Monday, August 22, 2011

Our Lithuanian Heritage

As discussed in previous posts, it was commonly thought by oral tradition that the Murosky name was Lithuanian in origin.

New research of the family living in Forest City, Pennsylvania has proven the Lithuanian origin to be fact. My 2nd great grandparents, Anthony and Eva Murosky, were recently located in both the 1920 and the 1930 United States Federal Census. In both cases the family was still residing in Forest City, Pennsylvania.

In both the 1920 and 1930 census Anthony and Eva indicate that they were born in Lithuania. This coincides with restoration of Lithuania to an independent state on February 16, 1918.  When the 1920 and the 1930 census were recorded those who were both in Lithuania were able to acknowledge the true country of their birth. Anthony and Eva also list that the native language they spoke in their country of birth, known as the mother tongue in the census, was Lithuanian.  The couple may have spoken multiple languages as they are also listed as speaking Polish. Both Anthony and Eva indicate that their mother and father were born in Lithuania.  The census is based on first hand information obtained from the individuals and can be taken as fact.

As I had previously suspected, Anthony and Eva settled within the Lithuanian community that was growing in Forest City, Pennsylvania. It was common for immigrants of one nationality to settle together after arriving in America. In the United States, the Lithuanian community would have had the freedom to practice their own cultural traditions. Anthony and Eva’s oldest daughter Margret married John Chanis who was also an immigrant from Lithuania. John’s parents were also Lithuanian. John made the trip from Europe in 1910 when he was 14 years old.

Daughter Margaret is recorded as living with her husband John Chanis in Forest City, Pennsylvania in 1920 with their oldest child, John Jr.. Margret and John were neighbors to her parents renting neighboring homes on Main Street.

Interestingly enough, around the time I made discovery of Lithuanian origin in the census I crossed paths with an airline employee who resides in Chicago but also commutes to New York for work. On a flight to New York, I overheard him discussing Lithuanian Folk Dancing which caught my attention.

After getting to know him, I learned that he is also of Lithuanian descent. His Father-In-Law is the editor of Lithuanian Heritage Magazine, a bimonthly publication that that plays tribute to Lithuanian culture old and new. I truly think fate was at work as I now have connections to learning more about our culture and heritage.

My new colleague was kind enough to bring me a copy of the magazine. If you are interested in learning more about Lithuanian Heritage and Culture I highly recommend you register for a subscription. The issue of the magazine I have is fantastic.