

Joseph was married in Kolodne on February 8, 1912.  His new wife was Esther Rutner, daughter of Shmuel Moshe and Rochel (nee Fuchs) Rutner.
Ketubah (marriage document) of Joseph and Esther (nee Rutner) Joshowitz, Kolodne, 1912
Joseph & Esther Joshowitz (her name is here as Fuksz because her parents weren't legally--only religiously--married, so she had to use her mother's maiden name as her last name) marriage license, 1912, Uglya, Austria-Hungary

The next year their son Yitzchok was born.  But Joseph must have seen promise in America.  Before Yitzchok was even a year old, he left Esther and Yitzchok to stay with Esther's parents in Kolodne, and he returned to America.  This time, "Yoszef Yosovits" was 32, left behind a wife, and was going to his cousin Eizig Fuchs in New York.  (And here we confirm that he returned from America the first time in 1908, so the outgoing boat record would definitely be for him.)  He was 5'6" with "bl." (blond?  black?) hair and brown eyes.
Joseph Joshowitz's second boat record, 1913 (line 17)
So even though Joseph said he was going to his cousin in New York, he didn't stay very long.  His Declaration of Intention says he began living in Pennsylvania on December 24, 1913, only 3 days after arriving in New York.  In 1916, he was living in McKeesport, PA, working as a laborer, and filed his Declaration of Intention to become a United States citizen.

Joseph Joshowitz's Declaration of Intention, 1916
It talks to his intent to give up all allegiance to Charles Francis, King of Hungary.  Here, it says he was born in "Tich" which would be modern-day Tiachev, Ukraine.

Back in Hungary, the First World War was breaking out.  Having Esther and Yitzchok join him in America was impossible.  Joseph registered for the draft.
Joseph Joshowitz WWI Draft Registration Card
At the time of registration, Joseph was living at 421 Brien in McKeesport.  He was a junk dealer, and his closest relative was his wife Esther in "Dorva, Hungary."

In 1919 he was able to apply for citizenship. 
Joseph Joshowitz, Petition for Naturalization, 1919
In 1919, Joseph was living at 906 Rose Street in McKeesport.  His profession was that of a huckster--basically a peddler.
Joseph Joshowitz, about 1920

I haven't been able to find Joseph in the 1920 census (bonus points to whoever finds him for me!).  But 1920 was an exciting year for the Joshowitz Family--Esther and Yitzchok (soon Isadore or "Izzy") were able to join their husband and father in America in October of that year.  And the very next year the entire family was became citizens when Joseph's citizenship officially came through.
Joseph Joshowitz Citizenship Certificate, 1921
By 1921, the family was living at 1028 Market Street.  By the next year, the family had a new addition, which will be a another edition of this ancestor deep dive.  Continued here.

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