Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Write a Poem on "Where I'm From"
Hey there, Genea-Nauts -- It's Saturday Night, and time for more Genealogy Fun!!
Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:
1)  Write a poem about "Where I'm From" using the template found at the website
2)  Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Google Plus or Facebook note.
Thank you to Kevin Huigens of the Family History Nuggets blog for the SNGF suggestion!

I am from poor North and East Texas dirt farmers and laborers of green beans, peanuts and watermelon.

I am from the small early 40s brick home of a Methodist minister in NE Texas with his wife and a milking cow in the back that was shared with the Baptist minister’s family.

I am from the rolling hills and pine tree forests of East Texas where trees cast shadows on the highways and spread their branches to meet each other and where the crepe myrtles bloomed along the sides.

I am from a religious family and a family that taught honesty and respect from my dad Kermit and my mom Murriel and from our grandparents.

I am from the habit of industriousness along with the contrasting habit of procrastination.

I am from always being taught to say, “Yes, Sir”, Yes, Ma’am” and “Please” and “Thank you”.

I am from the United Methodist Church, beginning by being a “preacher’s kid”,  being active in youth groups and choirs, graduating from a United Methodist University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Church Music and directing quite a few United Methodist Church choirs. My influence, if there is any, is that my two daughters’ families are United Methodist and are active in their local congregations with children’s’ and youth activities, singing in the choirs, playing bells, and playing in the orchestra.

I am from Linden, Cass County, Texas. My dad’s parents were from Denison, Grayson County, Texas and my mom’s parents were from Cleveland, Liberty County, Texas. Through the years my mom and her mom prepared many meals for our family and extended families that included mostly home cooked meals, much of it coming from each of their gardens.  

I am from the experiences from the time I learned to drive of the worst accident that took place in our home driveway as I hit my dad’s car that I did not see when I was backing,  the wonderful times I recall when our family went driving on Sunday afternoons wherever we lived to see the traffic at the airports or to watch the seashore, and the gatherings of all of our aunts, uncles, and cousins at our grandparents’ home where I remember running around in the yard, gathering eggs, shelling beans, being carted around in the wheelbarrow by my granddad,  smelling homemade biscuits, sleeping on a pallet by the open front door when so many relatives showed up, and listening to the “grownups” sitting outside in the rope bottom straight chairs in the cooler air discussing Texas politics or telling jokes.

I am from evidence found in private family albums, newspaper archives located on the Internet, documents and certificates. My parents’ evidence is found in private family and relatives' photo albums, U.S. Census records, Athens, Texas Historical Society and Galveston, Texas vertical file records, and college yearbook records.

Linda Sue Hollingsworth Littlejohn Robbins

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Joseph Marion Jerkens (1883-1952) Followup

As of July 9, 2011, I am able to document the following facts about Joseph Marion Jerkens, one of my husband's maternal uncles who was born in 1883 in Austria and died in 1952 in Florida. Another family blog posting will contain the copies of the documents I used to write this posting.

Joseph Marion Jerkens was born in Zadarow, Buzcacz, Galicia, Austria Hungarian Empire. His Austrian name was Josef Jurkiewicz as listed on his Ellis Island Record #677808 on September 22, 1908 as an alien. Joseph Marion Jerkens has also been found in genealogy records as Jurkiewicz.

On the Certificate of Arrival for Naturalization Purposes, Josef Jurkiewicz arrived at Ellis Island, NY for permanent admission to the United States on the ship Kronprinzessin Cecilie, Record #677808 by direction of the Secretary of Labor, signed by Raymond F. Crist, Commisioner of Naturalization.

Joseph Marion Jerkens (Jierkens) was born on Mar 25, 1883 according to his own handwriting in the WWI Draft Registration. His birthplace was listed as Austria. Joseph’s surname Jerkens has also been found in genealogy records as Jerkins, Jerkina, and Jierkens.

Joseph Jerkens in the 1910 U.S. Census was a servant & worked on a dairy farm near Roxbury, Delaware, County, NY; the 1910 census states he arrived in the US in 1908, was 27, not 26 by the May 6, 1910 enumeration date; Joseph stated he was from Russia/Poland by the time he was in the U.S. His parents were listed as also being from Russia/Poland in the 1910 U.S. Census. At the time of the 1910 U.S. Census, Joseph's village of Zadarow was taken over by Russia and then Poland. Eastern Europe's countries' boundaries always seemed to be in an upheaval. Joseph's oldest daughter verified that she was told that her father worked on a dairy farm in upper state New York when we first arrived in the United States in 1908.

On September 12, 1918, Joseph Marion Jerkens registered for the WWI draft. His occupation was as horseman for Harry T. Peters on St. Mark's Avenue, Islip, Suffolk County, New York and his wife was Jennie Elizabeth Jerkens (Jierkens). In the 1930 U.S. Census it states that Joseph Marion Jerkens married at age 31. This indicates that Joseph Marion and Jennie Elizabeth Jerkens from Sweden possibly married in 1914. They lived on Union Avenue in Islip, New York. Joseph was of medium height and medium build, with blue eyes and brown hair.

The U.S. 1920 Census lists Joseph Marion Jerkens (misspelled as Jerkina) with first wife Jennie E. He immigrated to the USA in 1908 & Jennie E. immigrated to the USA in 1902. Joseph was 37 and Jennie E. was 38 on January 3, 1920. They rented on Raymond Street in Islip Township, New York. Joseph was listed as a groom for a private family. Joseph and his parents were born in Austria and spoke German. Joseph indicates “Pa” meaning that his status with naturalization is that his first papers were applied for in the U.S. 1920 Census and he was naturalized by the 1930 U.S. Census.

On November 13, 1926 Jozeph Jurkiewicz, age 43, applied for the USA Declaration of Intention, in the Village of Patchogue, Suffolk County, NY; occupation private groom, resided Islip, Suffolk County, NY, white, dark complexion, 5'10", 168 lbs., brown hair, grey eyes, scar on chin, birthplace Zadarow, Austria; came from Bremen, Germany on Crown Princess Cecile. Joseph Jurkiewicz's last residence was given as Tarnobrzeg. His birthplace was Buczacz which is the same district as the village of Zadarow but about 400 miles NE of modern Vienna, Austria. Joseph Jurkiewicz arrived at the port of NY in the state of NY about 21 Sep 1908. He was not an anarchrist or a polygamist. He intended to become a citizen of the USA & permanently reside therein. Superior Court, Suffolk County, NY, Fred S. Pulver, Clerk The form statesd that it is invalid for all purposes seven years after the date hereof. Record #651879

The U.S. 1930 Census states Joseph Marion Jerkens (Jerkina) was first married at age 31, which would make the year about 1914 with his marriage to Jennie E. (possibly) Elizabeth Jerkina. She was 30; they possibly married in the Catholic Church in East Islip but as of yet not records can be found there.

In 1925-1927 Joseph Marion Jerkens’ future wife, single teacher Minerva Lucile Love, and Joseph Marion Jerkens’ future brother-in law William Augustus Robbins, civil engineer, lived at the Wilson Rooming or Boarding House on Monell Ave. in Islip, New York according to Joseph Marion and Minerva Lucile Love Jerkens’ oldest daughter who was born in 1928.

Joseph Marion Jerkens married Minerva Lucile Love on Saturday, May 14, 1927 in Syracuse, New York according to a wedding announcement by the bride’s parents Charles Nelson and Fila “Filey” Rhobe Tower Love of Syracuse, New York.

Joseph Marion Jerkens and his second wife Minerva Lucile Love Jerkens lived on Breezy Point, Islip, Suffolk County, New York with their two oldest children born in 1928 and 1929.

Joseph became a naturalized citizen on November 9, 1929.

In 1936 at age 53, Joseph Jerkens rented a stable at the Vanderbilt Estate and lived in Oakdale, Suffolk County, New York when a Ford dealer delivered a V8 station wagon from Holbrook, NY to the family. By this time all five children were born to Joseph and Minerva Jerkens.

Minerva Love Jerkens, wife of Joseph, was a Kindergarten teacher at Islip, NY when she passed away at school at the age of 61 in 1944.

Joseph Jerkens passed away January 1, 1952 in Dade County, Florida. Joseph Jerkens’funeral service was at the Lindenhurst, NY Catholic Church. He was buried at St. Patrick’s Cemetery, on Brentwood Boulevard south of Sunrise Highway.

Joseph Marion Jerkens was survived by five children and two grandchildren at the time of his death. More grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren have been born since his death are living and are not named here to protect their privacy.

I will appreciate any additions, corrections, or deletions about this narrative I have created based on my genealogical research from Jerkens descendents. Please reply in the comments area below. I have not written any information except that based on records I have found online at,, or the Suffolk County Courthouse records located at Riverhead, New York.

The information about Zadarow was emailed to me by two experts in the field from that part of Eastern Europe:

Brian J. Lenius

Author of Genealogical Gazateer of Galicia:

President Emeritus and Internet Chairman for East European Genealogical Society:

Matthew Bielawa:

Originator of: Halgal: Genealogy of Halychyna and Eastern Galicia:


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,, 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.