My maternal grandfather was named Rosemarynoski. His parents, my great grandparents, immigrated from Poland. But when, and from where?
My Rosemarynoski great grandfather died in 1948 in Massachusetts. My mother was born and raised in Kansas and never met him. My Rosemarynoski grandfather had four daughters, including my mom, and no sons. He had almost all sisters; he had a brother, but he died relatively young with no wife or children. So really, the Polish Rosemarynoski surname is all women now and so the name is not passed down to any other generations for this branch of the family.
While my great grandfather died in 1948, my great grandmother died in 1981. Her name was Rosalie Bruderik, and she married Stanislaus Rosemarynoski. So her married name was Rose Rosemarynoski. Rose and Stanislaus were Polish immigrants.
When I was a kid in the 1970s, my mom travelled to Massachusetts to visit her grandmother and her aunts. She remembers a big box in the backyard filled with photos and immigration documents. While others ate food picnic style, she remembers looking at this rich history of Polish immigration. She remembers seeing American citizenship papers for her grandparents, and old photos. It was a lovely rich history in documents. A genealogist’s dream!
In 1981, when her grandmother died, she reached out to her aunts and cousins, asking about that box of documents. No one knew anything about it. No one remembered what she was talking about, and no box of papers or photos existed. The storage rooms and houses had no such thing, it did not exist. For the genealogist, this is a tragedy. Lost documents are something we never wish on anyone. No one can be blamed, it is no one’s fault. But the genealogist and family historian has a primary mission to save, scan, preserve and share documents and photos. It’s sad that such a thing happened. And every genealogist, unfortunately, has a similar story. So, when I started, I had to find the documents all by myself. There was no scrapbook or box of papers to look at for the Rosemarynoski family.
The first fun document was the marriage record of Rose and Stanislaus.
- New England Historic Genealogical Society; Boston, Massachusetts; Massachusetts Vital Records, 1911–1915. Massachusetts, Marriage Records, 1840-1915, page 300, line 100; Marriage record of Stanislaus Rosemarynoski and Rose Bruderick, June 26, 1911. Ancestry.com, 2013, Provo, UT, USA. https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=2511&h=908897304&ssrc=pt&tid=114630085&pid=130135263695&usePUB=true
- On this image, look at line 100, which lists the details for the marriage record of Rose and Stanislaus. It provides the age of both at the time of marriage (Rosalie was 19), the address for each, and the occupation. Both were born in Poland, Russia; at the time, Poland was not a country, but had been invaded by both Germany and Poland, but the language they spoke was Polish. This record also names the parents of both bride and groom. Notice the mother of the bride is listed only as Anna, with no last name. For whatever reason, Rosalie did not know the maiden name of her own mother.
The next fun document is the passenger list for Rosalie. This comes in two images, left and right, both pages of a large ledger type document.
Year: 1907; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 0954; Line: 27; Page Number: 78.
Line 27 on both pages lists the details for Rosalie Broderick. She was 18 years old, and coming from a town in Russia (Poland) called perhaps Dąbrowa. At this point, I need help from someone who knows more about Poland than I do. But we have a hometown. The nearest relative from home is listed as living in Łomża. I do not see a name of either parent listed as nearest relative, so I wonder if both of her parents are already deceased, which may be one of the reasons for her immigration to America. The nearest relative in America she is coming to see is her uncle, [illegible] Bruderik, living in Haydenville, Massachusetts. Of course, this makes sense, as she lives the rest of her life in Haydenville, and that’s where her children, including my grandfather, were born. At the top of the pages, we notice she arrived on the SS Potsdam, departing from Rotterdam on 20 July 1907, arriving at Ellis Island in New York on 30 July 1907.
Read more about her ship in another blog post here.
Now, this raises questions. If she was 19 when she was married in 1911, then in 1907 she would have been only 15 when she came to America. But the passenger list says she was 18, which sometimes has been transcribed as only 10. Sometimes young men lie about their age to serve in the military. An older person gets better privileges. Perhaps she fibbed a little about her age to obtain the privilege of sailing to America. This is in a time before passports and driver’s license documents. The reality is, she was young and likely sailing alone. No one else on that page is from her hometown.
With a request for Immigration and Naturalization papers, we find that Rosalie never became a US Citizen. We cannot determine why this is so, and we cannot ask her. In looking at various documents, she never signed her name, but made her mark with an “x” with a witness, which suggests she never learned how to read and write. I remember her son, my grandpa, talking about how she was such a good cook, making Polish kielbasa at home. But if she never learned how to read and write, then a cookbook was never used. She had all the recipes memorized!
This is a lot of information about the immigration of my great grandmother, Rosalie Bruderik. I have other documents once she was in America, but this is what I have concerning her travel to America.