Tag Archives: Immigration

52 Ancestors, Week 4: Danylo Koszlak

Click HERE for last week’s ancestor.

My great, great grandfather Danylo was born November 22, 1890 to Prokop Koszlak and Krystyna Fink. Prokop and Krystyna lived in the small village of Novosilka (Nowosiolka), located in Pidhaitsi (Podhajce) raion, Ternopil (Tarnopol) oblast – modern-day Ukraine. They had at least 2 more children besides Danylo, named Hawrylo and Mary who also eventually immigrated to North America ( to Minneapolis, Minnesota). At the time of Danylo’s birth, the region was known as Austrian Galicia and it was a province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. People from the region identified themselves as either Austrian Galicians or Ruthenians, and the language they spoke is known as Ruthenian (though they were probably familiar with Polish as well). As the area was often ruled by different kingdoms and empires, the place names often have several versions depending on language and period in history.

Galicia was one of the poorest places in all Europe in the late 1800’s, and from about 1885 until World War One broke out in 1914, it experienced a mass emigration of its people to other countries in search of jobs and a better life. In 1910 at the age of 19, Danylo followed suit. He chose to go to Canada aboard the SS Cassandra, a steamship with the Donaldson Line that sailed from Glasgow to Quebec. His outward passenger manifest from the UK tells us that he was travelling with a large group of Eastern European/Russian immigrants on their way to Canada, and that they had come to England via the port of Leith travelling with the Gibson Line which ran services from Belgium and Holland to Leith. These immigrants probably made their way through Europe travelling by train to one of the western ports. The Cassandra sailed for almost a week, departing Glasgow, Scotland on June 4th and arriving at the port of Quebec, Canada on June 12, 1910. His passenger manifest upon arrival to Quebec states that he was on his way to Minneapolis, Minnesota to visit his brother Jakiv at 419½ Aldrich Ave, however this is the one and only record of any Jakiv that I have found, so I am hesitant to add him as a sibling. Danylo’s passenger manifest tells us another interesting fact – it states that he had black hair and grey eyes.

Danylo did not stay in Minneapolis long. Shortly after his arrival in North America he went north to Canada, and the next record I’ve found of him is his marriage to Anna Bruchanski, a fellow Ruthenian immigrant, on February 10, 1914. The marriage took place in the Regional Municipality of Brokenhead, Manitoba, at a Greek Catholic church (likely Holy Trinity). Anna had come to Canada in 1911 on the SS Montreal, Antwerp-Quebec as a domestic (live-in maid). I am quite sure (but yet without documentation) that Anna already had family in Brokenhead – at least one married sister (Pelagia “Polly” Benzik) and her family, and likely more, since there is another Bruchanski family from Pidhaitsi living there at the time. Brokenhead had a large Ukrainian immigrant farming population, many land grants were given by the Canadian government to new immigrants in an effort to help populate the area. The marriage document details that Danylo was a farmer, his father was a farmer, and Anna was a farmer’s daughter.

At the time of the 1916 Canadian Census taken of the western prairie provinces, Danylo, Anna and their first two children were living in rural Brokenhead while Danylo worked as a farmer, but soon after, the family moved to the town of Beausejour where Danylo was employed as a carpenter at the time of the 1921 census. The couple had 3 children – Michael, Patrick and Marie (Mihail, Pietro and Maria in Ukrainian). Beausejour is a small town completely surrounded by the Regional Municipality of Brokenhead, but is technically separate. One of the first big business established in Beausejour in the early 1900’s was Manitoba Glassworks, who made primarily glass beverage bottles. Co-founded by German immigrant Joseph Keilback – who’s granddaughter would eventually marry Danylo’s second son Patrick – the original factory is a protected provincial heritage site.

Danylo became a naturalized Canadian citizen on October 16, 1932. He passed away February 11, 1967 in Beausejour, Manitoba, apparently in an accident falling down a church stairwell. His funeral was held at St. Vladimir church in Beausejour, and he is buried in St. Vladimir’s Greek Catholic Cemetery. His headstone can be viewed HERE and his obituary HERE.

52 Ancestors, Week 1: Arnaldo Morianti

Arnaldo was born December 3rd, 1882 in the comune of Castelfranco Veneto, Treviso, Italy, not far from Venice. He had at least one brother, who was named Vittorio “Vito”. Arnaldo and Vittorio are said to have been foundling orphans. This means basically their parents abandoned them – likely either their economic situation was poor and did not allow the parents to care for them properly or they were illegitimate. This was definitely not uncommon in Italy at the time, and usually churches would govern over the care of these children, in orphanages. If the children arrived anonymously at the orphanage, occasionally the orphanage authorities would give them names – “Esposito” is a common one for example, it means “exposed”. I have an inkling that “Morianti” is also a made-up surname, as the only holders of this surname I have found so far either descend from Arnaldo or Vittorio. In any case, Arnaldo grew up and worked as a laborer in Castelfranco Veneto and at age 28 he married Maddalena DeGrandis on February 7th, 1911 in Castelfranco Veneto. Their first son, named Augusto Luigi was born almost exactly 9 months later on October 4, 1911. A strong custom in Italy is to name your first born son after the paternal grandfather. This could hint at Arnaldo’s parentage, if he had known of his parents at all. Unfortunately, I will probably never know if this is the case for sure, given Arnaldo’s foundling history.

On February 25, 1912 Arnaldo set off from the port of Genoa on the SS Ancona, a steamer operated by the Society di Navigazione a Vaporetti Italia, bound for the port of New York. He was leaving his wife and new baby son behind in Italy, as many other young Italian men did at this time in history. The Veneto region of Italy was extremely poor, and many of them were lured to Canada by higher paying jobs working on the railroad, in the mining and forestry industry, or in some of the new factories sprouting up after the industrial era. They would work hard for a few years and then return home, bringing the money home to their families. The ship passed through the port of New York, USA and he signed his name at Ellis Island on March 13th, 1912.

He didn’t stay in Canada long, and returned to Italy in 1914. This is the year World War One broke out, and trans-Atlantic immigration screeched to a halt. Italy joined the side of the United Kingdom and France, effectively ending it’s former alliances with the German and Austrian-Hungarian Empires. Interestingly, the SS Ancona was torpedoed and sunk in 1915 by an Austrian u-boat, causing the loss of 200 lives. Veneto, being in the northern part of Italy, close to the Austrian border was a major battlefront for the duration of the war, and Venetians would have felt the effects of the war quite deeply. Arnaldo and Maddalena had 2 more sons in Castelfranco Veneto at this time, one in 1916 and one in 1919.

At the end of the great war, Maddalena was pregnant with their fourth and final son and Arnaldo left for Canada again, this time aboard the SS Grampian. He landed in Quebec, Canada on November 2nd, 1920 and like his last voyage to Canada, was bound to meet his brother Vittorio in Montreal. Shortly after his arrival, he moved to Windsor, Ontario to work at Chrysler’s assembly plant. Vittorio is said to have gone to Argentina. On June 3rd, 1923 Maddalena and his four sons boarded the SS Conte Rosso and joined him in Canada with the intent to stay. The family became naturalized Canadian citizens exactly 90 years ago today on July 22, 1924. Arnaldo worked as a laborer in Windsor for the remainder of his life, and passed away on his 71st birthday – December 3, 1953. He rests in St. Alphonsus Cemetery in Windsor, Ontario. His headstone can be seen HERE.

Possible Relation: Jakiw Koszlak?

From his SS Cassandra Passenger Manifest, I know Danylo Koszlak stated that he was going to visit his brother Jakiw at 419 1/2 Aldrich Ave in Minneapolis, Minnesota when he sailed Glasgow-Quebec on the SS Cassandra on June 12, 1910. So, what about this Jakiw?

Jakob Koszlak’s Passenger Manifest for border crossing in February, 1909

The first record I’ve found of “Jakob” Koszlak, is a border crossing from Canada to the USA in February 1909. He is a 32 year old married Ruthenian labourer, living in Beausejour, (very close to Brokenhead) Manitoba. He was planning to go to Deer River, Minnesota to visit his brother-in-law Oleks Szkowik. He was 5’7, brown hair, blue eyes, and born in Novosilka, Galicia. He first landed in Canada at the port of Quebec in May 1907.

Jakob Koszlak’s 1912 passenger manifest crossing from Canada to the USA at Sault Ste. Marie aboard the CPR Railway

Next, a passenger manifest from July 1912, going from Canada to the USA via the Canadian Pacific Railway at Sault Ste. Marie. Jakob was then a 36 year old married labourer who could read and write, from Austria, race recorded as Polish. His last permanent residence was in Montreal, Quebec. His nearest relative in the country he came from is his wife Mary in Novosilka. His final destination this time? Minneapolis, Minnesota, so visit a brother Henry at 222 7th Ave N. He paid for his passage himself and he had $21.00 on him at the time. He had been to the USA before – he was in Minneapolis from February 1909 to April 1911. On June 25, 1912 he had landed in Quebec aboard the SS Pisa.

So, chronologically… Jakob could have been the first Koszlak brother to come to Canada from Novosilka, in 1907. It sounds like he first lived in Beausejour for two years until 1909, then Minneapolis for two years until 1911. Then perhaps he returned home to Novosilka? And came back June 1912 aboard the SS Pisa, landing in Montreal with the intention of settling in Minneapolis permanently. I do have one more passenger manifest for Jakob, from when he landed in Canada on the SS Pisa, but no new information is presented there.

With this information, he should be on the 1910 census of the USA, in Minneapolis. Possibly even the 1920 and 1930 US censuses.There should also be a passenger manifest from May 1907 when he landed in Canada for the first time. The problem probably is, with a name like “Jakiw Koszlak”, spelling and translation errors likely occurred at some point when he was telling foreign officials his information. Jakiw/Jakow/Jacko/Yakov/Jakob Koszlak/Kochlak/Koszelak/Kozlak/Koslack… catch my drift? So to find these other records should be a challenge!

Document: SS Cassandra Passenger Manifest

I searched “Dan* Koszlak” on Ancestry.com, knowing that Ukrainians probably spelled the surname that way, and Koslak had been somewhat Canadianized, like the name Daniel. The first record that popped up was a match. “Danielo Koszlak” (“Danylo” is a common Ukrainian name).

My transcription of the record below:

Danylo Koszlak, boarded the “SS Cassandra” in Glasgow, Scotland on June 4, 1910 and arrived at Quebec, Canada on June 12, 1910. His place of birth was Nowosiolka (“new settlement”), Austria (I’ll explain why this doesn’t say Ukraine later), and his ethnicity was Ruthenian. He was 18 years old, single and unable to read or write. He left behind his father Rapko (not a common Ukrainian name) in Nowosiolka, Galicia and was on his way to visit his brother Jakow (“Jakiv”) at 419½ Aldrich Ave, Minneapolis, MN, USA. He paid $25.00 for his ticket. His complexion was fair, his hair brown and his eyes blue.

Excerpt from the SS Cassandra’s Passenger Manifest, June 4-12, 1910.

Document: SS Conte Rosso Passenger Manifest

This is the passenger manifest for my great great grandmother Maddalena DeGrandis’ trip to Canada from Italy with her four sons to join her husband Arnaldo in Windsor, Ontario.

Morianti, Guerrino - Conte Rosso Passenger Manifest

SS Conte Rosso
Passengers sailing from Genoa, Italy, June 3, 1923

Family Name: DeGrandis, sons Morianti
Given Names: Maddalena, sons Augusto, Guerrino, Elio and Bruno
Ages: 37, 11, 7, 3, 2
Sex: Female for Maddalena, male for her sons
Married or single: married for Maddalena, single for her sons
Calling or Occupation: Housewife for Maddalena, Scholar for Augusto and Guerrino, none for Elio and Bruno
Can read/write? Yes for Maddalena, Augusto and Guerrino
Language: Italian
Nationality: Italian
Race or People: North
Last Permanent Residence: Treviso, Castelfranco Veneto
The name of the nearest relative in the country whence alien came: Santa Ambrosi, Maddalena’s mother and the boys’ grandmother, widow in Castelfranco Veneto (Treviso)
Final Destination: Ontario, Windsor

Document: SS Grampian Passenger Declaration

Morianti, Arnaldo - Grampian Passenger Declaration

SS Grampian
Port: Anvers
Page: 23
Line: 16
Class: 3rd
Date: 2.11.20
Passenger’s Declaration
1. Name: Morianti, Arnaldo
2. Age: 37/Male/Married/Labourer
3. Birthplace: Castelfranco Veneto
Race or People: Italian
4. Citizenship: Italian
5. Religion: Catholic
6. Object in coming to Canada: to work
7. Ever lived in Canada: Yes, in Montreal 1912-1914
8. Why left Canada:
9. Money in posession, belonging to immigrant: 50
10. Able to read: yes
Can you write: yes
11. What language: Italian
12. By whom passage paid: Himself
13. Intend to remain permanently in Canada: yes
14. If admission refused, cause of rejection:
15. Destined to: relative, brother Vittorio Morianti in Montreal
16. Name of Railway on which passenger has order or ticket:
17. Nearest relative in country from whence passenger came: the wife DeGrandis, Maddalena in Castelfranco Veneto

2 NOV 1920