Wednesday, July 8, 2015

John Nyznyk: My Grandfather, an Enigma, The Story Ends

My grandfather, John Nyznyk has been the subject of my blog for the past two weeks. Researching his life has unearthed a lot of information about his life, but not everything that I was trying to find.
This week I will finish the story, but I do not have an satisfactory end to it.

Last week I finished my post with the 1930 United States Census.  John was 52 years old,  living at 533 East 6th Street in New York City, working as an upholsterer in the furniture industry.  He was living alone, and stated that he was a widower. He now was a naturalized citizen of the United States.

Michalina Nyznyk Immigrates to the United States.

Manifest from the SS Kosciuszko.  Michalina Nyznyk is listed on the first line.

Michalina Nyznyk, my father's half sister, arrived at Ellis Island, in New York on April 27, 1931.   She joined her father, John, in Belleville, New Jersey.  He was living at 52 Columbia Ave in Belleville.  Michalina was 20 years old, with brown hair, fair skin and grey eyes.  She was 5'4" tall and in  good health .  She left her brother Paul, her closest relative in Poland, who like Michalina was born  and raised in Pomorainy,  and now lived in Niszczuki, Zborov, Poland.  She obtained her passport in Warsaw on March 23, 1931, and left from Gdynia, Poland, on the SS Kosciuszko on April 15.  She came to the United States as a permanent resident. According to the ship's manifest, her occupation was farmer and she could read and write. From the records that I have, she had never met her father, since he left Pomorainy before she was born.

Second page of the SS Kosciuszko, showing Michalina's home information and her fathers address in New Jersey.

I have found no other information about her at all.  She was not listed in the 1940 Census, or in any existing  Belleville, N.J. directories.  I have found neither marriage nor death records for her.  As far as I know, she came to the United States and vanished.

John Nyznyk: The 1940 United States Census.

John Nyznyk was 58 years old and living alone in New York on April 8, 1940, the day the Census taker came to gather information. He lived at 205 East 4th Street in New York, a few blocks from his residence in 1930 and was paying $13 a month in rent. He was listed as single and was born in Austria and attended school for 5 years.  According the the Census, he lived at the same address in 1935, which is interesting, because four years earlier, in 1931, he was living in Belleville, N. J. with his daughter Michalina.
John had been unemployed for 50 weeks, and had worked only 12 weeks in 1939. However, he said he had a source of income, which was $240 per year or $20 a month.  When he last worked, he was a laborer in construction, unusual for a 58 year old man. He had previously worked as an upholsterer, never as a laborer.  He was still looking for work and did not do any public emergency work.  
This is the last record that I have about John Nyznyk.  I have searched again and again and have consistently found nothing.  I think that he died in the 1950's, but this information came from my parents, and they heard it from other relatives.

1940 United States Census.  John Nyznyk is on line 15.


I will continue to search for information about John and Michalina.  From the 1920, 1930 and 1940 Censuses, I found a lot of information about my grandfather.  I am also fortunate that his applications for US citizenship were available on line.  I am also glad that my father had a detailed marriage license for his parents.  His birth certificate was also detailed and provided me with a lot of information about his parents.
I would like to find out more about Michalina.  I wonder if she married and stayed in the US?  I wonder if she decided to return to her brother and family in Poland? There are many records of in coming ships to the US, but I have found no sources/manifests about outgoing ships. Perhaps a reader of this blog may remember a grandmother, great-grandmother or aunt by the name of Michalina.  If you do, please let me know.