This is the second post in the WWI Centennial series. The series is focused on where were members of my family living on August 5, 1914 when they learned war had been declared in Europe. What thoughts may they have had? How were they impacted? I hope this series of blog posts around the WWI Centennial will be both interesting and informative for the reader.
The second family to be featured will be Anthony Murosky Sr. and his wife Eva Zielinski my 2nd great grandparents.
Immigrants Anthony Murosky Sr. and his wife Eva were living in Forest City, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania when they learned war had been declared in Europe. It has been 22 years since Anthony left Europe and 20 years since Eva left Europe. Census records indicate that Anthony arrived in 1892 and Eva in 1984. The couple married in 1894. Historical records indicate the couple was living in Forest City when their oldest son Anthony was born in 1889. Details of their passage from Europe are unknown at this time. My grandfather told me the family lineage was Lithuanian. The census records record the place of birth for Anthony and Eva as “Russ-Polish” before the WWI and “Lithuania” after WWI.
It is plausible the Anthony and Eva were born in modern day Lithuania possibly along the border of Poland. Both Lithuania and the eastern portions of Poland would have been part of the Russian Empire in 1910. Lithuania was restored when portions of eastern European lands were stripped from the Russian. The Second Polish Republic was formed from the lands Russian and Prussia had annexed in the partitions of Poland in the late 1700’s. It is currently unknown where Anthony and Eva were living prior to departing Europe.
The 1910 United States Federal Census recorded the family living at 128 Delaware Street, Forest City, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. The census indicates the family was renting this house. The 1920 United States Federal Census recorded the family living at 408 Main Street, Forest City, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. The census indicates the family was renting this house.
- Head Anthony Sr., age 51
- Wife Eva, age 44
- Son Anthony, age 24, (my great great-grandfather)
- Son Joseph, age 14
- Son Gustave Joseph, age 15
- Son William, age 12
- Daughter Esther, age 5
- Son Charles, age 1
Anthony and Eva also lost an infant son Frank in 1907. The 1910 census indicates that Eva was the mother of 9 children and only 5 were living. If this information is accurate there are three additional children that are not recorded in historical documents located to date.
The couple’s oldest daughter Margaret, age 23, married John Chanis a Lithuanian immigrant in 1914. According to his naturalization record for citizenship John was born July 25, 1895 in Vilna, Lithuania. Margaret may or may not have been living in the household with her parents in August of 1914.
By 1914 the family was well established in the community. Forest City had a thriving Lithuanian population. Many of these immigrants also attended the same church. Anthony Sr. and his son-in-law John Chanis were working in the coal mines. The oldest son Anthony was also likely employed working in the coal mines. The 1920 census records Anthony Jr. as a motorman in the coal mines.
The 1910 census indicates that both Anthony Sr. was able to read and write English. Eva is recorded as unable to read and write English. The 1910 census also indicates that Anthony, Sr. had not applied for citizenship and his status was recorded as “alien.”
After learning war had been declared Anthony and Eva may have pondered the impact their hometowns. Russian troops would have to travel through Lithuania to reach the border with Prussia held territory. The western potions of Lithuania also bordered Prussian lands. They each may have been worried about the families they left behind 20 years earlier. Each would have realized their nephews of age were likely to be called to serve in the Russian Army.
|European Alliances in 1914 - West Point|
It is currently unknown if this couple maintained any contact with their European family members. No details have been revealed to date which indicate there was any correspondence.
- 1910 U. S. census, 1910 United States Federal Census schedule, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania; Online Images, Record for Anthony Meroski
- 1920 U. S. census, 1920 United States Federal Census schedule, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, Online Images, Record for Anthony Maroski
- Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1944 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. Record for Frank Moroski
- U.S., Naturalization Petitions of the U.S. Circuit and District Courts of the Middle District of Pennsylvania, 1906-1930, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Middle District Court of Pennsylvania, District Court; National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C. Record for John Chanis
- Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Record for Anthony H. Murosky
- 40 maps that explain World War I
- Historic maps of Forest City
- Google Maps