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Friday, July 8, 2011

Joseph Marion Jerkens (Jozef Marion Jurkiewicz)

My husband's maternal uncle by marriage was Joseph Marion Jerkens, a man who was an expert groomsman, horseman, polo pony owner and player, and father of five of my husband's first cousins.

Joseph was born March 25 1883, in Zadarus (one spelling given by Joseph). He was his parents' youngest child of seven siblings who lived  Zadarow (Zadaruw as spelled by a US descendent in 2000). I read that the family leased a large farm of between 1200-1400 acres. The full location of Joseph's birth as can be determined by records of his time and using current genealogy online databases is Zadarow, Buzcacz, Galicia, Austria Hungarian Empire, Ukraine (present location of Zadarow).

There are several questions I would like to answer some day as I research Joseph's life before he immigrated to the United States in 1908. I have recently joined the Eastern European Genealogical Society, http://www.eegsociety.org/Home.aspx, in Winnepeg, Manitoba, Canada that has several experts in the field of Galizien (Galcian) genealogy and I have emailed several Canadians whose ancestors came from Eastern Europe. Some of them have traveled to Ukraine, the present country where Joseph and his family lived in the late 1800s-early 1900s when it was in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. They go to study, document, translate, and sometimes digitize records from Ukraine and other Eastern European countries.

Did Jozef Jurkiewicz join the military (cavalry) before he left his birth home in 1908 from present-day Ukraine? Did any of Josef’s siblings or nieces and nephews immigrate to other countries including the USA? I have found that the surnames Shlezinger (alternate spelling: Schlezinger) and Skultan who the Jurkiewicz daughters married are mentioned in Google searches and on Facebook. This does not mean that any reliable genealogical research has been accomplished in this area. I do not know of any yet.

Is it possible to learn if any of Joseph Marion's father's Jan Jurkiewicz (Carl Von Jurkens or Carl Von Jurkiewicz's) descendents live in the L'viv Province and if it is possible to contact them? Apparently Joseph did not tell his children that his father's name was Jan instead of Carl or that his own last name was Jurkiewicz instead of Jerkens as he changed it from the time he was registered with an alien status to a naturalized citizen.

The name of Joseph Marion Jerkens' father's middle name Von was not common for citizens of the time who may not have owned land, but managed land for other owners. It was a title given by a government entity and reserved for royalty or nobility of some kind. Only time and the finding of records will tell or not tell the true name of Joseph's father listed as Jan Jurkiewicz on the ship's manifest on the Ellis Island Records.

Did any of Jan Jurkiewicz's (Carl Von Jurkens or Carl Von Jurkiewicz's) family die in WWI, WWII, massacres, or as Holocaust victims?

Joseph Marion Jerkens (Jozef Jurkiewicz) was of the Roman Catholic faith after coming to the USA, but I am not sure of his or his family's religion in Zadarow, Galicia.

Is it possible that Zadarow is perhaps Khodoriv or another town in that area with a similar name, L'viv Province, Ukraine? At one time I thought it might be possible, but have been led by one of the Galician experts that is probably not the case.

Joseph (Jozef Jurkeiwicz) from Austria (Austrian/Hungarian Empire), not the present Austria we know today, wrote on his Declaration of Intention for USA Naturalization application on 13 November 1926 that his birth name was Jozef Jurkeiwicz. He came to the United States 21-22 September 1908 via Jarnobrzeg, Austria to Bremen, Germany, and boarded the Kronprinzessin Cecilie ship to Ellis Island, NY, USA.

What were Joseph Marion Jerkens' family members' names in Latin, German, Galizien, Polish, or Hebrew records? His family's home may have stayed the same but history changed the names, boundaries, laws, and records of the place where Joseph was born many times.

Father's (Male) Name: Jan Jurkiewicz as written on the Ship's Manifest, Carl (Karl) Jurkens, or Carl (Karl) Von Jurkens, or Carl (Karl, Carol, or Carolinus) Jurkiewicz, or Carl (Karl, Carol, or Carolinus) Von Jerkiewicz (another alternate spelling of Jurkiewicz)?

Mother's (Female) Name: Frances Budan?

Sibling's Names, Plus Some Spouses, and Their Children's Names:

1. Stanley who married Sophie and had seven children, including Sophie, Adam, Stephenia, Frances, Helen, Juliana, and Mary in Jozef’s home country?

2. Mary married Carl Shlezinger (Schlezinger) and they had four children: Carl, Frances, Mary, and Cashmier in Jozef’s home country?

3. Cashmier married ?(unknown) and had no children in Jozef’s home country?

4. Cornelia married ?(unknown) and had no children in Jozef’s home country?

5. Harriet married? (Unknown) and had two children: John and Marion in Jozef’s home country?

6. Sophie married John Skulten and had two children: John and Stanley in Jozef’s home country?

7. Jozef (Joseph--USA) (Marion--USA) Jurkiewicz (Jerkens--USA) first married Jennie (from Sweden approximately in 1914 in USA who died) and Minerva Lucile Love (from Sinclairville, Chautauqua County, NY, USA in 1929) and had children who are living in the USA.

The information about Joseph's siblings and parents was written down by a relative, Ken's mother, in the early 1950s as it was orally given by Joseph Marion Jerkens for recording. The oldest daughter who lives not in North Carolina recalls that her dad told her that he first worked at a dairy farm in upper state New York when he arrived in the United States.

There are so many mysteries to solve and I hope to solve most of them.

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