Sunday, August 28, 2016

JW Selker: Arriving at Ellis Island

This is the second post in the J.W. Selker Series. The series will be focused on Joseph William Selker's return trip to Germany in 1906. This would be Joseph William's first and only trip to Germany after departing 21 years prior.

Joseph William Selker applied for a passport application on January 25, 1906. After living in Pennsylvania for twenty one years he made plans to return to his home country of Germany.  The date of the crossing to Germany and the port of arrival are currently unknown.

When Joseph William didn't travel to Germany alone. He took his nine year old son Frederick William Selker, known to the family as "Fritz", with him. Frederick William Selker was born October 15, 1896 in Clarion, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. Joseph William and Frederick William traveled to several cities to visit with their Selker family members. The cities they are known to have visited include:
  • Fürstenau: The party traveled to Fürstenau - the city of Joseph William's birth. While in Fürstenau they spent time with Joseph William's brother Gerhardt Selker and his wife Mary Agnes Rakers.
  • Bentheim: Joseph William's father, Hermann George Selker, was born in Bentheim. The party traveled to Bentheim to spend some time with Joseph William's uncle. The uncle, who's name is currently unknown, would have been a brother of Hermann George Selker
  • Montabaur: The party  traveled to Montabaur to visit with Joseph William's brother Karl Friedrich Selker who had relocated from Fürstenau. Karl Friedrich Selker owned a tailor shop in Montabaur.
It is currently unknown how much time Joseph William and Frederick William spent in Germany. It should be noted that the distance between Fürstenau and Montabaur is approximately 193.6 miles [312 km]. The map below, highlighted with the cities they visited, shows that the two traveled extensively during their visit.
Michelle M. Murosky: Blog Images &emdash; JW Selker Travels
On June 26, 1906 Joseph William Selker and his party departed Germany at the port of Bremen. The group set sail on the SS Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse. The SS Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse was built by the North German Lloyd shipping line. The 14,349 ton ship had four funnels and was 627 feet long. The ship was capable of transporting 332 first class passengers, 343 second class passengers and 1,074 third class passengers. The Hoboken Historical Museum has original plans of the ship available in their online collections database.
Colour drawing of the SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse by an unknown painter
Colour drawing of the SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse by an unknown painter
Source: Wikipedia, Public Domain image
Joseph William Selker and his party traveled in the second class cabin. The two additional members of Joseph William's party were his nieces - Johanna Anna Selker and Philomena Selker. His two nieces made the decision to leave Germany and relocate to Pennsylvania with their uncle.

Johanna Anna Selker was nineteen years old when she departed Germany. She was born September 5, 1886 in Montabaur, Germany. Johanna was the daughter of Karl Friedrich Selker and Margarita Wolf.

Philomena Selker was eighteen years old when she departed Germany. In the ships manifest she is recorded as Wilhelmine Selker. She was born January 27, 1887 in Fürstenau, Germany. Philomena was the daughter of Gerhardt Selker and Mary Agnes Rakers.

The ships manifest for the SS Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse  indicates that the party arrived at the Port of New York on July 3, 1906. The crossing took eight days. The party was processed at Ellis Island.

Michelle M. Murosky: Historical Records &emdash; NYT715_736-0692
Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse
Ship's Manifest - List 5
Arrival July 3, 1906 Port of New York
The nationality recorded for Joseph William and "Fritz" was USA. Johanna Anna and Philomena were recorded as German. Both nieces could read and write. Johanna is recorded as last living in Montabaur and Philomena is recorded as last living in Fürstenau. Their final destination is recorded as Clarion, PA.
Michelle M. Murosky: Historical Records &emdash; NYT715_736-0692
Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse
Ship's Manifest - List 5 [Excerpt]
Arrival July 3, 1906 Port of New York
The notes on the ships manifest indicate they were traveling with their uncle J.W. Selker who was from Clarion, PA.

Michelle M. Murosky: Historical Records &emdash; NYT715_736-0692
Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse
Ship's Manifest - List 5 [Excerpt]
Arrival July 3, 1906 Port of New York

Johanna Anna Selker and Philomena Selker both remained in Clarion, Clarion County, Pennsylvania for the rest of their lives. Johanna Anna Selker married Stephen Charles Huefner on June 2, 1908 at the Immaculate Conception Church in Clarion, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. Philomena married Augustine Benedict Lauer Sr. on September 21, 1909 at St, Michael's Church in Fryburg, Clarion County, Pennsylvania.

References:
  1. Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Year: 1906; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 0736; Line: 2; Page Number: 87
  2. Ancestry.com. Passenger Ships and Images [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse.
  3. Image SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse by an unknown painter: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Colour_drawing_of_the_SS_Kaiser_Wilhelm_der_Grosse_by_an_unknown_painter.jpg# 
  4. Handwritten Letter from Joseph William Selker to Karl Friedrich Selker dated 19 July 1906.
  5. "Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VFWP-WN5 : 24 June 2016), Stephen Charles Huefner and Johanna Selker, 1908.
  6. "Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VFWP-YC8 : 24 June 2016), Augustine Lauer and Minnie Selker, 1909.
  7. Maps of World. Germany Outline Map.

Monday, August 15, 2016

1930's - Edward V. Murosky

This photograph of Edward V. Murosky was most likely taken in Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania where the family lived. The photograph may have been taken late spring or summer. Based on Edward's age the photograph would have been taken in the 1930's.

Edward V. is dressed in a shirt with a tie. He appears to be holding a rosary and a prayer book. The photograph may have been taken the day of his confirmation. There is a second photograph of Edward standing with his mother Helen Tillie Bukowski that was taken the same day.
Michelle M. Murosky: The Murosky Collection &emdash; 1930's - Edward V. Murosky
Edward V. Murosky
From the Helen Tillie Bukowski Collection. These photographs were located in a small album. Photographer Unknown. Editing and digital restoration by Michelle M. Murosky.

Helen Tillie Bukowski is my great grandmother.  Edward V. Murosky is my great uncle. Helen's son Arthur Murosky is my paternal grandfather.

Friday, August 12, 2016

JW Selker: Planning a Trip Home

This is the first post in the J.W. Selker Series. The series will be focused on Joseph William Selker's return trip to Germany in 1906. This would be Joseph William's first and only trip to Germany after departing 21 years prior.  

Joseph William Selker, the youngest son of Hermann George Selker and Katherine Elizabeth Hofhaus, was born October 8, 1865 in Fürstenau, Province of Hanover, Germany. Historical records indicate that after receiving his early education in Germany Joseph William studied the trade of cigar-making. When he was 20 years old he set his sights on the future and opted to leave Germany. On October 31, 1885 he departed from Rotterdam, Holland in route to the United States.

After arriving Joseph William initially settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he worked as an apprentice cigar maker. Joseph relocated to Clarion, Pennsylvania in March of 1887. He initially worked for Michael Zacherl as a cigar maker. Joseph William opened his own cigar manufacturing business in April of 1889.

Joseph William married Frances Philomena Guth on November 4, 1890 at the Immaculate Conception Church in Clarion, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. Frances was the daughter of a well-known Clarion businessman. Leopold Guth, a German immigrant, was a jeweler and watchmaker. Her mother, Theresa Loll, was an Alsatian immigrant. Frances was born February 25, 1863 in Clarion, Clarion County, Pennsylvania.
Michelle M. Murosky: The Selker Collection &emdash; Frances Philomena Guth and Joseph William Selker
Joseph William Selker & Frances Philomena Guth
Joseph was naturalized as a United States citizen on August 22, 1892. In 1898 he built the large Selker family home located at 242 Main Street. The family home was built next door to the cigar factory located at 248 Main Street on the corner of Main and South 3rd Avenue.

Left: Joseph W. Selker Cigar Right: Joseph W. Selker Home
248 & 242 Main Street, Clarion, PA
Over the years Joseph remained in contact with his family in Germany. On January 25, 1906 Joseph applied for a United States passport.  The application was stamped February 8, 1906. After living in Pennsylvania for twenty one years - Joseph William was making plans to return home.
Michelle M. Murosky: Historical Records &emdash; Joseph William Selker- Passport Application
Joseph William Selker
Passport Application - All pages
The passport application written in his own hand indicates that Joseph was a naturalized United States citizen. He indicated he was born October 8, 1865 in Feurstenau, Hanover, Germany. (Note this spelling is a variation of Fürstenau) He traveled by steamship from Rotterdam, Holland on October 31, 1885. The application indicates that he intended to go abroad within 8 months and then return to the United States.
Michelle M. Murosky: Historical Records &emdash; Joseph William Selker- Passport Application
Joseph William Selker
Passport Application - Detail
The passport application also includes a copy of his signature in the Oath of Allegiance section. A close up of his signature is shown below.
Michelle M. Murosky: Historical Records &emdash; Joseph William Selker- Passport Application

The passport application also included a physical description of Joseph William. He was 5’ 7” tall. He had a fair complexion, blue eyes and dark hair.
Michelle M. Murosky: Historical Records &emdash; Joseph William Selker- Passport Application

A photograph of Joseph William Selker shows that the physical description to be quite accurate:

Michelle M. Murosky: The Selker Collection &emdash; Joseph William Selker
Joseph William Selker
Joseph William Selker and Frances Philomena Guth are my 2nd great grandparents. Their daughter Frances Philomena Selker is my great grandmother. My paternal grandmother, Mary Eugenia McDonald, is the daughter of Frances Philomena Selker. 

References:
  1. "Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VFWG-R2W : accessed 28 March 2015), Joseph William Selker and Frances Philomena Guth, 04 Nov 1890; citing Marriage, Pennsylvania, county courthouses, Pennsylvania; FHL microfilm 1,315,270. 
  2. John Woolf Jordan, LL.D., Genealogical and personal history of the Allegheny Valley Pennsylvania, III vols. (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1913), Page 839: Selker
  3. Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2007.